Berfrois

An Enigma Wrapped Inside an Enigma by Michael Munro

An Enigma Wrapped Inside an Enigma by Michael Munro

The Anatomy of the Brain, Explained in a Series of Engravings, Charles Bell, 1802. by Michael Munro There is perhaps nothing more enigmatic in the history of philosophy than that which in the tradition is known as the active intellect (nous poiêtikos, al-‘aql al-fa‘‘āl). The few dense, cryptic sentences in which Aristotle gives it its…

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Stuart Elden on Foucault’s third/eleventh

Stuart Elden on Foucault’s third/eleventh

Delivered between January and March 1973, La société punitive was Foucault’s third annual course at the Collège de France. It is the eleventh of his thirteen courses there to be published, in what have been uniformly excellent editions under the general editorship of François Ewald and the recently deceased...

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If we have no logical justification for induction then…oops

If we have no logical justification for induction then…oops

Photograph by Oisin Prendiville by Massimo Pigliucci I used to have the “meta” itch, but I learned to live with it and stop scratching it. It only irritates anyway, without doing much good work. Let me explain. If you are a regular (or even occasional) reader of Rationally Speaking...

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SEEKING Mind and Biology by Stephen T. Asma

SEEKING Mind and Biology by Stephen T. Asma

In his 1790 Critique of Judgment, Kant famously predicted that there would never be a “Newton for a blade of grass.” Biology, he thought, would never be unified and reduced down to a handful of mechanical laws, as in the case of physics. This, he argued, is because we...

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The Myth of Stepping Out

The Myth of Stepping Out

by Nadia Sels Mythology and Psychoanalysis: Uncanny Doubles “It may perhaps seem to you as though our theories are a kind of mythology and, in the present case, not even an agreeable one. But does not every science come in the end to a kind of mythology?” These words,...

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Anthropotek

Anthropotek

Photograph by Rool Paap From Radical Philosophy: With the advent of the global financial crisis in 2008, we would perhaps have imagined that the entire panoply of boosterish rhetoric that subtended it – from aspirational market-oriented self-help guides to outdated theories of rational economic agents – would have vanished...

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Once cosmopolitanism becomes a force for social change, that’s when the difficulties begin…

Once cosmopolitanism becomes a force for social change, that’s when the difficulties begin…

by Justin E. H. Smith Cosmopolitanism is most closely associated with certain tendencies in Hellenistic philosophy. Diogenes the Cynic answered the question, “Where are you from?” by saying simply, “I am a kosmou polites– a citizen of the world” (DL 6.63). Many scholars have noted the broad resemblances between this Cynic...

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Masha Tupitsyn’s Summer

Masha Tupitsyn’s Summer

As we walk back home, up that same country road we will lie down on minutes later, he says that my bare legs light the road because the moon isn’t full yet. Looking back, I think I interrupted him before he had the chance to fully flirt with me...

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The Gaze Drifts

The Gaze Drifts

by R. H. Jackson This piece, included in the drift special issue of continent., was created as one step in a thread of inquiry. While each of the contributions to drift stand on their own, the project was an attempt to follow a line of theoretical inquiry as it...

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It Wasn’t Malala; It Wasn’t Even Putin by Jeremy Fernando

It Wasn’t Malala; It Wasn’t Even Putin by Jeremy Fernando

On 2 October, 2013, we were confronted with a puzzling piece of news: Vladimir Putin had allegedly been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. After checking that the news did not come via Punch — and that we were not in April — true befuddlement sank in: apparently no...

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Naomi-Ruth-Boaz

Naomi-Ruth-Boaz

Naomi entreating Ruth and Orpah to return to the land of Moab, William Blake, 1795 by Emily McAvan In this paper I read the Book of Ruth from the Hebrew Bible in relation to modern Jewish feminist and queer theories. I trace the movement in the narrative between mourning...

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‘Commons’

‘Commons’

Red, Blue, John Hoyland, 1969 From Radical Philosophy: When we speak of the globalization of markets we also speak of a limitation imposed on the sovereignty of nation-states. In Western Europe, the essential error of national left-wing movements and parties has been their failure to understand...

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Model Product

Model Product

Although the myth of Pygmalion is well known, let us recall the principal elements of Ovid's account: Pygmalion, who had never fallen in love with a woman, succeeded in sculpting "in snow-white ivory" the statue of a woman more beautiful than nature had ever made. Amazed by the almost...

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SUPERabundance

SUPERabundance

, From Moonstrips Empire News, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, 1967 by Siegfried Zielinski Introduction The first decade of the twenty-first century was basically nothing more than an extension of what had gone before. When I began writing this book in the autumn of 2010, I had the...

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On Jean Bethke Elshtain

On Jean Bethke Elshtain

Jean Bethke Elshtain by Katherine B. Jones Political philosopher Jean Bethke Elshtain died on August 11, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 72. A controversial public intellectual and prolific scholar whose works covered the gamut from defending the role of religion in politics to providing justifications for...

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A Bankrupt Secularism?

A Bankrupt Secularism?

From Of the Nature of Things, by Thomas Creech, T. Lucretius Carus, 1682–3 Engraving by Michael Burghers. by Ian Pollock The secular movement is a cause that, by and large, I support. I think a more secular society would be a better one. But I think some of the...

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El Toboso

El Toboso

From Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes, 1863. Illustration by Gustave Doré by Timothy Hampton In addition to his signal achievements as a knight errant, Don Quixote de la Mancha produced a small but noteworthy body of poetry. Samples of this poetry appear at different places in the history...

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In the Caspian Sea there is an eyeless fish that marks the only correct time of the universe…

In the Caspian Sea there is an eyeless fish that marks the only correct time of the universe…

Jahangir’s Dream, Abu’l Hasan, 1622 by Justin E. H. Smith The Khazars are so resourceful that they have oysters breeding on trees. They take a tree by the sea, bend its branches into the water, and hold them down with a rock; within two years the branches become so...

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Albert Rolls: Which (Side) Are You On, Man?

James Parker begins his review of Inherent Vice with the quip, “If Thomas Pynchon were a stand-up comedian, and Inherent Vice his newest routine,...

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Keith Doubt
Keith Doubt on Serbia

The intellectual integrity of cultural anthropology is based largely on its commitment to cultural relativism as a principled notion. Cultural relativism is the principle...

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A Gosse in Woolf’s Clothing by Andre Gerard

On May 31, two weeks after his death, and the day before Orlando was sent to the printer, Woolf noted his death as follows:...

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Andrew Gallix: Let’s Go!

Retro-futurism, as we now call it, came out of the closet in the late '70s due to the widespread feeling that there was indeed...

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I Know I Have to Go by Rick Whitaker

W.G. Sebald’s father joined the Reichswehr in 1929 and remained in the Wehrmacht under the Nazis. He was captured by the French and remained...

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B. Alexandra Szerlip: Vertigo

Vertigo has been scrutinized under the rubric of scopophilia, fetishism, voyeurism, the sadistic male gaze, objectification of the female body, “a dream substrate of...

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Bobbi Lurie With Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp sat silent. He seemed far away, lost in reverie. Then, he spoke of the death of art, which he described as...

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Bobbi Lurie
Bobbi Lurie and Marcel Duchamp on Lena Dunham’s Girls

But I was perplexed. Marcel Duchamp didn’t order a thing to eat at the café. I assumed it was because he was dead, requiring nothing...

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Europe’s Fascists in Suits by John Gaffney

Earthquake metaphors have had strong currency, both political and journalistic, in the aftermath of May’s European Parliament (EP) elections. The most spectacular tremors were...

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Lauren Berlant’s Love Theory

Both Derrida and Ronell suggest that saying yes is “telephonic,” both in the sense that it resounds over a distance and therefore always is...

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B. Alexandra Szerlip: Dream Train

Unless they lived in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or California – all former Mexican territories – most U.S. residents in the 1930s were unaware...

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70-Minute Mark by Nicholas Rombes et al.

The different tools used to capture the frame and the wild variety in terms of image quality, which is the way films are remembered...

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You may say Rauan Klassnik’s a dreamer…

“We’ve got a problem,” says Andrew Shuta of Spork as he and Drew Burk guide me into a fancy conference room. Ron’s sitting across from...

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David Palumbo-Liu on Chinua Achebe

Many years ago, in an interview he did with Bill Moyers, Chinua Achebe was asked, “What would you want the West to do?” Achebe...

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