My computer, my friend

Annalee Newitz explains why she loved her computer in her essay in Evocative Objects: Things We Think With: “I would recognize the feel of itskeyboard under my fingers in a darkened room. I haveworn two shiny spots on it where the palms of my handsrest when Im not typing. I carried it on my . . . . Continue Reading »

Thinking with Loved Objects

Objects are not just tools or things of beauty, writes Sherry Turkle in her introduction toEvocative Objects: Things We Think With. In addition, they are “companionsto our emotional lives or as provocations to thought. Thenotion of evocative objects brings together these two lessfamiliar . . . . Continue Reading »

Doxological knowing

According to Nicholas of Cusa, doxology is the highest form of science. This is so because a response of praise is a response to the inherent goodness of a thing. As Johannes Hoff explains (The Analogical Turn: Rethinking Modernity with Nicholas of Cusa, 19), “if our praise is genuine, and not . . . . Continue Reading »

Being Present

“Presence” has been subjected to withering attacks for decades, but Antonio Lopez ( Gift and the Unity of Being , 23-8) wants to rescue it. In his description, though, presence is virtually the opposite of what postmodernism claims it is. To say that “being is presence” . . . . Continue Reading »

De-sacralization

In an address on the tercentenary of the Augsburg Confession, Hegel celebrated the freedom that the Lutheran Reformation brought, a freedom that healed the schism that divided the soul and the split that harmed the commonwealth ( Political Writings , 191). To highlight this liberation, he . . . . Continue Reading »

Austin and Assurance

After his early death in 1960, J.L. Austin was nearly forgotten,. In recent years, there has been something of an Austin revival, as philosophers have given renewed attention to the issues of ordinary language and epistemology that Austin raised. Writing in the TLS , Duncan Pritchard notes that . . . . Continue Reading »

Promethean Postmoderns

Anthony Baker begins his mediation on the notion of “perfection,” Diagonal Advance: Perfection in Christian Theology , with the Romantic Prometheus and various responses to it. Deleuze and Guattari make an appearance, and one would think that they have put the Romantic well behind them. . . . . Continue Reading »

Kantian SciFi

Like everyone in his time, Kant believed in the great chain of being, and like many he extended it to the planets and their inhabitants. The further the planet from the sun, the better; like man, earth was midway. Kant wrote: “The excellence of thinking natures, their quickness of . . . . Continue Reading »

Identity and difference

Philipp Rosemann examines what he describes as the “fundamental principle of Thomist ontology” in Omne ens est aliquid. Introduction a la lecture du ‘systeme’ philosophique de saint Thomas d’Aquin. The principle is stated in the title, and stated baldly it is an utter . . . . Continue Reading »

Individual and other

I cannot be the particular individual I am without particular others (parents, teachers, friends, etc.). The others might have been other others (different parents, e.g.) but then I would be a different particular individual. But I cannot be an individual at all without being a particular . . . . Continue Reading »