notebooker

philosopher and filmmaker from brighton, currently teaching philosophy at the Free University of Brighton

Dennett and The New Atheists

Dennett and The New Atheists

There’s a very interesting article on The New Atheism over at Wired magazine, worth a look (particularly, perhaps, for those in my Kierkegaard class).  I particularly liked the following extract from the conversation the author has with withDaniel Dennett, in particular the line about philosophers being the ones who refuse to accept sacred values. “Yes, there could be a rational… Read more →

Just answers

This afternoon I was chilling out a little after listening to Radio4’s ‘Afternoon Play’. It was an interesting one too, a ‘chiller’. The story involved a guy telling someone a story on a train, a two handed piece between an older man and a younger woman set in the late 1960’s and harking back to Ypres and the First World… Read more →

What’s in a ‘distinctive meaning content’?

I’m generally interested at the moment in the distinction between the theoretical and the practical, a distinction that can be found throughout philosophy and which I increasingly think is a dominant distinction, though often in an unthought way. The interest in this distinction is what underlies my current writing project, a book that’s tentatively titled ‘Practical metaphysics’ (more about that… Read more →

'Everyone's right' : a useful reminder of the principle of charity

‘Everyone’s right’ : a useful reminder of the principle of charity

As I keep telling my students, one of the main skills of philosophy is the ability to read well.  Along with logic, this art of reading forms perhaps the most basic of philosophical skills…trying to hear what an author is saying often relies upon the ‘principle of charity’.  There’s this interesting quote I came across today whilst I was going… Read more →

Kierkegaard and the work of faith

Kierkegaard and the work of faith

I was talking, on Monday this week, during the lecture of Kiekegaards’ Fear and Trembling, about the conception of faith. The notes that I have just uploaded to the students page don’t really touch on this discussion since they are still predominantly reading notes – though the section in there about the various different forms of conceiving of the work… Read more →

Transcendental philosophy and naturalism

I’ve just got an email through confirming my place for this conference in a couple of weeks, which looks very interesting. This project is being run by Essex University and looks like it may produce some useful clarification of the transcendental / naturalism debate, thoguh I’ve been too busy this year to pay it as much attention as I would… Read more →

Snakeoil and conversational imperatives

Snakeoil and conversational imperatives

At the moment I’m trying to think through a kind of peculiar imperative, that of the conversation. Imagine a scene: a pub, restaurant or party, one in which the focus is a kind of average everyday, ‘passing the time’ conversation. The subjects roam across TV programs, a little current affairs, perhaps venturing into some personal experience. Maybe the topics don’t… Read more →

Notes on Rajchman and transcendental empiricism

Notes on Rajchman and transcendental empiricism

John Rajchman, in his introduction to Pure Immanence, emphasises that it was in terms of the problem of subjectivity that Deleuze posed the need for a new kind of empiricism. The first published work of Deleuze makes such a claim quite reasonable, since it is entitled Empiricism and subjectivity and constitutes Deleuze’s only prolonged public encounter with Hume.  Rajchman makes… Read more →