The debate over off-line simulation has largely focussed on the capacity to predict behavior, but the basic idea of off-line simulation can be cast in a much broader framework. The central claim of the off-line account of behavior prediction is that the practical reasoning mechanism is taken off-line and used for predicting behavior. However, there's no reason to suppose that the idea of off-line simulation can't be extended to mechanisms other than the practical reasoning system. In principle, any cognitive component (...) can be taken off-line and used to perform some other function. On this view of off-line simulation, such accounts differ radically from traditional information-based accounts of cognitive capacities. And cognitive penetrability provides a wedge for empirically determining whether a capacity requires an information-based account or an off-line simulation account. Stich and Nichols (1992) argued that the simulation theory of behavior prediction was inadequate because behavior prediction seemed to be cognitively penetrable. We present empirical evidence that supports the claim that the behavior prediction is cognitively penetrable. As a result, the simulation account of behavior prediction still seems unpromising. However, off-line simulation might provide accounts of other cognitive capacities. Indeed, off- line simulation accounts have recently been offered for a strikingly diverse set of capacities including counterfactual reasoning, empathy and mental imagery. Goldman, for instance, maintains that counterfactual reasoning and empathy clearly demand off-line simulation accounts. We argue that there are alternative information-based explanations of these phenomena. Nonetheless, the off-line accounts of these phenomena are interesting and clearly worthy of further exploration. (shrink)
In the last few years, off-line simulation has become an increasingly important alternative to standard explanations in cognitive science. The contemporary debate began with Gordon (1986) and Goldman's (1989) off-line simulation account of our capacity to predict behavior. On their view, in predicting people's behavior we take our own decision making system `off line' and supply it with the `pretend' beliefs and desires of the person whose behavior we are trying to predict; we then let the decision maker reach a (...) decision on the basis of these pretend inputs. Figure 1 offers a `boxological' version of the off-line simulation theory of behavior prediction.(1). (shrink)
Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA) helps researchers understand how cognitive skills and strategies make it possible for people to act effectively and get things done. CTA can yield information people needemployers faced with personnel issues, market researchers who want to understand the thought processes of consumers, trainers and others who design instructional systems, health care professionals who want to apply lessons learned from errors and accidents, systems analysts developing user specifications, and many other professionals. CTA can show what makes the workplace (...) workand what keeps it from working as well as it might.Working Minds is a true handbook, offering a set of tools for doing CTA: methods for collecting data about cognitive processes and events, analyzing them, and communicating them effectively. It covers both the "why" and the "how" of CTA methods, providing examples, guidance, and stories from the authors' own experiences as CTA practitioners. Because effective use of CTA depends on some conceptual grounding in cognitive theory and researchon knowing what a cognitive perspective can offerthe book also offers an overview of current research on cognition.The book provides detailed guidance for planning and carrying out CTA, with chapters on capturing knowledge and capturing the way people reason. It discusses studying cognition in real-world settings and the challenges of rapidly changing technology. And it describes key issues in applying CTA findings in a variety of fields. Working Minds makes the methodology of CTA accessible and the skills involved attainable. (shrink)
One of the main challenges of quasicrystal science is to elucidate how the quasiperiodic order can extend so far, i.e. up to several centimetres according to the size of the single grains of various alloys routinely grown nowadays [M. Boudard, E. Bourgeat-Lami, M. de Boissieu, et al., Phil. Mag. Lett. 71 11 (1995); Y. Yokoyama, R. Note, A. Kimura, et al., Mater. Trans. JIM 38 943 (1997); A. Langsdorf, and W. Assmus, J. Cryst. Growth 192 152 (1998)]. Noticing that most (...) of the present knowledge on the growth of quasicrystal grains has been collected after their cooling at room temperature, we have carried out the first in situ and real time observation of this peculiar process, which has clearly disclosed both the shape of the growing interface and its defective state. Therefore we have studied the solidification of an AlPdMn alloy giving quasicrystal grains by synchrotron X-ray imaging, combining thereby radiography and X-ray topography techniques. Radiography allowed us to clearly evidence a facetted growth proceeding by lateral motion of ledges at the solid?melt interface and controlled by the interface kinetics, rather than by local heat flow as was widely thought. Thus, a realistic estimate of the kinetic coefficient was deduced from the solid?melt interface undercooling, which indicates that quasicrystal growth is more comparable with the growth of both semiconductors and oxides than with that of pure metals. X-ray topographs, recorded simultaneously with radiographs, revealed that a lot of strain and defects are generated in the quasicrystal grains during their growth, which could be related to the growth process itself and very informative on the origin of the stability of the quasicrystal lattice. (shrink)
Abstract Academic social scientists overwhelmingly vote Democratic, and the Democratic hegemony has increased significantly since 1970. Moreover, the policy preferences of a large sample of the members of the scholarly associations in anthropology, economics, history, legal and political philosophy, political science, and sociology generally bear out conjectures about the correspondence of partisan identification with left/right ideal types; although across the board, both Democratic and Republican academics favor government action more than the ideal types might suggest. Variations in policy views among (...) Democrats is smaller than among Republicans. Ideological diversity (as judged not only by voting behavior, but by policy views) is by far the greatest within economics. Social scientists who deviate from left?wing views are as likely to be libertarian as conservative. (shrink)
Abstract The party registration of tenure?track faculty at 11 California universities, ranging from small, private, religiously affiliated institutions to large, public, elite schools, shows that the ?one?party campus? conjecture does not extend to all institutions or all departments. At one end of the scale, U.C. Berkeley has an adjusted Democrat:Republican ratio of almost 9:1, while Pepperdine University has a ratio of nearly 1:1. Academic field also makes a tremendous difference, with the humanities averaging a 10:1 D:R ratio and business schools (...) averaging 1.3:1, and with departments ranging from sociology (44:1) to management (1.5:1). Across all departments and institutions, the D:R ratio is 5:1, while in the ?soft? liberal?arts fields, the ratio is higher than 8:1. These findings are generally in line with comparable previous studies. (shrink)
This paper presents the results of optical interferometry experiments in which the phase of photons in one arm of a Mach-Zehnder interferometer is modified by applying a transverse constriction. An equivalent quantum interferometry experiment using neutron de Broglie waves is discussed in which the observed phase shift is in the spirit of the force-free phase shift of the Aharonov-Bohm effects. In the optical experiments the experimental results are in excellent agreement with predictions.
In this paper we argue that autobiographical memory can be conceptualized as a mental state resulting from the interplay of a set of psychological capacities?self-reflection, self-agency, self-ownership and personal temporality?that transform a memorial representation into an autobiographical personal experience. We first review evidence from a variety of clinical domains?for example, amnesia, autism, frontal lobe pathology, schizophrenia?showing that breakdowns in any of the proposed components can produce impairments in autobiographical recollection, and conclude that the self-reflection, agency, ownership, and personal temporality are (...) individually necessary and jointly sufficient for autobiographical memorial experience. We then suggest a taxonomy of amnesic disorders derived from consideration of the consequences of breakdown in each of the individual component processes that contribute to the experience of autobiographical recollection. (shrink)
Thomas Schelling has described how each of us is made up of conflicting impulses. The art of managing these impulses Schelling dubs ?egonomics?. The idea of egonomic calamity underlies paternalism (or, breaking convention, what I call ?parentalism'). The paper argues for laissez?faire in matters egonomic. The rationalizations I give for this libertarian sentiment are old ones, such as accentuating the dignity of the individual and letting the individual learn from example and from his own experience. Also I note, as H. (...) L. Mencken did, that parentalist measures often have unhappy unintended consequences, sometimes are counter?productive, and rarely are borne of sincere good?will. (shrink)
Research on future-oriented mental time travel (FMTT) is highly active yet somewhat unruly. I believe this is due, in large part, to the complexity of both the tasks used to test FMTT and the concepts involved. Extraordinary care is a necessity when grappling with such complex and perplexing metaphysical constructs as self and time and their co-instantiation in memory. In this review, I first discuss the relation between future mental time travel and types of memory (episodic and semantic). I then (...) examine the nature of both the types of self-knowledge assumed to be projected into the future and the types of temporalities that constitute projective temporal experience. Finally, I argue that a person lacking episodic memory should nonetheless be able to imagine a personal future by virtue of (a) the fact that semantic, as well as episodic, memory can be self-referential, (b) autonoetic awareness is not a prerequisite for FMTT, and (c) semantic memory does, in fact, enable certain forms of personally-oriented FMTT. (shrink)
Episodic memory often is conceptualized as a uniquely human system of long-term memory that makes available knowledge accompanied by the temporal and spatial context in which that knowledge was acquired. Retrieval from episodic memory entails a form of first–person subjectivity called autonoetic consciousness that provides a sense that a recollection was something that took place in the experiencer’s personal past. In this paper I expand on this definition of episodic memory. Specifically, I suggest that (a) the core features assumed unique (...) to episodic memory are shared by semantic memory, (b) episodic memory cannot be fully understood unless one appreciates that episodic recollection requires the coordinated function of a number of distinct, yet interacting, “enabling” systems. Although these systems – ownership, self, subjective temporality, and agency – are not traditionally viewed as memorial in nature, each is necessary for episodic recollection and jointly they may be sufficient, and (c) the type of subjective awareness provided by episodic recollection (autonoetic) is relational rather than intrinsic – i.e., it can be lost in certain patient populations, thus rendering episodic memory content indistinguishable from the content of semantic long-term memory. (shrink)
Are spheres multiply realizable? A venerable tradition implies that they are. Putnam’s discussion of the peg and holes (in [Putnam, 1975]) is often taken to show that all volumetric shape properties are multiply realizable . The argument runs: (a) physics is the science of the “ultimate constituents” (Putnam’s phrase) of matter, and so (b) physics can only track the behavior of each of the simple constituents of a particular system, but (c) tediously tracking individual particles doesn’t make for a very (...) good explanation, so (d) there must be an explanation outside of physics that does talk about shape, and that we should prefer because it abstracts away from the micro-level details of particular spheres. (shrink)
This paper presents a new Symmetrical Interpretation (SI) of relativistic quantum mechanics which postulates: quantum mechanics is a theory about complete experiments, not particles; a complete experiment is maximally described by a complex transition amplitude density; and this transition amplitude density never collapses. This SI is compared to the Copenhagen Interpretation (CI) for the analysis of Einstein’s bubble experiment. This SI makes several experimentally testable predictions that differ from the CI, solves one part of the measurement problem, resolves some inconsistencies (...) of the CI, and gives intuitive explanations of some previously mysterious quantum effects. (shrink)
In his search for a unified field theory that could undercut quantum mechanics, Einstein considered five-dimensional classical Kaluza-Klein theory. He studied this theory most intensively during the years 1938-1943. One of his primary objectives was finding a non-singular particle solution. In the full theory this search got frustrated, and in the x 5 -independent theory Einstein, together with Pauli, argued it would be impossible to find these structures.
This paper will try to give new insight into the Cholera Controversy, which occurred 125 years ago. The majority of papers already written on the topic have emphasised the role of Robert Koch who described the comma bacillus as the cause of cholera epidemics. At the same time they have marginalised the role of Emanuel Edward Klein by stating that he was wrong when he objected to Robert Koch's statement, because as an employee of the British government he was (...) politically motivated. Moreover, they have paid barely any attention to Klein's writings on the subject. In this paper I will try to approach his attitudes from the scientific, not political, perspective and try to explain the reasons why he challenged Koch. (shrink)
A 4-space formulation of Dirac's equation gives results formally identical to those of the usual Klein paradox. However, some extra physical detail can be inferred, and this suggests that the most extreme case involves pair production within the potential barrier.
The covariant Klein-Gordon equation requires twice the boundary conditions of the Schrödinger equation and does not have an accepted single-particle interpretation. Instead of interpreting its solution as a probability wave determined by an initial boundary condition, this paper considers the possibility that the solutions are determined by both an initial and a final boundary condition. By constructing an invariant joint probability distribution from the size of the solution space, it is shown that the usual measurement probabilities can nearly be (...) recovered in the non-relativistic limit, provided that neither boundary constrains the energy to a precision near ℏ/t 0 (where t 0 is the time duration between the boundary conditions). Otherwise, deviations from standard quantum mechanics are predicted. (shrink)
Pain, crucially, is unpleasant and motivational. It can be awful; and it drives us to action, e.g. to take our weight off a sprained ankle. But what is the relationship between pain and those two features? And in virtue of what does pain have them? Addressing these questions, Colin Klein and Richard J. Hall have recently developed the idea that pains are, at least partly, experiential commands—to stop placing your weight on your ankle, for example. In this paper, I (...) reject their accounts. Against Klein, I use dissociation cases to argue that possession of ‘imperative content’ cannot wholly constitute pain. Against them both, I further claim that possession of such content cannot even constitute pain’s unpleasant, motivational aspect. For, even if it were possible to specify the relevant imperative content—which is far from clear—the idea of a command cannot bear the explanatory weight Klein and Hall place on it. (shrink)
This paper is about the semantic analysis of referentially opaque verbs like seek and owe that give rise to nonspecific readings. It is argued that Montague's categorization (based on earlier work by Quine) of opaque verbs as properties of quantifiers runs into two serious difficulties: the first problem is that it does not work with opaque verbs like resemble that resist any lexical decomposition of the seek ap try to find kind; the second one is that it wrongly predicts de (...) dicto (i.e. narrow scope) readings due to quantified noun phrases in the object positions of such verbs. It is shown that both difficulties can be overcome by an analysis of opaque verbs as operating on properties. This is a strongly modified version of a paper entitled lsquoDo We Bear Attitudes towards Quantifiers?rsquo that I have presented at conferences in Gosen (Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft), Ithaca (SALT I), and Konstanz (Lexikon). I owe a special debt to Hans Kamp and Arnim von Stechow for shaping my views on the subject of this paper during the past ten years or so. Comments from and discussions with the following friends and colleagues have also led to considerable improvements: Heinrich Beck, Steve Berman, David Dowty, Veerle van Geenhoven, Fritz Hamm, Irene Heim, Wolfgang Klein, Angelika Kratzer, Michael Morreau, Barbara Partee, Mats Rooth, Roger Schwarzschild, Wolfgang Sternefeld, Emil Weydert, Henk Zeevat, and three referees. (shrink)
Introduction: thinking about globalization -- Systemic thinking: Immanuel Wallerstein -- Conceptual thinking: Anthony Giddens -- Sociological thinking: Manuel Castells -- Transformational thinking: David Held and Anthony McGrew -- Sceptical thinking: Paul Hirst and Grahame Thompson -- Spatial thinking: Peter Dicken and Saskia Sassen -- Positive thinking: Thomas Friedman and Martin Wolf -- Reformist thinking: Joseph Stiglitz -- Radical thinking: Naomi Klein, George Monbiot and Subcommandante Marcos -- Revolutinary thinking: Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri -- Cultural thinking: Arjun Appadurai (...) -- Conclusion: rethinking globalization again. (shrink)
In contrast to many of his contemporaries, A. J. Ayer was an analytic philosopher who had sustained throughout his career some interest in developments in the work of his ‘continental’ peers. Ayer, who spoke French, held friendships with some important Parisian intellectuals, such as Camus, Bataille, Wahl and Merleau-Ponty. This paper examines the circumstances of a meeting between Ayer, Merleau-Ponty, Wahl, Ambrosino and Bataille, which took place in 1951 at some Parisian bar. The question under discussion during this meeting was (...) whether the sun existed before humans did, over which the various philosophers disagreed. This disagreement is tangled with a variety of issues, such as Ayer’s critique of Heidegger and Sartre (inherited from Carnap), Ayer’s response to Merleau-Ponty’s critique of empiricism, and Bataille’s response to Sartre’s critique of his notion of ‘unknowing’, which uncannily resembles Ayer’s critique of Sartre. Amidst this tangle one finds Bataille’s statement that an ‘abyss’ separates English from French and German philosophy, the first recorded announcement of the analytic-continental divide in the twentieth century. References H. B. Acton. Philosophy in France. Philosophy, 22(82):161-166, 1947. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031819100025365 A. J. Ayer & T. Honderich. An Interview with A. J. Ayer. In A. P. Griffiths, editor, A.J. Ayer Memorial Essays, pages 209-226. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991. A. J. Ayer. Language, Truth and Logic. London, Gollancz, 1936. A. J. Ayer. Novelist-Philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre. Horizon, 12(67):12–26, & 12(68):101-110, 1945. A. J. Ayer. Novelist-Philosopher, Albert Camus. Horizon, 13(75):155-168, 1946a. A. J. Ayer. Secret Session. Polemic, 2:60-63, 1946b. A. J. Ayer. Some Aspects of Existentialism. In F. Watts, editor, H. B. Acton. Philosophy in France. Philosophy, 22(82):161-166, 1947. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031819100025365 A. J. Ayer & T. Honderich. An Interview with A. J. Ayer. In A. P. Griffiths, editor, A.J. Ayer Memorial Essays, pages 209-226. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991. A. J. Ayer. Language, Truth and Logic. London, Gollancz, 1936. A. J. Ayer. Novelist-Philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre. Horizon, 12(67):12–26, & 12(68):101-110, 1945. A. J. Ayer. Novelist-Philosopher, Albert Camus. Horizon, 13(75): 155-168, 1946a. A. J. Ayer. Secret Session. Polemic, 2:60-63, 1946b. A. J. Ayer. Some Aspects of Existentialism. In F. Watts, editor, The Rationalist Annual, pages 5-13. London, Watts & Co, 1948. A. J. Ayer. The Definition of Liberty: Jean-Paul Sartre’s Doctrine of Commitment. The Listener, 44(1135):633-634, 1950. A. J. Ayer. Jean-Paul Sartre. Encounter, 15(4):75-77, 1961. A. J. Ayer. On Existentialism. Modern Languages, 48(1):1-12, 1967. A. J. Ayer. Sartre on the Jews. The Spectator, 211(7317):394-395, 1968. A. J. Ayer. Reflections on Existentialism. In Metaphysics and Common Sense, pages 203-218. London, Macmillan,1969. A. J. Ayer. Part of my Life: The Memoirs of a Philosopher. New York, Harcourt Brace Janovich, 1977. A. J. Ayer. Philosophy in the Twentieth Century. London, Unwinn, 1984. A. J. Ayer. A Defence of Empiricism. In A. P. Griffiths, editor, A.J. Ayer Memorial Essays, pages 1-16. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991. G. Bataille. Un-knowing and its Consequences. A. Michelson, translator, October, 36:80-85, 1986. G. Bataille. On Nietzsche. B. Boone, translator. London, Continuum, 2004. G. Bataille, I. Waldberg, & R. Lebel, editors, Encyclopaedia Acephalica. (I. White, D. Faccini, A. Michelson, J. Harman, A. Lykiard, et al., translators.) London, Atlas Press, 1995. I. Berlin. Review of My Philosophy (And other Essays on the Moral and Political Problems of our Time) by Benedetto Croce. Mind, 61(244):574-584, 1952. T. Carman. Continental Themes in Analytic Philosophy. In C. V. Boundas, editor, Columbia Companion to Twentieth-Century Philosophies, pages 351-366. New York, Columbia University Press, 2007. R. Carnap. The Elimination Of Metaphysics Through Logical Analysis of Language (A. Pap, translator). In A. J. Ayer, editor, Logical Positivism, pages 60-81. Glencoe, IL, The Free Press, 1959. J. Chase & J. Reynolds. Analytic versus Continental: Arguments on the Methods and Value of Philosophy. Durham, Acumen, 2010. S. Collini. Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. S. Critchley. Very Short Introduction to Continental Philosophy. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2001. H. J. Dahms. Neue Sachlichkeit in the Architecture and Philosophy of the 1920s. In S. Awodey & C. Klein, editors, Carnap Brought Home: The View From Jena, pages 357-376. Chicago, Open Court, 2004. P. J. R. Dempsey. The Psychology of Sartre. Cork, Cork University Press,1950. V. Descombes. Modern French Philosophy. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1980. B. Flynn. Merleau-Ponty. In E. N. Zalta, editor, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, , 2004. M. Friedman. A Parting of the Ways: Carnap, Cassirer, and Heidegger. Chicago, Open Court, 2000. G. Gabriel. Carnap’s “Elimination of Metaphysics Through the Logical Analysis of Language:” A Retrospective Consideration of the Relationship between Continental and Analytic Philosophy. In P. Parrini, W. C. Salmon, & M. H. Salmon, editors, Logical Empiricism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, pages 30-42. Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003. P. Galison. Constructing Modernism: The Cultural Location of Aufbau. In R. N. Giere, A. Richardson, editors, Origins of Logical Empiricism, pages 17-44. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota, 1996. S. Glendinning. In the Name of Phenomenology. London, Routledge, 2007. Gary Gutting. Continental Philosophy of Science. Oxford, Blackwell, 2005. M. Hammond, J. Howarth, & R. Kent. Understanding Phenomenology. Oxford, Blackwell, 1995. M. Heidegger. Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics. R. Taft, translator. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997. M. Heidegger. Pathmarks. W. MacNeil, editor. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1998. J. M. Heimonet. Bataille and Sartre: The Modernity of Mysticism. Diacritics, 26(2):59-73, 1996. http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/dia.1996.0016 J. Himanka. Does the Earth Move?: A Search for a Dialogue Between Two Traditions of Contemporary Philosophy. The Philosophical Forum, 31(1):57-83, 2000. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0031-806X.00028 A. M. Hollywood. The Philosopher – Sartre – and Me. In Sensible Ecstasy: Mysticism, Sexual Difference and the Demands of History, pages 25-36. Chigago, University of Chicago Press, 2002. T. E. Hulme. A Note-Book. The New Age, 18(8):186-189, 1915. T. E. Hulme. A Note-Book. The New Age, 18(10):234-236, 1916. S. P. James. Merleau-Ponty, Metaphysical Realism and the Natural World. International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 15(4): 501-519, 2007. S. Käufer. Logic. In H. Dreyfus & M. Wrathall, editors, A Companion to Heidegger, pages 141-155. Oxford, Blackwell, 2005. E. W. Knight. Literature Considered as Philosophy: The French Example. New York, Macmillan, 1958. C. A. Mace. Review of The Psychology of Sartre by Peter J. R. Dempsey. Mind, 61(243):425-427, 1952. B. Magee. Men of Ideas: Some Creators of Contemporary Philosophy. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1982. A. R. Manser. Sartre and "Le Néant." Philosophy, 36(137):177-187, 1961. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031819100058022 M. Martin. Sensible Appearances. In T. Baldwin, editor, The Cambridge History of Philosophy, 1870-1945, pages 521-532. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2003. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.044 PMid:14585038 F. Maubert. Francis Bacon, sa dernière interview: “Je poursois le peinture car je sais qu’il n’est pas possible de l’arreter.” Paris-Match, 2242:92-93, 1992. J. M. E. McTaggart. The Unreality of Time. Mind, 17:457-474, 1908. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mind/XVII.4.457 M. Merleau-Ponty. Phenomenology of Perception. C. Smith, translator. London, Routledge, 2002. M. Merleau-Ponty. Texts and Dialogues: On Philosophy, Politics, and Culture. H. J. Silverman, editor (M. B. Smith, et al., translators). New York: Humanity Books, 2005. M. Merleau-Ponty & T. Baldwin. Maurice Merleau-Ponty. London, Routledge, 2004. H. Meyerhoff. Emotive and Existentialist Theories of Ethics. The Journal of Philosophy, 48(25):769-783, 1951. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2021208 I. Murdoch. Sartre, Romantic Rationalist. Cambridge, Bowes and Bowes, 1953. I. Murdoch. The Idea of Perfection. In The Sovereignty of Good, pages 1-44. London, Routledge, 2001. A. Oliver. A Few More Remarks on Logical Form. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 99:247-272, 1999. A. Plantinga. An Existentialist’s Ethics. Review of Metaphysics, 12(2):235-56, 1958. S. Priest. Merleau-Ponty. New York, Routledge, 2003. W. V. Quine. Word and Object. M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, MA, 1960. A. Quinton. Which Philosophy is Modernistic? In Thoughts and Thinkers, pages 39-51. New York, Holmes and Meier, 1982. J. Rée. English Philosophy in the Fifties. Radical Philosophy, 65:3-21, 1993. S. Richmond. Sartre and Bergson: A Disagreement about Nothingness. International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 15(1):77-95, 2007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09672550601143201 B. Rogers. Ayer: A Life. New York, Grove Press, 2002. K. Romdenh-Romluc. Merleau-Ponty and Phenomenology of Perception. London, Routledge, 2009. G. E. Rosado Haddock. The Young Carnap’s Unknown Master: Husserl's Influence on Der Raum and Der logische Aufbau der Welt. Aldershot, Ashgate, 2008. B. Russell. Nightmares of Eminent Persons And Other Stories. London, The Bodley Head, 1954. G. Ryle, H. A. Hodges, & H. B. Acton. Symposium: Phenomenology. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 11:68-115, 1932. G. Ryle. Phenomenology vs. The Concept of Mind. In Collected Papers: Critical Essays, Vol. 1, pages 179-196. London, Hutchinson, 1971. J. P. Sartre. Un nouveau mystique. In Critiques littéraires (Situations I), pages 174-229. Paris, Gallimard, 1975. J. Skorupski. The Presidential Address: The Legacy of Modernism. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 91:1-19, 1990. A. Stone. Heidegger and Carnap on the Overcoming of Metaphysics. In S. Mulhall editor, Martin Heidegger, pages 217-244. Aldershot, Ashgate, 2006. M. Surya, K.Fijalkowski, & M. Richardson. Georges Bataille: An Intellectual Biography. K. Fijalkowski & M. Richardson, translators. London, Verso, 2002. C. Taylor, & Alfred J. Ayer. Symposium: Phenomenology and Linguistic Analysis. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes, 33:93-124, 1959. N. Trakakis. Meta-philosophy of Religion: The Analytic-Continental Divide in Philosophy of Religion. Ars Disputandi, 7, 2007. J. Wahl. The Pluralist Philosophies of England and America. F. Rothwell, translator. London, The Open Court Company, 1925. J. Wahl. Vers le Concret. Paris, Vrin, 1932. J. Wahl. Nietzsche et la mort de dieu: note a propos du “Nietzsche” de Jaspers. Acéphale, 2:22-24, 1937. I. Waldberg & Patrick Waldberg. Un Amour Acéphale, Correspondence 1940-49. Paris, Editions de la Différence, 1992. M. Warnock. The Philosophy of Sartre. London, Hutchinson, 1965. D. Wiggins. Truth, Invention, and the Meaning of Life. In G. Sayre-McCord, editor, Essays on Moral Realism, pages 127-65. Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 1988. C. Wilson. The Outsider. London, Gollancz, 1956. D. Zahavi. Phenomenology and Metaphysics. In D. Zahavi, S. Heinämaa, & H. Ruin, editors, Metaphysics, Facticity, Interpretation: Phenomenology in the Nordic Countries, pages 3-22. Dordrecht, Kluwer, 2003. (shrink)
Very plausibly, nothing can be a genuine computing system unless it meets an input-sensitivity requirement. Otherwise all sorts of objects, such as rocks or pails of water, can count as performing computations, even such as might suffice for mentality—thus threatening computationalism about the mind with panpsychism. Maudlin in J Philos 86:407–432, ( 1989 ) and Bishop ( 2002a , b ) have argued, however, that such a requirement creates difficulties for computationalism about conscious experience, putting it in conflict with the (...) very intuitive thesis that conscious experience supervenes on physical activity. Klein in Synthese 165:141–153, ( 2008 ) proposes a way for computationalists about experience to avoid panpsychism while still respecting the supervenience of experience on activity. I argue that his attempt to save computational theories of experience from Maudlin’s and Bishop’s critique fails. (shrink)
Introduction: The quickened and the dead -- Ontology for philologists : Nietzsche, body, subject -- "Be your self!" : Nietzsche as educator -- The life of thought : Nietzsche's truth perspectivism and the will to power -- Of slaves and masters : the birth of good and evil -- Moments of excess : the making and unmaking of the subject -- Lacan, desire, and the originating function of loss -- The word that sees me : the nexus of image and (...) sign -- The nothing as the reverse side of Lacan's mirror -- Nietzsche is dead, long live Nietzsche : in memory of paternal ghosts -- The "insiders" : Nietzsche's secret teaching and the invention of "the philosopher of the future" -- Finding one's home in the nothingness of Nietzsche's text -- Nietzsche's excessive demand and the question of the adulterous queen's desire -- High and low : the hierarchical structure of Nietzsche's texts -- Inside and outside : Nietzsche "incorporated"; or, Who incorporates whom in the act of reading Nietzsche? -- The father's indulgence of the prodigal son : ambiguity and the limits of "the position" -- The contagion of affect in Netzsche : Klein, Krell, Bataille -- Doing time with Melanie Klein : renouncing "the bad breast," mourning the loss of "the good breast" -- "Motivating this writingéis a fear of going crazy" : how Klein might read Georges Bataille sur Nietzsche -- David Farrell Krell's "novel" approach to reading Nietzsche -- Family romances and textual encounters : Sarah Kofman reading Nietzsche -- Reading Nietzsche I : explosions -- Autobiography or autothanography : killing with words in Rue Ordener, Rue Labat -- Reading Nietzsche II : le pris des juifs; Nietzsche, les juifs, l'anti-semitisme -- The vision, the riddle, and the vicious circle : Pierre Klossowski's reading of Nietzsche's sick body -- On the continuity and disjunction between the body and language -- Exquisite delirium : the thought of eternal return -- The conspiracy of philosopher/villains : Nietzsche/Klossowski/Sade -- From cannibalism to voodoo : the creation and control of the subject of Nietzsche's writing. (shrink)
Plato Tom Angier -- Aristotle Timothy Chappell -- Stoics Jacob Klein -- Aquinas Vivian Boland O.P -- Hume Peter Millican -- Kant Ralph Walker -- Hegel Kenneth Westphal -- Marx Sean Sayers -- Mill Krister Bykvist -- Nietzsche Ken Gemes and Christoph Schuringa -- Macintyre David Solomon.
Which are "innate" but "unnoticed" point–as is usually held–to the platonic doctrine of recollection or to some other source? my argument is two- pronged: negatively i argue that aristotle is not describing his hearers as impeded by plato's notion of recollection; the other, positive, that he is describing a misunderstanding of his own quite different doctrine of nous in the minds of his hearers. I show that the two elements of the aporia fit the teaching of aristotle on nous found (...) in "de an." Iii, 5, 430a15 and the "generation of animals" b, 3, 736b27-28. Names mentioned: merlan, jaeger, nuyens, h.d.p. Lee, ross, robinson, grene, randall, mckeon, aubenque, klein, and j. Owens. (shrink)
In this paper, I examine Plato’s Euthyphro phenomenologically, reading the dialogue as manifesting the posture and activity of gratitude as an essential moment of piety. This phenomenon of gratitude appears directly through Euthyphro’s own remarks and indirectly through Socrates’s interaction with Euthyphro. Other recent commentators, notably Mark McPherran, David Parry, James Brouwer, and William Mann, have noted the importance of the Euthyphro as a dialogue that offers a great deal to the discussion of piety through the shape of the (...) relationship between Socrates and Euthyphro. In building my argument, I follow Parry’s examination of the notion of therapeia or care in order to mark out my own emphasis on charis or gratitude. And I note that, when gratitude is taken as an important phenomenon in the dialogue, what also appears to the reader is the pious possibility of authentic gift-giving and mutual recognition, something Brouwer, Mann, and McPherran have also noted indirectly. Finally, in addition to its synthesis of previous scholarship around a new theme, this paper applies to the dialogue the arguments of Melanie Klein’s “Envy and Gratitude,” Martin Heidegger’s lectures entitled What Is Called Thinking, and Jacques Derrida’s Given Time. (shrink)
Oleg B. Zaslavskii. The little in a non-Euclidean world: On the artistic space in Tom Stoppard's film and play “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead”. It is shown that quite different aspects of Tom Stoppard’s work — spatial organization, relationship between reality and the conditional character of events, causality and narrative links, the problems of choice and personality — are united by the spatial one-sided model like the Möbius strip or Klein bottle. The artistic space turns out to be not (...) orientable, the time being cyclic. This enables us to explain the mutual exchange of names between Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and a number of other paradoxical features in the plot and composition. The model like the Möbius strip embodies the absence of a free choice: there is no other side in the world and there is no chance to escape from the fate indicated in the title of Tom Stoppard’s work. The relevance of topology, e.g. the property of a globalnature, is connected with the fact that a bearer of danger is the world as a whole. Apart from this, it points to the fact that such a structure of the world is essentially “non-Euclidean” and cannot be understood on the basis of observations from every-day life or “obvious” experiments like those carried out by Rosencrantz. (shrink)
continent. 2.1 (2012): 56–58 Nechvatal, Joseph, Immersion Into Noise , Open Humanities Press, 2011, 267 pp, $23.99 (pbk), ISBN 1-60785-241-1. As someone who’s knowledge of “art” mostly began with the domestic (Western) and Japanese punk and noise scenes of the late 80’s and early 90’s, practices and theories of noise fall rather close to my heart. It is peeking into the esoteric enclaves of weird music and noise that helped me understand what I think I might like art to be: (...) A way of learning about the world through perturbation—exploration by incitement and speculation of possible conditions. What I have always loved about artistic investigations influenced by noisy aesthetics or sensibilities is that they can be simultaneously transcendent and absurd, amusing and revelatory, singular and pluralistic, mindless and intensely penetrating. The provocative friction that noise brings to bear on aesthetic experience, artistic practice, and “the” Art World acts as a kind of impulse response, proposing new energies while revealing underlying structure; noise signals are a simultaneous synthesis and analysis of spaces, subjects and relations. About two weeks prior to Christmas 2011, Joseph Nechvatal was generous enough to spend some time with me at 39 Quai des Grands Augustins, Paris . We each had one glass of red wine, briefly discussed common acquaintances, shared points of interest, and his published writings. We also, I recall, disagreed lightheartedly about how much contemporary relevance the ideas of telematic-artist Roy Ascott have for today’s art-and-technology practitioner (Joseph > Jamie). After the encounter, I read through a PDF version of Immersion Into Noise Joseph was kind enough to send me ( the HTML version is here ). A number of points of entry into cultures of “noise” are available these days. There are the acoustic-spatial approaches of thinkers like Douglas Kahn, Brandon LaBelle and Salome Voegelin; the techno-cultural musicologies of Jonathan Sterne and David Toop; the political writings of Jacques Attali, former adviser to President François Mitterrand, in his Noise: The Political Economy of Music (spoiler alert: It’s not really about music). Enter the new writings of one Joseph Nechvatal, with his invitation of an Immersion Into Noise . Nechvatal has been active for over 20 years in on- and off-line discussions of art, technology, virtuality, as well as his own set of art-theoretical departures and terminologies. A practicing artist, and instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, Immersion Into Noise , is Nechvatal’s third published volume. His writings, broadly, address a concern with the possibilities of a synthesis between the biological and the virtual, and the contemporary artistic resonances that these possibilities suggest. Nechvatal’s project is to try to name contemporary currents of artistic practice within our technologized culture. He comes at this through art history, post-modern philosophy, anthropology and consciousness studies. Portions of Immersion Into Noise have appeared in his PhD dissertation, as well as online art publications like Zing Magazine . An open-access publication, and part of the impressive and heartening activities of the Open Humanities Press, Nechvatal’s book is a somewhat unexpected addition to the Critical Climate Change series edited by Tom Cohen of SUNY University and Claire Colebrook of Penn State. Other titles in the series have address themes of post-globalism and cultures of threat. Joseph Nachvetal’s title is the first to focus entirely on art history, art practice and aesthetics. It is awkward to too easily fit Nechvatal’s writings in with the aforementioned burgeoning canon of cultural and artistic practice in, and writings on, noise (Russolo, Schaeffer, Cage and Yves Klein through to Kahn, LaBelle, Voegelin, et. al). Immersion Into Noise is not primarily an examination of sound-noise or phenomenologies of sound, and the relativist, non-objectivist possibilities arising therefrom in social, public, and exhibition art practices. Although Nechvatal makes mention of sonic practice and experience (his own encounter in 1968 with the technological complex was set in motion at a Jimi Hendrix concert at the Chicago Coliseum), he does so only by way of introducing a broader concept of “art-noise.” The noise-scape can envelope various kinds of involvement in all kinds of art, by artists, audiences, and distributed amalgams of all of these. Midway through the book, we are offered characteristics of an “immersive noise vision theory.” This theory, leading to an even more syncretic thinking about the art experience, is sketched out through further reference to the author’s personal observation, as well as his art-historical research and notes. Personal examples take on the reflex of a kind of art-noise-travel-writing, as Nechvatal visits Ryoji Ikeda’s Datamatics [ver 2.0] installation at the Centre Pompidou, Paris), hears Cecil Taylor at Alice Tully Hall in New York, spends time with the cave paintings of Lascaux, France, and explores the Wagner-inspired Venus Grotto of Linderhof, Bavaria, to name a few. These site-events, to varying degrees, are renderings of noise-art’s potential to “place us back into a ritual position by dragging art down into the felt 360° noise-perspective of the enthusiastic and participatory.” (p.103) The arc of the ideas proposed here position immersiveness, saturation and “scopic all-over tension” as most productively foundational to noise art, or art-noise. An itinerary from the most ancient of artistic expressions (cave drawings) to the most digital of presentations is charted (Ikeda’s minimal/maximal bitwise works for synchronized audio and visual projection). The harsh sonic onslaught of Masami Akita (a.k.a. Merzbow), is, under this analysis, not so far from colossal denseness of the churches of the High Baroque (Nechvatal visits the Rosario Chapel in Santo Domingo Church, Puebla, Mexico). And there is much more here, eaten up by noise: A rethinking of the work of Duchamp, Jackson Pollock, Nicolas Schöffler (whom Nechvatal names the true “the Father of Cybernetic Art”) and the Happenings of Alan Kaprow, all as art-noise in their own right. Each of these artists and moments demonstrate techniques of destabilization, immersiveness, frame-breaking and “all-over fullness and fervor.” Here is writing on art and art history that is as ambitious as it is promising: “wildly visionary,” Nechvatal states as in conclusion. Self-admittedly far-reaching to the point of verging on totalization, we are asked to consider that the moments, spaces, arts and artists Nechvatal appreciates in the book all derive from an increasingly prevalent “noise consciousness.” Along the way we gain an appreciation of noise as a productive and proactive tension in art, rather than an unwanted signal or unwelcome intrusion. Most promising here for me are Nechvatal’s revealing descriptions of the potential for noise to make manifest the material-perceptual framework of individual and collective art experience. How might we allow what we have been repeatedly taught is our contemporary condition of “information overload” to transform itself into a calm, warm, sympathetic kind of inundation. Treatment of experience in this way, dissolves boundaries between the bodily, informational, material and technical complexes that make up our world, and is the promise of a radical, if momentary, Immersion Into Noise. (shrink)
continent. 1.3 (2011): 158-170. The Fragment as a Unit of Prose Composition: An Introduction —Ben Segal The fragment, the note, the idea, the aphorism even: there are many names and as many uses for such small shards of free-floating text. Typically fragments are less works than gestures, arrows pointing in the direction a person might research, meditate on or develop. Unlike paragraphs or sentences, they do not flow directly from and into their bordering text. Instead they are independent, defined by (...) their singularity, by the white space that encases them on a page – even when they are cobbled together and marshaled into service as the contents of a book. Still, though not exceedingly common, books of fragments (or notes or what-have-yous) do exist. However they are labeled, the very aloofness of disconnected micro-texts allows them certain privileges and possibilities that a writer can employ and exploit. In such instances, the book of fragments may, almost paradoxically, gain a coherence as a singular work, all the more satisfying for its fractures. Two such books are Maggie Nelson's Bluets and Evan Lavender-Smith's From Old Notebooks . In this mini-feature, continent. is pleased to present a series of excerpts from each of these books, a selection of 'outtakes' – fragments that did not make it into the final manuscripts – from each, and short interviews with both Nelson and Lavender-Smith about the fragment as a literary device. Notes on the interviews: 1) Since this feature includes excerpts and outtakes from both Bluets and From Old Notebooks , I chose to ask both Nelson and Lavender-Smith similar questions about working with the fragment as the building-block of a larger work. This means that the questions are, for the most part, more concerned with things like form than about specific passages from the books. 2) In both interviews, I ask a question that cites The Literary Absolute . It should be noted that TLA is concerned with the fragment as developed and understood in the context of the Jena Romantics (the Schlegel brothers, Novalis, etc.), not necessarily the fragment in general. Maggie Nelson Interview: 1. "Bluet" conjures a constellation of similar words. These include Blue, Bullet, and the flower to which the word actually refers. I'm wondering if this range is intentional and if there's anything I'm leaving out. Or, more simply, can you talk a little about the title? I first got interested in the word BLUETS via the painter Joan Mitchell, about whom I’d written earlier in my book on women and the New York School. LES BLUETS is the name of one of my very favorites of all her paintings; she painted it the year I was born. Later the poet Jimmy Schuyler wrote a lovely prose poem about this painting, which I also adored, and which I’ve also written about. So the word had been in my mind for some time, as had her amazing painting (which is in several panels, so also in parts—i.e. in dialogue with questions of parts/wholes). While it was in progress, I always called BLUETS “The Blue Book.” But I knew I always wanted an eventual title that referred, however obliquely, to the book’s form. In this case, the form is notably PLURAL, as is BLUETS, which seemed right. Also, I have always pronounced BLUETS “bluettes,” which is kind of a personal joke about feminization. Like, “majorettes,” etc. It’s a joke because I think the book has a lot to do with the robustness of being a female human, so I found irony in the diminutive nature of the suffix. I also liked the fact that the word means a kind of flower, as it allowed each proposition, or whatever you might call each numbered section, to be thought of as a single flower in a bouquet. This sounds cheesy here, but I think I talk about this idea in a less cheesy way in the book itself, near the end, when I’m ruminating on its composition, and its surprising (to me) slimness, or “anemia.” 2. I know you've thought (and taught) about the fragment as a mode of writing. I'm wondering how your study of the form influences the way you use it. While writing a book, I’m influenced by things the same way I would imagine most writers are: I look for what I want to steal, then I steal it, and make my own weird stew of the goods. Often while writing I’d re-read the books by Barthes written in fragments— A Lover’s Discourse , Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes —and see what he gained from an alphabetical, somewhat random organization, and what he couldn’t do that way. I mostly read Wittgenstein, and watched how he used numbered sections to think sequentially, and to jump, in turn. I read Shonagon’s The Pillow Book , and tried to keep a pillow book about blue for some time. (It didn’t last long, as an exercise, but some of the entries made it into BLUETS.) I re-read Haneke’s Sorrow Beyond Dreams , which finally dissolves into fragments, after a fairly strong chronological narrative has taken him so far. In the course I taught on the fragment, which was somewhat after the fact of writing BLUETS, but conceived in relation to it, we studied a kind of taxonomy of fragments: the decayed fragment (Sappho); the contemporary fragment (text messages, twitter, blog posts, etc.); the modernist fragment (T.S. Eliot; fragment as mark of psychological disintegration); Freud’s fragment (dreams, slips, etc. as thruways to the unconscious; the sampled or plagiarized fragment; fragment as waste, excess, or garbage; the footnote; fragment as frame (Degas, Manet); life narrative as fragment: we can’t see the whole until we’re dead, and then we can’t see it (pathos); fragment as psychological terror (castration, King’s head); fragment as fetish, or as “organ-logic,” as pornography; fragment as metonym & synecdoche; fragment as that which is preserved, or that which remains; fragment as the unfinished or the abandoned; and so on and so forth. I think, in the back of my mind, I was aware of all these categories while writing BLUETS, and put them each into play as needed while writing. The book seems to me hyper-aware of the fragment as fetish, as catastrophe, as leftover, as sample or citation, as memory, and so on. Many of the anecdotes in the book (such as about the decay of blue objects I’ve collected, or my memory of a particularly acute shade of blue, or the recountings of dreams) perform these concepts quite directly. 3. In The Literary Absolute , Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy write that "each fragment stands for itself and for that from which it has been detached."(44) They go on to explain that the fragment is both "sub-work" (in the obvious sense of being only a small piece of the Work), but also "super-work", as it stands, complete in itself, outside the work and calls up the plural potentiality of the work. What do you make of this idea and how do you understand the relation of the fragment to the Work as a whole? I like the idea of the “super-work,” the fragment that indicates the whole it has been excised from. However, on a concrete level, I don’t think that’s really true of BLUETS. Some of the propositions are very much in dialogue with the ones that have come before it, acting as rebuffs, or conclusions, or swerves. To detect their motion, one has to already be in the car. Often they are as short as: “ Disavowal , says the silence,” or “As if we could scrape the color off the iris and still see,” or “In any case, I am no longer counting the days.” These don’t make much sense outside of their context. Although, now that I’ve isolated just these few, I can see that they might gesture to the whole—but I think you’d have to know what the whole was, for the exercise to feel full. I am interested, however, in the notion of collecting, of a collection—and how to know when to stop, when you’ve amassed enough. While writing BLUETS, I thought of Joseph Cornell as the ultimate teacher in this respect: he collected enormous amounts of junk, he “hunted” for treasures all over the city, but each box or collage or even film has a certain minimalism, each feels as if it’s been distilled to become exactly as specific as it should be. In other words, the composition emanates from the piles of junk left in its wake, but it in itself becomes perfect. It may be unfashionable, but I’m interested in this sense of perfection. 3b. Fragments collected together become a whole that gestures to dozens of other, potential wholes. How, if at all, do you think about your book in relation to the preservation of potentiality? I have to admit, I don’t entirely understand this question. Preservation of potentiality—that’s what I don’t quite understand. I will say this, though: writing a book, especially a book of this kind (i.e. I’d wanted to write a book on the color blue for my whole life), has a certain pain in it—the pain of manifestation. Every word that gets set down, every decision made—form, content, sentence structure, image—begins to define a work that previously was a kind of infinitely indeterminate mental cloud, or beautifully diffuse physical sensation. As the book comes into being, I’m often thinking, “this is it? this is all it’s going to be?” For me, I think it’s this feeling, rather than that of not having anything to say, or a terror of the blank page, that can bring a sort of writer’s block. Think of Lily Briscoe at the end of Woolf’s To the Lighthouse —after her long reverie, she eventually must make the mark on the canvas. She brings the brush down, then sighs: “There, I have had my vision.” To have made the mark, to have manifested the vision, brings with it a certain satisfaction, a certain euphoria and relief—but also a brand of pathos. Of all the possible books, you wrote this book. Of all the possible brush strokes, you made this one. How very strange! The good news is, you’re usually so tired when you finish a book that you don’t care anymore—you’re just happy it’s finished, and that you can move on. And if you’re lucky, you may eventually marvel at the specificity of the result, feel the magic and largesse in its specificity, in its singularity. I feel this way about BLUETS. 4. Can you talk a little about the way traditional prose standbys like character and narrative develop out of distinct and disconnected fragments? I feel like this definitely happens in Bluets as well as other texts that use a similar approach. BLUETS always had a specific set of dramatic personae, and also a sort of narrative arc. It begins by saying, “Suppose I were to begin,” which places the whole book, at least for me, in the realm of the novelistic, or at least the speculative. That freedom was important to me while writing. I have a lot of issues, for lack of a better word, with narrative, but I also have no problem with trying to structure a work so that it acts as a page-turner. I wanted there to be a lot of momentum in this book, as well as plenty of opportunities for eddying out into cul-de-sacs. That was the tension—how to make some chains of propositions that pull you forward, and then allow for some to bring you so far afield that you might find yourself wondering, “why are we talking about this here?” before remembering how you got there, and why it might matter. While some of the fragments may seem disconnected or distinct, the truth is that they each had to fall into one the book’s major categories, which included love, language, sex, divinity, alcohol, pain, death, and problems of veracity/perception. If I truly couldn’t tether an anecdote or factoid to the thread, it eventually had to go. I also spaced out the distinct threads fairly methodically, and had the characters reappear at a fairly regular rate. There’s even a kind of “where are they now?” section at the end, announced by my injured friend’s letter to her friends, in which she tells them how her spinal cord injury has affected her life, and how she feels today. I’m sure one could write a book of very disconnected fragments that didn’t so overtly weave into a whole—I’ve read many of them—but it’s also true that the mind will always work overtime to put disparate things together; the Surrealists mined that tendency for all it was worth. I think that’s a cool approach, to let the reader make the connections, but it’s important to me as a writer to make sure that the connections, when made, actually point toward what I want to be pointing at, rather than just reflecting the human brain’s capacity to make a bridge. 5. To what extent does how you label your texts matter? What is the difference between notes, fragments, bluets, and aphorisms? Basically, is taxonomy important? Taxonomy, hmm. At some point I was very compelled by issues of taxonomy, but over the years I’ve grown less interested in the question, as the notion of the “hybrid” or the “cross-genre” seems to have become its own kind of jargon or pitch. I got very excited some time ago when I was trying to subtitle my book JANE, and I came across Brian Evenson’s book DARK PROPERTY: AN AFFLICTION. I thought—of course! A book can be a CONDITION rather than a GENRE. So I subtitled JANE “A Murder,” with this concept in mind. My most recent book, THE ART OF CRUELTY, I subtitled “a reckoning,” using the same logic. This has been one means of skirting the whole genre issue. On the other hand, I don’t really like it when people called BLUETS “notes” or “aphorisms,” or “fragments,” because it’s not really any of those things. Aphoristic philosophy—which was one of this book’s inspirations—is not made up of just aphorisms per se. There may be great aphorisms to be found in Nietzsche or Wittgenstein, for example, but neither is writing a series of one-liners. Their projects are bigger than that. They are in dialogue with argumentation as much as with impression. Likewise, I don’t really see BLUETS as poetry. I mean, I don’t care if someone wants to call it that—if they do, it happily expands the notion of poetry—but I’ve written enough poetry to have a lot of respect for its particular tools, which include the line break, and forms of logic unavailable to prose. BLUETS thinks in prose; it is written in prose. It sometimes thinks in images, and sometimes in sound, but essentially it is about sentences, and about trains of prose logic and their limits. But if someone wants to call it poetry, I wouldn’t go to the mat about it. 6. Are there other texts (of or about fragments) that you'd like to recommend? Texts about fragments to recommend: Here are the ones that come immediately to mind: The Notebooks of Joseph Joubert , Anne Carson’s If Not, Winter , Stevie Smith, “The Person from Porlock,” the poetry of Lorine Niedecker, Lucille Clifton, and Paul Celan, Tom Phillips’s A Humument , Ann Lauterbach’s essay on “the whole fragment,” Linda Nochlin, The Body in Pieces , Mary Ann Caws, The Surrealist Look , Heather McHugh, Poetry and Partiality . And the drawings of David Shrigley 7. And finally, is there anything you wish I would have asked? Please ask/answer if so. No, I’m happy with these questions!! The Beginning of Bluets (An Excerpt) 1. Suppose I were to begin by saying that I had fallen in love with a color. Suppose I were to speak this as though it were a confession; suppose I shredded my napkins as we spoke. It began slowly. An appreciation, an affinity. Then, one day, it became more serious. Then (looking into an empty teacup, its bottom stained with thin brown excrement coiled into the shape of a sea horse) it became somehow personal. 2. And so I fell in love with a color – in this case, the color blue – as if falling under a spell, a spell I fought to stay under and get out from under, in turns. 3. Well, and what of it? A voluntary delusion, you might say. That each blue object could be a kind of burning bush, a secret code meant for a single agent, an X on a map too diffuse ever to be unfolded in entirety but that contains the knowable universe. How could all the shreds of blue garbage bags stuck in brambles, or the bright blue tarps flapping over ever shanty and fish stand in the world, be, in essence, the fingerprints of God? I will try to explain this. 4. I admit that I may have been lonely. I know that loneliness can produce bolts of hot pain, a pain which, if it stays hot enough for long enough, can begin to stimulate, or to provoke – take your pick – an apprehension of the divine. ( This ought to arouse our suspicions. ) 5. But first, let us consider a sort of case in reverse. In 1867, after a long bout of solitude, the French poet Stéphane Mallarmé wrote to his friend Henri Cazalis: “These last months have been terrifying. My Thought has thought itself through and reached a Pure Idea. What the rest of me has suffered during that long agony, is indescribable.” Mallarmé described this agony as a battle that took place on God's “boney wing.” “I struggled with that creature of ancient and evil plumage – God – whom I fortunately defeated and threw to earth,” he told Cazalis with exhausted satisfaction. Eventually Mallarmé began replacing “le ciel” with “l'Azur” in his poems, in an effort to rinse references to the sky of religious connotations. “Fortunately,” he wrote Cazalis, “I am quite dead now.” 6. The half-circle of blinding turquoise ocean is this love's primal scene. That this blue exists makes my life a remarkable one, just to have seen it. To have seen such beautiful things. To find oneself placed in their midst. Choiceless. I returned there yesterday and stood again upon the mountain. 7. But what kind of love is it, really? Don't fool yourself and call it sublimity. Admit that you have stood in front of a little pile of ultramarine pigment in a glass cup at a museum and felt stinging desire. But to do what? Liberate it? Purchase it? Ingest it? There is so little blue food in nature – in fact blue in the wild tends to mark food to avoid (mold, poisonous berries) – that culinary advisers generally recommend against blue light, blue paint, and blue plates when and where serving food. But while the color may sap appetite in the most literal sense, it feeds it in others. You might want to reach out and disturb the pile of pigment, for example, first staining your fingers with it, then staining the world. You might want to dilute it and swim in it, you might want to rouge your nipples with it, you might want to paint a virgins robe with it. But you still wouldn't be accessing the blue of it. Not exactly. 8. Do not, however, make the mistake of thinking that all desire is yearning. “We love to contemplate blue, not because it advances to us, but because it draws us after it,” wrote Goethe, and perhaps he is right. But I am not interested in longing to live in a world in which I already live. I don't want to yearn for blue things, and God forbid, for any “blueness.” Above all, I want to stop missing you. 9. So please do not write to tell me about any more beautiful blue things. To be fair, this book will not tell you about any, either. It will not say, Isn't X beautiful? Such demands are murderous to beauty. 10. The most I want to do is show you the end of my index finger. Its muteness. Bluets that did not make the final version of Bluets We think of a glowing chunk of sapphire, for instance, or a pane of Chartres stained glass, as luminous, and God knows they are. But such luminosity doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with clarity . To call something a false idol is to elevate it to the company of deities, even if one eventually casts it down (cf. Milton giving Lucifer the best speeches). For the truth is that I have never really understood what love and will have to do with each other. Following the blue, as if tracking a trail of decomposing crumbs left in the woods by a benevolent or absentminded stranger, is, at times, the best I can do. Joan Mitchell: so beautiful and athletic when young; so craggy and indomitable as she aged—in both cases, without vanity —like my Swedish grandparents, whom I barely knew, but whom I remember as being tan and fair at the same time, prematurely decimated by morning vodka with OJ and an endless boil of cigarettes. Do not think, however, that this is a scrapbook in which blue is the star and I its delirious fan. For it is a mistake to think of blue as separate from us. It is the bulge of the carotid against the bracket of your skin. It is the matrix of veins that enlaces your heart. At one point during this period, Klein—no stranger to grandiosity—“signed the sky.” He also arranged performances at which he dipped naked women from head to toe in IKB blue, rolled an enormous canvas out on the floor, and instructed the women to drag each other around on top of it while a string quartet played nearby. He called the women “human paintbrushes.” In both cases, I have arguably been nothing more than a child of illusion. Beethoven felt differently. “Can you lend me the Theory of Colours for a few weeks?” he wrote to a friend in 1820. “It is an important work. His last things are insipid.” There would seem to be a lesson here, but I am not prepared to describe it. “They feel as though if you fell into them you would be trapped and unable to breathe, choked and suffocated by the powdery pigment,” wrote Berger of Klein’s IKB monochromes. At times I look forward to this ravaging, if only because it represents all that I am supposed to fear, and because, if one manages to live long enough, it seems something of an inevitability, and looking forward to an inevitability seems at least an approximation of spiritual wisdom. In the far-off blue places, one finds oneself face to face with one’s stupidity. The cradle of it. It is a tremendous relief. Instead of sputtering forth a gargle, a howl, or an assertoric proposition, one can remain silent, stupefied. It is as if one’s tongue had been sewn, at long last, into its den. For one does not just seek oblivion. One can also find it. Sometimes one can even purchase it. Of the oblivion seekers themselves, Eberhardt says simply: “They are people who like their pleasure.” Caravaggio is a serious painter. He does not use blue. Neither does Goya, nor Velasquez. They are tenebrists , not denizens of the carnival. The blues of Picasso and Matisse, even in their most melancholy applications, do not strike me as altogether serious. The blues of Joseph Cornell, Hiroshige, Fra Angelico, and Cézanne, on the other hand, strike me as quite serious. The blue of Vermeer is simply too painful to discuss here. Let us leave the woman in blue alone with her letter. Let us leave her transfixed, standing on the bright edge of the earth, about to fall. In the Middle Ages, it was commonly thought that the most powerful mordant was a drunk man’s piss: yet another instance in which alcohol fastens the blue. But one can, I think, feel similarly bound, without the spirit. And when Cornell made Rose Hobart , he had to snip away 57½ minutes of the original film in order to showcase the object of his desire. Love, too, can sometimes be a condensery . On the other hand, speaking through the voice of the Egyptian god Thamus, Socrates comes down fairly forcefully for poison : “This discovery of yours [i.e. writing] will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth.” But what has a soul to do with memory? I admit that here I run out of ideas; I must again consult the Encyclopedia. “Much of our moral life depends on the peculiar ways in which we are embedded in time.” This has the aura of truth, but really it takes us no further. For what has morality to do with memory, or with a soul? Instead of a roving dialogue unfolding under the shade of a plane tree, this is more like a coarse talk show taking place in a hall of mirrors: no guests, one host. To do: make a list of people who seem to have found some dignity in their loneliness, and consult it when I feel constitutionally incapable of abiding my own. “Frequent tears have run the colours from my life” (Elizabeth Barrett Browning). Does it follow, in spiritual matters, that one’s doubt is surrounded by a plateau of certainty? “Whosoever unceasingly strives upward, him can we save,” wrote Goethe. But who is to say that faith isn’t the abyss, and doubt the surrounding peaks? For while we may have learned the names for these things, articulation is still a form of accommodation. We stutter to each other in a sort of shorthand, at times carving out shapely analogies. But we cannot be sure that we are talking about the same things, or that we are employing the same code. —But now you are talking as if you were drowning, your lungs swollen with expired air. Why not just give up the dive? In which case you could start swimming along the surface: a cold spot here, a warm patch there. Same pond. Remember: the knights pure enough to enter the presence of the Holy Grail never return. It is only those who have been “incompletely transformed” who come back to tell the tale. And some seekers don’t come back from the wilderness as shamans, but rather as brain-damaged vegetables whose musculature now resembles gelatin. Remember this if someone appears in a field of chollas, hands you a loincloth and a tab of pure blotter acid with one hand, and keeps the other out of sight. We might here note that Andy Warhol was also, for a time, riveted by blue pussy. His blue pussy was a beatific cat, gazing upward from the last page of his 1954 book of watercolors, 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy , looking as if he were happily anticipating “pussy heaven,” as Warhol elsewhere termed the feline afterlife. Perhaps, then, the mistake is to look for a vividness, or a sweetness, apart from illusion. In which case we waste much precious time warding off the specter of the mirage . In such moments, death itself may appear a light-hearted occurrence. Evan Lavender-Smith Interview: 1) Do you consider From Old Notebooks (FON) to be a kind of constraint writing? I guess it would have been more of a constraint if you'd only culled things from your notes instead of writing pieces specifically for/relating to FON. I certainly think that the book shares something important with constraint writing, as I think it does with conceptual writing, although I don't know that it fits neatly into either of these categories. Perhaps it's a kind of faux-constraint or -conceptual writing. The book's primary constraint—only things written in notebooks are allowed —sort of collapses under the weight of its own self-reflexivity; as you say, the entries become about the book itself, which I think ends up undermining or subjugating the austerity we associate with a more typical constraint-based writing. I suppose there's also a secondary constraint associated with the structure of the book and the ordering of the entries, this zany process whereby I classified entries according to a number (1 through 12, I think) referencing subject/theme, then deleted all of the entries leaving only their reference numbers, then arranged the numbers in something resembling sonata form, then plugged all the entries back into their placeholders. But that's a very secret, Roussel-type constraint, one that perhaps does not do much to create a noticeable intensity of constraint. And also I ended up making many revisions to the order of the entries that broke with the output of my secret formula. So yes, I think something like "sham constraint" writing is probably a more appropriate designation. 2) FON is very often self-reflective, often feels as if it is struggling to pin itself down. I'm wondering if the form (disjointed notes) allows for that kind of reflection to creep in repeatedly without weighing down the whole book. Does the ability to ask a question and then immediately head off in a totally different direction free you to be self-doubting without wallowing? Does this question make sense? Maybe I should ask more generally what kinds of content does this form afford that more traditionally structured work might not? I am hopeful that the self-reflexivity is less cloying in this book than I find it to be in other highly self-reflexive texts on account of what you mention, the ability of the book to veer off in another direction nearly every time an instance of explicit self-reflexivity occurs. I would say this is also the case with respect to the book's many instances of pathos and sentiment or even bathos and sentimentality: whenever the book broaches sentimentality in an entry, it is followed by another entry about something totally different, which can serve to undercut the sentiment of the previous entry. And this is probably also the case with the book's movement toward and immediately away from entries/fragments dealing with specific literary or philosophical texts/authors with which some readers may be unfamiliar, insofar as one entry might concern Kant's transcendental idealism and the next entry the color of my infant son's poo. The book is quite contrapuntal, in this respect, which is one of the things that original structuring scheme was meant to effect. As to alternative or unusual kinds of content afforded by the book's form, I'd like to think they are many, but I have always been most excited by what I perceive to be the book's presentation of a kind of form-becoming-content, this process by which the reader is engaged with form as he might otherwise be with character, or with setting, or with plot—part of what's driving the reading experience may be the reader's sense of an evolving form, a form that begins somewhat expositionally, that becomes somewhat conflicted and tense, and that finally achieves a kind of resolution. But, from another perspective, the book's form remains exactly the same from the first to the last page. My reading of the book would posit or project a kind of talk-to/talk-back relationship between form and content; each is strongly influencing our vision of the other, and perhaps, over the course of the book, they become difficult to distinguish. 3) In The Literary Absolute , Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy write that "each fragment stands for itself and for that from which it has been detached."(44) They go on to explain that the fragment is both "sub-work" (in the obvious sense of being only a small piece of the Work), but also "super-work", as it stands, complete in itself, outside the work and calls up the plural potentiality of the work. What do you make of this idea and how do you understand the relation of the fragment to the Work as a whole? I like this idea, but I may have some reservations about generalizing it too far beyond Nancy and Lacoue-Labarthe's intended historical context. In my book, there are perhaps some entries/fragments that possess a sort of immanent intensity—entries seemingly able to "speak for themselves," so to speak—but there are also very many that do not. I think that the book itself would argue—in fact, I believe it explicitly does so—against this notion that any one of its constituent parts could be removed from the whole and still remain "meaningful" or "true." I imagine the parts of the whole, in this book, not as cogs in relation to some whole mechanics or machine, say, but instead as mechanical movement itself; perhaps the most important thing about any given entry is not what it says so much as the fact that it begins and ends. The book seems to me to be always moving forward in time and space; once a fragment has happened, the book is done with it; there's no turning back, no looking over the shoulder. There's an entry somewhere that goes something like "This book is nothing more than the trash can of my imagination," a potential interpretative model that has become something of a guiding light in my understanding of the book's form: the entries/fragments do certainly accrue, as trash accrues, but we don't necessarily feel compelled to go picking through this heap of trash. 3b) Fragments collected together become a whole that gestures to dozens of other, potential wholes. How, if at all, do you think about your book in relation to the preservation of potentiality? Of course I think about this mostly in relation to the fragments/entries concerning specific potential works, the entries that begin "Story about" or "Novel about," etc. As I continue to work to see many of the ideas in the book realized, even today—and as I will likely continue to do for a long time—I remain in a sort of dialogue with the book. So I find myself still writing the book, in some sense, even though the book is already written. One of my favorite things about From Old Notebooks is how it opens its own amorphous and evolving prefatory engagement with my future writing. I believe the book references the claim of some critics that Ulysses was written in such a way to make it appear as if it were presaged by passages in the New Testament, just as some have claimed that passages in the New Testament were written to create the appearance of having been forecasted by passages in the Old Testament (I believe there is a specific poetic figure denoting this kind of retroactive foreshadowing that I'm now failing to recall). I've always really loved that idea and perhaps still hold out hope that my future writing will serve to indirectly modify From Old Notebooks in these types of sly and tricky ways. Also, in relation to the above-mentioned trash-can model as one of many such potential models for the book's form, there's a way in which the book regularly returns to a reading of itself, always trying to understand how it is working and always coming up with new strategies for its own analysis. So it seems to me, with respect to the preservation of potentiality, that the book is also intent on preserving its own "infinite hermeneutics" (or at least an illusion thereof). 4) Can you talk a little about the way traditional prose standbys like character and narrative develop out of distinct and disconnected fragments? I feel like this definitely happens in FON as well as other texts that use a similar approach. I think it's important to address the burden placed on the reader vis-à-vis development when considering narratological staples like character and plot in relation to highly fragmented narratives. In my own reading experience of books in which neat narrative progression is supplanted by a fragmentary or elliptical progression, the reader oftentimes must begin committing to processes of projection and transference in order to eke out that amount of development she would require of narrative. I especially like this possibility for two reasons. The first is that in the absence of stable or "full" development, we may feel inclined, as readers, to fill in the blanks with manifestations of our own, consciousness-specific desire for coherence, which can create a sort of personalized Möbius strip out of reading and writing, artistic creation and reception becoming tangled, distinctions and distances between these categories becoming blurred. The second, which may follow from the first for the more theoretically inclined reader, is that this process may serve to expose our own prejudices about what narrative is supposed to do or achieve, thereby leading us to an anxious readerly condition in which we are forced to confront the poverty of our own understanding regarding the first principles of narrative art. These two effects—1) tangling the reading/writing experience, and 2) forcing the reader's reconsideration of artistic rule—are, to my thinking, among the most powerful effects available to writing. 5) To what extent does how you label your texts matter? What is the difference between notes , fragments , thoughts , and aphorisms ? Basically, is taxonomy important? Supplementary question: In FON , there is a passage: "Why am I so averse to classifying FON as poetry-because poetry doesn't sell." If you want, this might be a good place to talk about genre classifications as well. This answer will surely seem coy or naïve to some people, but the fact is that my own tedious and protracted grappling with the strictures and arbitrariness of generic classification has finally given way to a vision of an imaginative writing largely unfettered by those academic or commercial or cultural pressures which have served to delimit the typological boundaries of art and language. That seems to be a goal for me, anyway, to work to maintain a position of restless and relentless searching in relation to form, and to resist, as best I can, pressures associated with the commodification or canonization of language and form. Of course that position is itself probably overdetermined by pressures both within and beyond my comprehension—e.g. it is very reactionary; very Modernist, in a sense—and it also strikes me to be of a piece with a rather antiquated and distasteful image of artistic creation and the "author-function," but nonetheless it's what I seem to prefer. 6) Are there other texts (of or about fragments) that you'd like to recommend? Here are some things I've recently read and enjoyed in which I felt the fragment was the text's dominant or near-dominant mode of engagement with narrative/poetic/philosophical development and progression. Mean Free Path , Ben Lerner Bluets , Maggie Nelson Varieties of Disturbance , Lydia Davis Notes from a Bottle Found on the Beach at Carmel , Evan S. Connell AVA , Carole Maso Reader's Block , David Markson Deepstep Come Shining , C.D. Wright The Passion According to G.H . by Clarice Lispector The Crab Nebula , Éric Chevillard The Book of Questions , Edmond Jabès Monsieur Teste , Paul Valéry Mourning Diary , Roland Barthes The Arcades Project , Walter Benjamin Philosophical Investigations , Ludwig Wittgenstein "Diapsalmata," from Either/Or , Søren Kierkegaard Unfortunately, I haven't read much theory discussing the fragment as a narratological device, although I did enjoy the Nancy and Lacoue-Labarthe book you mention above. 7) And finally, is there anything you wish I would have asked? Please ask/answer if so. I should say that From Old Notebooks is currently out of print, as I, perhaps bullheadedly, insisted that the publisher remove the book from their catalog when I discovered that they'd been implementing a pay-to-publish scheme, which, given the revelation of its specific details, I felt to be manipulative and unethical. There are many used copies floating around, though, and I am hopeful that the book will be reprinted someday. From Old Notebooks Excerpts NB: The first excerpt covers the first few pages of the book. The second covers pages 16 and 17. These excerpts show how FON develops from a series of ideas for texts to a more varied series of notes that further reveal the character, preoccupations, and desires of the writer. Excerpt 1: Short story about a church on the ocean floor. Congregation in scuba gear. Memoir in which narrator struggles to describe her childhood – offering two or more contrary accounts of the same event – having been raised by divorced parents with unresolved anger toward each other such that discrepancies between parents' accounts of each other's involvement in her childhood have damaged narrator's memory beyond repair. Academic essay entitled “ Cute Title: Serious Subtitle : On the Preponderance of Precious Subtitling in Academic Essays.” Novel in chapters, each chapter spanning one year, 1977 – 2006. In lieu of chapter number, photograph of Tom Cruise's face from that year. Story about a garbage man who cannot fathom how anyone might be content living a life not wholly dedicated to being a garbage man. Excerpt 2 Something entitled “From Old Notebooks,” simply a transcription of entries from these notebooks. Story involving a couple whose divorce proceedings center upon the allocation of the books contained in the family library. Living off-campus on the outskirts of a city where I knew no one, in a studio apartment the size of a large walk-in closet, I would occupy myself in the evenings with and obsessive study of the shadows of my hands against the wall as I faux-conducted piano concertos; and later, after having taken three Ambien, intimate conversations with bits of magma crawling across the carpet that had detached from the glowing wires on my electric space heater. That same year, in a fit of manic loneliness, I invited a raccoon into my apartment with a trail of cracker crumbs. Do not let Jackson and Sofia live off-campus as undergraduates. Cached auto-complete entry options that appear when I type the letter e into the search field in the toolbar of my internet browser: evan lavender-smith “evan lavender-smith” “evan lavender smith” evan + “lavender-smith” evan + “lavender smith” evan + lavender + smith The letter f: fear of death Contemporary authors who construct a thick barrier between themselves and their readers such that authorial vulnerability is revealed negatively, i.e., via the construction of the barrier. If Team USA had a mascot, it would be God. Character who refers to Wellbutrin as his muse. “I hope to one day storm out on Terry Gross during an interview because I am that kind of eccentric famous author.” ----------------- Notes that were cut from From Old Notebooks Short story about literary executors sifting through the Gmail account of a recently deceased author. It would better suit me to drive a hybrid hearse. First line of a story: "The M.F.A. in creative writing was the degree Shontiqua had her sights set on . " Story/mock-essay: conflation of the obnoxious languages of U.S.A. patriotism and M.F.A. workshops. The flag at half-mast because the market’s way down today. Awakened from dream . . . saw figure in arrangement of stars . . . closed eyes . . . dream changed. . . . The smile is perhaps the human equivalent to the dog's wagging tail, with an important caveat: the human can fake a smile. Can a man fake an erection? To do philosophy, Back then I was doing some philosophy —what a ridiculoususage. It is thanks to the proud philosopher who, attempting to justify his existence, humbles himself to a position of activity. The greatest act of fraud on the part of philosophy is that it attempts to exist outside of time , the word of the philosopher presented to us as the Word. This is what Derrida means to criticize when he praises Nietzsche's pluralism, or Levi-Strauss's mythopoetics: Philosophy cannot pretend to be above or beyond the form of the book. The question of being flashes through us , mind and body. The corporealization of the question of being. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must—write? The proliferation of M.F.A. programs in creative writing has given rise to the whirlpool of conservatism which is contemporary American literature. Surely it's no coincidence that I began From Old Notebooks shortly after I stopped seeing my therapist. Somewhere I read Edmund Wilson refer to Beckett's late style as terminal . I understand why he would say so, but I would prefer to reserve that term for David Markson's late style. Random House settles out of court to pay $2.35 million in genre-damages made by James Frey against his readers. What if the publisher of F.O.N. markets the book as a novel , and it later comes to light that the book was in fact a memoir . . . ? That the problem of death has been outmoded is the grand illusion of philosophy after Heidegger. The modern philosopher says, "Death is not my problem. Being is my problem." The modern philosopher might call death an adolescent problem , and being an adult problem . But what he fails to recognize is that the concept of being is merely an abstraction of the concept of death. (He forgets that being is incidental to non-being, and that the latter is only conceivable by way of analogy to death .) The modern philosopher wants to pretend that death is irrelevant to his project, but it is the impetus for his project. Surely the reason I lash out against it is that I am jealous of poetry. Surely contemporary poetry does not deserve my wrath . Someone could read the book with an almanac in hand and point to certain entries which suggest the concurrence of public events (e.g., terror, war, football), thereby assigning dates to those entries. As if. Do people auction their personal diaries on eBay? I might consider auctioning these notebooks if the book is ever published, in keeping with the spirit of the book, that is, the spirit of facile self-disclosure. The poem is dead. Long live the poem! The ending of F.O.N. might contain the beginning of the next book—a sequel entitled Work-In-Progress . F.O.N. might blurinto W.I.P. The point of physical distinction between the two books would be arbitrary. Work-In-Progress would be written in the same form as F.O.N., but it would be also written in an entirely different form, as the (conception of the) form of the book "F.O.N. + W.I.P." is an evolving (conception of) form, a (conception of) form that is always becominganother (conception of) form. No matter how much I want to force From Old Notebooks to become something called Work-In-Progress , I won't be able to: any contrived becoming of that sort would represent a violence on the form of the book. I'm going to have to take a leap at some point, though, a leap out of the book, like a leap from a burning building. “The Voidhood of the Void; or, An Archaeology of Nothing.” Rather than enact the high drama of self-reflexivity, the new writing will accept self-reflexivity as status quo —metafiction's birthday is passed, no need to keep celebrating—in the tradition of the documentary film, the reality TV show, and the internet blog. Such a writing must, by definition, be genreless, or make the question of genre irrelevant: hence, the post-generic . Perhaps my next novel will be a one-page poem. (shrink)
In a recent paper [J. G. Vargas and D. G. Torr, Found. Phys. 27, 599 (1997)], we have shown that a subset of the differential invariants that define teleparallel connections in spacetime generates a teleparallel Kaluza-Klein space (KKS) endowed with a very rich Clifford structure. A canonical Dirac equation hidden in this structure might be uncovered with the help of a teleparallel Kähler calculus in KKS. To bridge the gap to such a calculus from the existing Riemannian Kähler calculus (...) in spacetime, we commence the construction of a teleparallel Kähler calculus in spacetime. In the process, we notice: (a) Unknown to him, one of Einstein's equations in his attempt at unification with teleparallelism states that the interior covariant derivative of the torsion is zero. (b) A mechanism exists in the tangent bundle of teleparallel spaces for producing confinement (in the applicable cases, one would have to show why nonconfinement also occurs, rather than the other way around). (c) When the torsion is not zero, the interior covariant derivative in the sense of Kähler, δF, does not coincide with *d*F. The system (dF = 0, δF = j) rather than (dF = 0, *d*F = j) should then be used for generalizations of Maxwell's electrodynamics. (shrink)
The widespread idea that infinitesimals were “eliminated” by the “great triumvirate” of Cantor, Dedekind, and Weierstrass is refuted by an uninterrupted chain of work on infinitesimal-enriched number systems. The elimination claim is an oversimplification created by triumvirate followers, who tend to view the history of analysis as a pre-ordained march toward the radiant future of Weierstrassian epsilontics. In the present text, we document distortions of the history of analysis stemming from the triumvirate ideology of ontological minimalism, which identified the continuum (...) with a single number system. Such anachronistic distortions characterize the received interpretation of Stevin, Leibniz, d’Alembert, Cauchy, and others. (shrink)