Project-Oriented Philosophy


UPDATE: Reid of Planomenology takes on some of the issues in his recent post here.

The recent surge of project-oriented philosophy and its bellicose denial of such wonderful things as procrastination and idleness* made me think about a number of issues, but primarily about the projected work ethic of such philosophical attitude – why should one get a project and why does this attitude remind me so much of a “time is money” late capitalist attitude of middle managers trying to get as much value from their employees as possible?  In other words, what are the ideological underpinnings of such drive for productivity and originality?  Is it possible that an unexplored dimension of such calls for philosophical productivity is a simple influence of late capitalist model of production where original ideas are commodities to be exchanged for higher and higher academic positions and philosophical “work ethic” is a new religion of producing as much philosophical capital as possible in order to justify one’s existence as a philosopher?

Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello argue in their excellent The New Spirit of Capitalism that we are looking at a new ideological mode, a new (third) capitalist spirit: Continue reading

Post-Traumatic Plasticity: Digression I


UPDATE: Short video of Malabou can be found here.

The second chapter of Part One of Les nouveaux blessésLes célébro-lésés: du roman neurologique au théâtre de l’absence – deals with some examples of cerebral damages and their general effects (the prevailing one being that of “indifference” and “cold detachment”) and how neurological scientific style itself is a strange co-conspirator in this perpetuation of coldness and detachment in a way it deals with these cases stylistically.  However, Malabou brings up her favorite notion of “plasticity” in order to engage a topic she has already addressed in Que faire de notre cerveau? which leads me to my first digression – what is this plasticity as applied to the discussion of the brain? Continue reading