Multifarious Philosophy

I found the cutting-edge of the creative advance of Whitehead studies.  It’s in the new anthology edited by Jeremy Fackenthal and Roland Faber, Theopoetic Folds: Philosophizing Multifariousness (Fordham, 2013).  It takes its cue from Whitehead’s philosophy, particularly on two points. First: Multiplicity. “Philosophy may not neglect the multifariousness of the world—the fairies dance, and Christ isContinue reading “Multifarious Philosophy”

Choreographic Objects

Synthesizing Whitehead and Deleuze, Erin Manning  (Always More than One) explicates William Forsythe’s notion of choreographic objects. First, it’s important to clarify that choreography isn’t just something that professional dancers do.  “Choreography happens everywhere, all the time.”  Our lives are immersed in “everyday choreographies.” (91) Choreographic objects can take their departure from any “everyday object: aContinue reading “Choreographic Objects”

How to Study a Philosopher

Some helpful advice from Bertrand Russell, The History of Western Philosophy (London: Routledge Classics, 2004). In studying a philosopher, the right attitude is neither reverence nor contempt, but first a kind of hypothetical sympathy, until it is possible to know what it feels like to believe in his theories, and only then a revival ofContinue reading “How to Study a Philosopher”

Cosmopolitics of Bodies: Participatory Ecologies

Still thinking of bodies, remembering Spinoza’s point that no one has yet determined what a body can do.  This is a crucial point for ontological accounts of bodies as well as for ethicopolitical interactions with bodies.  Don’t just create new determinations of what bodies are.  Create open situations for the activation of the virtual capacitiesContinue reading “Cosmopolitics of Bodies: Participatory Ecologies”

Catalogue of Bodies: Corpus-Oriented Ontology

In his Corpus (Fordham, 2008), Jean-Luc Nancy develops something like an object-oriented ontology.  Instead of an object or actor as the primary focus of his orientation, it is a body, a corpus, and instead of Latour litanies, he develops a catalogue. Hoc est enim: this world-here, stretched out here, with its chlorophyll, its solar galaxy,Continue reading “Catalogue of Bodies: Corpus-Oriented Ontology”

Interfaith Dialogue, 1240

Putting a book on trial?  That’s exactly what happened in the 13th-century trial in which King Louis IX of France decided to hold a trial prosecuting the Talmud, a central book for rabbinic Judaism.  Many documents from that trial have been translated and are available in a new book, The Trial of the Talmud: Paris,Continue reading “Interfaith Dialogue, 1240”

Socrates and Place

Socrates can’t learn from place.  He’s too anthropocentric.  I always think of Plato’s Phaedrus (230d), where Socrates says this: You see, I am fond of learning. Now the country places and the trees won’t teach me anything, and the people in the city do. He is fond of learning (philomathes), but country places (chorai) andContinue reading “Socrates and Place”

Place in Whitehead, Deleuze, Derrida

Whitehead, Deleuze, and Derrida each discuss place by engaging, among other things, the discourse on chora (“place”) in Plato’s Timaeus, where chora is described as a “third thing” that is neither sensible (matter) nor intelligible (form), but a generative relational matrix that organizes and disturbs form/matter interactions.  The recoveries of chora at work in theseContinue reading “Place in Whitehead, Deleuze, Derrida”

Atheism = philosophy of religion

One of Deleuze’s greatest (and most frequently cited) questions: “Why is philosophy so compromised with God?”   The question comes from a course on Spinoza in 1980. Throughout most of its history, philosophy has been so involved with discussions of God that the philosophy-theology boundary seems extremely vague.  Why do philosophers focus so extensively on GodContinue reading “Atheism = philosophy of religion”