July 11, 2014

After a little local difficulty, Harry and Carol found themselves looking to the future...


Posted by sphaleotas at 11:00 AM

July 26, 2013

To all the hataz

With the renowned Deleuze scholar Claire Colebrook’s latest very public expression of steadfast approval, so much for Professor Clark’s lies about ‘supposed’ members of the Avello Publishing Journal’s editorial board ‘asking to be removed’ from it and wishing to have ‘no further contact’ with its Editor-in-Chief!

Posted by sphaleotas at 1:17 AM

July 14, 2013

Intertextuality and Its Vicissitudes

‘What matter who’s speaking?’, wrote Beckett, and he may well have a point. In fact, in our fast-paced, hyperconnected times matters of attribution are proving increasingly difficult to determine. Scholars in this area, including Julia Kristeva, Roland Barthes and William T. Fisher, have not been slow to unmask the bourgeois ideology underpinning our conceptions of authorial intention, and one doesn’t need a Ph.D. to appreciate the insurmountable paradoxes that can arise upon their unthinking application.

Indeed, from our postmodern Marxist vantage-point, it is hard to stifle a titter at what a Lanson or Sainte-Beuve might make of the following:

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Let me begin with two personal stories.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Let me begin with two personal narratives about my conception of God and how it relates philosophically to some of the principles of Isaac Newton, Frank Ramsey, Bertrand Russell and William James.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

It was one rainy day. I intended to be too early to go to UP for my afternoon Tuesday classes because I had to read my readings in the library.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

One morning I woke up too early to go to the UP, so I went instead to the library to read Ramsey's 'Probability and Partial Belief' in The Foundations of Mathematics and other Logical Essays ed. R.B Braithwaite. London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Trubner.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Around 11:30 am, I felt my hunger so I decided to go to the Shopping Center to have my lunch.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Around 11:30 am, I felt my hunger develop, thus I decided to go to the nearby Shopping Center to have my lunch.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

As I was walking along the aisle of the Shopping Center, a big white teaser in a bulletin board posted by a certain Catholic Student Organization in UP caught my attention. I read its contents.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

As I was walking along the aisle of the Shopping Center, a big white teaser on a bulletin board posted by a certain Catholic Student Organization in UP caught my attention. I read its contents.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

What were written were a big question printed in capital letters and some answers from the students. The teaser asks: “DO YOU BELIEVE IN LIFE AFTER DEATH?”

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

quietly intrigued by what was displayed, as a big, theological question was printed in capital letters, next to some answers from Ph. D students. The teaser asked: “DO YOU BELIEVE IN LIFE AFTER DEATH?”

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I did not answer the question at hand, even though I already knew what would be my answer if asked (minding that I stayed from the seminary for four years, comes from a religious family and became a Religion Teacher).

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I did not answer the question at hand, even though I already knew what would be my answer if asked, (considering that I stayed at a theological seminary for a period of four years; come from a religious family and eventually became a religious philosophy teacher myself).

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I tried to detach myself and hold my religious prejudices into abeyance and glanced first at the answers of some students. One sarcastic answer really struck me. The student’s answer was written in Filipino and reads likes this: “NO. I don’t believe in such a thing because I did not yet experience how to die. Don’t worry, if I die, I will come back to you and let you know if there is really life after death.”

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I tried to detach myself and hold my religious prejudices into silent abeyance and glanced first at the answers of some Ph. D students. One sarcastic answer really struck me. The student’s answer was written in Filipino and read like this: “NO. I don’t believe in such a thing because I did not yet experience how to die. Don’t worry, if I die, I will come back to you and let you know if there is really life after death.”

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

It made me really rethink about my automatic answer if I were to be asked the same question. After that, I took my lunch. Across the Shopping Center is the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice, I decided to attend the Holy Mass. As I knelt down and pray, the answer of that student really perplexed my mind and stayed at the recesses of my heart.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

It made me really rethink about my automatic answer if I were to be asked the same question. After that, I took my lunch and thought about Ramsey's psychological reading of subjective probability. Across the Shopping Center is the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice, I decided to attend the Holy Mass. As I knelt down and prayed, the answer of that Ph. D student really perplexed my mind and stayed in the recesses of my heart.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Here is another personal story. It was a very ordinary Monday morning. I surf the Internet to check my e-mail and see who was online. I saw an online classmate in my Social Political Philosophy Class.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Here is another personal narrative. It was a very ordinary Monday morning in the library reading about Ramsey's theory of probability as a branch of partial belief logic. I surfed the Internet to check my e-mail and see who was online to speak about Ramsey's inconclusive argument. I saw an online classmate in my Social Political Philosophy Class.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I messaged her and we had a pep talk about many topics. Suddenly, she asked me if I believe in God. I replied that I believe in God and she said to me that she is an agnostic.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I messaged her and we had a pep talk about many topics including the importance of probability not only to logic but also to statistical and physical science. Suddenly, she asked me if I believe in God. I replied that I believe in God and she said to me that she is an agnostic like Bertrand Russell.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

She tried to ask me about my reasons in believing in God. I gave her some answers and she tried to argue with me. One argument that made me ponder was when she said that most people who do not believe in God are those people who are indeed learned and critical thinkers, that is, great philosophers at that. I don’t know if her argument is factual.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

She tried to ask me about my reasons in believing in God. I gave her some answers and she tried to argue with me. One argument that made me ponder was when she said that most people who do not believe in God are those people who are indeed learned and critical thinkers, that is, great philosophers at that. I don’t know if her argument is factual enough to avoid a purely verbal controversy..

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Nonetheless, I tried to absorb the essence of the argument and it made me reflect on my own rationality in believing in God.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Nonetheless, I tried to absorb the essence of the argument and it made me reflect on my own rationality in believing in God through the calculus of probabilities as a branch of pure mathematics.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I suppose that it is still unclear to you about what position I really want to be highlighted. There are some grey areas that are not yet crystal clear to you.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I suppose that it is still unclear to you about what position I really want to be highlighted. There might be some grey areas that are not yet crystal clear to you with regards to formulae and axioms.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

However I also suppose that you already got some grasps that it must have something to do about “believing in God.” To elucidate the issue that I am pursuing, let me draw it from the two above stories that I related to you.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

However I suppose that you already have some grasp that this article must have something to do with the symbolic calculus developed by Keynes and “believing in God.” To elucidate the issue that I am pursuing, let me draw it from the two above stories that I related to you.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

The first story forces me to examine if one have the right to believe in life after death or in God. The second story forces me to examine the rationality in believing in God. To put these into two intertwined questions: Do we have a right to believe in God? Are we rational in believing in God? To answer these connected questions is the endeavor of this opus.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

The first story forced me to examine if one has the right to believe in life after death or in God in terms of Ramsey's ideas on partial belief. The second story forced me to examine the rationality in believing in God. To put these into two intertwined questions: Do we have an ethical right to believe in God? Are we mathematically rational in believing in God? To answer these connected questions is the endeavor of this opus.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

In order for me to do this, I will discuss first some concerns about evidentialism, which criticizes or even condemns such a belief in God, especially about religion. Then, I will try to criticize evidentialism adopting the attack of William James. Consequently, I can already give answers to the two questions posed above. Let us begin.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

In order for me to do this, I will discuss first some concerns about evidentialism, which criticizes or even condemns such a belief in God, especially about religion. Then, I will try to criticize evidentialism adopting the attack of William James. Consequently, I can already give answers to the two questions posed above. Let us begin.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

The student’s sarcastic answer in the first story captures the notion of evidentialism. Evidentialism holds that one ought to believe only that for which one has sufficient evidence. To put it in William Clifford’s words, “it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.”

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

The Ph. D student’s sarcastic answer in my first narrative captures the notion of evidentialism. Evidentialism holds that one ought to believe only that for which one has sufficient evidence. To put it in William Clifford’s words, “it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.”i

Continue reading "Intertextuality and Its Vicissitudes"
Posted by sphaleotas at 2:01 AM

June 12, 2013

Posted by sphaleotas at 1:09 AM

June 9, 2013

Avello Publishing Journal Conference 2013

Bloodied but unbowed, Dr Jason Wakefield’s inaugural Avello Publishing Journal Conference is set to take place tomorrow in an as-yet undisclosed location at the University of Cambridge. The conference topic, ‘The History of Newton’s Philosophy’ (inaccurately reported in some quarters as ‘The History of Oxbridge Philosophy’), will surely be of interest to scholars across the broadest range of disciplines and adepts of ‘the Hunting of the Greene Lion’ alike.

Unfortunately, shameless censorship and wanton misrepresentation on the part of Philos-L moderator Professor Stephen Clark has left many with the mistaken impression that Dr Wakefield is a pathetic, deluded fantasist whose claim to a Cambridge Philosophy doctorate is nothing but a figment of his own fevered imagination, mere contact with whom will prove fatal to one’s professional reputation.

Luckily, the Conference’s dramatis personæ (accurate at the time of writing) will surely prove a standing refutation of any such charge. I for one am particularly looking forward to Dummett protégé Howard Marks’s lucid and compelling contribution, not to mention the enigmatic Jason Austria’s ethical interruption!

Conference Program

Key — Note Speech:

Paradigm Shift: Rethinking Communication for the 21st Century David Gunkel, University of Northern Illinois.

Introductory Panel Chair:

Philosophy & Physics at Oxford Howard Marks, University of Oxford, U.K

Session 1:

Philosopiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica Jason Wakefield, University of Cambridge, U.K.

Session 2:

Isaac Newton and the Architectural Models of the People of Solomon Tessa Morrison, University of Newcastle, Australia.

Session 3:

Isaac Newton and Solomon’s Temple: a Fifty Year Study Tessa Morrison, University of Newcastle, Australia.

Session 4:

Ethics of Belief Jason Austria, University of Phillipines Dilliman.

Round-Table Discussion:

Wittgenstein Wren Library Notes Jason Wakefield, University of Cambridge, U.K.

Concluding Debate: Closing Motion:

Arche — Writing: Derrida & Husserl Martin Hägglund, University of Yale, U.S.A.

© Avello Publishing, Cambridge, 2013.

[Mirror 2013-06-09]

Posted by sphaleotas at 6:13 PM

April 17, 2013

Avello Publishing Journal falls prey to plagiarists

‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’, so they say. But can we be so sure?

With not inconsiderable surprise, Sphaleotas has discovered that the Charles S. Peirce Foundation, a hitherto respectable organisation dedicated to supporting education and research related to the work of the founder of American pragmatism, has flagrantly plagiarised the 2013 Avello Publishing Journal Conference’s web page in its Charles S. Peirce International Centennial Congress 2014 publicity material.

One would have to be blind not to notice that, onwards of the section ‘III. SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS: PANELS’, the Foundation brazenly cuts and pastes from Dr Wakefield’s Call for Papers, typographical errors and all.

It may seem harsh to some, but Sphaleotas feels duty bound to painstakingly enumerate these instances of theft on a line-by-line basis. Indeed, one wonders if this is simply the tip of a particularly lugubrious iceberg.

Jason Wakefield [Mirror 2013-04-17]:

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS: PANELS

Charles S. Peirce Foundation [Mirror 2013-04-17]:

III. SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS: PANELS

Jason Wakefield [Mirror 2013-04-17]:

A. Panels are 90 minute, open format, sessions. Panel organizers are free to propose any format (including the format described above) that is appropriate to the objectives for their panel. There must be at least two contributors, and their contributions must be consistent with the general guidelines on number of submissions and with the length requirement stated below. All contributors must have confirmed their participation to the panel organizer before submission.

Charles S. Peirce Foundation [Mirror 2013-04-17]:

A. Panels are 90 minute, open format, sessions. Panel organizers are free to propose any format (including the format described above in §II.A) that is appropriate to the objectives for their panel. There must be at least two contributors, and their contributions must be consistent with the general guidelines on number of submissions (§I.D), and with the length requirement stated below. All contributors must have confirmed their participation to the panel organizer before submission.

Jason Wakefield [Mirror 2013-04-17]:

B. Length: Length of the papers will depend on the panel format, but may not exceed 3000 words. It is the responsibility of the panel organizer to ensure that all planned activities can be completed within 90 minutes. If your proposed format does not allow at least 30 minutes for discussion, please include a justification for this in your proposal.

Charles S. Peirce Foundation [Mirror 2013-04-17]:

B. Length: Length of the papers will depend on the panel format, but may not exceed 3000 words. It is the responsibility of the panel organizer to ensure that all planned activities can be completed within 90 minutes. If your proposed format does not allow at least 30 minutes for discussion, please include a justification for this in your proposal.

Jason Wakefield [Mirror 2013-04-17]:

C. Deadline: 3 April 2013. This is a firm deadline: no panel submissions will be accepted if they carry a time stamp later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on that date.

Charles S. Peirce Foundation [Mirror 2013-04-17]:

C. Deadline: 1 April 2013. This is a firm deadline: no panel submissions will be accepted if they carry a time stamp later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on that date.

Continue reading "Avello Publishing Journal falls prey to plagiarists"
Posted by sphaleotas at 12:37 AM

March 10, 2013

Dr Wakefield’s largesse

There can be no sub-genre more intellectually exciting than the book review that sets the terms for future philosophical debate. One thinks immediately of Heidegger’s ‘Anmerkungen zu Karl Jaspers’ Psychologie der Weltanschauungen’ (1919), Chomsky’s ‘A Review of B.F. Skinner’s Verbal Behavior’ (1959), Frege’s ‘Rezension von: Dr. E.G. Husserl, Philosophie der Arithmetik’ (1894), Ryle’s ‘Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit’ (1929), Russell’s ‘Review of A. Meinong, Untersuchungen zur Gegenstandstheorie und Psychologie’ (1905) or indeed Hamann’s 1784 ‘Metakritik über den Purismum der Vernunft’.

But where is the present-day equivalent of a Zur Judenfrage, a Briefe über die Kantische Philosophie, a Differenz des Fichteschen und Schellingschen Systems der Philosophie? Which philosopher has the audacity to reconfigure our very intellectual parameters? Look no further...

Continue reading "Dr Wakefield’s largesse"
Posted by sphaleotas at 10:15 PM

March 6, 2013

Call For Papers

Over the course of the past few weeks, Jason Wakefield (left) has been on the receiving end of all manner of quite undeserved obloquy. Some say that his editorials and book reviews for the Avello Publishing Journal consist of a bewildering succession of non sequiturs. Others that his highfalutin high-theory allusions belie a cargo-cult like obliviousness to what actually constitutes rational argument and persuasion. Yet others, that his writing inexplicably crowbars in gratuitous, fawning references to the University of Cambridge and members of his journal’s editorial board at every turn, as if childishly basking in reflected glory. Some have even suggested Jason’s claim that he holds a Cambridge doctorate is a witting untruth.

Wrong, all wrong!

What, I ask you, do his detractors have in common? A trustafarian’s decadent disdain for entrepreneurial vision and sheer hard work, even where it is in the service of publishing world-class scholarship in continental philosophy from the likes of John Milbank or Catherine Malabou. Cowards to a man, do Jason’s detractors genuinely believe that editorial board members of the calibre of Professor Claire Colebrook, Professor Keith Ansell-Pearson, or indeed the aforementioned Professor Catherine Malabou would allow their names to be associated with the Avello Publishing Journal if Dr Wakefield’s work were anything other than exemplary? For that matter, would Oxford University Press have considered for an instant including Jason’s endorsement of Korsgaard’s The Constitution of Agency: Essays on Practical Reason and Moral Psychology in its marketing material if it did not have complete confidence in this young Cambridge scholar’s judgement?

With a sense of quiet self-confidence proper to his intellect – Dr Wakefield disarmingly describes his interests as ‘diverse, much like the interests of a polymath (πολυμαθής) such as Leonardo Da Vinchi or Gottfried Leibniz’ – Jason is surely an example to us all, but where his Facebook calumniators laugh hyena-like at Jason’s efforts in the guise of DJ Luga Ayd, pointing impertinently to his work for the Playboy Girls of Hawaiian Tropic ‘Beach Party Booby Bus’ Yum Yum Models Party on behalf of Funky Bubblers Entertainment (of which Jason is the proud CEO, and Avello Publishing a wholly-owned subsidiary), Wakefield may nonetheless rest content that his unique project is the future face of peer reviewed open-access philosophy publishing.

Posted by sphaleotas at 9:15 PM

January 25, 2013

Uncanny

Posted by sphaleotas at 7:41 PM

January 5, 2013

Up Your Arts

In his recent article for Artforum, ‘Tedious Methods’, leading Brooklynite Jeff Nagy speaks to many of our concerns regarding Speculative Realism as but the mere ideological appendage of capitalist technoscience. Indeed, in this review of The Number and the Siren by Quentin Meillassoux, Mr Nagy has not shirked the gruelling labour of philosophical exegesis and, by means of a dense sequence of argument rarely seen in a trade paper (or indeed, outside of the more technically demanding elements of Frege’s œuvre), has irrefutably demonstrated the coterminous nature of ‘speculative realism’ and ‘financial speculation’ – where the new breed of charlatans, trailing an enthralled audience of shills that outnumbers even the throngs habitually met with at ‘fast poetry’ readings, would likely have been satisfied to draw conclusions from the mere fact that they share nine letters in common.

As sagely observed by Nagy, who did not enjoy math class at school, Meillassoux’s counting up of the words in Mallarmé’s poem falls far short of its purportedly innovative approach to the Riemann zeta function and arithmetic L-series: in fact it ‘is not so much mathematical as merely arithmetical, not so much a mathematization as an accounting’, and as such, therefore, given its cynical, abject relationship to the positive sciences and their political masters, a ‘sure bet’ and ‘infinite success’.

It would be wrong, however, to portray Nagy’s review-article as being somehow inaccessible to a philosophical lay readership, for he has been careful to leaven his critique with witheringly funny examples of where Speculative Realism’s objective, disinterested façade falls away, and we are all forced to conclude that it is all so much ‘money for old rope’.

Posted by sphaleotas at 7:00 PM

October 19, 2012

Swing, Swing Together

Grotesque miscarriage of justice as politically-motivated sentence is handed down in the service of protecting the arcane rituals of a tiny, self-serving coterie of vain plutocrats:

Posted by sphaleotas at 7:17 PM

October 1, 2012

Vegetables

There was, I think, a conflict—perhaps a productive one—at the heart of this enormous multidisciplinary show, and it can be located exactly in the tension between those two words. On the one hand, many of the artworks and the stories they told circled around collective traumas: those of Nazi Germany and, much more recently, those of Afghanistan or the countries involved in the Arab Spring. Indeed, Christov-Bakargiev’s focus on what she calls “collapse and recovery” is so familiar from recent cultural theory that it is almost a cliché to speak of a traumatic temporality at the very core of all avant-garde artistic developments. But on the other hand, such psychoanalytic language here collides with the idiom of a new, object-oriented philosophy that wants to liberate us once and for all from anthropocentrism and consider instead what the catalogue calls the “inanimate makers of the world.” In fact, Christov-Bakargiev’s project is in many ways perfectly in tune with the approaches today discussed as “speculative realism,” with its ambition to rid our thinking of the obsession with that historically overemphasized relationship between a perceiving subject and a known object. Instead, the argument goes, we should look into other equally exciting and productive relationships in the world, consisting of so many human and nonhuman actors, or “actants,” as Bruno Latour would put it. Philosopher Graham Harman goes so far as to claim: “Atoms and molecules are actants, as are children, raindrops, bullet trains, politicians, and numerals. All entities are on exactly the same ontological footing.” One can go further still: To quote from an interview with Christov-Bakargiev, “The question is not whether we give dogs or strawberries permission to vote, but how a strawberry can assert its political intention.”

http://www.artforum.com/inprint/id=34514

Posted by sphaleotas at 3:34 PM

September 9, 2012

No Cheating

Michael Day asserts that “Cardinal Martini caused controversy in his final days after refusing artificial feeding, contravening church policy on end-of-life issues” (4 September). This oversimplifies Catholic teaching.

According to Pope John Paul II, the administration of food and water should be understood as part of “the normal care due to the sick” and thus as “in principle” obligatory. A later statement by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith took a similar approach.

However, if a person is imminently dying, and if artificial feeding would neither extend life nor bring relief from symptoms, then it is not obligatory, as both these statements in effect recognised. Catholics are not obliged to receive care or treatment that has become genuinely futile, though their aim in refusing it should not be to hasten death.

Prof David Albert Jones
Director, The Anscombe Bioethics Centre, Oxford

—— Letters to the Editor, The Independent, 2012-09-08. p. 40

Posted by sphaleotas at 9:18 PM

August 9, 2012

July 19, 2012

Whatever happened to Orphan Drift?

I am approaching galleries.

Posted by sphaleotas at 9:24 PM

June 27, 2012

They've Got an Awful Lot of Objects in Brazil

Latin American correspondent Pootle Escobar has drawn my attention to Professor Harman’s forthcoming appearances at conferences all entitled ‘The Secret Life of Objects’ in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Forteleza [sic].


Posted by sphaleotas at 12:03 PM

June 25, 2012

Brassica as a Possible Object of Ethical Affirmation

Critical Plant Studies: Philosophy, Literature, Culture

ISSN: 2213-0659
E-ISSN: 2213-0667

Series Editor:
Michael Marder (IKERBASQUE / The University of the Basque Country, Vitoria)

The goal of the Critical Plant Studies, a new book series at Rodopi Press, is to initiate an interdisciplinary dialogue, whereby philosophy and literature would learn from each other to think about, imagine, and describe, vegetal life with critical awareness, conceptual rigor, and ethical sensitivity. Literary works featuring plant imagery may be analyzed with reference to philosophical frameworks, while philosophical discussions of the meanings of vegetal life may be enriched and supported with the tools of literary criticism. Another dialogic dimension of the series entails a sustained engagement between Western and non-Western philosophies and religious traditions, representative of the human attitudes to plants. This “cross-pollination” of different fields of knowledge and experience will become possible thanks to the fundamental role plants play in human life, regardless of their backgrounding or neglect.

Ethically stated, the aim of the book series is to encourage an incremental shift of cultural attitudes from a purely instrumental to a respectful approach to vegetal beings. This is particularly important at the current time of the global environmental crisis, when massive de-forestation, seed patenting, and profit-driven agriculture threaten the very future of life on the planet. Not only will works included in the series shed light on the being of plants, but they will also assist us in critically thinking through the crucial issues and challenges of the contemporary world. Bioethics and genetic engineering, of which plants were the first examples; the role of spirituality and holism in the techno-scientific age; the reliance of our imagination and creativity on elements of the “natural” world; global food shortages and sustainable agricultural practices; the roots of our thinking and writing in other-than-human, vegetal processes, such as growth and decay, germination and branching out, fecundation and fruition—books included in Critical Plant Studies will, in one way or another, touch upon these and related themes central to the philosophy, literature, and culture of the twenty-first century.

Thus, we are looking to publish a mix of specialized manuscripts and introductory texts on the theory, literary criticism, and religious or aesthetic appreciation of plant life. Each title in the series will combine at least two of the disciplines listed above, with preference given to cutting-edge methodologies in comparative literature, comparative philosophy, comparative religious studies, etc., and trans-disciplinary approaches. Analyses of plant-related writings and artworks from any historical period and geographical area will be welcome.

Please, forward all queries and proposals to michael.marder@gmail.com

http://www.rodopi.nl/senj.asp?SerieId=PLANT

Posted by sphaleotas at 1:14 PM

February 15, 2012

‘The liberation of the working class must be the work of the working class itself.’

http://thepeerage.com/p198.htm#i1974.
http://www.thepeerage.com/p49057.htm#i490569.

Posted by sphaleotas at 5:27 PM

January 26, 2012

Posted by sphaleotas at 11:25 PM

January 1, 2012

Sphaleotas wishes to extend New Year’s Greetings to all our Mayan readers

Posted by sphaleotas at 12:00 AM

December 25, 2011

Trapped for nine hours in a lift with Karen Armstrong?

Herman Philipse feels your pain.

1. Introduction

In this paper I attempt to substantiate the thesis that the core-beliefs of religions are irrational. These core-beliefs are the monotheist contention that there is one God or the polytheist opinion that there are a number of different gods. Outside mathematics, the word ‘irrational’ may signify two different things. Either it means that a sentient being is not endowed with reason, for instance if one speaks of ‘irrational animals’ such as slugs. Or it means that a belief or an action is contrary to reason, that is, unreasonable, utterly illogical, or absurd. I claim that all religious core-beliefs are irrational in this second sense. And of course, irrationality should be avoided.

It will be objected to my thesis that beliefs cannot be accused of being unreasonable unless they are situated within the province of reason. Could one not argue that religious beliefs are not located within this province because, as Pascal said, ‘the heart has reasons which reason does not grasp’? According to some religious authors, the domain of reason is somehow limited, and faith must be situated entirely, or in part, beyond the limits of human reason. I shall argue that even if faith transcends reason in this manner, the core-beliefs of religions are unreasonable.

Continue reading "Trapped for nine hours in a lift with Karen Armstrong?"
Posted by sphaleotas at 12:00 AM