If philosophical moral reflection tends to promote moral behavior, one might think that professional ethicists would behave morally better than do socially comparable non-ethicists. We examined three types of courteous and discourteous behavior at American Philosophical Association conferences: talking audibly while the speaker is talking (versus remaining silent), allowing the door to slam shut while entering or exiting mid-session (versus attempting to close the door quietly), and leaving behind clutter at the end of a session (versus leaving one's seat tidy). (...) By these three measures, audiences in ethics sessions did not appear to behave any more courteously than did audiences in non-ethics sessions. However, audiences in environmental ethics sessions did appear to leave behind less trash. (shrink)
Courtesy seems to be an essential part of budō , the Japanese martial ways. Yet there is no prima facie relationship between fighting and courtesy. Indeed, we might think that violence and aggression are antithetical to etiquette and care. By situating budō within the three great Japanese traditions of Shintō, Confucianism, and Zen Buddhism, this article reveals the intimate relationship between courtesy and the martial arts. It suggests that courtesy cultivates, and is cultivated by, purity of (...) work and deed, mutually beneficial cooperation, and loving brutality. These individual and social virtues are not only complementary but also essential to budō. (shrink)
Etiquette writer Judith Martin is frequently faced with “etiquette skeptics,” interlocutors who protest not simply that this or that rule of etiquette is problematic but complain that etiquette itself, qua a system of conventional norms for human conduct and communication, is objectionable. While etiquette skeptics come in a variety of forms, one of the most frequent skeptical complaints is that etiquette is artificial.The worries Martin canvasses are frequently also raised in more philosophical work as reasons to doubt the moral significance (...) of etiquette. See, e.g., Sarah Buss, “Appearing Respectful: The Moral Significance of Manners”, Ethics 109.4 : 795–826; Nancy Sherman, “The Look and Feel of Virtue”, in Christopher Gill, ed., Virtue, Norms, and Objectivity: Issues in Ancient and Modern Ethics ; and Karen Stohr, On Manners , especially Chapter 1. “Artificial” typically operates in this context as a catch-all te .. (shrink)
백여 년 동안 교통과 정보 등 관련 있는 과학기술의 급격한 발전으로 인하여 사람들의 활동반경이 확대되었을 뿐만 아니라, 어느새 공간적 거리도 압축되었기 때문에 각종 문제에 대한 사유 역시 자연적으로 과거 국경의 울타리의 한계를 뛰어넘었다. 따라서 지구 전체의 일이 되어버린 ‘동고동락’에 대한 세상 사람들의 의식은 저절로 소위 ‘세계화’라는 개념으로 형성되었다. ‘세계화’ 추세 역시 저항 할 수 없는 현상이 되었다. 인류가 ‘세계화’의 시대로 나아갈 즈음, 과학기술의 발달이 가져오는 부작용이 매우 복잡해졌다. 그 중 가치관의 혼란 조성 및 도덕적 기준의 하락, 사람과 사람사이의 온정이 점점 (...) 엷어지는 문제는 의심 할 바 없이 인류로 하여금 가장 걱정이 되게 하는 것들이다. 현재 이런 그릇된 경향을 바로 잡으려면 오직 인류사회 전체가 ‘인본’적 사유로의 회귀를 호소하여 ‘인문정신’을 중시하고 사람과 사람 사이에 응당 있어야 할 ‘예의’ 구현을 실현해야지만, 사람과 사람사이의 교제에 서로 서로 존경하고 합당한 절도 있는 언행을 할 수 있게 하여, 지구촌에 살고 있는 모든 사람들로 하여금 과학기술의 발전이 가져오는 간편함과 편안함을 누리게 하는 동시에 인성의 존엄함을 유지 할 수 있고 또한 사람과 사람 사이의 따뜻한 정을 유지하게 할 수 있을 것이다. (shrink)
A friend of mine recently lent me a little book entitled What a Young Wife Ought to Know, by Mrs. Emma F. Angell Drake, M.D., of Denver, Colorado. It was published in 1902 and is one of the Self and Sex series of “pure books on avoided subjects.” Its premise is that “Woman [is] fitted by the creator for wifehood and motherhood,” and it has chapters entitled “Home and Dress,” “Marital Relations,” “The Mother the Teacher,” and so on. My friend (...) had come across it in, of all places, the library of a mental hospital where his wife was being treated for postpartum depression. He stole it as a matter of principle. What a Young Wife Ought to Know has its late-medieval equivalent in a poem of around two hundred lines known as “What the Goodwife Taught Her Daughter,” which has been used quite often by medieval historians as evidence for aspects of female behavior in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. There are problems with this, though, as a comparison with Mrs. Emma F. Angell Drake's book shows. Historians of the early twentieth century would not, I assume, use What a Young Wife Ought to Know as evidence of social practice; rather, its interest is ideological. The same is true of “What the Goodwife Taught Her Daughter”: it is a poem that speaks for the special interests that have shaped its form and content. (shrink)
Being rude is often more gratifying and enjoyable than being polite. Likewise, rudeness can be a more accurate and powerful reflection of how I feel and think. This is especially true in a political environment that can make being polite seem foolish or naive. Civility and ordinary politeness are linked both to big values, such as respect and consideration, and to the fundamentally social nature of human beings. This book explores the powerful temptations to incivility and rudeness, but argues that (...) they should generally be resisted. Drawing on early Chinese philosophers who lived during great political turmoil but nonetheless sought to “mind their manners,” it articulates a way of thinking about politeness that is distinctively social. It takes as a given that we can feel profoundly alienated from others, and that other people can sometimes be truly terrible. Yet because we are social neglecting the social and political courtesies comes at great cost. The book considers not simply why civility and politeness are important, but how. It addresses how small insults can damage social relations, how separation of people into tribes undermines our better interests, and explores how bodily and facial expressions can influence how life with other people goes. It is especially geared toward anyone who feels the temptation of being rude and wishes it were easier to feel otherwise. It seeks to answer a question of great contemporary urgency: When so much of public and social life with others is painful and fractious, why should I be polite? (shrink)
Courtesy of its free energy formulation, the hierarchical predictive processing theory of the brain (PTB) is often claimed to be a grand unifying theory. To test this claim, we examine a central case: activity of mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic (DA) systems. After reviewing the three most prominent hypotheses of DA activity—the anhedonia, incentive salience, and reward prediction error hypotheses—we conclude that the evidence currently vindicates explanatory pluralism. This vindication implies that the grand unifying claims of advocates of PTB are unwarranted. More (...) generally, we suggest that the form of scientific progress in the cognitive sciences is unlikely to be a single overarching grand unifying theory. (shrink)
Chinese translation courtesy of Zhuanxu Xu. We want to know what gender is. But metaphysical approaches to this question solely have focused on the binary gender kinds men and women. By overlooking those who identify outside of the binary–the group I call ‘genderqueer’–we are left without tools for understanding these new and quickly growing gender identifications. This metaphysical gap in turn creates a conceptual lacuna that contributes to systematic misunderstanding of genderqueer persons. In this paper, I argue that to (...) better understand genderqueer identities, we must recognize a new type of gender kind: critical gender kinds, or kinds whose members collectively resist dominant gender ideology. After developing a model of critical gender kinds, I suggest that genderqueer is best modeled as a critical gender kind that stands in opposition to `the binary assumption', or the prevalent assumption that the only possible genders are the binary, discrete, exclusive, and exhaustive kinds men and women. (shrink)
In The Philosophy of Manners Peter Johnson makes a compelling case for manners as a subject for investigation by modern moral philosophy. He examines manners as 'little virtues', explaining their distinctive conceptual characteristics and charting their intricate detail and relationships with each other. In demonstrating why manners are important to our mutual expectations, Johnson reveals a terrain which modern moral philosophy has left largely unmapped. Through a critical examination of the ethics of John Rawls and Alasdair MacIntyre, Johnson shows how (...) the nature of manners constitutes a philosophical problem both for liberalism and its critics. Taking the recent revival of virtue ethics as its broad starting point, The Philosophy of Manners discusses the 'little virtues' as they are treated in the Aristotelian and Kantian traditions of writing on ethics. Original features of the book include discussions of nameless virtues, the logical intricacy of the 'little virtues' which compose manners, and the nature of their orchestration by the more substantial virtues and moral concerns. The aim throughout is to give manners a philosophically defensible place in the moral life - a place which neither inflates nor understates their importance. --an examination of why manners are essential to moral literacy and an ethical society --the first work of its kind - no other ethical investigation concentrates on manners --relevant to the recent revival of interest in virtue ethics and any course in contemporary ethics --will provoke argument and disagreement. (shrink)
This book focuses on the problem of religious diversity, civil dialogue, and religion education in public schools, exploring the ways in which atheists, secularists, fundamentalists, and mainstream religionists come together in the public sphere, examining how civil discourse about religion fit swithin the ideals of the American political and pedagogical systems and how religious studies education can help to foster civility and toleration.
By the courtesy of the editors I have been allowed to see Mr. A. Y. Campbell's “observations on two emendations of Ausonius suggested by me in C.Q. XXVII. 178 ff. Meanwhile I have learned from Mr. E. Harrison, of Trinity College, Cambridge, that, in the Cambridge Philological Society's Proceedings, 1924, p. 27, since Alcestis is meant, cp. Juv. 6, 652 spectant subeuntem fata mariti / Alcestim et, similis si permutatio detur, morte viri cupiant animam servare catellae, he had already (...) proposed to ‘read pro nece functa viri,’ thus anticipating my pro nece and Mr. Campbell's funere. As the Cambridge Phil. Soc. Proc. are inaccessible to me and are not to be discovered in theBodleian Library, I was ignorant of Mr. Harrison's proposal. I am glad that we concur. (shrink)
Daya Krishna(Photo courtesy of Jay Garfield)Govind Chandra Pande(Photo courtesy of his daughter amita sharma)Daya Krishna was the public face of Indian philosophy in the first half-century after Indian independence. Nobody on the Indian scene in that period came close to him in influence or in contribution to the profession. Nobody else in the world thought as hard or as fruitfully about the relation of Indian philosophy to that of the rest of the world, and nobody else dared to (...) think as creatively and even as heretically about the history of Indian philosophy itself. To be sure, the Indian philosophical scene during this period was always a vibrant and creative matrix of thought, and many contributed to that .. (shrink)
The concept of the imaginary is pervasive within contemporary thought, yet can be a baffling and often controversial term. In Imagination and the Imaginary , Kathleen Lennon explores the links between imagination - regarded as the faculty of creating images or forms - and the imaginary, which links such imagery with affect or emotion and captures the significance which the world carries for us. Beginning with an examination of contrasting theories of imagination proposed by Hume and Kant, Lennon argues that (...) the imaginary is not something in opposition to the real, but the very faculty through which the world is made real to us. She then turns to the vexed relationship between perception and imagination and, drawing on Kant, Merleau-Ponty and Sartre, explores some fundamental questions, such as whether there is a distinction between the perceived and the imagined; the relationship between imagination and creativity; and the role of the body in perception and imagination. Invoking also Spinoza and Coleridge, Lennon argues that, far from being a realm of illusion, the imaginary world is our most direct mode of perception. She then explores the role the imaginary plays in the formation of the self and the social world. A unique feature of the volume is that it compares and contrasts a philosophical tradition of thinking about the imagination - running from Kant and Hume to Strawson and John McDowell - with the work of phenomenological, psychoanalytic, poststructuralist and feminist thinkers such as Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, Lacan, Castoriadis, Irigaray, Gatens and Lloyd. This makes I magination and the Imaginary essential reading for students and scholars working in phenomenology, philosophy of perception, social theory, cultural studies and aesthetics. Cover Image: Bronze Bowl with Lace , Ursula Von Rydingsvard, 2014. Courtesy the artist, Galerie Lelong and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Photo Jonty Wilde. (shrink)
What possesses aesthetic value? According to a broad view, it can be found almost anywhere. According to a narrower view, it is found primarily in art and is applied to other items by courtesy of sharing some of the properties that make artworks aesthetically valuable. In this paper I will defend the broad view in answering the question: how should we characterize aesthetic value and other aesthetic concepts? I will also criticize some alternative answers.
The ontological status of theories themselves has recently re-emerged as a live topic in the philosophy of science. We consider whether a recent approach within the philosophy of art can shed some light on this issue. For many years philosophers of aesthetics have debated a paradox in the (meta)ontology of musical works (e.g. Levinson ). Taken individually, there are good reasons to accept each of the following three propositions: (i) musical works are created; (ii) musical works are abstract objects; (iii) (...) abstract objects cannot be created. However it seems clear that, if one wants to avoid inconsistency, one cannot commit to all three. Following up recent developments courtesy of Cameron ([2008a]), we consider how one might respond to the corresponding set of propositions in the (meta)ontology of scientific theories. (shrink)
Ockhamism implies that future contingents may be true, their historical contingency notwithstanding. It is thus opposed to both the Peircean view according to which all future contingents are false, and Supervaluationist Indeterminism according to which all future contingents are neither true nor false. The paper seeks to defend Ockhamism against two charges: the charge that it cannot meet the requirement that truths be grounded in reality, and the charge that it proves incompatible with objective indeterminism about the future. In each (...) case, the defence draws on the idea that certain truths are truths only courtesy of others and of what makes the latter true. After introduction of the Ockhamist view, its competitors and implications, a suitable definition of grounded truth is being devised that both is faithful to the spirit of the grounding-requirement and allows the Ockhamist to heed that requirement quite comfortably. Then two senses in which the future might be open are being introduced, indeterminacy as failure of predetermination by past and present facts, and indeterminacy as failure of entailment by past and present truths. It is argued that while openness in the former sense, but not in the latter sense, coheres with the Ockhamist view, it is only openness in the former sense that matters for objective indeterminism. (shrink)
In this paper I offer a novel analysis of Quine's indeterminacy puzzle and an unorthodox approach to its resolution. It is argued that the ultimate roots of indeterminacy lie not in behaviorism per se, but rather in Quine's commitment to a fundamental assumption about the nature of perceptual input, namely, the assumption that sensory information is strictly extensional. Calling this assumption the 'principle of input extensionalism' (PIE) I first demonstrate the fundamental role that it plays in generating Quine's argument for (...) the indeterminacy of translation. It is then argued that a tacit acceptance of PIE is prevalent among contemporary theories of cognition and representation, making Quine's puzzle a living challenge for cognitive science and the philosophy of mind. A standard way of responding to the challenge consists of the idea that the indeterminacy generated at the perceptual level is canceled out courtesy of the contribution of higher cognitive processes. However, I argue that such a top-down solution leaves much to be desired. As an alternative, I offer a bottom-up solution, which consists of a systematic rejection of PIE in favor of an intensional view of perceptual input rooted in contemporary action-based theories of perception, and in particular in the notion of perceptual invariants. (shrink)
In the debate on conscientious objection in healthcare, proponents of conscience rights often point to the imperative to protect the health professional’s moral integrity. Their opponents hold that the moral integrity argument alone can at most justify accommodation of conscientious objectors as a “moral courtesy”, as the argument is insufficient to establish a general moral right to accommodation, let alone a legal right. This text draws on political philosophy in order to argue for a legal right to accommodation. The (...) moral integrity arguments should be supplemented by the requirement to protect minority rights in liberal democracies. Citizens have a right to live in accordance with their fundamental moral convictions, and a right to equal access to employment. However, this right should not be unconditional, as that would unduly infringe on the rights of other citizens. The right must be limited to cases where the moral basis is more fundamental in a sense that all reasonable citizens in a liberal democracy should accept, such as the constitutive role of the inviolability of human life in liberal democracies. There should be a legal, yet circumscribed, right to accommodation for conscientious objectors refusing to provide healthcare services that they reasonably consider to involve the intentional killing of a human being. (shrink)
Recent studies such as Thelen and Smith, Kelso, Van Gelder, Beer, and others have presented a forceful case for a dynamical systems approach to understanding cognition and adaptive behavior. These studies call into question some foundational assumptions concerning the nature of cognitive scientific explanation and the role of notions such as internal representation and computation. These are exciting and important challenges. But they must be handled with care. It is all to easy in this debate to lose sight of the (...) explanatorily important issues and to talk at cross purposes, courtesy of the various ways in which different theorists often concieve key terms. (shrink)
Objective: Contemporary ethical accounts of the patient-provider relationship emphasise respect for patient autonomy and shared decision making. We sought to examine the relative influence of involvement in decisions, confidence and trust in providers, and treatment with respect and dignity on patients’ evaluations of their hospital care.Design: Cross-sectional survey.Setting: Fifty one hospitals in Massachusetts.Participants: Stratified random sample of adults discharged from a medical, surgical, or maternity hospitalisation between January and March, 1998. Twelve thousand six hundred and eighty survey recipients responded.Main outcome (...) measure: Respondent would definitely be willing to recommend the hospital to family and friends.Results: In a logistic regression analysis, treatment with respect and dignity 3.4, 99% confidence interval 2.8 to 4.2) and confidence and trust in providers were more strongly associated with willingness to recommend than having enough involvement in decisions . Courtesy and availability of staff , continuity and transition , attention to physical comfort , and coordination of care were also significantly associated with willingness to recommend.Conclusions: Confidence and trust in providers and treatment with respect and dignity are more closely associated with patients’ overall evaluations of their hospitals than adequate involvement in decisions. These findings challenge a narrow emphasis on patient autonomy and shared decision making, while arguing for increased attention to trust and respect in ethical models of health care. (shrink)
The professions have focused considerable attention on developing codes of conduct. Despite their efforts there is considerable controversy regarding the propriety of professional codes of ethics. Many provisions of professional codes seem to exacerbate disputes between the profession and the public rather than providing a framework that satisfies the public''s desire for moral behavior.After examining three professional codes, we divide the provisions of professional codes into those provisions which urge professionals to avoid moral hazard, maintain professional courtesy and serve (...) the public interest. We note that whereas provisions urging the avoidance of moral hazard are uncontroversial, the public is suspicious of provisions protecting professional courtesy. Public interest provisions are controversial when the public and the profession disagree as to what is in the public interest. Based on these observations, we conclude with recommendations regarding the content of professional codes. (shrink)
While human beings generally act prosocially towards one another — contra a Hobbesian “war of all against all” — this basic social courtesy tends not to be extended to our relations with the more-than-human world. Educational philosophy is largely grounded in a worldview that privileges human-centered conceptions of the self, valuing its own opinions with little regard for the ecological realities undergirding it. This hyper-separation from the ‘society of all beings’ is a foundational cause of our current ecological crises. (...) In this paper, we develop an ecosocial philosophy of education based on the idea of an ecological self. We aspire to consolidate voices from deep ecology and ecofeminism for conceptualizing education in terms of being responsible to and for, a complex web of interdependent relations among human and more-than-human beings. By analyzing the notion of opinions in light of Gilles Deleuze’s critique of the ‘dogmatic image of thought,’ we formulate three aspects of ESPE capable of supporting an ecological as opposed to an egoistic conception of the self: rather than dealing with fixed concepts, ESPE supports adaptable and flexible boundaries between the self and the world; rather than fixating on correct answers, ESPE focuses on real-life problems shifting our concern from the self to the world; and rather than supporting arrogance, EPSE cultivates an epistemic humility grounded in our ecological embeddedness in the world. These approaches seek to enable an education that cultivates a sense of self that is less caught up with arbitrary, egoistic opinions of the self and more attuned to the ecological realities constituting our collective life-worlds. (shrink)
For most death discharge patients, hospitals in Japan offer seeing-off services, a practice characteristic of Japanese culture. When a patient dies, nurses usually perform after-death procedures before transferring the body to the mortuary, where the nurses and doctors gather to provide the seeing-off service. This study was carried out to determine differences between the nurses’ and bereaved families’ opinions and thoughts regarding the seeing-off service. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 17 nurses and 6 bereaved families . The interviews assessed: the (...) reasons why nurses provided seeing-off services; thoughts during the seeing-off service; impressions of the mortuary rituals; and the necessity for the seeing-off service. The results indicated that nurses expressed their courtesy and sense of appreciation during the seeing-off service, which was recognised as an important nursing role. In contrast, bereaved families felt thankful but also doubtful, particularly as regards the mortuary rituals. In light of the differences in perspective between nurses and families, it may be that the level of satisfaction with the seeing-off service is largely affected by the relationship between the family and the medical professionals before the patient's death. Our study also notes that Japanese people respect the dead body and treat it with care, reflecting the unique culture and customs of Japan. (shrink)
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Confucians think ritual propriety is extremely important, but this commitment perplexes many Western readers. This essay outlines the early Confucian XúnzÇ’s defense of ritual, then offers a modified defense of ritual propriety as a real virtue, of value to human beings in all times and places, albeit one that is inescapably indexed to prevailing social norms in a non-objectionable way. The paper addresses five likely objections to this thesis, drawing on but going beyond recent Kantian defenses of courtesy and (...) civility. The objections concern cultural relativity, insincerity, separating style from substance, elitism, and possible incoherence in the virtue itself. (shrink)
This Special Issue of the International Journal of Philosophical Studies originates from ‘A Dangerous Liaison? The Analytic Engagement with Continental Philosophy’, a conference held at the University of York on 9th December 2011 courtesy of the support of The Mind Association, the Aristotelian Society, and the Humanities Research Centre. There were four invited speakers, each with a respondent, and two graduate speakers, with papers presented by four of the six article authors in this volume. The aim of the conference (...) was to promote cross-pollination between the two traditions of philosophy, with the emphasis on what analytic philosophers could gain from engaging with phenomenology and hermeneutics. The conference was bookended by two excellent broadcasts on the relationship under scrutiny: Stephen Mulhall, Béatrice Han-Pile, and Hans-Johann Glock were interviewed on BBC Radio 4 in a programme of In Our Time entitled ‘The Continental-Analytic Split’ on 10th November; and the Philosophy Bites podcast for 18th December was ‘Brian Leiter on The Analytic/Continental Distinction’. (shrink)
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continent. 1.2 (2011): 141-144. This January, while preparing a new course, Robert Seydel was struck and killed by an unexpected heart attack. He was a critically under-appreciated artist and one of the most beloved and admired professors at Hampshire College. At the time of his passing, Seydel was on the brink of a major artistic and career milestone. His Book of Ruth was being prepared for publication by Siglio Press. His publisher describes the book as: “an alchemical assemblage that composes (...) the life of his alter ego, Ruth Greisman— spinster, Sunday painter, and friend to Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp. Through collages, drawings, and journal entries from Ruth’s imagined life, Seydel invokes her interior world in novelistic rhythms.” This convergence of his professional triumph with the tragedy of his death makes now a particularly appropriate time to think about Robert Seydel and his work. This feature contains a selection of excerpts from Book of Ruth (courtesy of Siglio Press) alongside a pair of texts remembering him and giving critical and biographical insights into his art and his person. These texts, from a former student and a colleague respectively, were originally prepared for Seydel's memorial at Hampshire College and have since been revised for publication in continent. For more information on Book of Ruth, please visit the book's page at the Siglio Press website. —Ben Segal draughty R. * Lauren van Haaften-Schick 2011 “The most apt way to order Smithson's library is with the conjunction 'and'; science and religion; modernism and mass culture; what is present and what is missing.” —Alexander Alberro, 248 Robert Seydel's classes on collage and collecting immersed his students in a curious world of cabinets, oddities, exhaustive archives and obscure histories, explored always with critical rigor and a sincere eye for wonder. His office was a compendium of the ancient, mythic, potential and unworldy, where seemingly unrelated references were endlessly pulled, piled and fused in an ecstatic dance of hyper-annotation. The small room and all its contents overflowed with notes tucked in every margin and corner. Books coated the walls like a switchboard, anxious and humming, waiting for infinite links to be activated. William Blake's books of Job and Urizen summoned Greek mythology and the animal as metaphor, leading to 19th century cryptozoology and the cave paintings at Lascaux, Gaston Bachelard's description of the bird in his garden and Robert Rauschenberg's Canyon . Tracking archetypes and following tangential threads, new revelations and ancient narratives were compiled and ordered to form a new text, a bibliography as assemblage, portrait and poem. Robert's library—one of his many collections—is a portrait, an “artifact, collage of time, a token and remnant” (Seydel, 2007) He is humming with it still. The imagination of this room—of Robert—breathes through the pages of Book of Ruth, as every decision and detail unfolds to a cosmos. Allegory, invention, personal and art histories are entangled and leveled, rendering lived, perceived and absorbed experiences indistinguishable. Anonymous scraps discovered on the street or studio floor, careful clippings and drawn figures are chosen and animated through serendipitous destruction and whimsical, delicate positioning. A precise vocabulary of characters and terms erupts and collapses as personas and passers-by wave and whisper, “Every figure reveals aspects of the total form, which is open and green” (Seydel, 2007). The initials R.S. repeat, a nod to Robert's true family tree and further complicating identification. Robt, Robert's sometimes alter-ego, appears in myriad forms as a trickster “half-wit,” mercurial and skittish, or soft and worn thin. Saul is a solemn tinkerer, parsing the world and sometimes blind. Ruth, the speaker of the book, records and translates all, her voice wavering between poetic verse and a cryptic half-speech as complex as it is sparse. The rhythm of frayed edges sets time - the weight of the world and the lightness of paper. Robert wrote of his process, “Material is essential; scuffings carry history, which wanders throughout” (Seydel, 2007). Collectors, assemblers, sway between careful movements of selection and placement as they pull from the found world, mediating calculated and unconscious association to form a lexicon of gestures, symbols and allusion, the “artifacts of a life... the refuse and rejecta of days” (Seydel, 2007). These assembled fragments shift and chatter, at home in their homelessness, actors performing in their own lives, populating an invented world of similar orphans. Such accumulated, severed parts carry the injury of their cutting and retain the evidence of their source, binding loss to creation in a symbiosis of trauma and repair. Mourning and remembrance are deeply embedded in the histories and acts of such practices. Grievance, acceptance, and the fragility of life are conveyed in the 18th century allegorical arrangements of fetal specimens by Frederik Ruysch. A certain melancholy reverence colors Joseph Cornell's intimately tactile assemblages rendering the universe tangible in miniature, or made in devotion to unrequited loves. Preserved in stasis, these ghosts and idols are kept in a purgatory where fact and fiction, past and present are irrelevant distinctions. Catalogued and contained, the subject of loss is transferred to an artifact. Every thread, scrap and letter may be glued, gathered and placed in a museum, a tomb, a box, a page, ripe and open for possession. Holding on to grief and reveling in disrepair, we opt to be haunted. Forever unbalanced and in flux, the sublime of collage is its resolve to irresolution. For Robert, “Art, as creation and as sign of primary Imagination, is not objects but a state, a kind of fluid” (Seydel, 2007) Reflecting on his work, life, and death, I am drawn to my library and the myriad titles acquired through his inspiration. There is Daniel Spoerri's An Anecdoted Topography of Chance , Susan Stewart's On Longing , various Borges, Barthes, Perec, and especially Life: A User's Manual , which concludes that the perfect puzzle will have no solution. I think of the drawers of miscellaneous swallowed objects at the Mutter Museum, Ray Johnson coding the every day in riddles, Wallace Berman twisting tongues, and Susan Hiller laying every detail to bear. Collectors and makers working in endless cycles of observation, ingestion and display. Every gesture informs and is defined by others, every space is shaped by that which surrounds and fills it, the knot has an inner logic, the gigantic is not so different from the miniature, there is a world in every detail, and “All art is collage” (Seydel, 2011) These thoughts have molded my life, my art, and all the minutia that keep the two so profoundly intertwined; There is no difference between life and what we do with our time. “I write my life. I make me up.” What a gift to share this secret way of knowing the world, and to leave this knowledge for us to do with what we please. “Art begins in admiration” (Seydel, 2011) Lauren van Haaften-Schick is a curator, writer and artist based in New York. Upcoming curatorial projects include "Cancelled" at the Center for Book Arts, and "The Spirit of the Signal" at Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York. Recent activities include the workshops "Market, Alternative" and "Alternative Art Economies" at Trade School and Momenta Art, and the e-flux Time/Store, New York. She is the founding director of two arts spaces in Northampton, MA and Philadelphia, PA. She received a BA in Art History and Studio Art from Hampshire college in 2006. Sura Levine on Robert Seydel If early on in his time at Hampshire College I was officially his “mentor,” Robert Seydel quickly became one of my great teachers. Over the years we talked about everything, from art, music, collage, and poetry, to campus politics, this latter far too often. It was always a sublime pleasure, if all too rarely done, to enter his apartment to look at his work in progress, to peruse his bookshelves where, inevitably, there were always new treats to examine. And, while he was working on his Book of Ruth , I was given the opportunity over the course of many meals at the Korean and other restaurants, to talk with him about image and poem ordering. To see how he thought through each comma, each juxtaposition across the gutters of the Book, was to watch a brilliant curator at work. Each day, I walk past his wonderful collaged portrait of Ruth, purchased, after much haggling, as a birthday present, a couple of years ago. And each day, I think how lucky I am to have known Robert as he produced this magnum opus. One of my greatest pleasures in 24 years at the College was to teach “The Collector” with Robert. One of my greatest regrets is that the magic we created together in the classroom will not, and cannot, be duplicated. Its various incarnations, its utter intelligence and magic, were all so deeply Robert’s. His was a mind that put poetry, philosophy, history of science, and history together with art, and art together with music. His intellect and eye were unparalleled. He introduced us to so many artists. He shared his fascination with the cabinets of curiosity of Aldrovandi, of Seba, and Peter the Great’s collection of fetal anomalies, as well as the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles. Robert knew them all and so many more. He was a walking encyclopedia, his home a great archive. Arcane knowledge, perhaps, but oh so important for another of Robert’s heroes, the mid-20th century Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers, whose name he invariably mispronounced as “Broadthayers.” In speaking his name, Robert would always look in my direction in a panic, and then he go on and maul it. I absolutely loved his various mispronunciations of French names and terms! “The Collector” was always filled with talented young artists, art historians, philosophers and writers who all came to understand the wondrous obsessions of the figure of the collector. Students in this course created dazzling projects each term. He always moved while looking and speaking. He read deeply, and commented on everyone’s work with wonderful generosity. Robert always found something to praise even in the least developed of projects. Robert inspired and mentored all of his students into making work that far exceeded their expectations—and ours. For those of you who were lucky enough to have been touched by or to have had an evaluation written by Robert, savor it, keep it, reread it, and share it. He loved working with you all; it is somehow fitting that he died while prepping yet another new course. Robert, it’s almost impossible to speak of you in the past tense, even though you left us a month ago. No doubt, if you knew about our gatherings and celebrations of you, you would be embarrassed that we are making a fuss over you; you always placed the focus on others rather than on yourself. This trait is exactly why so many people miss you now. We’re here to love you publicly as we all did privately for the eleven years you were among us. Robert, my very dear friend, you were an extraordinary artist—you were my brother of choice. My heart broke when yours did. I miss you profoundly. —Sura Levine, February 26, 2011 Sura Levine is a professor of art history at Hampshire College. Her field of specialty is 19th century Belgian and French art, particularly realism and impressionism. Having worked in museums for a number of years both prior to coming to the College, and, as guest curator and co-author of exhibition catalogues, she became particularly interested in the history of museum and trends in collecting. It was because of their shared interests that she and Robert Seydel developed their course, The Collector, which they co-taught for many years. (shrink)
In spite of all the industrious efforts Peirce scholars have made so far, Peirce’s biography still retains a number of gaps, among which the problem of identity of Peirce’s second wife, Juliette Froissy, stands out most significantly. It is all the more important that, as some scholars suggest, the discovery of any reliable facts about Juliette could provide an explanation to some of the decisions Peirce had made, which irrevocably changed the course of his life, as well as his semiotic (...) theory. By courtesy of Professor Dr. Nathan Houser and the Peirce Edition Project, the writer of the present paper was granted access to the archive materials containing the Max H. Fisch — Maurice Auger correspondence and Victor Lenzen’s notes on Juliette. The paper aims at arranging the dispersed data obtained from these and other sources into a set of several distinct versions, which curiously refer to each other and collectively impose a certain order on some major abductions concerning Juliette’s identity. (shrink)
In this paper I undertake a historical investigation to show that one of the most important cognitive reasons of being afraid of the notion of freedom in the mainstream of Chinese society and Chinese people since the Qin and Han dynasties is: people mistakenly relate freedom with indulgence. The essential feature of the culture of courtesy and humanization is to attach importance to the function and value of social order. The need for order crushes the appeal to open-minded and (...) diverse lives. This 'closed view' of ideology still deeply constrains Chinese thinking today for politicians in particular. (shrink)
Katerina Kolozova is a Macedonian philosopher whose publications from last two decades aim to analyze various topics using François Laruelle’s “non-philosophy” or “non-standard philosophy.” Non-philosophy could be roughly described as radicalized deconstruction: Laruelle claims that not everything can be grasped by a philosophy: for Laruelle, “philosophy is too serious an affair to be left to the philosophers alone.”1 Non-philosophy opposes the “principle of sufficient philosophy” through which philosophy determines and decides what is real. According to Laruelle, the ultimate limit of (...) philosophical thought and its self-proclaimed sufficiency lies in its inherent tendency to close itself in a transcendental system of autofetishist conceptions, which presume that one can grasp the Real (“The Real is neither capable of being known or even ‘thought,’ but can be described in axioms. [...] Even ‘immanence’ only serves to name the Real which tolerates nothing but axiomatic descriptions or formulations.”) by a philosophical thought, or that the Real could be mediated only through human thought. Laruelle criticizes this tendency of philosophy, which is usually expressing itself through the structure of “philosophical Decision.” (“To philosophize is to decide Reality and the thoughts that result from this, i.e. to believe to be able to order them in the universal order of the Principle of Reason [Logos].”) Katerina Kolozova use Laruelle’s non-philosophy to explore more explicitly political topics. In the Cut Of Th e Real (2014), she criticized certain dogmatism of poststructuralist philosophy and feminist theory, namely their symptomatic rejection of the Real and the One. In Toward a Radical Metaphysics of Socialism (2015) and The Lived Revolution (2016) Kolozova presented a rereading of Marx, whose work she found relevant for the critique of speculative philosophical dimension of the capitalist economy, embodied in the 2008 global finance crisis, and in the latter book, she explored the possibility of a new political solidarity, based on “bodies in pain.” Kolozova doesn’t call to philosophically reconstruct Marx’s thought for the current situation, but she goes back to Marx with the help of Laruelle’s non-Marxism, contrary to the usual approach of Marxist philosophers, who often try to create certain philosophical system of Marx’s work. Together with Eileen A. Joy, Kolozova edited the anthology After the “Speculative Turn” (2016), which addressed recent realist and materialist tendencies in feminist philosophy. In her most recent book, Capitalism’s Holocaust of Animals (2019), Kolozova aimed to explore broader philosophical foundations of neoliberal capitalism, and its dealing with nonhuman animals and their suffering. According to Kolozova, “We have to start by coming to terms with what we did to the animals in the constitutive act of philosophy and via proxy to all those dehumanised that belong to the species of man ‘by courtesy’ only.” . (shrink)