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Jon Cogburn
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This all scans, but I still don't see how it answers Maimon's basic question with respect to the quid facti versus quid juris questions. Maimon says basically (among many other things), that Kant is correct as long as skepticism is in fact false. So Kant succeeds quid juris. But he hasn't actually shown that skepticism is in fact false, so he fails to address the quid facti question. There are a number of such conditional judgments in Kant where he doesn't do anything to secure the truth of the antecedent. Most if not all of the German Idealists moved by Maimon and Sholze's criticisms thought the point of the criticisms was not that Kant got it wrong, but that his system was incomplete. I'm not sure that makes any sense though. The kind of skepticism relevant to the quid facti problem isn't just the possibility that the majority of our synthetic judgments might be incorrect, but rather the possibility that experience itself isn't coherent. Very weak forms of semantic holism license this slide, which is probably why the position you suggest didn't stop the slide to German Idealism, because their biggest departure from Kant was problematizing the hard and fast intuition/concept distinction (some of the stuff reads like Quine). Once you problematize it you can't segregate the quid facti problem to the problem of synthetic a posteriori judgments being mostly false. And this isn't just an old issue. Challenges to phenomenology by people like David Roden and R. Scott Bakker can be read in the context of this history as saying to Maimon, in effect, the reason Kant couldn't answer this question is because experience in fact does not have the structural coherence that Kant claims for it. Of course Roden, Bakker, and the people they cite offer a lot more evidence than claims about Kant interpretation.
By Jon Cogburn I don't know if this is in response to Dr. Wayne Martin's excellent lecture on phenomenology, which we showcased last week. But it does serve as an excellent concrete demonstration of the procedure that Martin paints in necessarily (given the medium) broad brushstrokes. You can tell when... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Philosophical Percolations
Maybe think John McDowell or, more crudely in this regard, Robert Brandom. Brandom argues that we can't but think of facts in terms of the propositions they make true, which are themselves normatively articulated. He calls this reciprocal sense dependence. This raises the question (Maimon's quid facti question, which Brandom does not want to confront) of whether facts really are the way we must think of them given the structure of intelligibility governing propositional knowledge. The baldest form of the speculative maneuver (Hegel's) would be to say that yes they are. By revealing the structures of intelligibility, phenomenology reveals the ways we are constrained to experience and think about the world. Hegel's affirmation that thinking = being is not an affirmation of Berkeleyan idealism, but rather the affirmation that the world actually does have the structure that makes it intelligible to us (McDowell recapitulates this in his discussion of the denial of bald naturalism). This is what he has to reach at teh end of the Phenomenology of Spirit, and why that book precedes the Logic (and why a book of metaphysics is called a logic, for that matter). But, as Hilan Bensusan pointed out in his recent post (his new book is amazing, by the way) Aenisdimusian speculation involves speculating what the world must be like given pervasive epistemic failures. With Tristan Garcia and some of the Stanford School philosophers of science we start with our inability to unify science and use that as an impetus to develop a metaphysics equal to this failure. Harman does something similar with respect to Heidegger's analysis of withdrawal. In some blog posts, David Roden has said that Eugene Thacker's work fits this model. Meillassoux would hate this reading of him, but I really do think he is just a speculative Sartre. Sartre found this radical chaos inside of us. Meillassoux accepts Sartre's finding, but undermines the anthropocentric conceit that would limit it to being inside of us. The idea might be to push phenomenology to the limits so that we better understand a basic and pervasive unintelligibility or nonsense. Maybe the Logic of Sense Deleuze can be reconciled with the De Landa type Deleuze via such a reading. I don't know.
By Philadora Percs (with Jon Cogburn, John Fletcher, Duncan Richter, and James Rocha) Behold, the Spring has come; the earth has received the embraces of the sun and we shall soon see the results of that love! Every seed is awakened and so has all animal life. It is through... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Philosophical Percolations
Thanks. This is beautifully articulated. I think that the debate between speculative realism and phenomenologists after Husserl is understood this way is just the debate over whether transcendental epistemology is the *only* proper task of philosophy. But it's quite open for speculative realists to say that it's one of the tasks and for phenomenologists to say that it's not the only. The characteristic speculative move, from (as Hilan Bensusan has discovered) Aenisimidus and Schelling and Schopenhauer (and thus, arguably Nietzsche) is to take phenomenology very seriously and try to explore what follows from understanding the same structures of intelligibility and unintelligibility (Aenisidimus' Heraclitism, maybe whatever Schelling's on about, Schopenhaurian will, Harmanian withdrawal, what follows from externalizing Rodensian dark phenomenology, etc.) as holding in the non-human world. But note that this move actually requires phenomenology. I know there's an Austrian tradition of phenomenology that held true to Husserl's understanding of the practice as prior to metaphysics, versus the French tradition who largely views it as what one does once "metaphysics" has become a lazy term of abuse. To the extent that we're not going to the Husserl himself, the French stuff got big over here though. I bet that Martin's description comes from reading it through more of a lens of developments in French phenomenology.
Fantastic! It's on sale in amazon prime today too. I'm hyped about reading it.
By Jon Cogburn Carole Seymour-Jones' A Painted Shadow: A Life of Vivienne Eliot is an important book that needed to be written. Like Vivienne Forrestor's recently translated (Jody Gladding) Virginia Woolf: A Portrait, and many books on Zelda Fitzgerald, Seymour-Jones' book sheds bright light on what it was like to... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Philosophical Percolations
. Backwater at Blytheville, backed up all around It was fifty families and children come to sink and drown The water was rising up at my friend's door The man said to his women folk Lord we'd better go The water was rising got up in my bed I thought... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Philosophical Percolations
By Jon Cogburn A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that's just how the world will come to an end: to general applause... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
Thanks. This is a lovely piece. I've not yet gotten around to reading Thomas Merton's later ecumenical meditations, but this makes me really want to. I'm maybe being dense, but I'm just not parsing "Being-present-in-Christ-to-Christ-for-Christ-to-others." I'd love it you could walk us through each preposition, if that's not too much of a hassle.
By Jon Cogburn Just breaking. Good Hair Hour at the Sydney Fringe Festival! Sadly, we haven't yet been able to arrange a phil percs conference rate airfare to Australia, but our crack team is working feverishly on this as I type. This being said, it might be a bit of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
By Jon Cogburn Saturday 8/22/15: Saturday (August 22nd) Linkorama. Profound boredom, drifting here and there in the abysses of our existence like a muffling fog, removes all things and men and oneself along with it into a remarkable indifference. This boredom reveals being as a whole. Tedium is not the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
By Phil Percs (with Jon Cogburn, John Fletcher, Duncan Richter, and James Rocha) Immature poets imitate ; mature poets steal ; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
Guest post by Cyrus Gerbenfeister [Given the popularity of his last guest-post, we asked Professor Gerbenfeister for another one, and he graciously agreed on the condition that it follow the same format as the Jazzvice! portion of his popular M City Magazine JazzNotes! column. Apparently some of the letters he... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
No. I mispoke then. I wasn't trying to *evaluate* anything, with the exception of the first bit praising regional conferences. I should have made that more emphatic. I was trying to deflate the widespread *defense* of conferences in terms of those sorts of workaholic terms (I probably should have included quotes to make this clearer). But that's not at all the same as criticizing them because they fail to live up to those very ideals, which I don't for a second endorse in any case. The bit at the end is just that I'd rather spend my vacations swimming with my kids than drinking in a bar even with very pleasant people I barely know. That wasn't meant to be evaluative in the sense of putting down drinking in a bar with people you barely know. For what it's worth, I'm firmly on the side of Roger Scruton on the civilizational importance of alcohol. One of the big complaints people have been making involves a Peter Singer style case against conference going. Couldn't all that money be spent better supporting adjuncts? Well, first of all (and most importantly), it wouldn't be. Second of all, the money towards that Zagnut bar I just purchased could be spent better, so the complaint has nothing to do with conferences per se. Third, as I noted, conference culture is a big part of late capitalism. Academics have very little to do with it. Fourth, by the standards of global poverty, most adjuncts in Western democracies are obscenely well off. If we're going to do the Singer thing, the line of people more deserving is pretty long and it would be a long time before getting there. Again, I'm not making the opposite claim that adjuncts should shut up. Rather, we should be very careful about using Singer style complaints to tell anyone to shut up. As far as the writing Being and Time quip. I don't know. People can do whatever they want. Philosophy is very hard and the vast majority of it is going to be mediocre. I don't begrudge anybody that. As a global issue, I'm not at all convinced that conference culture makes it any less mediocre, but why should it? Again, the point is only to deflate those who think that it's this vitally important thing to the progress of philosophy, as many of the defenders of invitation only conferences seem to be doing. There are some related issues about overspecialization that I could probably bang on about, but I'm a dilettante, and as a result they would be so self-serving that I don't trust my intuitions. A virtue of overspecialization is that it gives the vast majority of us mediocre philosophers something useful to do. I'm all for that. But once again, I can criticize the pretense that overspecialization is this royal road to wisdom without endorsing the claim that we should all being trying to write Being and Time.
By Jon Cogburn I've started reading J.A. Friedland's American Steam. As described by Friedland in Helen De Cruz' interview the novel is narrated in first person present tense by a professor who finds himself profoundly out of joint with what passes for American civilization. It's pretty entertaining. In the first... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
Fantastic quote! I would love to have some insight into what the conference scene was like in the German speaking world early in the last century. Did the whole thing start there? It very well might have. And let us not forget the famed Davos conference where a young Rudolph Carnap watched Heidegger and Casirrer duke it out. It's enough to make one long for one's hut.* [*As long as any kids in said hut are old enough to play interesting Board Games with. And by *interesting* we mean to exclude Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, and even Monopoly here. Remember that, not unlike Heidegger himself, Settlers of Cattan first germinated in Germany.]
But that's basically my schtick.
By Jon Cogburn Just as the back to school interregnum has slowed things to a crawl around here, dailynous is abuzz with discussion of the pros and cons of invitation only conferences (also see Eric Schliesser's fine discussion here). A couple of things were really, really odd to me about... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
We got both kinds of music here. . . Country & Western.
By Jon Cogburn I don't want to be mean to any of the people in this video, but when I watch it I can't help thinking of: The Zoolander gasoline fight. The really awful church summer camps (in Alabama, no less) when I was a kid where everyone had to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
By Jon Cogburn We're hoping to get enough of these where there would be a set of "modules" that our readers could use for any topic that might be covered in a standard intro class. This one functions as a kind of general introduction to Big Ideas that you could... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
Oops! I keep getting Tony's name confused with the guy who normally drives the props truck (Eric C is it?). And I *still* haven't gotten all that dust out of the upholstery, I'll have you know. I mean, we all suffer for the life of the mind and all that, but come on!
By Jon Cogburn Saturday 8/15/15: Saturday (August 15th) Linkorama. A monotonous and unvarying order was established in my whole economy. Everything unable to move stood in its appointed place, and everything that moved went its calculated course: my clock, my servant, and I, myself, who with measured pace walked up... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations