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Buzzwords » Top Reads of 2016: Richard Marshall (published 23/12/2016)

12 of what I’ve read this year: The Genesis of Neo-Kantianism, 1796-1880. Frederick Beiser. Beiser is an essential read and this is a great and readable book about an important sub-field of continental philosophy. It includes, for the Beckett fans amongst us, a chapter on Windelband, one of whose books Beckett read and from which […]

Interviews » Restless Hauntings: Richard Marshall Interviews Marina Warner (published 06/04/2009)

mw2By the time photography got into its stride it was accepted pretty much as a documentary index of reality. This was why it became very popular in spirit circles because it proved that spirits existed. Well now of course we know so much more about this very peculiar state of being which has been called ‘image flesh’ – a term of Maurice Merleau-Ponty that I like very much. It’s an expression I like because it implies flesh that is not flesh. He applied it to other forms of iconography, which are also image flesh. They might be more material than a photograph – a sculpture, a painting – but they share the relationship to the mind’s eye that photography does.

Richard Marshall talks Catholicism, zombies and Beckton Alps with Marina Warner.

Interviews » The End Times » Taking Stock of Fiction and the Issue of Feminism and Trans Women (published 19/10/2018)

I don’t have the definitive answer as to why so many academics I otherwise respect have decided that my articulating the thoughts just expressed are ‘hateful’ or ‘transphobic’; nor why many others, who have no skin in the game either way, seem so content to let them go unchallenged. I think partly it is to do with feminist philosophy being a small club, and with me being an outsider to that club; partly to do with people’s commendable intention to be ‘inclusive’ but without facing the hard questions about how to enact that intention in a complicated world with many extant patterns of oppression; partly to do, ironically, with certain gendered stereotypes  which tends to position me, as a female, as particularly unkind in saying what I say, without seeking more charitable motives.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Katherine Stock.

Essays » HowTheLightGetsIn Festival, London 2018 (published 14/10/2018)

I’m hoping that the organizers will continue to screen out the philosophical bull shitters and poseurs and be a bit more confident in screening out crowd-pulling best-seller acts who have neither a talent nor interest in philosophy. We need to fight for the integrity of the wissenschaftlich seriousness of philosophy and ensure that when we bring the academy out to the public we quality control it and make it simple enough without being simplistic.

Richard Marshall reflects on the HowTheLightGetsIn London festival.

3:AM Asia » Reviews » Stewart Home’s Bruceploitation Groove (published 13/10/2018)

If you look carefully there’s something about all of Home’s work that remains consistent. He’s interested in forms of cultural work that is marginal but marginal for a reason. It’s often a sleazy, porny, low-brow sentimentalism he develops and pivots off, one that appeals to clear-cut psychological gratifications rather than sly rational evidence for whatever. He doesn’t waste time on normative theory for consumption by bourgeoise academics and vanguardists of both left and right. He is trying to work out and understand the mechanisms by which Marxist psychology and epistemology works which entails in part understanding better the Marxist theory of ideology.

Richard Marshall reviews Stewart Home‘s new book on Bruceploitation.

Interviews » The End Times » Rousseau: Where Does Social Inequality Come From? (published )

Rousseau is certainly thinking of Augustine when he absolves God of the responsibility for evil, but he adds an important twist to his predecessor’s account of the same: for Rousseau evil does not enter the world through human sin but as a result of contingent events, including free human actions, whose evil consequences no one foresees or intends. By far the most important respect in which Rousseau is influenced on these matters by his predecessors lies in his appropriation of the connection drawn by Augustine between sin and pride and of Hobbes’s claim that glory is a major cause of the state of war that characterizes the state of nature.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Fred Neuhouser.

Interviews » The End Times » Hegelian Themes (published 06/10/2018)

Idealism in Kant, Fichte and Hegel is a claim about the capacity of pure (empirically unaided) reason to determine of all that is knowable that it is knowable, and how it is knowable. Human reason can thus be understood to be self-authorizing, a tribunal unto itself. In the Hegelian version, this determination of the knowable is a determination of all that there is in its knowability and so is a metaphysics.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Robert Pippin.

Interviews » The End Times » Zizek, Hegelian Theology after Lacan, and Philosophical Crisis (published 28/09/2018)

Dostoevsky–he was the first to write within the literary register that presented the truth of reality’s “crack” that underneath all the institutions (education, religion, the family etc.) what you really have is a social logic that undergirds and reproduces the powerful’s power. And all citizens are suppose to do is accept this logic (mostly unconsciously), but one devoted to truths in the end, just cannot accept this because they see social logic as a scam in which the powerful have become a transcendent master signifier, “God”. This is the meaning of Nietzsche’s pronouncement, “God is Dead… We have killed him” which was taken from Hegel actually.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Creston Davis.

Interviews » The End Times » Making a Difference (published 19/09/2018)

Hume’s answer to the problem of induction is: ‘custom or habit’. The mechanism is just a brute mechanism that works as follows: once you’ve got enough experience of events just like y (e.g. feeling satisfyingly full rather than dropping dead) following events just like x (eating toast), you start just brutely coming to expect y-type events when we experience x-type events. That’s it. Essentially it’s no different to what happens when your dog infers that a walk is imminent from the fact that you’ve just put your coat on, picked up its lead and said ‘Walkies!’. Your dog has come to expect a walk to follow because that’s what’s always happened in the past.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Helen Beebee.

Interviews » The End Times » Buddhism and Levinas (published 14/09/2018)

A chair, for example, is often regarded as “the same chair” whether it is painted one color or another, or a leg is replaced. Moreover, the concepts we employ are understood to circumscribe or capture that essence. But if all phenomena are always arising and passing away, dependent on causes and conditions, then—according to many Buddhist thinkers—they do not possess the nature or essence that we attribute to them with our words and concepts. They do not exist independently. According to our social/linguistic conventions, of course, things do have meanings that are stable. But upon analysis, many Buddhists argue, it is we who have superimposed these meanings on passing phenomena. Ultimately, these phenomena lack, or are empty of, the concepts that we superimpose upon them. Even this emptiness of the meaning that is superimposed, it is argued by some Buddhist philosophers, is itself dependent on the mental imputation of an essence, and is therefore also empty.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews William Endelglass.