for my students

various bits and pieces of information for my students of various classes

NVC Reading notes #5 (Some Themes for Thought)

NVC Reading notes #5 (Some Themes for Thought)

As a pedagogic device for working on NVC the suggestion I made to my students is that a series of ‘themes’ are identified which then provide a backbone for ‘indexing’ some of the content with a view to building up a ground for exegetical work.  The idea would be to take each theme – or at least a selection of… Read more →

NVC Reading notes #4

NVC Reading notes #4

Klossowski – Nietzsche and the Vicious Circle – Reading notes for Ch.s 3-5 (These notes are partially exegetical for students and partially exploratory for myself). CH3 The ‘Eternal Return’ is the thought experiment from Nietzsche, the central presentation of which is found in ‘The Gay Science’, S.341 and runs as follows: ‘The heaviest weight. – What if some day or… Read more →

NVC Reading notes #3

NVC Reading notes #3

Reading Chapters 1 and 2 of NVC we come fully and squarely up against the peculiarity of Klossowski’s text.  The discussion interprets and does so using a swathe of textual evidence but the interpretation is not a gentle teasing out of an argument, a kind of ‘efficient paraphrasing’, rather it is a positioned interpretation.  That is, it offers a reading… Read more →

NVC Reading notes #2

NVC Reading notes #2

If one of the first impressions on reading NVC is that something like a ‘psycho-analysis’ is being done then it is worth asking why this impression occurs and what relation to Freud exists.  That it should be, in a sense, relatively uncontroversial to suggest NVC ‘reads like’ a psycho-analytic text comes from the emphasis of the biological, biographical and historical… Read more →

Revision for Nietzsche and Modern European Philosophy

Revision for Nietzsche and Modern European Philosophy

For my 3rd year students in NMEP.  (This is just a brief and partial account of the discussion today and students are welcome to continue the discussion here on on the WebCT bulletin board if they want a little more privacy, this is a public site after all.) Today we discussed the way in which we think the subject by… Read more →

NVC Reading notes #1

NVC Reading notes #1

(Notes primarily for the use of my 3rd year undergrad students on the Nietzsche and Modern European Philosophy course, terms 2 and 3, in which we’re studying Klossowski’s ‘Nietzsche and the Vicious Circle’ and Deleuze’s ‘Nietzsche and Philosophy’ and exploring the problematic of post-structuralism.  Page references to the Continuum impacts edition of NVC). The intention here is to follow a… Read more →

Phenomenology and typewriters

So today I’m talking to the students in my existentialism class about the phenomenological moment, the encounter with the given which is presupposed in any account of how we encounter the world and which gives us back the world from a skeptical move which might try to doubt it or suggest it’s an illusion.  As part of this I was… Read more →

face+drawing+on+wall_54305003This excellent example of the way categories or names prescribe our way of conceiving or thinking through problem came through the nettime email list recently.

On 29/09/2007, Thijs wrote:

> “[…] In contrast to most post-modern nation states, Islamic  fundamentalism offers the kind of warm hearth for which many shaken Western souls might yearn.”

Maybe it would be more accurate to say that words like “fundamentalism” and “terrorism” offer the kind of warm hearth for which many shaken Western souls might yearn: the ability to lump together a wide range of social phenomena that they don’t understand under a few convenient labels taken from American and European history, such as American Protestant fundamentalism and the French revolutionary Terror of the 1790s.

Here are some possible alternatives (which I’m sure could be improved):

Al Qaeda: Salafi nationalist guerilla network

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood: Sunni reformist party

Hamas: Sunni Palestinian nationalist party and militia

Hizballah: Shia Lebanese nationalist party and militia

Two things leap out of this sort of classification: the need to know something about Islam in order to know what the Arabic words mean, and the need to take nationalism seriously as a force that motivates opposition movements.

Ben

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The problem of Theodicy

or the existence of evil. A very nice presentation of the theodicy problem in its classical formulation.  One of the things to note (for my students who were working with me last year on Hume’s Dialogues where this formulation is also present) is the nature of the four options as exhausting the logical space of possibility.  This at least is… Read more →