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Interviews » The End Times » propositions, analysis and context (published 19/04/2015)


When one looks at the contextually sensitive expressions in natural language, those whose context independent meanings are sufficient by themselves to secure semantic values in context are very much in the minority. Kaplan called such expressions pure indexicals and ‘I’ and ‘yesterday’ may be the only ones (and I worry about ‘yesterday’). Even candidates like ‘here’, ‘now’, and ‘today’ don’t seem to be pure indexicals since e.g. the temporal extent of the semantic value of ‘now’ varies from context to context (‘Let’s leave the party now’ vs. ‘People now watch more content on their computers as opposed to their televisions than they used to’). Similar remarks apply to ‘here’ and ‘today’ (and perhaps ‘yesterday’).

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Jeffrey King.

Essays » Kamal Daoud: L’Étranger Nouveau (published 11/04/2015)


Algerian author Kamal Daoud seems ultra cool, like Camus and it’s not incongruous to push these two Algerian writers together. Daoud’s last novel explicitly talks to Camus. He’s writing about the choices facing us at this precarious time, and doing so from a perspective that isn’t Anglo/American or European. It’s a young modern Algerian existential perspective that’s angry, poised, clever, Muslim, playful, generous, anguished and cosmopolitan.

Richard Marshall raises his glass to Algerian author Kamal Daoud.

Interviews » The End Times » Philosophy of Markets (published 10/04/2015)

Adam Smith

Economic models make simplifying assumptions about human agency and about social interaction. If one only used these models to answer the questions they are supposed to answer, taking into account their methodological limitations, there wouldn’t be any problem. But often they are used to make much wider claims.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Lisa Herzog.

Interviews » The End Times » Philosophy from the Zettabyte (published 05/04/2015)


The philosophy of information is not a matter of developing a philosophy of the next gadget. It is about engaging with the deep transformations caused by ICTs in how we understand the world, hence in our epistemology and metaphysics; in how we make sense of it, hence in our semantics; in how we conceptualise ourselves, and what we think we can be or become, hence in our theories of education, identity, and our philosophical anthropology; in how we interact with each other, how we manage and shape collaborative and conflicting relations, and how we may construct the society we want, hence in our socio-economic and political thinking.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Luciano Floridi.

Fiction » Jeremy Clarkson v. JG Ballard’s Crash (published 02/04/2015)

The walls of his apartment near to the film studios were covered with photographs of Clare Balding, who was neither Irish or Mexican, nor did she have any known resentment of motor vehicles. In his vision of a car crash with the presenter, Clarkson was obsessed by the impact of their two cars meeting head-on in complex collisions endlessly repeated in slow-motion. (Sometimes even imagining her mounted upon a horse as she rode perpendicular to his accelerating Maserati, but mostly they were both seated in cars). He was measured as he verbally catalogued the resulting damage and explicitly detailed wounds. Noticing his heavy, denim-clad groin I was momentarily quieted by the distinct profile of his aroused manhood. In an effort to make the beast subside, I mentioned the Vauxhall Vectra.

Jeremy Clarkson and J. G. Ballard collide in Graham Bendel‘s cheeky mash-up.

Reviews » Alan Moore’s Nemo: River of Ghosts (published 01/04/2015)


The Nemo trilogy works like a fast meditation on Kubla Khan’s paradise, a classic hell of first ice and then fire. The infernal translation from the Antarctic’s ‘sunless sea’ turned to ‘ a hot and copper sky’ is caught in the arc of an Ancient Mariner’s tale, the sun a hellish moon like the alien eye of an alligator, ‘small and sunk’ which ends in the slithering horrors of ‘Christabel.’ What Nemo is charting is a journey where the awesome fountain of the centuries erupts and there’s a demon lover wailing something dreadful under a waning moonshine. She’s gone to a sacred universe where all the women are lunar women. It’s a reaffirmation of what happened a long time ago in a dreamtime.

Richard Marshall reviews Moore and O’Neill’s Nemo: River of Ghosts.

Interviews » The End Times » Hegel, Irigaray, Motherhood & Feminist Philosophy (published 22/03/2015)


I’m not convinced that we can decide to minimise the salience of reproduction and all the ramifications that it has. It seems to me that reproduction is going to have to be made sense of in some way in any society, and that there are certain limits on the ways that we can make sense of it. However, I don’t think that from this necessity of sexual difference it follows that men and women have to occupy different social roles or that those roles must be hierarchical. By and large, women can carry, bear, and breast-feed babies and men can’t, but it doesn’t follow that women rather than men have to be the principal child-carers in every family.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Alison Stone.

Reviews » Retracing the Expanded Field (published 14/03/2015)


This volume ‘… revisits a moment in which architecture functioned as a model for the visual arts not because of its monumental or institutional character but as a resource for a series of epistemological and compositional strategies tested in spatial and urban domains – and when the visual arts, in turn, proposed an alternative pattern for architecture that undermined the conventional iconicity and monumentality of buildings…’

Richard Marshall reviews Retracing the Expanded Field.

Interviews » The End Times » The Legacies of Idealism (published )


Schelling himself was a phenomenon. From an early age, he had learned that whenever he walked into a room, he was almost always the smartest and the most charming person there. That served him both well and badly. He entered the seminary at 15 and was Fichte’s successor in Jena at 23. As is well known, he, Hegel and Hölderlin roomed together for three years in Tübingen (the greatest college roommate lineup in history) and it’s a bit of an exaggeration but not over the top to say that together they hatched their plans for idealism while they were roommates.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Terry Pinkard.

Interviews » The End Times » Philosophical Frontiers of Ancient Science (published 06/03/2015)


It’s worth adding that the work of hiving off the soul from the body is never complete. Galen, for example, wrote a treatise in the second century CE in which he argues that all the faculties of the soul, including intellectual capacities, are dependent on the mixtures of the body. The debates we see now about whether mental illness should be treated entirely physiologically or through, say talk therapy is in this sense very old. Once the physical body comes on the scene, there’s pressure to carve out a space of the human that cannot be simply reduced to corporeal dynamics. Yet at the same time, protecting that space from what happens to the body is never easy, even for someone like Plato (who offers, for example, a pretty “medical” explanation of pathological sexual desire in the Timaeus.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Brooke Holmes.