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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 » Existentialists In Love (published 16/12/2017)

Lovers can be the best mirrors because they tend to know us more intimately than anyone else. This is a curse too, though, because the more we care about another person, the more we want to know what they think of us, the more power they have over us, the more dependent we are on their views of us, and the more we want to try to control that view. There are two main strategies we use to try to find out the other’s views – their secrets – about us: possession and being possessed. That’s the sadism and masochism. We try to force the other person to reveal what they think of us, or we try to be subservient, to assimilate into the other.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Skye C. Cleary.

Interviews » The End Times » Refer (published 09/12/2017)

I think it matters, and should matter, to a lot of Americans whether Trump is lying to us or whether he’s just full of shit. Likewise for the Brexiteers. Maybe it’ll only matter for the history books—well, at least until Trump finally gets around to banning those. Still, it matters. If we’re going to do better, we’ve got to start holding people to account, and hopefully in the right sorts of ways. My vague hope is that learning to attend to the various different ways in which our politicians lie to us, mislead us, and otherwise use language to manipulate us might one day help us to start making better, more informed decisions. I just don’t know how we can possibly hope to move forward in the complex, rather fucked-up world we live in if we’re basing our collective decisions not on good information, but on some bullshit that Trump decides to put in a tweet or that Boris Johnson decides sounds good on the side of a bus.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Eliot Michaelson.

Interviews » The End Times » End Times Philosophy Interviews: The First 302 (published 08/12/2017)

As we hit the 300 mark I thought it might be a good idea to organise them in one place for readers who might find it useful. So here is the whole series so far. The categories used are pretty rough and ready but should help orientate people.

The End Times Catalog – all 302 of the interviews in one place!

Interviews » The End Times » Logics: More Than One Way to Skin a Cat… (published 02/12/2017)

There is a logic that is nowadays called “classical logic”. It is based on a number of assumptions, including the assumption that a domain of individuals the language of classical logic is used to talk about is never empty, and that every sentence is either true or false but not neither true nor false nor both true and false in a given situation. Historically, this logic is rather young and goes back to work by George Boole and Gottlob Frege in the second half of the 19th century. The first textbook on classical first-order logic appeared in 1927. It may be debated whether the classicality of what is now called “classical logic” is a historical coincidence or whether classical logic is classical for some deeper reasons.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Heinrich Wansing.

Interviews » The End Times » Frege, Dummett, Vagueness, Liars and Julius Caesar (published 25/11/2017)

I think we need to learn to live with the Liar, the same way we have learned to live with the Gödel incompleteness theorems (to which it is closely related). The interesting question, which is the one I think should get more attention, is what the philosophical consequences of this orientation are. It implies quite directly that there can be no all-encompassing language: no single language in which everything that can be said at all can be said. And it isn’t just language. There will be a corresponding (but forever moving) limit to thought. Our conceptual resources, to borrow a term from Dummett, will necessarily be ‘indefinitely extensible’, without limit, as a matter of necessity. It seems to follow that there can be no single ‘theory of everything’.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Richard Heck.

Interviews » The End Times » The Critical Imagination (published 18/11/2017)

Most philosophers appeal to two conditions: originality and value. They think an imaginative story, for instance, is one that is good in an original way. I think this isn’t right. Leonardo da Vinci’s designs for flying machines were bad designs for flying machines, because the machines couldn’t have flown. But they were still imaginative. I’m also not persuaded that there is any interesting sense in which something imaginative must be original. It might be imaginative for a contemporary poet to use a medieval poetic form, even though she got the idea to use that form from the medieval poets she read.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews James Grant.

Buzzwords » Greetings From Prague and London Event: Equus Press / Minor Literature[s] / 3:AM (published 05/11/2017)

Join us for an exciting evening of readings by contemporary experimental authors from Equus Press, Minor Literature[s] & 3:AM Magazine on 11th November. CONFIRMED READERS: Louis Armand – author of eight novels and ten collections of poetry, most recently The Combinations (2016) and East Broadway Rundown (2015). Daniela Cascella – her work is focused on […]

Buzzwords » Oxford University Press Philosophy Festival (published )

Blackwell’s Bookshop is delighted to host our annual Oxford University Press Philosophy Festival, which will be running from Thursday 16th November until Sunday 19th November. This year the festival includes a range of free events, featuring an evening to celebrate the publication of Clare Chambers latest publication ‘Against Marriage’, the insightful Very Short Introduction Speed-dating […]