A curious parallel: Jesus, like Socrates, never writes. But, in both cases (if memory serves), there is a single exception to this rule: (i) Jesus writes in the dust in defence of a woman whom he refuses to condemn (the pericope de adultera at John 8.2-11); (ii) Socrates traces geometric figures in the dirt on behalf of… Continue reading Those who do not write
"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”
The new years walk, restoring Through a bright cloud of tears, the years, restoring With a new verse the ancient rhyme. Redeem The time. Redeem The unread vision in the higher dream ... - Thom Eliot, 1930 TSE in the Bahamas, 1964
David Lloyd Dusenbury, “Pierino Belli”, Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy, ed. Marco Sgarbi (Springer 2018, forthcoming). Several excerpts from my typescript are copied below: Pierino Belli was born in 1502 in the Piedmontese city of Alba. His family belonged to the city’s minor nobility, and Belli affixed the name of Alba to his own. In Latin, he is… Continue reading Laws of war and peace – “Pierino Belli,” Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy (Springer 2018)
"Julius Caesar is supposed to have said that he did not see how an augur or priest could look at another priest without both of them bursting into laughter. What a smart man this Caesar must have been! I happen to have a hard time understanding even how two men can look at each other… Continue reading Kierkegaard on the preposterousness of authors
A piece of mine went live this morning at American Affairs. "A borderless utopia is, paradoxically, a contradiction in terms. In order to be 'no place' (Ou-topos), Thomas More and Francis Bacon insist that you must first make a place."
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