Sunday, July 14, 2013

Silence and Returns

Some of you may have noticed I have been silent for a rather long while. Some of you may also have noticed I broke my silence over the last few days, but with posts devoid of original content beyond the juxtaposition of quotation. 

My silence has been "legitimate", so to speak, and rather uninteresting. I moved to New York City, I have been working on other writing projects, and so on. In short, things have been too busy for me to develop the quality and style of posts I had previously offered.

However, I feel there is something important here to consider. This blog was intended as a place to share fleeting inspirations, momentary insights, and to experiment with more involved potential projects. Through the course of its development it has become more and more focused on the last item in the list, offering hopefully thoughtful articulations of potential projects. Part of the reason for this is, of course, the pressure of having an audience.

I intend to continue offering posts like the ones I have shared previously, but if this space is to survive for me as a place of play and creativity as well as more serious experimentation I will have to be open to variation in both content and style of post. I hope my readers will share my openness.

I am interested in any responses folks my have to the previous three posts. They were each motivated by a very specific thought or series of thoughts, but ones I did not feel the need to spell out overtly. Instead, the space between the quotations offered should be sufficient to outline the contours of the thoughts which motivated them.   

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Linguistic Pantomime

"The force of pantomime does not consist in taking the place of speech to express ideas and emotions. Rather, it breaks with the causal logic of plots and the semiotics of the expression of passions."

Ranciere, Aisthesis: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of Art

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Poetry, the Work of Life, and the World Thinking Itself

"The poet must reunite words and things, give things the names that express their nature as speech, give words the sensible potential that links them to the movement of life. This task of naming is not a work of art. It is not a matter of happy invention. It is the work of life. The poet names things in the way that things name and symbolize themselves: 'This expression or nomination is not an art; it is a second nature born from the first like a leaf from a tree.'"

Aisthesis: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of Art with a quotation from Emerson's "The Poet".

"The Greek interpretation of existence remains within existence, and this interpretation is this existence becoming explicit through the explication."

Introduction to Phenomenological Research

"The empowering experiencing of living experience that takes itself along is the understanding intuition, the hermeneutical intuition, the originary phenomenological back-and-forth formation of the recepts and precepts from which all theoretical objectification, indeed every transcendent positing, falls out. Universality of word meanings primarily indicates something originary: wordliness of experienced experiencing."

The Idea of Philosophy and the Problem of Worldview in Towards the Definition of Philosophy


"The chief defect of all hitherto existing materialism - that of Feuerbach included - is that the thing, reality, sensuousness, is conceived only in the form of the object or of contemplation, but not as human sensuous activity, practice, not subjectively." 

Marx, First Thesis on Feuerbach 

"Materialism will be seen as a senile idealism to the extent that it is not immediately based on psychological or social facts, instead of on artificially isolated physical phenomenon." 

Georges Bataille "Materialism" in Visions of Excess

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Graham Harman's "Weird Realism: Lovecraft and Philosophy"

I recently read Graham Harman's new book Weird Realism: Lovecraft and Philosophy, published by Zero Books, and would like to share a few thoughts concerning the book. Let me say first that it is very enjoyable. Lovecraft and phenomenology? Why the heck not! Of course the book represents what seems to be an exceptionally idiosyncratic project, arguing that a position similar to the one Hölderlin fills for Heideggerian phenomenology should be occupied by H. P. Lovecraft for thinkers of Speculative Realism. I am a passionate fan of Lovecraft but even I found the project at first audacious. Being the type of thinker I am, however, I also found this very audacity amusing and intriguing, an affect I suspect Harman intended. There is, in and of itself, a philosophically important performative force in placing Lovecraft beside accepted standard bearers of high art who have become central figures for philosophy such as Hölderlin, Mallarmé or Beckett. What would it be for Lovecraft to occupy a position of world historical importance in the manner that Heidegger thought Hölderlin did? 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Heidegger's Bremen Lectures and the Erroneous Path

I recently finished reading Andrew Mitchell's new translation of Heidegger's Bremen and Freiburg lectures of 1949 and 1957 respectively. Let me first say that the Bremen lectures in particular, from which the much better known "The Question Concerning Technology" takes its origin, are a breathtaking text both in terms of poetic beauty and powerful philosophical suggestions. I have no doubt that a portion of the text's surprising force comes from Mitchell's translation which has managed to capture the singing in Heidegger's at times oracular speech. Students of Heidegger's thought are clearly in Mitchell's debt for this much needed translation.

Friday, June 22, 2012


Sorry for me recent silence. I have been adding finishing touches to my book on Heidegger in preparation for shopping it around to publishers as well as finishing a paper or two. I have also almost finished reading Zizek's new book Less Than Nothing: Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical Materialism while engaged in a reading group for the book involving a few philosophy colleagues and a practicing Lacanian psychoanalyst. I may be sharing some thoughts on the book soon. I may also get back to some posts concerning both the Heidegger Circle and the Ancient Philosophy Society.

On a totally non-philosophical topic, a good friend of mine just self-published his first fiction book in collaboration with a friend of his, entitled Captain James Hook and the Curse of Peter Pan. It is a retelling of the story of Peter Pan from the perspective of Captain Hook. Should any of my readers be interested, and have some spare time aside from philosophical labors, it is available on Amazon as an e-book and through Lulu as a paper back.