This time of year is always slightly hectic, with marking and ’student progress boards’ and the like – and for me it’s the first time I’ve been really involved because previously, as a visiting lecturer, most of this work was left to the full-timers. What’s good about it of course is seeing the students work come to fruition and knowing that this step is done with and the next is to come but at the same time it’s a time when my own research and writing has to be put on hold. So it’s curious to take a break and look back at what’s going on in your own work…
At the moment I’m working on four first draft and one third draft…all more or less located around the book I’m working on called ’Practical Metaphysics’ (tentative title still but likely to stay the same for a while). The general idea is to explore the cross-over or intersection of the pragmatic/semantic, practical/theoretical, transcendental/naturalistic. I’m trying to develop something like an account of a ’third type of knowledge’ derived from Deleuze’s concept of ’apprenticeship’ and, like usual, am chaotically drawing various threads together to try and weave something coherent. In particular I’m trying to experiment a little with the text, with the idea of ’concept creation’ (which I connect intimately to apprenticeship) being not just reified, implicitly, by talking about it but instantiated, empirically, without falling back onto a simple performativity. This means that some of the book is directed directly into various practices and the philosopher would – in a sense – be ’overhearing’ a conversation at those points, whereas in the more directly philosophical chapters the practitioners would in a sense be overhearing the philosophers. This notion of ’overhearing’ is something that is not much theorised in the work yet but no doubt is going to insist on being thought through a little more in the future.
So, anyway, the four first drafts are quite amusing to look at. One of them has been accepted for a conference in Manchester in September on ’Deleuze and the event’ and another is intended for the Volcanic Lines conference in July. The current working titles of these papes (definitely not chapter titles since that will come much later) are:
1) to survive da’ath (the paper for manchester) – a look at the way the western magical tradition conceptualises knowledge by exploring it’s concept of ’da’ath’, the 11th kabbalistic sephiroth
2) deleuze and demonology – an attempt to understand the eternal return through the notion of a ’pact with a devil’, using the imagery of the Nietzschean demon on our shoulder in comparison with Maxwell’s demon and Laplace’s demon, exploring the problems of entropy as it impacts on eterenal return, raising the issue of naturalism and metaphysical limits
3) the veil of isis – a review essay of Pierre Hadot’s new book, which might just end up as some background research work
4) deleuze and the kantian schemata, a detailed analysis of of the ’imagination’ in Kant and where it might fit within the Deleuzian schema of ’spatio-temporal dynamisms’ that structurally replaces the Kantian schemata within Deleuze’s ’transcendental empiricsm’.
why bother listing these here? ah, there’s the rub…I’m curious to make a note as to how things change and morph, a note I could of course do privately but the blog is kind of like a private notebook anyway, so seems best to keep things centralised here. I’m going to see, towards the end of the year, how these various pieces have morphed (perhaps unrecognisably) and hopefully, and I do say hopefully, begin to gain a little more insight into quite how it is that my strange writing practices actually work.