In some new comments to one of my older posts, David Roden has started a very interesting conversation about iterability, materiality, and even Twin Earth! (He posits that iterability may need some kind of minimal memory device to operate as such, one which can support a causal or informational chain.)
I’ll be making this blog temporarily private sometime soon, giving in to the creeping inducement of paranoia among young philosophers come October. In the meantime, I offer the following snippet of Nishitani Keiji, reading Meister Eckhardt:
To say that God is what God is in himself precisely in that absolute nothingness in which God is not God himself means nothing other than to consider ecstasy as applying to the existence of God as well as of man.
Graham Harman posted this snippet from Meillassoux’s L’inexistence divine, regarding atheism:
“Atheism is a strategy of the besieged. One begins by admitting that the territory of immanence is just as religion describes it, then one declares that this territory is the only one that exists, and finally one invents every possible way of rendering it livable despite that fact.”
I have nothing to say about this, really, other than that I find it to be probably the single best metaphor for atheism that I’ve ever encountered.
Some great news (h/t to Harman): Bruno Latour will be giving the Gifford Lectures in Edinburgh sometime in the next couple of years. Not only is this quite a distinction for Latour (see the Giffords’ website for a list of the company he’ll be joining), but it will be very exciting to see the product – apparently it will relate to the book he’s completing right now. So many great publications have resulted from these lectures over the last 100+ years that I don’t even want to get start listing examples (without even looking at my bookshelf, 4 or 5 immediately come to mind).
A couple of years ago I read a book on the history of the Giffords, The Measure of God: Our Century-Long Struggle to Reconcile Science and Religion by Larry Witham. It’s fairly interesting, if not particularly fascinating, piece of intellectual history if I remember correctly. I’d recommend it to those who follow the religion/science “debate” (or who are generally fans of Gifford-related work, of course).
Being both someone who works with Derrida and regularly reads the blogs that I do, I picked a bad weekend to be out of town – or maybe a good one, depending on one’s reaction to all of this. (I can tell you that I was following along somewhat, and doing a lot of huffing and fidgeting.) Anyway, between my last short post and everything else that’s been said on and around Levi’s blog, I don’t think there’s anything for me to add (nor any real point in doing so). I will say, though, that I agree that “discussions” like this often get going more for tone-related reasons rather than substance-related reasons, and in my own experience the spark that lights the fuse is more often the dismissive-to-spiteful tone that detractors adopt toward Derrida than it is the hero worship on the other side. Of course, that’s not to say that reactionary defenses of Derrida can’t also get pretty spiteful…
But down at comment #86, which is where they are as of this moment, the spitefulness seems to be dying down, which is good.
UPDATE: This video pretty much sums it all up: if you think Derrida is an idiot who hates medium-sized objects, you need to correct your understanding before criticeezing him.