Posts Tagged: philosophy
Poetry is defined by a failure to live up to the hype it generates, promising divine transcendence through a medium that is essentially human. This is the paradox Ben Lerner articulates in his dissertation on The Hatred of Poetry. At The New Republic, Ken Chen doesn’t buy it:
You get the sense Lerner’s intellectualized peevishness about poetry is simply an elaborate defense, one that distances an author from the shame, discomfort, and vulnerability that comes from experiencing one’s own emotions.
Understanding tennis as aesthetic phenomenon involves returning to that word Wallace insists on using in his discussion of Federer: beauty.
At Guernica, Greg Chase discusses the new collection of David Foster Wallace’s essays on tennis, String Theory, in which tennis is investigated as an art form in light of Kant’s aesthetic philosophy on words like “beauty” and “genius.”...more
Over at Lit Hub, Jennifer R. Bernstein confronts the disciplinary rift that has grown between psychology and literature to show how the two are linked, even nested inside one another in our studies of self and pain:
For these authors were writing literature of a kind; you could hear it in the music of their prose and their command of figurative language.
This past weekend, thousands of people convened to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. The Elizabethan bard’s formal innovations are widely revered as some of the most influential literary developments in history, so much so that we almost overlook what he was even writing about:
…for Shakespeare, life itself is a type of lie.
The urge to claim a space for the self collides and colludes with the urge to construct a self to fit the space.
Sallie Tisdale shares a beautiful essay from her newly released collected essays, Violation, in which she meditates in frenzy and anxiety over the question of the self: whether or not one can know themselves, if the self is only as others see it....more
It seems counterintuitive that technology could facilitate these kinds of humanistic affirmations. That the voices of the oppressed could find not just a home, but an incredibly powerful platform, online. Yet, here we are reaching out, speaking out, and asserting our humanity in ways that could imperil our very lives, offline.
Does perception provide us with an accurate picture of reality? To what extent is our environment a reflection of our psychological state? UCLA Philosophy Professor Josh Armstrong examines all sorts of thought-provoking questions in his critique of John Searle’s Seeing Things As They Are in the Los Angeles Review of Books....more
New Jersey is about to get Poststructural, thanks to Princeton’s recent acquisition of Jacques Derrida’s library. The collection contains nearly 14,000 books, many of which bear marginalia from the celebrated critic and philosopher. The collection will be available to scholars at Princeton’s Firestone Library....more
“Camus was the new kid on the block, confronted by the great metropolitan circle of critics and publishers and philosophers around Sartre – and yet he could score over the master with his ice-green eyes and don’t-give-a-damn charm....more
Science and philosophy are the academic parents of the social sciences, which is interesting considering the current obsession with happiness. There’s always an updated study on what (or what doesn’t) make human beings happy, from the psychological/sociological perspective, always backed up with empirical evidence....more
“I can’t help wondering if ugliness is not indispensable to philosophy. Sartre seems to be suggesting that thinking — serious, sustained questioning — arises out of, or perhaps with, a consciousness of one’s own ugliness.”
In a recent installment of the New York Time’s philosophy column The Stone, Andy Martin ponders the ugliness of Jean-Paul Sartre (and other philosophers) and Sartre’s tragic haircut that started it all....more
“All I really have to say about life is that for it to be regarded as valuable, it has to first be regarded as grievable. A life that is in some sense socially dead or already ‘lost’ cannot be grieved when it is actually destroyed....more