Since I’ve been only minimally online this summer, and will likely be for the remainder of the summer, I failed to notice that Crispin Sartwell is working on a new book (partly of ontology), what he refers to as his “mature” philosophy. It’s damn-intriguing title is Entanglements: A System of Philosophy. Given the sketch of its contents, it looks to be an OOO-friendly endeavor. And since Crispin is sympathetic to realism, I will be watching closely the progress of his work. Some recent comments on the project can be found here.
One of my favorite bookstores, mostly because it’s the bookstore I grew up with and so it holds a singular nostalgia for me, is Carroll and Carroll Booksellers in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. George and Lisa Carroll, the proprietors, have been steadfastly peddling books there for as long as I can remember and for many years prior. They’ve got a bit of everything, and most importantly that independent bookstore ambiance that people like me fear losing in the digital age. Here’s a shot of the back end of the store:
Tomorrow I’m heading into Delaware Water Gap to hike. Perhaps I’ll have pictures to post. There’s a Pennsylvania and New Jersey side of the Delaware River in Water Gap. I prefer the New Jersey side, where the Mt. Tammany trail affords beautiful views of the landscape at its summit. The Appalachian Trail cuts through Water Gap, which is basically a small village whose highlights include a backpacking supply shop, a bakery, and a diner.
[Update: at the end of my 9-mile jaunt, I was fortunate to see a small black bear scurry across the trail, cross the creek and scale a steep incline before plopping itself comfortably against a tree. All in all a great day.]
Did some great hiking today at the Pocono Environmental Education Center in Dingman’s Ferry, Pennsylvania. No pictures this time, but I plan on heading back there again this summer. Two notable sightings: a 4′ copperhead (venomous snake common to Northeastearn PA) and a naked human male at the bottom of a waterfall. I’ve yet to decide which was wilder.
I’m currently spending time on the Poconos, that region of PA where I grew up and where my family still lives. I especially look forward to the hiking in Delaware Water Gap, which sits on the PA/NJ border. Yes, New Jersey has some pretty good hiking in store.
Ben Woodard and Tim Morton have made available the first volume of their new endeavor, Thinking Nature. Among other offerings, you can find a piece by me called ‘Ecological Necessity’. In this essay I compare and contrast the use of Merleau-Ponty and Spinoza for environmental philosophy. Check it out and consider submitting something for volume two.
I spent the greater part of this weekend attending and presenting at this year’s meeting of the Phenomenology Roundtable, which was conveniently held at Duquesne. This made my attendance quite effortless. It was my first time participating in the group, which was comprised of a truly hospitable bunch of folks who work in phenomenology and gather to share their works in progress and gather feedback. It provided me with the chance to test out some theses on phenomenological method and, apart from listening to a fascinating bunch of papers, have some great food and informal conversation, which are arguably the best portion of any conference. Much thanks to Erik Garrett (Duquesne University, Communication and Rhetorical Studies) for inviting me.
The proverbial wisdom is that the great majority of academic journal articles will only be read ‘by a handful of people’. The numbers are there to back up this folk fact. But if only one of those readers–who will, most likely, be a scholar or specialist on the hunt for ideas that they themselves can use–decides to cite that article in a piece of their own, the ideas and concepts in the original idea have the opportunity to spread. And, in fact, such citations often generate more readers for the original article because they stand as a kind of verification of the usefulness or perspicacity of its content. And once the ideas begin to spread, who knows where they’ll end up. Academics are made to feel pathetic about the statistics on journal article readership, but it takes only one reader to push your pathetic ideas into circulation. Having your idea circulating in the history of ideas is nothing to sneeze at, so stop feeling sorry for yourself and tell that wet blanket to eat its statistics.
Levi’s got a great response up to some concepts I’m using in my own work. He draws some parallels to his own branch of OOO, and shows me a thing or two about how to expand my own thinking. Check his post out here.
A few friends have recently posted links to it on Facebook, so I checked out philosiology. The blog is kept by the partner of a philosopher and is written as a kind of manual for how to get along with your own philosophy spouse/partner/sibling/friend. I like the way it talks about philosophers as though they were exotic creatures or Sea Monkeys without being condescending (a certain Marxist sparring partner of Levi–who will remain nameless and obscure–should take note: this is how you satirize). It’s humorous and kind of informative.