Posts Tagged ‘ philosophy ’

This mess of troubled times | Eurozine

The processes set in motion by the disintegration of the socialist economy in eastern Europe eluded all analytical frameworks. It was a time of ‘wild thinking’, in which received ideas were reconsidered and values re-assessed. We are still living through this troubled era, writes the historian of the Soviet Union Karl Schlögel.

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I was shocked on the campuses of the East and the West Coasts of America to meet so many people who had been practically been everywhere around the globe, but not in Gary, Indiana or Akron, Ohio. The victory of Trump has to do with this kind of absence, neglect and ignorance. The same goes for the many German intellectuals who only discovered the East after the AfD landslide. It may also apply to parts of the Warsaw intelligentsia, who are more familiar with the timetables of Brussels Airport than with the train schedules in ‘Polska B’.

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We must leave our comfort zones – physical and intellectual – and explore what is happening on the ground. We must be aware of the intellectual challenges in dealing with an entirely new situation and try – in all modesty – to do what others before us have managed to do. We need to heed Marx’s famous words, only in reverse: ‘Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point however is to change it.’ Now the point is to interpret a world that is changing all too fast.

The pre-1989 years were a time of exploring, describing and analysing – the Polish school of reportage was just one example. A key slogan of the era was Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s and Václav Havel’s ‘Tell the Truth’. This message is not outdated. But to insist on ‘the truth’ is to face many risks. To investigate, explore and redraw the mental map of Europeans beyond the old-new fault lines is a very difficult job. In order to succeed, it will be necessary to develop a consciousness of history not as a lesson to be drawn or sermon to be preached, but as a way to face the challenges – now and in the future. – Karl Schlögel

Source: This mess of troubled times | Eurozine

Esther Leslie | Fear Eats the Soul: Walter Benjamin & Baader Meinhof – BLACKOUT ((poetry & politics))

Rainer Werner Fassbinder | Angst essen Seele auf (Fear Eats the Soul), 1974

Source: Esther Leslie | Fear Eats the Soul: Walter Benjamin & Baader Meinhof – BLACKOUT ((poetry & politics))

Charlotte Mandell reads from her translation of The Fall of Sleep by Jean-Luc Nancy – YouTube

Orion Magazine | Four Questions for the Author: Timothy Morton, Being Ecological

Timothy Morton is Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English at Rice University. He is the author of Dark Ecology: For a Logic of Future Coexistence . . .

Source: Orion Magazine | Four Questions for the Author: Timothy Morton, Being Ecological

Agnès Varda, Influential French New Wave Filmmaker, Dies at 90 – The New York Times

 

Ms. Varda explored the texture of daily life and philosophical ruminations with a groundbreaking visual style.CreditPhotofest

What We Owe a Rabbit | by Thomas Nagel | The New York Review of Books


Walton Ford/Kasmin Gallery

Walton Ford: Loss of the Lisbon Rhinoceros, 2008. For more on Ford’s work, see Lucy Jakub’s ‘Walton Ford: Twenty-First-Century Naturalist’ on the NYR Daily (nybooks.com/ford-daily).

Korsgaard sums up:

On a Kantian conception, what is special about human beings is not that we are the universe’s darlings, whose fate is absolutely more important than the fates of the other creatures who like us experience their own existence. It is exactly the opposite: What is special about us is the empathy that enables us to grasp that other creatures are important to themselves in just the way we are important to ourselves, and the reason that enables us to draw the conclusion that follows: that every animal must be regarded as an end in herself, whose fate matters, and matters absolutely, if anything matters at all.

Source: What We Owe a Rabbit | by Thomas Nagel | The New York Review of Books

Want to Be Happy? Think Like An Old Person – The New York Times

For now, he said, “I’m thinking about resistance. What does it mean, resistance? What kind of resistance do we need today? Technology is now being used, much of it, for negative purposes. So to resist all what is happening negatively in humanity or technology is to develop the — O.K., this banal word, spiritual aspect.”

He remained sanguine, despite some reservations about current world leaders. Totalitarianism, in his experience, did not endure, whereas art, nature and the teachings of the saints all were as powerful as ever — they were what composed his life. He did not use the word optimistic, but he felt that solutions were more durable than problems.

“To go back and introduce into all the schools art, to cut down on sports but bring arts, philosophy back into all educational systems,” he said. “And that’s what’s being cut everywhere. And I think that’s one of the sad and tragic parts of where we are. Education is the resistance to everything that is bad today.”  – Jonas Mekas  Think Like An Old Person – The New York Times