AOSs in Philosophy Jobs Thus Far


The numbers on this year’s job market. Not good. Not good at all.

Originally posted on PHILOSOPHY IN A TIME OF ERROR:

The Philosophers’ Cocoon goes through the numbers and it’s bleak. (Cocoon notes that last year there were 190 jobs listed by this time; only 110 TT jobs as of now) In any case, .9% of jobs are in African American philosophy, 8% of jobs are in Continental, 4.5% are in Feminist Philosophy (which means my department is doing 20% of all hiring in feminism this year), while a full 29% of jobs are in applied ethics.

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Dewey Quote of the Day

From Democracy and Education, p. 85 (Free Press edition):

Diversity of stimulation means novelty, and novelty means challenge to thought. The more activity is restricted to a few definite lines–as it is when there are rigid class lines preventing adequate interplay of experiences–the more action tends to become routine on the part of the class at a disadvantage, and capricious, aimless, and explosive on the part of the class having the materially fortunate position.

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George Yancy Interviews Naomi Zack on White Privilege

It’s the first in a series of interviews with philosophers about race at The Stone. Read it HERE.

And find Yancy’s books HERE.

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Upcoming Talk at Duquesne

On Friday, November 14 @ 2:30pm I’m giving a talk called “Plasticity, American-Style” in the visiting speakers series at Duquesne University. Everyone is welcome. It’ll happen in the Silverman Phenomenology Center. Here’s the abstract:

Contemporary philosophy has come to associate, if not identify, the concept of plasticity with the work of Catherine Malabou. For Malabou, the chief source of this concept is Hegel. In The Future of Hegel, originally a dissertation written under the direction of Jacques Derrida, the Hegelian roots of plasticity are well-documented. It is a mistake, however, to suppose that plasticity is exclusively, or even primarily, an Hegelian concept—Malabou finds it active in neuroscience, of course, but also in Spinoza, Freud, Nietzsche, and many others. What we do not find in Malabou’s writings, however, is a recognition of the intensive thinking of plasticity in the American philosophical tradition, particularly the philosophical psychology of William James and John Dewey. This paper brings Malabou’s work into dialogue with American philosophy not only to show that plasticity has a broader and more nuanced philosophical history, but also to complicate and enrich Malabou’s own concept.

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CFP: 2015 Villanova Philosophy Conference

20th Annual Conference Sponsored by the Philosophy Graduate Student Union (PGSU)
March 13-14, 2015
Villanova University

New Encounters in French and Italian Thought
Keynote: Jason E. Smith

The negotiation between French and Italian activists and intellectuals in
the mid-twentieth century opened a field of theoretical experimentation, the
effects of which pose a challenge for contemporary politics. This encounter
materialized through various collectives, traversing the neat intellectual
and practical boundaries of the academy. Whether through the images of
intellectuals in the streets, or through radical activist groups extending
from the Situationist International to Tiqqun, the laboratory of French and
Italian thought poses a constellation of conceptual weapons that remain
vital for any contestation with the state of things. These implements have
been successful in intervening within contemporary struggles on the level of
theory, practice, and the construction of history in the present.

Under the inheritance of this tradition, this conference invites submissions
from the interstices and margins of recent French and Italian philosophy.
Possible paper topics include feminist recapitulations of post-workerism,
the theoretical legacy of biopolitics as it is taken up in Agamben and
Esposito, and the ongoing challenges for theory and practice posed by social
movements extending from Latin America to the Mediterranean in the wake of
events such as Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation.

Other topics include, but are not limited to:

Post-Althusserian philosophy
Decolonial challenges to eurocentric thought and strategies
Wages for Housework and care economies
Realism and contemporary ontologies
Re-interpretations of the Gramscian legacy
Philosophies of life and the problem of vitalism
Lacanian psychoanalysis and its heritage
French and Italian receptions of Spinoza, Hegel, and Marx
Affect theory and imagination in cultural productions (e.g. film and media)
Collective organization and social ontologies

The Philosophy Graduate Student Union at Villanova University welcomes
graduate students and junior faculty to submit any of the following to be
considered for our conference: paper abstracts of 250-350 words, papers of
approximately 3000 words (including co-authored work) suitable for a 20
minute presentation, or proposed panels. Authors of accepted abstracts
should send completed papers by March 1, 2015.

Please send submissions, prepared for blind review, by December 21st, 2014

This conference is committed to accommodating people with disabilities.
Conference participants and attendees are encouraged to contact the above
email address to discuss accommodations.

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‘The End of Phenomenology’ Reviewed at Review 31

Today I woke up to find a very evenhanded review of The End of Phenomenology by Simi Freund. You can find it at Review 31, HERE.

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‘Plastic Bodies’ (the book) Available Soon

I’ve got word from Open Humanities Press that my book Plastic Bodies: Rebuilding Sensation After Phenomenology will be available by year’s end. You can find a description of the book at its homepage. As with all of the OHP books, it will be available in an open access edition, as well as in an affordable paperback version via Amazon. This book has been a long time coming, so I’m really happy for it to finally see the light of day.
PB Cover
(cover image courtesy of Tammy Lu)

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Joseph Carew’s ‘Ontological Catastrophe’ Available

The latest book in Open Humanities Press’s “New Metaphysics” series is now available in an HTML version. Joseph Carew’s Ontological Catastrophe will be available as an open access PDF and as a reasonably priced book very soon.

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Clarification of Last Post

Terence Blake cleverly puts words into my mouth HERE.

The problem with this is that he fails to acknowledge that the stakes for phenomenology and SR are not the same. My point is that most people associated with SR aren’t insisting on its determinate existence, or at least aren’t insisting that what they’re practicing is something called SR. They do not claim that there is an SR method that legitimizes their claims, commitments, or conclusions. The case is different with phenomenology, as I argue in the book Blake cites. So, his argument by analogy breaks down due to its lack of structural integrity.

[UPDATE: Blake responds to my clarification by misrepresenting me, as is usual with his posts. See HERE. My point was that his analogy lacks structural integrity, but he construes my point as an admission that SR lacks such integrity. I won’t waste my time clarifying again, since Blake will likely continue his pattern of misrepresentation, so I’ll let the reader (if there are any) adjudicate our “disagreement”. Buyer beware.]

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What if SR really died?

I’m not going to write a lengthy post right now about the current “discussion” about the so-called death of speculative realism and the current dust up about the preface to Pete Wolfendale’s book on OOO. I’m typing this on my iPhone and waiting to catch a train to DFW to catch a flight back to Pittsburgh. I can only bear to write so much in these conditions.

Were I to write a longer post I’d begin by asking, What if we all agreed that SR is dead? What would change about the current speculative landscape? One thing that would not change is the fact that Harman has published the books and articles he has. He would continue to write, still get invited to speak around the world, and would continue to find his work adopted by disciplines other than philosophy. He would continue to edit book series. Generally, things would carry on as usual.

Whether anyone acknowledges the existence of SR and OOO has little bearing on the kind of thinking that goes on in those, er, spheres. Which is itself a point about what constitutes SR: its impact outlasts the discourse of its demise and the beliefs of those who affirm or deny this demise. Harman’s efficacy does not depend on the life or death of something called “speculative realism”.

Have the non-philosophers been duped by Harman, drawn into his orbit by his sophistry and rhetorical attraction? In a way, that’s not at all and shouldn’t be the question. First off, to ask it already implies, as Harman pointed out today, that the non-philosophers are somehow more gullible and vulnerable than “we philosophers”. Second, the asking of this question positions the anti-SR/OOO contingent in the position of protector or guardian, and casts their criticism of Harman in a light that illuminates their hubristic paternalism toward the non-philosophers. Third, it neglects the ways in which those outside of philosophy have adopted, adapted, and mobilized the forces of SR/OOO in ways unimaginable by philosophical purists. One thing I’ve learned from the SLSA conference here in Dallas is that the non-philosophers are doing quite well with their appropriations of SR/OOO, thank you very much.

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