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”

Truth and Philosophy on the Way

Not just Hannah Arendt’s teacher, Karl Jaspers is a great philosopher in his own right.  His work has been influential for many developments in twentieth-century philosophy, theology, and psychiatry.  Here are two quotations in which he provides basic (yet profound) definitions of truth and philosophy. “Within time, truth is forever underway, always in motion andContinue reading “Truth and Philosophy on the Way”

Monads: windowless glass houses

Graham Harman has a nice post up “On the Laziness of Comparing Object-Oriented Philosophy with Leibniz.”  One of the points he brings up is that, even though he and Leibniz affirm windowless monads, monads are still determined by their relations in Leibniz , but their reality is non-relational in object-oriented philosophy.  Although I tend to follow Whitehead andContinue reading “Monads: windowless glass houses”

Schelling on the object of philosophy

This is a wonderful quotation from Schelling’s 1842 Philosophy of Mythology.  Here’s the German: Bei jeder Erklärung ist das Erste, daß sie dem zu Erklärende Gerechtigkeit widersahren lasse, es nicht herabdrücke, herabdeute, ver kleinere oder verstümmle, damit es leichter zu begreifen sey.  Hier fragt sich nicht, welche Ansicht muß von der Erscheinung gewonnen werden, damitContinue reading “Schelling on the object of philosophy”

To the Poems Themselves

 I am always dissatisfied with definitions of poetry that focus on how poetry expresses connections between humans and the world (and maybe God, too). I have metaphysical objections to those kind of definitions, but aside from that, I just don’t enjoy the kind of analyses that follow from them. If you define poetry in termsContinue reading “To the Poems Themselves”

A New Philosophy for the 21st Century

What is becoming of philosophy in the 21st century?  There’s a great piece on that topic that just came out in the Chronicle of Higher Education Review. It is written by Robert Frodeman and Adam Briggle, who both teach at my alma mater, the Philosophy and Religion Studies department at the University of North Texas.Continue reading “A New Philosophy for the 21st Century”

Integral Dabbling

The word “integral” connotes wholeness or completeness, like an integer.  What interests me is that, etymologically, integral also means un-touched.  The prefix “in” has a negative force (like “un-“ or “non-“), and “teg” comes from the Latin tangere (“to touch”). An integral philosophy would be a philosophy of untouched unity or untouched units.  How, then,Continue reading “Integral Dabbling”