Outside of Time in Time

There is a radical temporality of things, such that any present thing harbors an uncanny past that is always already past, never present or presentable.  This past that was never present is, for Maurice Blanchot, an “outside of time in time.”  It is inescapably ungraspable.  The infinite obscurity of this radical temporality is what makes creativityContinue reading “Outside of Time in Time”

Debating Religion and Science with a Post-Secular Prophet

A Time article from a few years ago presents highlights from a debate between two scientists of evolution and genetics, Richard Dawkins and Francis Collins.  The topic: the tension between religion and science (as the article puts it, “God vs. Science”).  I work with a lot of people doing religious studies and theology, and IContinue reading “Debating Religion and Science with a Post-Secular Prophet”

Alien Phenomenology: Of, By, and For Things

I am anxiously awaiting the publication of Ian Bogost’s Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be a Thing.  Alien phenomenology is a great phrase.  It is important to distinguish Bogost’s alien phenomenology from that developed by Bernhard Waldenfels.  Reminiscent of Husserl, Schutz, Merleau-Ponty, and Levinas, Waldenfels’ Phenomenology of the Alien explores the place ofContinue reading “Alien Phenomenology: Of, By, and For Things”

Notes Toward Object-Oriented Linguistics

Words have conventional meanings, but do they also have their own meanings, apart from the meanings that humans assign to them?  For an object-oriented linguistics, a word is its own thing, distinct from any references or any speaker or listener that encounters it.  This would suggest that a word has its own meaning, its own styleContinue reading “Notes Toward Object-Oriented Linguistics”

Environmental Philosophy is Activism

“All environmentalists should be activists, but activism can take a variety of forms.  The way that environmental philosophers can be the most effective environmental activists is by doing environmental philosophy.  Of course, not everyone can be or wants or needs to be an environmental philosopher.  Those who are not can undertake direct environmental action inContinue reading “Environmental Philosophy is Activism”

Be afriad: an uncanny thing, a good deed, a joyful leap into the abyss

A massive and sudden emergence of uncanniness, which, familiar as it might have been in an opaque and forgotten life, now harries me as radically separate, loathsome.  Not me.  Not that.  But not nothing, either.  A “something” that I do not recognize as a thing.  A weight of meaninglessness, about which there is nothing insignificant,Continue reading “Be afriad: an uncanny thing, a good deed, a joyful leap into the abyss”

Overstatement in Philosophy: A Joke

Whitehead observes that “the chief error in philosophy is overstatement” (Whitehead, Process and Reality, p. 7).  That sounds true to me, and, like a lot of philosophical statements, it also sounds like a joke. It’s not that some kinds of overstatement in philosophy can be erroneous to some extent.  Overstatement is erroneous, period.  And itContinue reading “Overstatement in Philosophy: A Joke”