Wednesday, August 23, 2017

How our attention is harvested

Lengthy article/review which goes into detail regarding the neuro-livestock addicted to their phones, mostly through a discussion of Facebook - although Twitter is as much to blame in that users are essentially performing free labor for the benefit of the platform they use.

YouTube is just as guilty of this as well. In my research in (possibly) starting a YouTube channel I discovered that its bad news for YouTube if those who create content actually end up with a profit. Unless views directly translates to traffic to one's own business then the only money to be made is through ads, most of which pay pennies on the dollar. Full-time YouTubers barely make anything, contrary to popular belief.

What this all boils down to is an attention-economy where content-creators are the cybercattle and the platform the slaughterhouse.

As Instagram is the new "thing," it appears that every few years the masses migrate from one platform to the next. Myspace to Facebook to Twitter to Instagram to... and so on. The whole "trending" thing and idea of mass viral influence disgusts me. I'd rather be a black sheep than some lab-rat addicted to my smartphone tapping and scrolling my life away.

Anyway, the review is quite long - but do read if you can find the time to do so.

Article HERE.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Ontologies of Nature: Continental Perspectives and Environmental Reorientations (new book)

New book discussing various ontologies of nature from a Continental environmental philosophical perspective, which is a new (and good, I think) trend in Continental scholarship.

This volume contains essays that offer both historical and contemporary views of nature, as seen through a hermeneutic, deconstructive, and phenomenological lens. It reaches back to Ancient Greek conceptions of physis in Homer and Empedocles, encompasses 13th century Zen master Dōgen, and extends to include 21st Century Continental Thought. By providing ontologies of nature from the perspective of the history of philosophy and of contemporary philosophy alike, the book shows that such perspectives need to be seen in dialogue with each other in order to offer a deeper and more comprehensive philosophy of nature. The value of the historical accounts discussed lies in discerning the conceptual problems that contribute to the dominant thinking underpinning our ecological predicament, as well as in providing helpful resources for thinking innovatively through current problems, thus recasting the past to allow for a future yet to be imagined. The book also discusses contemporary continental thinkers who are more critically aware of the dominant anthropocentric and instrumental view of nature, and who provide substantial guidance for a sensible, innovative “ontology of nature” suited for an ecology of the future. Overall, the ontologies of nature discerned in this volume are not merely of theoretical interest, but strategically serve to suspend anthropocentrism and spark ethical and political reorientation in the context of our current ecological predicament. - Editors: Kuperus, Gerard, Oele, Marjolein (Eds.)

Link HERE.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Spotlight on Carbondale: Illinois Town Sits at Solar Eclipse 'Crossroads'

My Ph.D. alma mater SIUC makes the news.
Spotlight on Carbondale: Illinois Town Sits at Solar Eclipse 'Crossroads'

By pure cosmic coincidence, the town of Carbondale has found itself at the center of eclipse mania.

SPEP 2017 full program

The 56th annual meeting of SPEP: Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, held at the University of Memphis, Oct. 19-21, 2017. Full program in .pdf format for download, HERE.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

quote of the day

"Logic is the backbone of philosophy. And nothing is quite clear logically unless it can be put mathematically. Ideally at least, a philosopher should be a mathematician and logician as well as metaphysician. Perhaps this could be said of Plato, certainly of Leibniz, Peirce, and Whitehead."

- Charles Hartshorne, Creative Synthesis & Philosophic Method

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mathematics is Metaphysics: Zalamea in translation:

A statement in favor of synthetic thought, Zalamea's metaphysics is one whose backbone is mathematics. I picked up his Synthetic Philosophy of Contemporary Mathematics and as a non-specialist in the philosophy of mathematics (yet still holding an interest) I must say it is a very good and very clear book. THIS article is its summarizing statement.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

North American Schelling Society website updated

It's abit clunky, although you can sign up to be emailed updates. Apparently they are launching a journal called Kabiri (I wish the journal had a much better name), which looks like will be an online open-access journal. On the website one can also find a fairly extensive bibliography of Schelling scholarship in English, but it looks like an embedded data-base of some sort and is very, very slow. Like I said, the website is clunky and s-l-o-w.

This year's NASS conference (the fifth annual meeting) will take place at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City from February 21-25. Its theme is "Schelling: Crisis and Critique."

Link to the updated website HERE.

Monday, August 14, 2017

International Society for Nietzsche Studies: Call for Papers

HERE. The Cfp is for presentation and discussion at its annual workshop to be held at Birkbeck – University of London (March 16–17, 2018). Papers are welcomed on any aspect of Nietzsche’s philosophical thought. Deadline is November 1st 2017.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

A gift

... from my wife for my birthday. Yamaha U3 52" upright piano. Incredible sound: bright and clear, with wonderful tone (string length is equal to a baby grand piano). What a surprise - I love it!
New book on facts and values featuring many contemporary pragmatist writers. See below:

Facts and Values. The Ethics and Metaphysics of Normativity . Edited by Giancarlo Marchetti , and Sarin Marchetti

Table of Contents

Behind and Beyond the Fact-Value Dichotomy. Giancarlo Marchetti and Sarin Marchetti

Part I: A Counter-History of the Dichotomy

1. The Fact/Value Dichotomy and the Future of Philosophy . Hilary Putnam

2. Pragmatic Constructivism: Values, Norms, and ObligationsRobert Schwartz

3. Contingency and Objectivity in Critical Social Theory: Horkheimer and Habermas . Maeve Cooke

4. From the Positivismusstreit to Putnam: Facts and Values in the Shadow of Dichotomy . John Mcguire

Part II: Varieties of Entanglement

5. Reflections Concerning Moral Objectivity . Ruth Anna Putnam

6. On MatteringNaomi Scheman

7. Change in View: Sensitivity to Facts and Prospective Rationality . Carla Bagnoli 

8. Normativity without Normative Facts? A Critique of Cognitivist Expressivism . Alex Miller 

9. The Evolutionary Debunker Meets Sentimental Realism . Mauro Rossi and Christine Tappolet 

10. How to Be a Relativist . Kenneth Taylor 

Part III: Some Applications

11. Science and the Value of Objectivity. David Macarthur 

12. The Environment and The Background of Human Life: Nature, Facts, and Values . Piergiorgio Donatelli 

13. Fact/Value Complexes in Law and Judicial Decision . Douglas Lind

About the Book
This collection offers a synoptic view of current philosophical debates concerning the relationship between facts and values, bringing together a wide spectrum of contributors committed to testing the validity of this dichotomy, exploring alternatives, and assessing their implications. The assumption that facts and values inhabit distinct, unbridgeable conceptual and experiential domains has long dominated scientific and philosophical discourse, but this separation has been seriously called into question from a number of corners. The original essays here collected offer a diversity of responses to fact-value dichotomy, including contributions from Hilary Putnam and Ruth Anna Putnam who are rightly credited with revitalizing philosophical interest in this alleged opposition. Both they, and many of our contributors, are in agreement that the relationship between epistemic developments and evaluative attitudes cannot be framed as a conflict between descriptive and normative understanding. Each chapter demonstrates how and why contrapositions between science and ethics, between facts and values, and between objective and subjective are false dichotomies. Values cannot simply be separated from reason. Facts and Values will therefore prove essential reading for analytic and continental philosophers alike, for theorists of ethics and meta-ethics, and for philosophers of economics and law.


"The concept of normativity spans a series of interrelated dichotomies that lie at the heart of philosophical inquiry: fact and value, is and ought, the objective and the subjective, causes and reasons, the natural world and human sensibilities. Much philosophical effort has been devoted to accentuating the gaps between the concepts juxtaposed by each of these pairs, and the fallacies involved in their conflation. This volume, however, seeks to bridge these gaps. The papers collected here—all written expressly for this volume—set out to show that normative discourse must be sensitive to the facts, and that reasoning about facts is inherently value-laden. They demonstrate that the descriptive and the normative meet in language, in expressions that are both descriptive and normative. And they highlight the objective aspects of moral reasoning, and the normative aspects of objectivity. These challenges to the traditional view are as relevant to social and political discourse as they are to philosophy" - Yemima Ben-Menahem, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

"This distinguished volume of essays draws creatively on several rich traditions in philosophy—including Wittgenstein, Murdoch, philosophy of law, critical social theory, and Deweyan and Peircean pragmatism—to bring together an important variety of new challenges to the supposed "fact/value gap" and its alleged consequences for philosophy. For all those who want think harder and deeper about "fact and value", it will be essential reading" - Sophie-Grace Chappell, Open University

"Marchetti and Marchetti have gathered here a comprehensive collection of positions critical of the coherence of the fact/value dichotomy; each coming at the problem from a different perspective; each offering a different (dis)solution. Their introductory overview of the origins of the dichotomy in the western philosophic tradition is valuable, tying together the various strands, from Hume through Russell, that have provided support for the distinction in its current emotivist and non-cognitivist forms. The collection is also noteworthy for its attention to the critical voices found in the American pragmatist tradition and taken up by a number of contemporary thinkers whose work is represented here, such as Hilary Putnam" - Sharyn Clough, Oregon State University

"Explicit interest in questions about the relation between facts and values has waxed and waned, inside and outside the academy, over the last several decades. But the questions themselves, which often turn up under different labels, remain immediately relevant both to our efforts to do justice to the world and to ethical challenges we confront within it. Marchetti and Marchetti have given us a collection that clearly brings out the importance of fact-value debates while also stressing the debates' multifaceted character. Taken together, these essays – from a group of distinguished thinkers – offer not only a helpful tour of the complexity of the issues but also a forceful impression of how and why they matter today" - Alice Crary, The New School

"That there is a clear and unequivocal distinction between facts and values is something all too often assumed and only very seldom actively interrogated. Facts and Values takes up this question from a range of philosophical perspectives (including but not restricted to the 'analytic') that nevertheless converge in their rejection of the idea that the distinction can be given any unqualified application. This has important consequences, allowing us to recognise, for instance, the interconnection between ethics and ontology, and forcing us also to acknowledge the way in which evaluative commitments are inextricably bound up with all of our engagements in the world. The volume provides both an excellent point of entry into the topic at the same time as it also sets out important new insights and approaches. It contains contributions from many key figures in the area, but is especially notable for including one of the last pieces of writing by a seminal thinker of the last fifty years, Hilary Putnam, who together with Ruth Anna Putnam, has been central in bringing philosophical attention back to this important question" - Jeff Malpas, Univerity of Tasmania

"Throughout the history of analytic philosophy, the fact-value distinction has been baked into nearly every research program within the tradition. Hilary Putnam has shown that we had better not just assume that the distinction -- or its sophisticated variants, e.g., the contrast between science and ethics -- can be sustained. If it cannot, there is a great deal of rethinking to be done, both across the many philosophical subspecializations and in the broader intellectual culture. This collection keeps this very important ball rolling, advancing an agenda with the potential to reshape philosophy." - Elijah Millgram, University of Utah