Berfrois

The Bear Within

The Bear Within

I try not to weigh in on ephemeral online outrages, but there's one thing I just can't resist the urge to bring up in connection with the recent flare of fascination with Rachel Dolezal's inner life and its outer expression.

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei Say Yes

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei Say Yes

I would like to offer you today a beginning of a meditation on the word yes, on the gesture of affirmation. We should take great care not to conflate affirmation and saying yes – saying it once, twice, or many times over  – and in which language? All too...

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Face of God

Face of God

If I recall correctly, Plotinus was said by his disciple Porphyry to have experienced a total of four mystical visions, in which he, it is reported, became one with the One. The great Platonist philosopher could not relate anything of his visions, however, since they had brought him beyond...

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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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En Liang Khong: Full Bloom

The cross-dressing Qiu Jin was emblematic of a revolutionary feminist current at the end of the Qing era, writing urgently on women’s emancipation: “While...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei
Very Much Like a Whale by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

They had obviously taken the pictures of the whale, and the group of people carrying it, out of curiosity. But still the images failed...

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Oscillation

We recognise oscillation to be the natural order of the world.

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Menachem Feuer: Body

While Sarah Silverman jokingly tells us that her Jewish identity has more to do with her body than with the “responsibilities and limitations” that...

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Jeremy Fernando: Pink

An offering that might well remain in its being offered.

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Rosie Clarke Chats to Amelia Gray

I get the impulse to look to the canon, but I think we should try and challenge and squash the canon, too.

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Mario Carpo: Voice, Words, Memory

It all started with cellphones, a long time ago. No student, and few teachers, would make voice calls from class, but in the early...

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Remembrance of Translations Past

Although Charles Kenneth Scott Moncrieff’s translation of À la recherche du temps perdu is considered by many journalists and writers to be the best...

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Colin Dickey: Time’s Resistless Stream

By now, we are all of us more or less apocalyptic. Our calendar is itself based on the apocalyptic return of Jesus Christ, counting...

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Mark Mordue: Curate. Content. Click.

Not that ‘the critic’ has ever been a greatly appreciated or understood figure. Some fat toad with a feather in his hat who thinks...

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Russell Bennetts
Street Fighter: Berfrois Interviews Tariq Ali

The extreme centre is a form of government that arose out of neoliberal economics and exists today in virtually the whole of Europe, North...

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John Crutchfield: Go West

Perhaps this is what finally draws me back to the Western. It is a fundamentally serious genre. It deals with serious questions, and it...

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Joel Gn on Henri Lefebvre

How may we speak of that which goes off the record in an age of digital colonisation?

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Volker M. Welter on Michael Graves

The designer Michael Graves, who passed away at the age of 80 on March 12th, was widely considered to be one of the founding...

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