Plato is mistaken on both sides of his distinction between Socrates and the Sophists. He imagines the Sophists to have a formless power that cannot be resisted. This exaltation of the power of persuasion needs to be seen as motivating excessive fears in various modern debates. Pragmatic approaches can lessen our fear.
From Hegel's philosophy of nature, this essay develops a critique of economic models and market society, based on Hegel's notion of what it takes for a formally described system to be embodied and real.
A discussion of whether Habermas as a representative modernist and Lyotard as a representative postmodern echo the ancient dispute between Plato and the Sophists. My conclusion is that they do not quite do so. Each is more complex and ancient dichotomy should be revised.
I am a philosopher with Parkinson’s Disease. Over the past several years I’ve been trying to write about my situation. I wrote about how I was forced to face the disease. I described how the disease twists and distorts my world. Then I asked myself, as a philosophy writer and teacher, whether I could say anything that might help myself or others facing life with Parkinson’s? I found ideas in the ancient Stoics and expanded them with ideas about time, coming (...) up with suggestions for living as excellently as possible despite the disease. Looking at those suggestions, I realized how the special awareness, resolve, and attention I was suggesting would be eaten away by dementia, and I know that a majority of Parkinson’s patients face dementia if they survive long enough. What can philosophy say to me or any person whose self and philosophy are being erased? Writing about such issues has helped me deal with my situation, and maybe my essay might be useful for others dealing with decline. (shrink)
A discussion of "postmodern" architecture in the sense in which the term was used in the late 1980s, namely, the introduction of historical substantive content and reference into architecture, disrupting the supposedly ahistorical purity of modernist architecture. Argues that postmodern use of history is really another version of the modern distance from history.
What can it mean to criticize when you are inside the work itself? In a immersive electronic or digital environment critic is not distanced on a platform based on firm principles. Yet criticism self-awareness and commentary remain possible. This essay examines various techniques for dealing with immersive environments critically.
A discussion of how diggers stance with regard to contemporary analytic and Continental philosophy, with special emphasis on Heidegger's later works. The essay argues that Heidegger has now become attacks that people can interpret in many ways, and so is entered into dialogues which go against his own self-image of what he was about.
The goal or criterion of "authenticity" for judging a change in art or ethics or culture is notoriously vague and can be dangerous. This essay proposes a version of authenticity based on a quasi-Hegelian version of the process of development rather than on any specific patrimony to be preserved. Oddly enough, the proposed criterion has many similarities with one proposed by a staunch anti-Hegelian, Gilles Deleuze.
What does it take to settle an argument or debate, for the classical Greek philosophers, and how does this compare with our modern ideas about resolving disputes? Plato and Aristotle are not quite what they been reputed to be.
The essay offers a thought experiment to try to clarify our distinction between our naïve ancestors and our sophisticated moderns. The effect of the thought experiment is to cast doubt upon the distinction and examine further our own myths about our ancestors. And to wonder at what it means to be truly modern.