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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 » Nietzsche and Friendship (published 27/05/2017)

Perspectivism consists in part in the view that there is no privileged representation of the world, no theory that can explain once and for all every worldly phenomenon. Many of its critics infer from this that perspectivism reduces to a relativism according to which every view is as true as any other. There are several answers to this charge. But the connection with the arts provides one of the strongest. For, although it makes no sense to think of “the greatest” artist or “the greatest” work, we are still perfectly capable of distinguishing between the quality of different artists and different works. Why, then, should that be impossible in the rest of life as well?

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Alexander Nehamas.

Interviews » The End Times » Disagreement (published 21/05/2017)

We take this pattern of judgments to be evidence that the ordinary notion of disagreement allows for two people to disagree by making non-incompatible moral claims (i.e., two claims such that it is not the case that one must be false). If that is right, then, not only is the disagreement argument against contextualism undermined, but the correct theory may in fact be a contextualist theory, since that kind of theory does allow for the possibility of disagreements that do not involve making incompatible claims.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Justin Khoo.

Reviews » Femicide Machine and The Iguana 43 (published 14/05/2017)

‘Borderization’, a Mexico where, ‘ … everything is becoming a border, a twilight zone in which anything can happen. A border that, in spite of the best efforts of civil society and institutions to find a dignified and viable means of coexistence, spreads like a scourge of crime, impunity, the loss of respect for life, the disappearance of persons as an industry of extermination… Empires – like nation-states – become decadent when they become unable to guarantee the integrity of their sovereignty and their territory. In recent years – due to ancestral inequality, the disaster of the globalised economy, the fall of the authoritarian presidency, the slow institution of a new political system of the drug trafficking boom, police and judicial corruption and the migration of workers – Mexico’s borders have suffered from a series of perverse effects that tie together a multi-faceted erosion of everything from the national contract to public security.’

Richard Marshall on Sergio González Rodríguez‘s The Iguala 43 and The Femicide Machine.

Interviews » The End Times » Jerk and Whoosh Time (published 13/05/2017)

Of course, Cockburn – unlike More or Alexander – was a woman, and it’s likely that sexism has played some part in the neglect of her work. She was writing at a time when men worried that reading made women ‘troublesome or ridiculous’, and debated whether women’s inferiority was due to their feeble bodies or their soggy brain fibres. (Less than eighty years ago, C. D. Broad concludes a book review by writing that its author, Susan Stebbing, must be enjoying something of the exhilaration of a ‘good housewife’ who has completed her spring-cleaning.)

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Emily Thomas.

Interviews » The End Times » The Noumenaut: Psychedelics and Philosophy (published 07/05/2017)

If one accepts A. N. Whitehead’s proverb that the European philosophical tradition consists of a series of footnotes to Plato, then a case can be made for the significance of psychedelics to philosophy as we have it. The self-proclaimed ‘chemical philosopher’ Humphry Davy wrote in 1800 a treatise on the philosophical ramifications of nitrous oxide intake, siding with the idealists – and thereafter we can follow a line of philosophers who were indebted to psychoactive intake. Figures include Nietzsche, James, Benjamin, Jünger, Paz, Sartre, Foucault, and Nick Land amongst others. William James, incidentally, wrote that Hegel’s philosophy only became clear to him under the influence of nitrous oxide.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall and Lindsay Jordan interview Peter Sjöstedt-H.

Interviews » The End Times » Jazz: Reading Descartes Otherwise (published )

Descartes being different from “Descartes” (for instance, as “Descartes, the father of modern philosophy” has largely been a history of repeating, debating or detesting, even summarily rejecting Descartes who is, in fact, in my view, a free thinker, restless traveler, letter-writer lucky enough not to have to make money, yeah, true, but anxious enough to rely on the feedback from prudent and loyal friends…

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Kyoo Lee.

Interviews » The End Times » Recalibrating Pragmaticism (published 29/04/2017)

A true belief is the best belief we human beings could come to—a belief that would really account for the reasons and evidence were we to inquire as far as we fruitfully could. Here it is with the Ramseyan inflection: A belief is a habit with which we meet the world and true beliefs are the best habits we could have.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Cheryl Misak.

Interviews » The End Times » All You Wanted to Know About Plato on Meno’s Paradox, and Other Gems (published 17/04/2017)

The reason we can’t attain the highest level of knowledge while incarnate is that we can’t then wholly escape the influence of the body (and so of perception and of certain desires that take us away from thinking properly); and that prevents us from understanding fully what forms are, which one must do in order to have the highest level of knowledge, which in the Phaedo he calls phronesis (wisdom). However, we can train ourselves, while incarnate, to distance ourselves from the body enough to be able to acquire some knowledge.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Gail Judith Fine.