In their first year of law school, law students are usually introduced to the idea that the right to property is a bundle of sticks—not one unitary thing, but an assemblage of different things. How can this image alienate us from a naïve conception of property rights? Continue reading
Archive for September, 2009
Those things, the spider-wire caps you lower around your scalp, sold of old ten bucks a head at Sharper Image or Discovery Channel Store, now unbranded one euro down the street from me — are pleasurable. But even supposed hedonists I know would never draw the logical consequence and decide to spend as much as possible of every day with their noggin in its wiry grip. Why not?
I want to know, so if any of you have tried one and found it pleasurable, please introspect : tell me about the moment when you called it off. What was it? Did you have somewhere to be?
The philosopher puts all his eggs in every basket.
When you’re engaging “your” philosopher, doubt will not quicken your understanding. But you should doubt, because you will doubt; and when you do, the more you’ve given and hoped on this philosopher, the dizzier and sicker you’ll feel.
When doubts come, those who never practiced doubting will cling slavishly, stupidly. They’ll dispair, as though the failure of a philosopher were the failure of philosophy.
Your philosopher is a little raft. Surely the winds will push it away. Such a little raft, irretrievably into the yellow-green west. Therefore, learn to swim.
It’s worth remembering, for a moment, that phenomenology was research. Forget about the appellations “rigorous” and “scientific”–look for a moment at these titles: Logische Untersuchungen, Jahrbuch für Philosophie und Phänomenologische Forschung, etc. And–take this seriously, those of you reading Heidegger–what the hell is special about the “fore-structure” if you’re not doing research? Nobody but a researcher would care.
Since then, “continental” philosophy has lost the stance of the researcher. Even the best, Marion for example, are commentators, rhetoricians, and fashion police without considering their work an investigation of the matters themselves. We’ve forgotten how to ask questions that have answers.
Asking questions that have answers–that’s what Sein und Zeit did. A greedy book, solving problems almost gratuitously–poof, idealism, realism, mind/body, flash out. But all research on these proper-name difficulties had long ceased; they were problems without a future. These musty debates did not give Sein und Zeit its agenda; Heidegger “solved” them by moving in a completely new direction, after all, building a positive machinery of investigation, a “secure question- and answer-horizon, without which the source and possibilities of the ‘idea’ of Being in general could never be researched” (H 437). And with this machinery a new domain was opened for investigation.
To say it again–any philosopher who has ceased to research is without a future.
After yesterday’s decisive step, I can look with clear sight on my habits : I had saved 40 GB of music on my laptop, out of indigestion. In the last six months or so, I’ve not been listening much to music. All of it stinks of the past. Maybe I’m somehow too sensitive to music (after all when I see well-done hollywood films I tend to shiver and cry from excitement), but every time I listen again to some track without the same company present, I begin to shiver and feel much too intensely. And since I hadn’t bothered to find new music in quite some time, all my music thus afflicted me. And the music took up so much space that I couldn’t download anything new either. Yesterday’s step was the really obvious thing to do — to go through album by album and ask myself “Do you want to listen to this?” I had always answered “Uh… some other time,” but now finally dared to delete it.
Keeping music you don’t want to listen to — that’s exactly how we disavow the past. Listening to it confronts you with irreversible loss, but so does deleting it. So you preserve it in this gaseous, undecided possibility.
I wonder how much everybody I used to know is changing.
I’ll be posting on this blog a bit more often, if nobody minds. Though I’m very unsatisfied with the style of this post, hopefully I’ll work something out eventually.