We live tethered to machines that seem to realize ancient human fantasies, like Lucian of Samosata's moon-flight. Does this make it harder to live a human life? In other words, is technological civilization decadent? Tomorrow in Budapest, a new Danube Institute lecture on Jan Patočka's Heretical Essays.
Is this too much to hope for the EU? "European China, with a soft Buddhist-Christian belief, &, in practice, an Epicurean savoir-vivre." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Fragments posthumes 1887-88 (trans. Chantal Delsol)
Very pleased to be giving a lecture next week on Augustine, "the old prelate of Hippo", & my new book The Innocence of Pontius Pilate, at the Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary.
It's rarely noted that Platonists & Manichaeans shared a theory of the afterlife - reincarnation - that once seemed unnervingly close to Christianity. Why did early Christianity reject the idea of (human-to-inhuman) reincarnation? I'll be talking about one aspect of this today at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, 17.30 hours, Faculty of Humanities, Múzeum körút 4/B, room 217.
Very pleased to see a Latvian translation of my essay on machine intelligence & Mary Shelley's "modern Prometheus". (Thanks entirely to Zane Ozola.) Points touched on: Descartes' girl-machine (he's said to have built an android), La Mettrie's man-machine, Vico's cogito-joke, & vengeance (divine, & machine). Read here, in Telos magazine.
What is Europe? & what is the "old European principle of care for the soul"? - Very pleased to be giving a lecture this evening at the Danube Institute in Budapest, with a reply by Ferenc Hörcher, about Jan Patočka's Heretical Essays IV, "Europe & the European Heritage until the End of the 19th Century"
A pleasure to pass a couple of days with philosophical theologian Johannes Hoff in Haydn country (a wine village by the Neusiedler See) discussing his new opus, Verteidigung des Heiligen. Anthropologie der digitalen Transformation. Max Scheler is the man of the hour, says Hoff.
"Humans cannot live in the certitude of meaninglessness”, yet history "seems to exude meaninglessness". I'm giving my third Patočka lecture tonight in Budapest: on metaphysics & nihilism (& Marxism as crypto-nihilism), on human survival & the mystery of the world.
"Mr Dusenbury’s wide erudition that stretches from ancient history to the political philosophies of Hobbes and Rousseau masters the complexities of the story, while his elegant, lucid prose guides the general reader through them." — The Irish Catholic
Tomorrow in Budapest: Gilgamesh on death; Thales on gods; Richard Avenarius on "the human world-concept"; Martin Heidegger on "the deep phenomenon"; Miklós Szentkuthy on the sexlessness of mathematical physics; all to introduce Jan Patočka's dissident philosophy of history ---