Modernity is the real antiquity

Francis Bacon reminds us that modernity is the real antiquity: "True", Bacon says, 'antiquity' is "ancient and older in relation to us, but with respect to the world itself, it was newer & younger. ... Our age is the older of the world, enriched & stocked with countless experiences & observations." - The New Organon,… Continue reading Modernity is the real antiquity

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“contra Academicos”

and only we against whom the Church Fathers would have written pamphlets contra academicos only we will meet with a terrible fate flames and lamentation for having received a baptism of earth we were too valiant in our uncertainty - Zbigniew Herbert, "Baptism", 1957 Z. Herbert, The Collected Poems: 1956-1998, ed. and tr. A. Valles… Continue reading “contra Academicos”

“Here I confirm my philosophical arrogance” – Žižek

My motto for the new year comes from Slavoj Žižek - yes, Žižek - in conversation with Alain Badiou: "I am prepared to advocate my views in a democratic way; but not, however, to allow others to decide democratically what my views are - here I confirm my philosophical arrogance." - Slavoj Žižek & Alain… Continue reading “Here I confirm my philosophical arrogance” – Žižek

“Postnatural Intelligence” in First Things

I have an essay, "Postnatural Intelligence," in the new issue of First Things (Feb. 2019) - on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818), the arc of modern philosophy, & the rise of 'intelligent' technologies. "The novel’s genius is that it shows how the 'modern Prometheus' and his critics can both be right. It may be within our… Continue reading “Postnatural Intelligence” in First Things

“Human perfection and technical perfection”

"Human perfection and technical perfection are incompatible. If we strive for one, we must sacrifice the other. ... Technical perfection strives toward the calculable, human perfection toward the incalculable. Perfect mechanisms ... evoke both a fear and a titanic pride which will be humbled not by insight but only by catastrophe." - Ernst Jünger, The… Continue reading “Human perfection and technical perfection”