Month: June 2016

Call for Papers: Idea of God Conference at Memorial this Fall

The Idea of God – A Philosophical Investigation

Dates: 23-24-25 November 2016

Venue: Memorial University of Newfoundland (St.John’s, Canada)

Keynote Speakers: Dr. Garth Green (McGill)

Dr. Jean Grondin (Université de Montréal)

Description: Until recently, the death of God in Western society had seemed inexorable. Rather than reanimating him, the fervidly exuberant – almost nervous – manifestations of evangelical devotion in fundamentalist movements only appeared to confirm the sentence. However, a growing and marked interest in contemporary scholarship now strongly contests this verdict. Either concerned with the somewhat cursory conclusions of the New Atheists, the reductive verdicts of nominalism, or the fatalist undertones of naturalism, a number of authors from different philosophical perspectives – David Bentley Hart, Jean-Luc Nancy, Charles Taylor, John Lennox, Jean Grondin, Alvin Plantinga, John Milbank, Gerard Hartung and Markus Schlette, to name a few – are now proposing a new fate to the idea of God.

These investigations, of course, are not ad hoc and have their roots in longstanding traditions of thought. The history of philosophy has been continually haunted by the specter of God, in some form or another, from Athens to modern rationalism, Patristic writings to phenomenology. What is more, far from confined to Judeo-Christian civilization, the idea of God has of course transcended its borders, sometimes revealing striking parallels between common concerns and queries, sometimes disclosing sharp if not irreconcilable differences.

Academics from all areas of philosophy, as well as from the Humanities, Theology and Religious Studies, are invited to Memorial University of Newfoundland to explore the idea of God, its current resurgence, and its place or role in the works of the history of philosophy, Western or otherwise. Please send a 500-600 words abstract (for a 30-minute paper) to Dr. Joël Madore ( and/or Dr. Sean McGrath ( no later than 15 August 2016. Submissions should be anonymised for blind review and should be in a standard file format.

Elden asks the question: Why do so many academics publish in unreadable outlets? 

I missed this last week. It’s a good reminder for me finally to take the time to update my paper links with drafts of published work. In general, I get much more feedback on stuff I publish in places open access. And it’s certainly the case there is an ethical case not to hide our work behind expensive paywalls or between the covers of a too-pricey book.

Andrew Inkpin: Disclosing the World: On the Phenomenology of Language – Phenomenological Reviews

Is there a need for a phenomenological approach in the philosophy of language? According to Andrew Inkpin’s Disclosing the World, phenomenology indeed offers a better account of the way we experience and perceive language than most contemporary philosophical approaches to language do. In his exposition of the need for a phenomenology of language, Inkpin refers … Continue reading Andrew Inkpin: Disclosing the World: On the Phenomenology of Language

Source: Andrew Inkpin: Disclosing the World: On the Phenomenology of Language – Phenomenological Reviews

Another Review of Russon’s Infinite Phenomenology

As the Symposium open site: John Russon, Infinite Phenomenology – CSCP / SCPC. The reviewer, Timothy Brownlee, touches on what I took to be the most important part of the book:

Russon’s account of freedom presents one instance of this dynamic, and it is an appropriate one to consider with more care given the centrality of political questions to his book. On the one hand, Russon stresses that freedom involves the infinity of the subject, a sort of indeterminacy, a negative capacity not to be determined by anything external. On the other hand, this freedom is “a reality” only insofar as it comes to be “a fixed identity,” or to become a determinacy through engagement with the concrete institutions of what Hegel calls “ethicality.” (181–2) But the realization of freedom in a finite determinacy does not eliminate its infinitude, so that the experience of freedom is always one of the inadequacy of any fixed identity or institution. Russon argues that no theoretical “reconciliation” of this opposition is possible, and that we rather experience the demand for reconciliation as “a lived imperative.” (23) In the political case, the experience of freedom entails a demand for “multicultural dialogue,” for “a stance of infinite openness to the other,” in particular to the institutions that structure the social life of other peoples. (188) Russon’s Hegel, then, is ultimately a thinker of openness, not closure, and he contends that the practical and philosophical stances with which the text resolves, conscience and absolute knowing, both involve a practical commitment to reconcile the ineliminable but one-sided knowledge of the subject with “an infinity that exceeds us and claims us.” (21)


Stiegler’s continued banality

From an excellent review at Spirit is a Bone:

Prescriptively, Stiegler thinks at the level of dialogue and community to move out of symbolic misery. Fending off the stasis that lies at our gates comes about by re-thinking the formation of community. But he present a theory of community that is apolitical, however, beyond partisan and or ideological lines aimed at bringing philia back to the heart of our civic life. His conception of philia lacks a militant edge and it is difficult to see how we might defeat the new fascism through building some common ground around our shared misery.

Stiegler’s books always manage to be a bad stew of clunky neologisms that manage to restate in philosophemes common sensical ideas such as “kids these days don’t read enough,” “we need more community building,” etc.

Source: How to Win an Aesthetic War: On Bernard Stiegler’s Symbolic Misery | Spirit is a Bone