Philosophy and Theology Link Post

I’m currently heading up to the University of Dundee where the philosophy department is hosting the 2nd Annual Film-Philosophy Conference (as a side note the philosophy department there, despite its relative small size, is one of the more exciting places to study contemporary European philosophy – go there [but live in Edinburgh]!). It is probably a little late for interested persons to come to it, unless you live in the UK, but check out the website for more information.

Graham Harman is “liveblogging” the writing of his current book project. A really nice resource for those who have ever wondered how exactly one goes about writing something larger than they have ever written before (though, of course, you should adapt the advice to your own tendencies). For my own part, I must say I really appreciate Harman’s “advice posts” and watching him stick up for graduate students to professors-that-must-not-be-named (because I don’t want them to come around here, we have enough hateful lurkers). Though I don’t agree with a good deal of the discussion of “grey vampires” and other categories for certain less than helpful interlocutors, I do think Harman is completely correct in his support of younger thinkers. Far too often we see people who assume they have connection to the current generation of graduate students or who want to whore themselves out to those in power instead of helping those in their own generation and the one below. These people’s thoughts will not be remembered past their own graduate school buddies and the excitement Harman causes amongst younger scholars is testament to his commitment to talk to them (rather than down to them). An example to be followed.

Infinite Thought links to a recent issue of Parallax on the thought of Jacques Ranciere. I’ve only read the article by Dr. Nina Power and the one by Ranciere that is, weirdly, in the third person. They are both really good though and anyone interested in the contemporary philosophical discussion of equality should be interested.

On the theological scene, I was sad to see rather few posts critical of the Pope’s recent encyclical. My own criticism was directed from a largely secular, anti-Papist (though not anti-Catholic) position and I was hoping to see more responses from faithful Catholics and other fellow travelers. Perhaps they are all still percolating on the document. The ones out there have been linked to over at Faith and Theology, but I was disappointed to see quite a few people claiming the document was “beyond Left and Right”.

There is an interesting discussion going on over at Rain & the Rhinoceros on the differing forms of contemporary apocalyptic philosophical theologies. There I make public my view that a very important debate is forming between these two different forms (one might cast it as a debate between Kerr and Barber), but it doesn’t appear that many of the participants accept my typology of that debate.

Finally, a note about the liveblogging of the recent Christian Social Teaching and the Politics of Money. I’ve taken it down, for now, because it was offensive to some. I don’t tend to bow to that kind of pressure usually, but there were some aspects that were taken as personally offensive to individuals, rather than offensive towards them intellectually (the first seems undesirable and the second is something we all should have to face as intellectuals). While I think sometimes the two become confused, and necessarily when we’re talking about the way we ought to live, I am not out here to hurt people’s feelings even if I think, to be an ethical human being, I must oppose their positions. I am going to be adding an introduction to this blog that sets out our basic philosophy and the ground rules for discussion as it has become clear that there are a lot of lurkers who feel that they cannot comment on some of these harshly worded posts. There is a lot wrong with blogs, but one thing that strikes me as good and right is their fundamentally egalitarian and democratic character. If I, or anyone else who posts here at AUFS, writes something you disagree with you are free to comment and present a differing view. By signing our full, real names to what we write here we are taking responsibility for what we write and are accountable to debate and discussion regarding what is written. Attacks deemed in our opinion to be truly personal are not welcome on the blog and we will continue to delete them in the future as we have done in the past. This is the most honest way I can live as an academic and think it is far more honorable than the kind of pleasantries strategically presented. So, please, if you wish to register your disagreement do so in the comments or at your own blogs via a link to the discussion here.

4 thoughts on “Philosophy and Theology Link Post

  1. James,

    I have only read some of Harman’s articles in the journal Collapse, but I have heard very good things about Tool-Being and I think it is based on his PhD dissertation. I suspect it has to be good as it is, from what I understand, a rather unorthodox reading of Heidegger and he would have had to make a very good argument for it with the Heidegger scholars at DePaul (where he went for his PhD). For my own part, I don’t know that I agree with his Object-Oriented Philosophy (I’m into relationality), but he is a very good writer and argues well for his position. His newest book is a study of Latour that moves to some of his own work and you can download a pdf of it for free from the Re.Press website. Hope that helps.

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