Where Is The Object?


So with Realism Wars™ probably still raging somewhere, I am taking a mental health break, I was thinking of Karatani’s parallax, borrowed by Zizek and made into a book. It’s not really that important to me what Zizek has to say about it, what’s fascinating is the very experience of parallax, I found it hard to explain to myself and to others until I discovered came across a cool trick (or read about it somewhere and then forgot where it came from and am now claiming to have come up with it myself): Continue reading

The Universities In Trouble


UPDATE II: Marc Bousquet follows up his critique of Marc C. Taylor on The Valve. 

UPDATE: Apparently everyone is hastening to announce the end of the university as we know it (will we feel fine?)

Interesting review from NY Review of Books

Since the financial meltdown began to accelerate last summer, the world has changed utterly for colleges and universities just as it has for everyone who had not been stashing cash under the mattress. Along with failing banks, auto manufacturers, and insurance companies, universities have been making headlines—especially those whose gigantic endowments (Harvard’s was approaching $40 billion before the crash) have sharply declined. Last year, politicians and pundits were complaining about the unseemly wealth of such institutions. This year, alumni are getting e-mails from beleaguered presidents assuring them that Alma Mater will somehow ride out the storm.

Read the rest.

Realism Wars™ Update.


Hard to keep up with all of this philosophical action: Grundlegung has a post on the matter, with Levi’s always-already-there response here, plus a couple of exchanges at Larval Subjects and a continuation of the thread at Speculative Heresy. Things are heated but ultimately rewarding, I think, at least we’re not discussing Breatney Spears’ latest outfit or that silly things about torture memos, you know?

I Hate Science: Another Monstrous Distortion.


Levi offers another one of his characteristic “pick and choose” and wildly distorted interpretations of my comments on Speculative Heresy – it’s all nicely quoted and nicely summarized there. It is clear that I hate science – but hey what has it ever done for me and my armchair (actually, an ottoman kind of like this one – I know, weird, but I like my sitting arrangement, does it make me an ottoman philosopher?)? 

Shahar, a preventive comment to your typed-as-we-speak friendly email about why I even bother with this debate anymore – once in a while, there are interesting issues being brought up and I’d like to hope there’s some value in all of these exchanges…

P.S. Google Maps is tracking the swine flu – nothing to worry about, I dont’ believe in science so it’s not going to affect me.

Eckart Förster’s Essay on Kant, “Transition” and Opus Postumum


As some might have already noticed and I was pretty slow to discover this, some edited volumed available for preview on Google Books sometimes have full essays avaiable for your scholarly interest. May I wholeheartedly recommend this essay by Eckart Förster, “Fichte, Beck and Schelling in Kant’s Opus Postumum” which begins with a nice summary of Kant’s view of science and, specifically, physics? Förster’s contribution to the study of Opus Postumum is well known, of course, and I think in light of the recent discussions of science, realism, so-called correlationism and such, it is important to understand what Kant actually wrote, as opposed to various crude misinterpretations of his philosophy. Kant, as is also well known, began his philosophical career as a philosopher of nature (a philosopher of science would be a good modern designation) and, as Förster, shows in his Introduction to the English edition of Opus Postumum and various essays on the subject, ended his philosophical career working on a manuscript that would complete his system. 

I think Förster’s opening citation from the second preface to the first Critique is essential, as far as I am concerned, in any discussion of the workings of science – because I’m lazy, here’s a text from Norman Kemp Smith’s translation available online: Continue reading