Rolling Philosophy

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i thought that was why the nope

plax (ico), Wednesday, 16 June 2010 19:56 (4 years ago) Permalink

cos its like, pan-religiousy in a fucking marshmallowy meaningless way.

is the point

plax (ico), Wednesday, 16 June 2010 19:57 (4 years ago) Permalink


plax (ico), Wednesday, 16 June 2010 19:57 (4 years ago) Permalink


plax (ico), Wednesday, 16 June 2010 19:57 (4 years ago) Permalink

ho shit. i thought the donkey-wheel was just meta.

n e ways, plaxico otm

ultra nate dogg (history mayne), Wednesday, 16 June 2010 19:59 (4 years ago) Permalink

yeah, interdisciplinary work is so fruitless

ksh, Wednesday, 16 June 2010 20:04 (4 years ago) Permalink

even if you don't consider analytic and continental philosophy to be two separate disciplines—maybe they are, and maybe they aren't—saying that you need to take sides doesn't really make much sense. not saying you can just take random aspects of the two and mash them together, but if you notice a place where the two lines up, you certainly can link them together and work from there

ksh, Wednesday, 16 June 2010 20:06 (4 years ago) Permalink

seems like u r def. the man to do that good look

plax (ico), Wednesday, 16 June 2010 20:08 (4 years ago) Permalink

btw, lol that ILX Philosophy thread started discussing Lost less than 50 posts in

Mordy, Wednesday, 16 June 2010 20:18 (4 years ago) Permalink

Ugh, maybe I won't be looking forward to this thread as I had initially thought. Fucking assholes coming out of the woodwork already.

I don't believe that analytic and continental disciplines can ever be reduced into each other, and nor should they, but to suggest that they cannot both be appreciated is the most disgusting savagery.

emil.y, Wednesday, 16 June 2010 23:56 (4 years ago) Permalink

I don't think those people are assholes.

bamcquern, Thursday, 17 June 2010 00:57 (4 years ago) Permalink

Analyze the disgusting savage archetype?

Mordy, Thursday, 17 June 2010 00:59 (4 years ago) Permalink

I'm just going to treat this as the rolling talk about academics thread, fuck distinctions imo

dyao, Thursday, 17 June 2010 01:05 (4 years ago) Permalink

anyway, picked up history of sexuality part I, it's actually my first full on foucault book instead of a few scattered essays and excerpts here and there. have only read the prologue but excited

dyao, Thursday, 17 June 2010 01:05 (4 years ago) Permalink

not wanting to put you off or anything, but dunno if history of sexuality is the best place to start w/ foucault - i think it's one of his most esoteric and least satisfying bks, tbh. for me, discipline and punish was a really gd intro to his thought and style - works as a piece of theory and as (obv contentious) history

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 17 June 2010 06:39 (4 years ago) Permalink

i am so goddamn out of touch w/philosphy these days, i am a bad philo grad. it bugs me, because i think ive lost a lot of what i already knew just through not engaging with it, kind of a tough discipline if you dont stay on top of it.

― ULTRAMAN dat ho (jjjusten), Wednesday, June 16, 2010 1:41 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

^^^^ I double majored and am working in the field of my other major so yeah, I'm stupid again so to speak. Hopefully this thread will bring back that loving feeling of my brain turning inside out.

peacocks, Thursday, 17 June 2010 18:09 (4 years ago) Permalink

i found history of sexuality I quite satisfying and not as hard to get through as d&p

harbl, Thursday, 17 June 2010 18:14 (4 years ago) Permalink

i read this really good book called the fountanhead once

michael, Thursday, 17 June 2010 18:19 (4 years ago) Permalink

wat was it about?

peacocks, Thursday, 17 June 2010 20:39 (4 years ago) Permalink

how awesome awesome people are

Mordy, Thursday, 17 June 2010 20:44 (4 years ago) Permalink

i think it was about rape and architecture, kinda like Discipline & Punish, only longer.

sarahel, Thursday, 17 June 2010 20:50 (4 years ago) Permalink

yeah i woulda said history of sexuality was totally perfect intro to foucault, kinda feel like its both the most developed and clearest version of many of his tropes etc.

plax (ico), Thursday, 17 June 2010 21:32 (4 years ago) Permalink

the Foucault lecture courses that have been coming out in english translation over the past few years are also great -- I find the lecture format really easy to follow (not that Foucault's other books are particularly offensive in this regard; just sayin'), and there's a lot of great stuff in there

INSUFFICIENT FUN (bernard snowy), Thursday, 17 June 2010 21:48 (4 years ago) Permalink

lately my reading has been directed more toward early-20th century european philosophy (phenomenology, Diltheyan hermeneutics, various neo-Kantianisms) in an effort to get a better grasp on the origins of the main postwar intellectual (and some political) movements. and maybe to finally understand Heidegger, but I'm not holding my breath.

INSUFFICIENT FUN (bernard snowy), Thursday, 17 June 2010 21:51 (4 years ago) Permalink

plax (ico), Thursday, 17 June 2010 21:55 (4 years ago) Permalink

ha, was just about to post that. It's funny because it's true.

I'm currently doing my Masters dissertation in (continental) philosophy, fuck it all I say I'll just get a cosy office job. Altho my reading at this very moment is fun, Jacques Attali's Noise: The Political Economy of Music.

NYC and Flowers (Merdeyeux), Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:00 (4 years ago) Permalink

really makes me want to read hegel and hausel to understand late heidegger to understand derrida (kinda thought socrates was supposed to be the key to derrida though)

plax (ico), Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:03 (4 years ago) Permalink

That clip is amazing. Also -- loved the Attali. A lot of my undergrad thesis was devoted to him.

Mordy, Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:05 (4 years ago) Permalink

xpost oh yeah I'm also hoping that, after reading some Husserl, I'll be able to (and still want to, heh) read Derrida's early stuff on him and maybe get a better understanding of JD's whole project

INSUFFICIENT FUN (bernard snowy), Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:08 (4 years ago) Permalink

husserl is awesome but the phenomenological aspects of derrida are crazy confusing to me

plax (ico), Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:13 (4 years ago) Permalink

I saw this thread title and initially thought it would be about best approaches to throwing the D20 in a role playing game.

he's always been a bit of an anti-climb Max (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:14 (4 years ago) Permalink

man that clip is my h8ed approach to... everything really. "You can't understand x without y, z, or q". You could say that in any academic discipline, or any non-academic discipline. Fuck it. Secondary texts ftw.

btw another mostly lapsed MA here, although I keep up my subscription to The Philospher's Magazine.

sent from my neural lace (ledge), Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:18 (4 years ago) Permalink

plax what's yr favorite husserl? I'm reading crisis of the european sciences right now but that's obv. a very late and not very representative work so I'm wonderin' what I should check out next.

INSUFFICIENT FUN (bernard snowy), Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:21 (4 years ago) Permalink

i read the cartesian meditations recently enough and its a pretty sweet intro.

plax (ico), Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:24 (4 years ago) Permalink

the Foucault lecture courses that have been coming out in english translation over the past few years are also great -- I find the lecture format really easy to follow (not that Foucault's other books are particularly offensive in this regard; just sayin'), and there's a lot of great stuff in there

― INSUFFICIENT FUN (bernard snowy), Thursday, June 17, 2010 5:48 PM (36 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

YES--birth of biopolitics is GREAT i think, not to mention the clearest/'easiest' of any foucault book ive read too.

max, Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:26 (4 years ago) Permalink

really makes me want to read hegel and hausel to understand late heidegger to understand derrida (kinda thought socrates was supposed to be the key to derrida though)

― plax (ico), Thursday, June 17, 2010 6:03 PM (23 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

i thought levinas was the key to derrida

max, Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:27 (4 years ago) Permalink

i dont even know who that is

plax (ico), Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:28 (4 years ago) Permalink


max, Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:29 (4 years ago) Permalink

i will never understand derrida

plax (ico), Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:29 (4 years ago) Permalink

fu omg

plax (ico), Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:29 (4 years ago) Permalink

lol jk

max, Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:30 (4 years ago) Permalink

lithuanian jew, student of husserl (and heidegger i believe?), key concepts 'the other' 'ethics as first philosophy' 'face-to-face' 'alterity'

derrida has two long essays about him--'violence and metaphysics' and a published (extended?) version of the eulogy he gave at levinas funeral

max, Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:34 (4 years ago) Permalink

the key to derrida fyi is smokin pot and reading poetry

max, Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:34 (4 years ago) Permalink

I don't think levinas was a student of heidegger (maybe yr thinkin' of marcuse?), but yeah, he was (I believe) the first french translator of husserl, and in general had a big influence on the french reception of phenomenology

INSUFFICIENT FUN (bernard snowy), Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:36 (4 years ago) Permalink

xpost halfway there; which poetry should I be readin'?

INSUFFICIENT FUN (bernard snowy), Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:36 (4 years ago) Permalink

Rilke, maybe?

Mordy, Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:38 (4 years ago) Permalink

well holderlin obv

max, Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:38 (4 years ago) Permalink

rimbaud dude

AESTHOLE (jjjusten), Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:39 (4 years ago) Permalink

bob dylan

max, Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:39 (4 years ago) Permalink


INSUFFICIENT FUN (bernard snowy), Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:40 (4 years ago) Permalink

it could be! probably! most likely! i was kind of seeking to avoid academicism, and so i imagined basing a class on thoreau, but maybe that has made me wary of seeming incredible, because i so am just sitting around talkin about books and tryin to make them more complicated than they seem, instead of like, experimenting on life, adventuring, etc.


and as i've tried to take more seriously questions about what it would mean for people to do philosophy apart from academia, that's what i've focused on more - ways in which philosophy could be done for you, and not necessarily as a scholarly project, but also not necessarily (immediately, as if this were the only alternative) as, let's say, a project of justice, of doing something in the world as a way of making your thinking have to do with life.

i did have in mind with the latter, like, lots of applied-ethic-y ways of living philosophically, which i don't so much want to criticize as to defend their taking up all the available space in conceptions of legitimate ways to live philosophically.

but somewhat along the same lines i think of, say, the philosopher who develops a quasi-ethical orientation toward others in general that's modeled on the academic's (tracing back to socrates') own, with a typical manifestation like, 'slow yer roll their fellow citizen, do you really have good reasons for what you believe and say and are doing?'. that's good. but it can also seem to some people to exhaust the space of the possible, outside the academy, because what could be more non-academic than your actually going around, making sure people think more critically, etc? personally i think this is just reasonableness and good citizenship kind of over-dressed in philosophical garb, and i imagine that there is something more proper for non-academic philosophers to be doing (as it were, contemplatively, still leaving the active life to their fellow non-academic citizens).

j., Thursday, 23 October 2014 19:56 (1 week ago) Permalink

i was just thinking of the socratic model too--but something about that seems impossible in contemporary discourse. ideologies and belief systems are too well-armored now, to "operationally closed," to really allow "open inquiry" into the "good" or what-have-you.

i do think, however, there is something like an ethics in persisting in strictly *philosophical* forms of communication and modes of discourse, that this, in all its frustrating abstraction and "lonely guy just thinking baout things" aura can itself be, i dunno, worthwhile i guess? insofar as *any* mode of discourse is worthwhile? i dont mean philosophy as an analogue to poetry or something, but philosophy in its own specific practices and NOT something subsumable under aesthetics.

ryan, Thursday, 23 October 2014 20:09 (1 week ago) Permalink

i say this all as what i consider to be an outsider. (my discipline really being the horrid little netherworld of "theory" in literature departments.)

ryan, Thursday, 23 October 2014 20:10 (1 week ago) Permalink

are you thinking of your systems-theorist bro when you say that? uh luhrmann

j., Thursday, 23 October 2014 20:17 (1 week ago) Permalink

haha yes a bit! luhmann would probably talk about stuff like "orthogonal relationships" and things like that though.

ryan, Thursday, 23 October 2014 20:21 (1 week ago) Permalink

if I weren't in academia I'd feel less pressured to write, which would be bad for my philosophical thought since I think best when writing. I have lots of half assed ideas that show themselves out as I try to write them up. Like even when I talk them out, I sneak in bullshit that passes bc most listeners aren't Socrates. But I'm my own Socrates when I write. And writing and then publishing get you audiences and then things to point to in conversation. Even writing slides is good for that, or just lecture notes.

But without my job depending on writing I don't know if I'd find the time.

droit au butt (Euler), Thursday, 23 October 2014 20:35 (1 week ago) Permalink

so i was talking with some philosophers, academics or marginal types, about teaching and improvement thereof under the 'guidance' of managerial types, and one of them expressed the idea (critical of hasty adoption of faddish techniques, models for running a course, designing assignments, etc) that the academic administrators should observe a 'first do no harm' rule when it comes to the work of their teachers

and of course teachers should do none as well

that got me thinking, in terms of the standard u.g. philosophy curriculum, what could be considered 'doing harm' in it or the teaching of it

it seems fair to say that many ideas about what should or shouldn't be taught in philosophy have a kind of prophylactic intent - say, the reasoning behind an intense focus on 'learning how to argue' or think logically (as if other disciplines didn't do that). there, a sort of (appearance of?) formal neutrality seems to promise that you'll help the students and certainly not make them worse

likewise with the tendency toward tradition-insularity. if you think adorno is a charlatan you will think it would be irresponsible to let students spend time on him. if you think metaphysics is bunk you might teach the criticisms of it, but you're not going to be inclined to spend a lot of time on its eager advocates, after some crucial point in the development of the field (after so-and-so decisively put you all on the right path, or should have). (i think a bit of this has to do with why it took me years to realize just how widespread and established post-kripke metaphysics had become.)

and likewise with the history of philosophy for all the usual prejudicial reasons. and the way many of those are expressed is interesting - for example in terms of the historical philosophers being 'wrong', or more subtly, in terms of being hampered by their tools, benighted by their times, their logical resources, etc, so that while they may be interesting to toy with for historical purposes, they're certainly not good simpliciter for doing philosophy with.

i know this is a view that gets expressed in a lot of different ways pretty often, but looking at it in these terms, of doing harm, i was kind of surprised to suddenly think that most of what undergraduates are taught in philosophy can be (if doing some violence of misunderstanding to it in the process) thought of as 'wrong'. like, in a way unmatched by any other discipline. i think that applies even to responsibly-chosen curricula (on the above, somewhat partial terms - avoiding those you think are charlatans, inclining toward the prophylactic, etc) even insofar as they teach the 'recent good work', that in some sense you think has the 'best chance' (use of probabilistic terms in judging which philosophical positions have something going for them is v.v. suspicious imo) of 'being right'. for (here's the argument/contention) insofar as they require expertise to understand, and undergraduates will not have it, they can't be provided with an understanding of the material in its correctness. and, complementing that, if we say that, well, they get a basic picture and then if they choose to go on and become professionals, they will come to see how it really works, what's really what - then it sees we are stepping into territory where we have to admit that, on a 'professional' level, there is no agreement about 'rightness' that holds independently of our own training, our tribal affiliations, our being siloed into our specializations, etc., certainly none that can be established in the manner of science (or mathematics). there are philosophers who say 'yes kripke changed everything', and others who say 'fuck that dude', just as there are philosophers who say 'maaaaybe plato is right after all' (whatever that ends up meaning), and philosophers who somehow clinging to their hume aren't bothered by the need to be humean about logical necessity or the existence of mathematical objects or whatever.

so they would have it wrong as undergrads, and they still wouldn't be able to say they had it right, with the help of a professional understanding that purportedly supplants the initially wrong schoolboy version that were given. (a DILEMMA)

i think the continued vitality, maybe kind of a folk vitality (very popular as a pedagogical trick), of a certain kind of thinking helps this situation along. it seems basically religious (in a nietzschean-heideggerian remnants-of-metaphysical/onto-theological-thinking) to me - the kind of thought that says, 'well what if god DOES exist???' and relies on that kind of unestablished possibility as a permanent license for philosophy's work. it's carried over into the way we relate to historical figures and large philosophical positions, and it evidently has something to do with the ways we've thought of truth, knowledge, reality, etc., even in very late versions - so we say 'what if plato WAS right', 'what if empiricism IS right', etc., sort of as ways of alibi-ing our ongoing investigation of the arguments for and against. as it were (to link this observation to the preceding line of thought about rongness in the curriculum) to be able to manage the reality that we spend all our time occupied with things we think of, and treat as, rong.

now it seems that if you're inclined to think predominantly along these lines about rongness and its gradual eradication in history and in the course of one's philosophical education (from noob to successful course-taker to phil major to grad student to prof to world-straddling scholar), you might all the more be inclined to shape your curriculum and your pedagogy in ways that are almost forced into an idea of philosophical education as 'learning how to argue', and other sound-sounding but emptyish notions, out of a wish not to do your students harm.

i think there's a cultural dimension to philosophy (i.e. there IS a culture of philosophy, such a thing as philosophical culture) that obviously would release a lot of the seeming pressure of this line of thinking about rongness, and make it possible not to think of the undergraduate curriculum in particular as being one big rong waste of time for most everyone who encounters it (not aiming on transcending it thru professionalist training), with all kinds of paternalistic noble-lie excuses produced accordingly ('well they won't understand the "groundwork", but it's good for them to be exposed to it', 'well as long as they become more thoughtful and ethical people', 'well if they just become more critical thinkers'). but it seems like a dimension that is… troubled. tolerated uneasily in many cases.


j., Saturday, 25 October 2014 16:50 (6 days ago) Permalink


I only teach what I think is interesting. I try to avoid the canard that philosophy has instrumental value (learning to think etc). I teach texts that I think are interesting, and we talk about their ideas. I think of (Western) philosophy as a tradition into which we (Westerns) are all born, and doing philosophy is figuring that tradition out, I guess like psychotherapy of the culture. I'm not interested in who's right or wrong, but I'm interested in influence and transmission, and about underlying "frameworks", the assumptions that go unquestioned in normal (Western) life (so, like, the individualist ideal of the person bequeathed from the early moderns). And as you advance in philosophy, you learn that even our questionings of frameworks are occurring within frameworks, often the same frameworks we're interrogating. I want students to see this, at the first level at least, and to get a hint of how it's happening at the second level. I basically refuse to teach anything that isn't either historical or super technical because I think otherwise you're not developing means of doing this. You're reasoning within frameworks without awareness that doing so is just goofing around. one worry on my way of thinking about things is whether there's ever some "ultimate" framework, but that doesn't trouble me: who knows! why should we care? In teaching students don't press this point: they get a topsy turvy feeling around Kant when they begin to see that the early moderns were playing a game that Kant is beginning to question, while himself being stuck within that game; & we begin to look ahead to Wittgenstein, e.g., who was a master of pulling back the curtain.

"do no wrong" though: I haven't said anything about this yet I don't think, because I don't yet see how what I've said fits into that.

droit au butt (Euler), Saturday, 25 October 2014 17:18 (6 days ago) Permalink

(i am maybe inspired by often thinking that the curriculum DOES harm students, esp. the outside-academia people i imagine they will become, while at the same time i know a lotta philosophers think -i- am harming them by teaching wittgenstein)

j., Saturday, 25 October 2014 17:25 (6 days ago) Permalink

(as one still hears, surprisingly often, about teaching kant!)

j., Saturday, 25 October 2014 17:25 (6 days ago) Permalink

I try to avoid the canard that philosophy has instrumental value (learning to think etc).

Why do you think that's a canard?

JRN, Sunday, 26 October 2014 03:40 (5 days ago) Permalink

lots of disciplines have a reputation for teaching students to think (latin, talmud, philosophy) so it's maybe just not necessarily of unique relevance to phil?

Mordy, Sunday, 26 October 2014 03:44 (5 days ago) Permalink

yeah, and not all ways of doing philosophy are of the same instrumental value, so it's false promotion of its study to rest on this point. besides, I don't think most philosophers have thought a lot about the instrumental value of philosophical instruction (I certainly haven't) so really what we're promoting is the high grades and standardized test scores of philosophy majors, which may have little to do with the nature of philosophical instruction.

droit au butt (Euler), Sunday, 26 October 2014 07:30 (5 days ago) Permalink

also j: how does "the curriculum" harm students? what's THE curriculum? it probably helps that I wasn't a phil undergrad major so I never experienced what you're talking about at my most impressionable ages. (I picked it up as a grad student, but even there, I did so in a piecemeal way that suited my training, meaning that I've next to no exposure to twentieth century philosophy except as logic or history (and not the most interesting history to me for the most part))

droit au butt (Euler), Sunday, 26 October 2014 07:32 (5 days ago) Permalink

it's normal to break out in a cold sweat over the paranoid suspicion that you've fundamentally misunderstood something you've written about, right?

ryan, Tuesday, 28 October 2014 16:34 (3 days ago) Permalink

That seems like a normal part of the writing process, especially if you've been trained to anticipate and fend off objections.

one way street, Tuesday, 28 October 2014 18:59 (3 days ago) Permalink

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