I find myself hoping to make, "as Leszek Kolakowski put it so succinctly, the right mistakes at the right time". - S. Žižek, They Know Not What They Do: Enjoyment as a Political Factor (London, 2008), 193
"Perhaps [I am] too optimistic?" asks Julia Kristeva. "I would define myself rather as an energetic pessimist." Count me in.
I am looking forward to Carlo Ginzburg's reply to my new essay, “Data and Detection”, which is inspired by his 1979 essay, "Clues". Both are forthcoming in a 2019 collection, Slow Reading and the Shock of Recognition, ed. A. A. Robiglio (University of Cordoba Press).
Ever heard of Descartes' android daughter? This is from an essay I'm finishing up this week: "It is a defining mark of Descartes’ modernity that his texts are haunted by life-like machines. And not only his texts. Beginning in the late 18th century, sources claim that Descartes built a young-girl-like machine in a desperate bid… Continue reading Descartes’ android daughter
Richard Stalley reviews my book Platonic Legislations (2017) in The International Journal of the Platonic Tradition. "Dusenbury's ... suggestion that Plato engages in a critique of law undoubtedly offers a fresh and potentially illuminating approach to Plato's political and legal philosophy," Stalley writes, "and also raises some significant issues for the philosophy of law." He continues: "The… Continue reading Richard Stalley on Platonic Legislations (2017)
From an essay I'm writing: "As Giambattista Vico maliciously points out, a proto-cogito is stated to comic effect in a Roman play, Amphitryon, in which a less-than-clever character mutters to himself: 'Yet when I think, I am equally certain that I am the same' (Sed quom cogito, equidem certo idem sum). It is certainly tempting… Continue reading Did modern philosophy begin with an ancient joke?
"Isn’t it possible – or even, tautological – that many of us feel threatened by the idea of human-like machines precisely because they will be, in certain respects, like humans? Of course, this raises the question of what humans are like ..." In a new essay for The Philosophical Salon (Los Angeles Review of Books), Dusenbury asks… Continue reading “Trouble in Paradise” in the Los Angeles Review of Books
As part of a conference titled Marsilius of Padua between History, Philosophy and Politics, Dusenbury will give a short lecture on law, coercive power, and the importance of the Roman trial of Jesus in Marsilius of Padua's short text, Defensor minor (ca 1340). The conference will be held on 6-7 July 2018 at the Institute of… Continue reading History of ideas Leuven
In a new essay for the TLS, Dusenbury notes the meteoric rise of the term 'data' in the 1890s, & suggests that the figure of Sherlock Holmes can be read as a precursor to IBM's Watson. Read "Data! Data! Data!" online here. Sunil Amoli, "Sherlock Holmes", Watercolour on paper saatchiart.com
In the new issue of Phronesis, Alex Long takes note of Platonic Legislations (2017) — a book that moves, Long says, "at breakneck speed". Copied below: "In Platonic Legislations: An Essay on Legal Critique in Ancient Greece, Dusenbury considers the relationship between law and flux: as legislation is undertaken in a world of constant change, a lawgiver’s work… Continue reading Alex Long comments on Platonic Legislations (2017)