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John Protevi
Baton Rouge LA
I'm a philosopher, though I work in a French department.
Recent Activity
From our friends at Philosophy Metablog Myspace Tshirt Generator Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2014 at John Protevi's Blog
The problem with people who become obsessed is they sometimes self-destruct. — Brian Leiter (@BrianLeiter) July 9, 2014 Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2014 at John Protevi's Blog
Here is the review at NDPR, and here is the publisher's page for the book. Here is the draft of a piece that Keith Ansell Pearson and I just did on a wider topic, "Naturalism in the Continental Tradition." (We... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2014 at John Protevi's Blog
Thanks, Gordon, that's a very nice comment. (Not to say the others aren't; it's just that I like the focus on paradigms and of course the political implications.) From long experience with the "nonsense" accusation (or its cousin, the "obscure" accusation) -- every continental philosopher has been on the receiving end here I think -- it seems to me that the problem comes from confusing quick comprehension of a thinker or school via familiarity with the terms / style / references / allusions, etc, with "sense" or "clarity" as an inherent property of the text or speaker. But that's an attribution error as comprehension is an event occurring between reader and text or speaker and interlocutor, not a property of the text or speaker. The usual caveats about marginal cases apply; I'm not denying that some texts or speakers are confused, self-contradictory, etc. I am saying that many, many times in my experience I've had someone say "X is nonsense" (for values of X extending across just about every continental philosopher you could think of). Two things are implied here, it comes out in further discussion: 1) the basis for the charge is incomprehension from a quick skim of one or two pieces. 2) It's now my job to give the equivalent of a two year UG module on the spot. There is often a further development: a passage plucked from its context is offered as proof of the nonsensical nature of X's thought: "okay, then, explain this to me!" Let me put it this way: at this point in my life I'm much more able to read and understand the Phenomenology of Spirit than I am able to read and understand Naming and Necessity, but I think that's more a function of the relation of me to the texts in question than it is a property of either text. Now here's a question: is it still harder for me to read Difference and Repetition than it is for a comparably experienced analytic philosopher to read Naming and Necessity? If so, then maybe we can say something about the properties of texts after all. But I think we can only say that after running the kinds of experiments I'm talking about, and we're still not to the point of saying that DR is "nonsense."
John Stewart, an important figure in the enaction school (he's an editor of this MIT volume for instance) has a new article in Frontiers that is very interesting. As I'm in broad and enthusiastic agreement with the project of what... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2014 at John Protevi's Blog
Fair enough about the commonality of co-pays. I'm often on the lookout for surplus humiliations directed at the poor by public policies but I do think I'm over-reaching here.
Here, the system is investing in the production of homo economicus, and is willing to take an efficiency hit in the short term to maximize its return on that investment. Hi Gordon, I like your analysis very much, though I wonder if there isn't some surplus cruelty involved here, a little extra dash of humiliation to mark off those with Medicaid as those needing help? If there were no user fees at all you couldn't distinguish Medicaid folks from those "good hard-working" (I trust everyone knows why that phrase is in scare quotes) folks now with insurance that doesn't require co-pays. But you always need to so distinguish them to remind them of their inferior status (inferior, that is, relative to the image of self-sufficiency propagated on behalf of "good hard-working" middle-class folks).
In my case the reasons to take a pause were poor health and overwork. The reason not to announce it was as Eric stated.
A brief post from December 2012 on the Becker-Ewald-Harcourt discussion of Foucault's neoliberalism analyses:
Ferguson on Pinker's use of archaeology:'s%20List%20-%20Exaggerating%20Prehistoric%20War%20Mortality%20(2013).pdf Note the distinction between war and muder in the above. Chagnon is discussed here in several essays:;jsessionid=7CD7928615A87C6B458640CA2C8314D8?cc=nl&lang=en&
Very interesting, Gordon. A few data points to the stratification and dynamic pricing model. I think some of the on-hold delays will slip in some ads -- reminders of products they offer and so on -- along with the muzak, though I imagine corporations will want to be careful here as they are associating their company with delays. Also, with frequent flyer medallion status comes a separate phone number with (mostly) shorter delays. Although snow storms and the like will clog up even the elite phone lines. Then again, maybe there are even divisions here, so that -- using the Delta terminology -- mere Silver and Gold Medallions will have one number, Platinums another, and Diamonds still a third. Sticking with airlines, here's an allied notion: you can join their lounges, but there you're not really paying for speed, you're paying for reduced noise. Though I guess there is some time savings via reduced transaction costs for the coffee and snacks.
The review, in BioScience, is available here. I highly recommend it for its cool, judicious treatment, as well as for the glimpse into Evan's own approach, near the end of the review: Nagel neglects another important body of work closely connected to ­theoretical and experimental models of the origins of... Continue reading
We got the following request at comment 102 on the other thread. It seems worthwhile, so we're opening this for narrowly focused discussion of the substantive -- as opposed to illustrative -- points of the "Please do NOT revise your tone" post: As someone who might have something to say... Continue reading
I theorized and defended my use of snark here, but I hereby renounce its use. Although I do not think it "apt" to describe New APPS as instantiating a "self-righteous lynch-mob mentality"* (if indeed that phrase was meant to encompass us among its targets), I will nonetheless refrain from further... Continue reading
Jonathan, as I read the story it's a state, not university, "revenue shortfall" that's at issue, as said shortfall is resulting in across-the-board cuts to state agencies, $10 million of which is targeting the University of Maine system. The general point about university debt is well taken, as Ed Kazarian notes.
The story is here. I think there are two things to note here: 1: the threat to jobs of our colleagues: "The head of the University of Maine System said Friday that further state budget cuts could force the system to shed 95 jobs, on top of its plan to... Continue reading
I second this. I also await Brian Leiter's promised reply, which I hope, in addition to an apology to McKinnon, will explain that he did not mean to imply that criticism of his use of "vigilante justice" to describe the non-violent protest of Northwestern students constitutes "a lynch mob." Continue reading
In comments here at Schliesser's blog. Follow up comments should be directed there. Continue reading
NBC Chicago article here: Northwestern University professor Peter Ludlow, the target of a sexual harassment complaint by a female student, filed a response to that woman’s lawsuit in Cook County Court on Friday, denying her allegations and stating that she was the real aggressor. Daily Northwestern article here: Philosophy Prof.... Continue reading
I'm sorry to hear of this. My condolences to all in the Toronto, and wider, philosophy community.
The graduate students of the Department of Philosophy at Northwestern University, have by a majority vote, adopted the following statement: We find the alleged behavior of gross professional misconduct recently leveled against a faculty member in our department to be deplorable. Further, we judge that the university has failed our... Continue reading
Friend of the blog and brilliant neurofeminist researcher Rebecca Jordan-Young asks people to visit this petition site in support of her distinguished colleagues Carol Vance and Kim Hopper. That bell tolling you hear, where if you don't bring in 80% of your salary in grants, you're fired even after 25+... Continue reading
A terrible loss felt by many, many people. Notice is here, from Fordham University Press, where she was Editorial Director. Continue reading