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Showing posts from September, 2011

Speculation and the absence of a sui generis realm of the mental

I'm lecturing a course on the new speculative philosophy (I nicknamed it 'History of Philosophy since 2007'). But we started out discussing some themes in Whitehead, basically prehensions and the nature of the speculative method. Last Thursday the discussion ended up being mostly around the incompatibility between a speculation strategy that takes coherence and broadness of a general scheme as a measure of success (the plane metaphor in Process and Reality) and the lack of space for any sui generis phenomenon or event (any anomaly, any element of its own kind etc). That led us to the long history of the anomaly of the mental - in a sense, the history of some version of skepticism - and the way Whitehead engages with Descates cogito seeing it as a revelation of a broader scheme rather than a discovery of a sui generis realm of things. The speculative method itself seems to prevent schemes that are insufficiently general, such as a sui generis realm of the mental. Surely,

Ontological difference and existential pluralism

Back to Brasília where is hot and dry, everyone craving for some drops of the ohne end e London rain. And back to lecturing. Monday in my metaphysics lecture I was on about the relations between ontology and metaphysics. There is something related between the different ways of concocting uses for the words 'metaphysics' and 'ontology', I was going. I considered the use Heidegger and Lévinas make of the words. In order to introduce what Heidegger was trying to achieve, I went on to say something about the ontological difference. The classical question appeared: once we stop forgetting the being, what else is left to do? I then started talking about the many things Heidegger did based on the ontological difference but ended up diagnosing his position as a special example of existential monism (in the words of Souriau) - or mononteism, to use the word we made up in the class. There is something in common between everything that exists, existence has no more than one mode