Sunday, October 24, 2004
Take 1: Writer can’t cease treating his life as a discursive formation
I’m so delighted to be writing you. I write, therefore I am?
I’m ultimately, to you, a text of a particular life that hardly appears at all, except inasmuch as I become “the writer” becoming autobiography (always so selective), if not confession (selective, too). You write of Kierkegaard, but what about the authorship of being “Habermas”?
My days are generally beautiful, my life is largely happy.
All the suffering in the world is heartrending. But I’m doing well,
giving what I can.
So much to say, so little time.
-- 5:49 PM
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
A philosopher’s difficult texts (or theorist’s texts, e.g., Habermas at his most Habermasian, Derrida as most Derridean) are at least a transformative mirror that reflects back to readers anewly parts of the world they bring to the reading, reframed in the text’s readerly influence—maybe this more than getting the difficult author’s intended meaning (though that, too). This point isn’t difficult; I’m not here referring to my own text. But difficulty is a topic in its own right, as George Steiner has explicated for literary reading, and as any curriculum designer knows. Any significant writer appreciates this, too.
-- 7:25 PM
Sunday, October 10, 2004
If you would say “God created the universe,” then the more you know about what is known about the universe, the more you should have to conclude that God doesn’t know we exist, let alone affects what happens on Earth.
The more you know about life as such (on Earth), the more you should have to conclude that Earth isn’t the only locus of intellligent life—more than that: Earth is a relatively late planet (around a relatively new star). The evidence clearly (for science) indicates that stars of our generation (a lineage including the complex elements) have been around for billions of years prior to the Sun. If anything can really be the angels, it is the stars, for real. Yet, the stars know nothing; they just are—and are in a space-time that is incomprehensibly far away from its Beginning.
-- 9:12 PM
[from The New York Times, Jonathan Kandell, Oct. 10. “Jacques Derrida, Abstruse Theorist, Dies in Paris at 74”}
He could be an indifferent student. He failed his baccalaureate in his first attempt. He twice failed his entrance exam to the École Normal Supérieure, the traditional cradle of French intellectuals, where he was finally admitted in 1952. There he failed the oral portion of his final exams on his first attempt. After graduation in 1956, he studied briefly at Harvard University. For most of the next 30 years, he taught philosophy and logic at both the University of Paris and the École Normal Supérieure. Yet he did not defend his doctoral dissertation until 1980, when he was 50 years old.
-- 4:52 PM
Tuesday, October 5, 2004
The auspicious question of Being should be seen to have been transposed by “history” (epistemic advances of social evolution) into questions of “evolving”.
“Evolving,” in the ordinary sense, implies purpose. It isn’t a biologistic notion, yet it’s as biological as intelligence, which presumes intentionality, and natural selection does not.
-- 10:15 PM
Sunday, October 3, 2004
There is no perfect beginning—as if clear-sighted inauguration may echo originative telos. Yet, we may want a horizon of Origin-ality in finding a philosophical inauguration clear-sighted, as apparent relativism in ultimate concern portends insufferable anomie.
-- 10:24 PM
Friday, October 1, 2004
I’m drawn into time itself: ever deeper into our Time such that deep time—the intelligence of Earth, so to speak—may express itself in self identity (in the grounding of care), though merely saying that doesn’t make much sense, I realize.
Such a figure of speech—intelligence of Earth—is actually a realist claim about being human: Appreciating our nature is belonging to the intimacy of biology and brain, as if (!) some god saves itself via human mentality—we who can conceive the life of the cosmos evolving. “As if”!—because theistic thinking was just an era in our story.
-- 10:29 PM