Archive for October, 2008


being there

Thank you Sorin. The Heidegger was I think intended as a painless introduction to Being and Time though the Matrix is usually cited in connection with Nozick’s brain-in-a-vat sceptical challenge. I think it’s fair to say that he came under a good deal of critical questioning during the session. Various things remained unclear to me, e.g. why the fact that Dasein is identified with its potentialities necessarily generates guilt. But I suppose it is an achievement of sorts to get through a Heidegger presentation without mentioning the Nazis. Not many other blogworthy things to report. Even now the Finnish plods are hot on the trail of my burglar(s) and will no doubt nail a suspect before long. At the police station I was invited to nominate a suitable punishment when the culprits are caught. I said I would rest content with the severing of a hand, or some other extremity of equivalent value.


Glen’s posts and Philosophy Day

Many thanks for the Finnish posts and attachments, Glen, although I was sorry to hear about the burglary… I am glad it did not have very serious consequences.

I had a look at the “Heidegger and the Matrix” slides – great fun! I thought the condescending tone of the author was a bit silly, but if one other person apart from the author is going to enjoy this, then I suppose it has a justification.

I have not had a chance to look at the paper on Wittgenstein, although it looks good – it adopts the Wittgensteinian way of writing philosophy in relatively small sections. You have heard the paper – is it good?

On a different matter, as you may all know, on 20 November, UNESCO has set up a celebration day for Philosophy. I have created a separate page (see below) with a recent email about the event circulated on Philos-l. Some interesting publications by UNESCO: “Philosophy: A Cosmic Responsibility” and “Philosophy: A School of Freedom”. More details on this blog under the “Philosophy Day” page.

I think we might have some sort of duty to celebrate this day. Is this the wrong moral intuition? And if not, does anybody have any suggestions about how to celebrate it? My idea was to contact a fireworks company and order a device which, once it goes off, starts writing “Philosophy” in the rainbow’s colours. Kant could have helped here (as in many other situations!), since he used to teach fireworks. But then I thought it would be too expensive and it might be a rainy day. Besides we will have plenty of fireworks on 5 November…

Any other suggestions are very welcome!


Wittgenstein and relativism

Here is another link to a presentation given recently here by Martin Kusch, on Wittgenstein and relativism:



Heidegger and the Matrix

As promised in yesterday’s blog, martin-heidegger-and-the-call-of-conscience .


Finnish blog

I’m blogging from a bar in Helsinki but only drinking tea because alcohol is too expensive. Any donations from readers of this blog via PayPal will be gratefully accepted so that I can remain in the state of inebriation to which I am accustomed. I spent the morning at a police station after my flat was burgled. Then it was over to the Helsinki Collegium, where I have a visiting research post, to listen to a talk about Heidegger and the Matrix. Really. I will see if I can upload it. Heidegger features in the Sherlock Holmes mystery the Adventure of the Priory School, where he comes to a sticky end.


Second RIP Lecture: 21 October 2008

Our second RIP lecture is on Tuesday:

Royal Institute of Philosophy
Tuesday 21 October
6:00-7:30 PM
Chancellor’s Building, Room CBA 0.060

Dr James Tartaglia
University of Keele

The aim of the lecture is to provide an account of the distinction between the mental and the physical, an account which is distinct from, and in a certain sense better than, the two standard accounts. (The abstract is pasted below as well as on the Philosophy@Keele blog: This is directly relevant to second years taking Philosophy of Mind, as well as to third years planning to take James’s module on Rorty. Hence they should be there physically as well as mentally (distinction to be clarified), as of course should members of staff.

Wine will be served, as usual.

Continue reading ‘Second RIP Lecture: 21 October 2008’


Birthday Presentation for John Rogers

John Rogers, Professor of the History of Philosophy Emeritus at Keele, was presented with a Festschrift to mark his 70th birthday at a reception in Stewart House, Institute of Philosophy, Russell Square, London University.  The book is titled Studies on Locke: Sources, Contemporaries, and Legacy, edited by
Sarah Hutton and Paul Schuurman.  Ex-students and colleagues came from Japan, the United States, Italy and the Netherlands, as well as from all over the UK, to be present at the event that followed a conference, which honoured John’s achievements.  His wife, Jo, who was secretary of the Keele Society for many years, was also present.  John is the Founder-Editor of The British Journal for the History of Philosophy, which is still published from Keele, and is now in its sixteenth year. Many of his publications relate to John Locke and other seventeenth-century philosophers.

October 2008
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