Berfrois

The Hermeneutics of Babies

The Hermeneutics of Babies

Babies are usually the stuff of private life, clichés, and endearing memories that we check out as we set foot on campus grounds. Yet babies are the greatest--and arguably the cutest--hermeneutic subjects.

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‘Mexican existentialism provides a template for a kind of liberationist project’

‘Mexican existentialism provides a template for a kind of liberationist project’

In 1948, a group of philosophers in Mexico began a spirited and public engagement with existentialism. The movement flourished for only four years, but Carlos Alberto Sánchez argues that the project was of considerably greater philosophical importance than its brief duration might suggest.

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Ed Simon on the Whiskey Rebellion

Ed Simon on the Whiskey Rebellion

Herman Husband – itinerant preacher, politician, regulator, radical – would amble among the woods surrounding Pittsburgh. Here on the trans-Appalachian frontier, the native North Carolinian with his shoddy patchwork clothes and with his biblically long beard.

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French Theory certainly was not French eventually

French Theory certainly was not French eventually

French Theory is no theory. It is a well-known fact that “Theory,” as in “French Theory,” is neither a theoretical endeavor nor a theoretical manifestation of thought.

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The Frankfurt School saw no hope for escaping the pathologies of society that they diagnosed…

The Frankfurt School saw no hope for escaping the pathologies of society that they diagnosed…

Benjamin hoped that his kind of writing would be, as Jeffries puts it, “a kind of Marxist shock therapy aimed at reforming consciousness,” waking people up to the dream-world they lived in under capitalism.

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“Look at reality carefully”

“Look at reality carefully”

It had a focus on being dominant for centuries without change. Whole groups get excluded because a certain kind of dominant discourse is established.

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‘Love’ and ‘God’

‘Love’ and ‘God’

Various contemporary continental philosophers have taken an interest in espousing some form of a 'return to religion' but one devoid of actual, material religious belief and practice.

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A New Curating

A New Curating

Consider, Boethius. He was a descendent of a noble Italian family, a beneficiary of a classical education, and in some ways the last of the Romans.

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Jessica Sequeira: The Macabre Trunk

Jessica Sequeira: The Macabre Trunk

The poster for the 1936 Mexican film The Macabre Trunk shows a man in dark glasses and fedora, holding up a bloody hand in a menacing gesture, as a pulp dream of a blonde stretches out an arm to stop him.

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A-M-E-R-I-C-A by Ed Simon

A-M-E-R-I-C-A by Ed Simon

Used cynically, the word “America” is conceptualised not as that undiscovered country yet to be born on maps yet printed, but rather it is to employ the word as simple superstitious talisman. They take the Lord’s name in vain.

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London gave him debate…

London gave him debate…

On an Ash Wednesday in 1583 they sat in this dark-wood panelled dining room, tapestries keeping out the chill of late winter even as the cold couldn’t help but enter through the leaded window with its multicoloured glass diamonds.

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Menachem Feuer: How Simple is Simon?

Menachem Feuer: How Simple is Simon?

His New Job, Charlie Chaplin, 1915 by Menachem Feuer He labored long hours, was the soul of honesty – he could not escape his honesty, it was bedrock; to cheat would cause an explosion in him, yet he trusted cheaters – coveted nobody’s nothing and always got poorer. The...

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We are readers and writers slopping along in the same general aliveness, for the time being…

We are readers and writers slopping along in the same general aliveness, for the time being…

Prince was at the cusp of my unclenching. I’ll never be able to tell the story as long as people are still alive but I won’t tell a cover story either.

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Jessica Sequeira on Olga Olegovna Orlova

Jessica Sequeira on Olga Olegovna Orlova

The phrase from soup to nuts actually comes from a Latin phrase “from the egg to the apples” (“ab ovo usque ad mala”).

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Insert Slogan:

Insert Slogan:

Sometime in the summer of 1987 I walked out to our rural-route mailbox and found my membership card for the Young Socialist Alliance, accompanied by a typewritten letter filled with both practical information as well as elevated rhetoric about the youth being the future.

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Precariousness is quite simply the condition of the working class under capitalism…

Precariousness is quite simply the condition of the working class under capitalism…

The terms ‘precarity’ and its derivation, ‘precariat’/precariato gained notoriety after the 2001 Euro May Day parade when a network of casual workers, students, migrants, feminists, LGBT activists

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Ed Simon on Thomas More

Ed Simon on Thomas More

The Garden of Earthly Delights, Hieronymus Bosch, 1490-1510 by Ed Simon For its name literally meaning “No Place,” echoes of Utopia seem to be everywhere. Early autumn and a week before the pope’s visit and I am at the corner of 53rd and 5th, halfway between St. Patrick’s Cathedral...

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Wary of the They

Wary of the They

Elon Musk, the billionaire inventor and amateur futurologue, has recently taken to the idea that we may all be living in a simulation akin to Second Life. He has been influenced in his thinking by the philosopher Nick Bostrom.

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Menachem Feuer on Rachel Cantor

Menachem Feuer on Rachel Cantor

Dante meets Beatrice at Ponte Santa Trinita, Henry Holiday, 1883 by Menachem Feuer Good on Paper, by Rachel Cantor New York: Melville House, 299 pp. I didn’t love those who could love me, I loved the candle….I here and I there, I companioned perhaps – now! – by the love of...

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Go Over by M. Munro

Go Over by M. Munro

“If you only followed the parables,” it has been written, “you yourselves would become parables.” How is one to understand “follow” here?

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Prometheus Onward

Prometheus Onward

When Albert Camus said on the evening of December 12, 1957, “I have not yet given my opinion about Algeria, but I will if you ask me,” he was making an offer that students at the University of Stockholm could not refuse.

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