Rarely do I recall my dreams. I never have nightmares. However, last night I awoke from a frightening nightmare which entailed an ever-increasing number of Broken Social Scene band members invading my house. The dream began with me glancing sleepy-eyed toward my bedroom door and noticing a beer-bellied bearded man with long hair and an ill-fitting t-shirt looking back at me in the twilight. Hurrying out fearlessly toward him I find more people ascending the stairs; I throw furniture at them. Out on the porch I find several more men scheming, trying to climb to the second floor. The members of BSS are multiplying, assailing my home in a vaguely hostile but ultimately nonviolent stream. I’m sure this is due to the fact that they frequently have upwards of 10 members on stage, occasionally more, and I happened to be thinking of this fact when I went to bed. For instance:
This is the first nightmarish dream I’ve had in a while. All the others I’ve suppressed, of course.
Yesterday I received an advertisement on an email list I subscribe to listing an open position at Middlesex. Today I received a follow-up message explaining, for the ‘puzzled’, why this is, given the events that transpired some months ago. My favorite line from that explanation has to be:
As is widely known, four of the Middlesex Philosophy staff have transferred to Kingston University and have taken with them the postgraduate programme.
Now is the point at which you imagine Peter Hallward et al. trudging across London with the graduate student population on their backs.
The ProfHacker at The Chronicle has some great advice for graduate students entering their PhD programs. Read the advice here.
The Chronicle has a more even-tempered assessment of classroom technology than my post of yesterday (now deleted).
I stepped in on Graham’s blog to find him in an exchange with Chris from Networkologies. Chris is insisting that the OOO folks are asserting that there is, beyond and at the core of the infinite perspectives humans take on a particular object, a real, perspectiveless object in existence. He then claims that this position entails a “God’s eye view” of the object, and thus OOO slips anthropocentrism in the back door. Perhaps Chris is recalling that Husserl (in Ideas I, I believe) argued that even God’s view of objects would be perspectival, and thus not unlike the human.
Graham reiterates the point that the object-oriented approach entails no view at all. He might have also said that if there is any view in play in OOO, then it would have to be the object’s view. But, of course, OOO does not even have to commit to this. To switch the game a bit, we might speak of the perspectives that objects take on the world. Instead of the intentionality of humans converging on objects, why not the intentionality of objects radiating outward? This seems to be what OOO is after.
We might think of qualities after this fashion, too. Instead of thinking of qualities as attaching to or inhering in some substance, and thus collecting around their substantial core awaiting human perception to notice them, maybe we can think of qualities as exploding from the anarchic center of objects. On this view, qualities are not attached to substances, but rather emanations of what would be a substance. There are implications here for thinking sensation, but I’ll postpone these for another post.
I came across this article via Arts and Letters Daily (I say this to indicate that I don’t regularly read World Affairs Journal). It talks about how the Turks have basically made lying a fundamental element of their everyday lives, that they often lie to be polite (don’t we do that too?) and lie without knowing it. As far as I can tell, Turkey hasn’t imploded. You can read the rest for yourself, but I want to suggest that this seems to refute Kant’s famous remarks about the immorality of lying in the Groundwork.
I don’t know how well-known his site is, but Villanova’s John Immerwahr has for the past couple/few years been maintaining a wonderful resource over at Teach Philosophy 101. Check it out if you haven’t done so already. If you have suggestions, send them to John. He welcomes the input with swift, friendly replies.
Thanks to Dylan, whose comment on my last post was all the reason I needed to keep this blog open. That said, I’ll probably post something again in a few weeks, or maybe several months. Who knows.
So, I’m beginning to think that the blog is not really conducive to my philosophical method. Others, I’m sure, have had a similar feeling. It’s difficult for me to read and respond to the blogs I check in on regularly and I am not as consistent with posting as I would like to be. It bothers me when there are weeks upon weeks between posts and substantial posts only come occasionally. I’m thinking of just shutting down this blog.
If anyone has a remedy for my problem, I’d like to hear it. Otherwise, I may just drop my effort and resume at some indeterminate date in the future.