Month: January 2014

Kristeva on the European culture of freedom (in German)

This Euro-philia has been at the heart of her work since her disavowal of Maoism in the 70s. Nevertheless, whether or not the world “needs” Europe, this is a good interview with her on her geopolitical thought.

Europa: Julia Kristeva über die Kultur der Diversität | ZEIT ONLINE.

Inaugural Graduate Conference at Memorial (some travel funds available)

Inaugural Memorial University Graduate Conference in Philosophy:

Nature, Freedom, and Reason

June 5th-7th, 2013

Keynote Speaker:

Iain Hamilton Grant, University of the West of England

The graduate students and faculty of Memorial University’s Department of Philosophy are pleased to announce the Inaugural Graduate Conference in Philosophy and invite graduate submissions that relate broadly to the conference theme.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The revival of German Idealism in the works of Markus Gabriel, Iain Hamilton Grant, and Slavoj Žižek; German Idealism and the Pittsburgh School (Sellars, Brandom, McDowell); the “space of reasons.”
  • Contemporary rationalist philosophy; Alain Badiou and Quentin Meillassoux.
  • Rationalism, Ancient/Medieval Metaphysics, and their relevance today.
  • Metaphysics, Ecology, Philosophy of Life and the Philosophy of Nature.
  • Philosophies of Subjectivity and Freedom.
  • Original contributions related to the conference theme are also encouraged.

Submissions: Please prepare abstracts for blind review and send to byFebruary 28th, 2014. Abstracts should not exceed 500 words. Cover sheet must include the author’s name, essay title, email address, and institutional affiliation. Limited funding available for travel assistance.  

Selected papers will be considered for publication in Analecta Hermeneutica (

This event is organized by the Doctoral Students of MUN’s Department of Philosophy:

Michael Austin, Vahid JD, Michelle Mahoney, and Gil Shalev.

More on the “Crisis in the Humanities”

Via Brian Leiter:

I suspect we’re probably better if we don’t buy into the narrative of collapse at all. More people are majoring in humanities fields. More books are being published in them. Whatever problems we have, they’re not really about quantity. A fixation on corporatist measures of market share as representing the success of these fields is completely contrary to their aspirations. New enrollments in graduate programs are almost certainly not materially helping the field, but we too often act as if they are.


It’s a non-story to say that the humanities are a minor but important part of the economy of the changing university. Everyone loves a narrative. But when someone tells you the humanities are collapsing, it’s worth remembering that even the universities, to say nothing of the country as a whole, have never been the bastions of humanistic learning we want to remember.

Recall that a few days ago Leiter linked to this report, by the chair of Duke’s philosophy department, which takes its premise the crisis in the humanities, which he says is in part led by upper level courses that don’t speak to people’s experiences. In fact, I think the shake-up of the canon has led, in a diverse society, to a greater ability of speaking to students’ lived experience–and moreover, to talk about what is beyond that lived experience as well.

A Crisis in the Humanities? – The Edge of the American West – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

On the Problems of the Humanities

Like claims for the need for budget cuts based on the bug bear of deficits, similar claims about the problems of the humanities have a political bent, not a demographic one. Case in point: this argument that the problem with the humanities is its lack of canon, along with the insight that analytic philosophy can teach white dudes and have diversity (we teach Ruth Marcus!). This is what is said to have led to the decline in the humanities, though one wonders if the author is aware of what happens in most places in the humanities, where indeed (perhaps not at Duke) senior faculty often teach lower level courses and, heaven forfend, writing. All this to the non sequitur that the humanities are in decline. Except they are not.