Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Church and Postmodern Culture recommends a multi-disciplinary approach.
Philosophy is what it eats. I imagine the field being different in the future because I imagine that we’ll be consuming more and different things. Heidegger, yes. Levinas, yes. Derrida, yes. But a tax should be imposed. For every three hours spent on Heidegger, one should be spent learning statistics. For every three days spent on Levinas, one should be spent investigating, first-person, walking. For every three weeks spent on Derrida, one should be spent with The Journal of Neuroscience. Once through Being and Time should be matched by going once through Stephen Jay Gould’s The Structure of Evolutionary Theory.
And pataphysics, you can't ever study it rigourously enough.
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Did Heidegger want..polymaths however? I doubt it, given the 15 years of Aristotle,etc. He asks for....knowledge of greek klassics-- along with the Copenhagen interpretation, Marx and/or Pynchon's grabbag (history of underground comix). One reason I don't agree pomos such as Derrida are Heideggerian--JD wanted to destroy Plato does he not. Heid. seemed rather optimistic in that regard (sort of Nietzschean as well--hyperborean as they say) It's rare to find a cracker who has passed a spanish class in CA.
Derrida might be the best reader of MH amongst that crowd, so he's probably the most Heideggerian of them. Someday his lectures on MH will get published and translated, and we'll be able to rate him better in that dept.

Pynchon, I suspect, was indulging in the same libation as the philosophy grad students in Cali that Naess was going about, in Monday's post. That probably explains most of the non sequitors in his texts.
There is more than enough here to provide a discussion to rival that of The Sophist. Let me suggest only, if it appeals to you, that you submit this to Raschke's "Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory." They are one location I have found already taking seriously the issues you propose.

For myself, I do not regret the time I spent with Badiou, if only because it demonstrates that nominalism is the perpetual energy of praxis. Bravo for Cantor's set theory providing system for what seemed mysterious explanatory concepts, such as infinity.

My reaction may be premature, insofar as I have only just completed my first run through of Stambaugh's The Finitude of Being. I see that her newest publication goes in the direction of the Buddhism you suggest. Should I ever finish with Finitude I shall certainly, out of admiration of Stambaugh, see what she has to say there.
I expect, however, that, as with Badiou, while I shall not regret the time spent, it also will not be what I am looking for. I am unable to interpret Buddhism. As the product of a Christian culture and system of education, I am barely able to interpret my Christianity. While history of religions has blossomed, I have yet to find a Westerner interpreting Eastern religion that I am willing to trust. Perhaps that is because the citations of Oriental literature I read, whether by Easterner or Westerner, are wonderfully "compossible" while contradictory. Nowhere do I see a shortage of variety.

My favorite Emerson incident (which so far I have not located in his texts) is the report that he regrets the realization that while his reputation is as the seer of unity, whenever he pushes his thoughts as far as they can go, he ends up with two handfuls. That's almost as good as one hand clapping.
--crossposted from "The Church and Postmodern Culture"
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