Month: October 2012

Speculative Metaphysics MUN Series to Begin this Tuesday

Memorial Philosophy is hosting a series of talks (about nine this year) on metaphysics in memory of our former, long-term chair Jim Bradley. As we get final okays, I’ll announce the coming talks. Should be a great year–lot’s of great scholars coming to MUN, to be capped by Stuart Elden’s (perhaps not-as-speculative-metaphysical) George Storey Lectures in late March. The first talk is informal, with long-time MUN professor Peter Harris kicking off the series. Here is the announcement:

Tuesday, October 30th marks the inaugural of The Bradley Memorial Lecture in Speculative Philosophy:
The Bradley Memorial Lecture in Speculative Metaphysics
Time: 5 p.m.-7 p.m.
Location: Junior Common Room, R. Gushue Hall
Description: Inaugural lecture by Dr. Peter Harris. This lecture series will explore and develop those philosophical questions and theories that the late Professor James Bradley described as “speculative.” Given his belief that metaphysical concerns hold implications not only for academic philosophy  but for questions of western politics and culture generally, these lectures are open to all. Please join us in remembering Professor Bradley and continuing the conversation that was so central to his life.


Bill Martin Session at SPEP

I was a late add after someone dropped out, but I’m doing (hurricane willing) a longish talk on Bill Martin’s work at SPEP Thursday afternoon. I’ll be talking about the links between his thinking of the future (what he time and again dubs the “call of the future”) and his animal ethics. It’s on the update program–should be fun. But alas, last year’s session on Bill was cancelled due to his bike accident, and hopefully this year it goes on despite the weather coming on the East Coast.

Book Event Today

(Note well: Here is a form for a discount on my book for those who can’t wait for the paperback…35% off)
Just a quick reminder that we are all set for today’s special Book Launch gathering at the Peter Easton Pub. 5-7PM. 
We are planning on ordering some Pizzas for the event, so, should be lots of fun….
Please join us as we celebrate the launch of three new books from our department:

The State of Sovereignty: Lessons from the Political Fictions of Modernity
The Dark Ground of Spirit: Schelling and the Unconscious
Reference and Structure in the Philosophy of Language: A Defense of Russellian Orthodoxy

Book Launch Friday

Instead of the usual Jockey Club discussion, we’ll have a triple book launch for the department. Here is the info:

This coming Friday, instead of a regular Jockey Club session, we will hold a Philosophy Department Book Launch. Please join us as we celebrate the launch of three new books from our department:

The State of Sovereignty: Lessons from the Political Fictions of Modernity
The Dark Ground of Spirit: Schelling and the Unconscious
Reference and Structure in the Philosophy of Language: A Defense of Russellian Orthodoxy
Each author will most likely say a few words (approx 10 minutes) about the text; either a summary or perhaps reading certain selections, etc. This is not a ‘formal’ event and, for the most part, will run just like a regular JC meeting. 5:00 – 7:00 PM at the Peter Easton Pub.

CFP: Philosophy and the West: On the Future of Universality

Looks like a neat set of questions to be asked at this conference:

Philosophy and the West: On the Future of Universality

12th Annual Philosophy Graduate Conference

The New School for Social Research

February 28th – March 1st 2013

Keynote Speakers: Talal Asad (CUNY) and Susan Buck-Morss (CUNY)   

The philosophical tradition has generally taken itself to be a project that is both universal in scope and uniquely Western in nature. The tension between the universal aims of rationality and the historical situatedness of the philosophical tradition has been exacerbated by the increasing dominance of Western society: on the one hand, the proliferation of socio-cultural forms such as the modern state, the capitalist market and European university have seemed to make the universal pretensions of Western philosophy a reality; on the other hand, the negative consequences of this proliferation have led to an increasing suspicion of traditional philosophical commitments to ideas such as reason, humanity and the subject. In the wake of this suspicion, adherence to these commitments has been characterized as a disguised intellectual imperialism. More recently, many political thinkers have critiqued this reaction as a renunciation of the potential for universal emancipation offered by Western rationality.


These questions indicate the pressing need to re-evaluate the possible role of philosophy in our current historical context. Given the seeming realization of Western rationality’s global vision and its attendant victories and disappointments, what are we, as philosophers, to do?


This conference will attempt to approach this question from a variety of angles by welcoming all papers that broach these questions from an intellectual, political or historical perspective. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:


Philosophy and (Universal) History                  The Question of Humanism

Globalization and/or Cosmopolitanism           Colonial and Post-Colonial Thought

Enlightenment, Auklärung, Lumières                  The current function of identity politics

Christianity and its Universal Promise              The Greeks and the Western Tradition

Philosophy and War/Imperialism                    Analyses of Modernity and/or Civilization

Philosophy, the West and Islam                       Secularization and Laïcisation

Crises of the European/Modern Tradition      Universal Human Rights and Emancipation

De-Colonializing Critical Theory                     Philosophy and ‘America’

Feminism outside the Occident                       European Science, Technology and Reason

(Possible) Dialogues between Eastern and Western Philosophy

Subjectivity and the Soul as features of the Western Tradition

Papers should range from 3,000 to 4,500 words and should be sent to:

Please make sure all submissions are sent in blind-review format.

Please include your name, institution and the title of your paper in the body of your e-mail.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, November 16th 2012.

Notification will occur during the second week of January 2013.

For further information please check our conference website:

Busy Week at Memorial

I had a great time at the CSCP, catching up with Joseph Carew, Iain MacDonald, Phil Buckley, and many others. My thanks for Devin Shaw for putting me up.

But with that done, it’s a busy week here.

On Thursday, I’ll be lecturing on Bill Martin’s Ethical Marxism (4-6:00 pm in Science 4087). It’s for the humanities group, but all are welcome.

On Friday, I’ll be leading the discussion at Jockey. Here’s the announcement:

For this coming Friday, October 19, Dr. Peter Gratton has chosen for us to look at a section of Plotinus’ Enneads; Fifth Ennead, Third Tractate (Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page. London, P.L. Warner, publisher to the Medici Society 1917-1930)

A ‘word doc’ version of the selection has been uploaded to my server and is available for download here:

Plus we have external reviewers for the Ph.D. program to “host” and have fun with Thursday to Saturday. And how did I manage to get four different committee meetings on Thursday alone?