Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Abstract to Limited Horizons: The Habitual Basis of the Imagination

My editor asked me to write an abstract; I share the draft with you.

This essay on pragmatist aesthetics explains how imagination extends the environment into the possible.  While there is no lack of pragmatic theories claiming that imagination extends the environment, few explain how.  After discussing the incompleteness of Mark Johnson’s scholarship on this question, I engage and expand upon Thomas Alexander’s work in John Dewey scholarship to construct a novel Deweyan-pragmatic view of the dynamic structure of imaginative function that emphasizes continuity, temporality, and the emergence of meaning.  I conclude by challenging Dewey scholars to address the question of how, else they are blind to the limitations of imagination while making Oedipal promises on its transformative power.

Feel free to suggest edits.  This will be published in the Transactions of the C.S. Peirce Society, which is a pragmatist journal.

A Contradiction in Onticology

Someone should feel free to either point out what I am missing or confirm that I am correct.

Is not Levi's post on A-theology contrary to his recent post on substance and process?  I think so.

Just like when I used to correspond with him, we would have moments of concordance and divergence, and now I am wondering if he is his own worst enemy or if he is being contrary on purpose.

For instance, if he pushes the externality of objective relations, but then admits of endo- and exo-relations, he appears to either contradict himself or perhaps equivocate.  When I pushed him on this months ago, he insisted on the substantial nature of objects, but then appears to take it away when calling objects "time worms" in a different post.  There might be a way to square this, and I did try hard to find a way, and now I wonder if someone would like to point it out.  I say this not because I think that I am mistaken--I think I am correct--but I cannot claim not to have seen such contradictions resolved by unforeseen moves before.

In my own work, there is the distinction between the continuity of nature vs. logical relation vs. causal relation, etc.  In short, everything must be continuous so as to be related in some sense, or they could never share a causal relation without making appeals to ex nihilo causation that is excluded in naturalism.  But continuity is not causality, and the logic of continuity is not the same as that of causation.  That difference has confused many who have misunderstood process thought by think that all relations must be causal or predicate-subject relations.

I would ask that contributions to the conversation be constructive and not airing of grievances.  Likewise, my aim is to be constructive, and I hope to learn something from the conversation.  Despite all my disagreements with Harman, I can say that I admire his work and have learned from it, which I think is higher praise than my believing in its veracity.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Musing upon teaching philosophy

I have been teaching based on a pedagogy that goes against many of his instincts.  That is, be as open, informative, and explicit as possible. Why is that against my instincts? Because it feeds into student's prior "training" to memorize and regurgitate material without understanding ... although they tend to fail the tests as I write them such that pure regurgitation will only give one the feeling that one is correct without actually being so, which surprises many like a sucker punch when they receive their grades. I have yet to reconcile my instincts with my pedagogical concerns, and my repeated warnings that they will feel sucker-punched if they do not really engage the material has not been well-heeded.

Currently, I am attempting to make the arguments as accessible as possible.  Since I teach first and second-year introductory courses as history of philosophy courses, e.g., we read Plato, Aristotle, the moderns, etc., accessibility is an issue.  Only my logic course is contemporary.  I hope that going over the material will make it understandable and inspire most to greater engagement.  However, to exhibit the instinctual tension I feel, I tell you that I provide far more written presentation material, office hours, and take-home guides than I ever received in my own training at two institutions, and it is the prevalence of material that worries me.  Few learn without the effort of discovery, and I worry that I have become too much a mediator of the ideas such that the students are not able to grasp them without my mediation.

Bah, the internal monologue of a junior professor....

Query to Readers: Enactivist, Embodied Theories of Mind

Given the recent post at Archive Fire concerning enactivist, embodied theories of mind, I am considering engaging such literature.  Regular readers should know that much of my work is in pragmatic theories of representation, phenomenology, and the process metaphysics to get such projects off the ground.

Are there readers out there quite familiar with the strain of neopragmatism that addresses these issues?  I would welcome any thoughts or advice.  For my part, it would require bridging the neopragmatic (them) vs. neoclassical pragmatic chasm (me), which is also the difference between highly appropriative analytic philosophy versus pragmatist and Americanist philosophy.  They are two utterly different traditions of philosophy, which is something that I rarely see analytic neopragmatists appreciate.

What would I offer? The process metaphysics necessary to achieve a realist phenomenology, which is compatible (translatable?) with post-Husserlian phenomenology and contemporary science.  To be honest, many of the basic moves of enactivist, embodied theories of mind are a century old, and much of that work is a return to what began during classical pragmatism's time.  Yet the return is usually an appropriation without a full understanding of classical or neoclassical (contemporary) pragmatism.

I need a good dancing partner...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Immanence AND Transcendence: Response to A-Theology

Recently, Levi Bryant of Larval Subjects posted on “A-theology” per the subject of immanence and transcendence.  Matt of Footnotes to Plato responded.

To both of these gentlemen, who are on opposite sides on many issues, I ask the question

Immanent to what? 

Why must we sling around a relational term without explaining the relateds?

I respond that the answer is “nature.”  But then I say that nature is both immanent and transcendent … to itself.  How?  Nature is generative, and time and chance are real.

I presume that Matt knows this angle and neglected to mention it, as he has posted much on this.  Levi’s commitments are less clear, and I will respond to him in the remainder of this post.  In short, my comments amount to the statement, “but almost no one holds the positions that he is against!”  The reader should not be lead into thinking that Levi’s opponents actually hold the positions that he launches a polemic against, because they do not.

First, his description of “immanence” and “transcendence” is partial, and he knows this, so I am just drawing attention to a few points that his readers might overlook and that make his claims problematic.  His insistence on “immanence” implying “external relations” and “disjunctive diversity” never explains the problem of change, i.e., how change is possible.  It’s a basic logical problem that one falls into whenever one champions pure externality.  In fact, it seems very, very odd to be quoting Whitehead throughout that section, as Whitehead would never agree with that view.  Second, he appears to then embrace internal relations when discussing “entropy” despite his insistence that it is “opposite of the logic of conjunction found in holisms.
This is where I remind the reader that western philosophies that maintained pure internal relations disappeared nearly a century ago, and thus Levi is not targeting serious contemporary discussions.  I add “serious” because we should be able to find a people people still maintaining a simplistic doctrine.  To forestall the obvious, no, Western process thought and Buddhism are not doctrines of “pure internal relations.”  Process thought was never that, and Buddhist views are far more nuanced depending on the school.

The problem that is most obvious to me about Levi’s view is its atemporality and this its myopic view of transcendence.  Like “internal relations,” relatively few philosophers would accept his definition of “transcendence;” he’s targeting a minority segment that may not even represent his interlocutors.  When he discusses transcendence, he engages in mereology again, and I presume that his understanding of mereology, especially when it comes to temporality, is too simplistic.  I see little recognition of constitutive part-whole relations, e.g., of the sort made famous in Hegel’s phenomenology.  But let me move on to my last point on temporality rather than be mired down.

While the existence of entities as such is independent, it is at best only independent from an atemporal point of view.  Time and change are two sides of the same coin.  Seen from a temporal (historical) standpoint, entities’ existence as such is not independent, because any entity is not self-sufficient in its own being over time.  It might appear like that from an atemporal perspective.  Pointing out that objects are dynamic systems, autopoetic, etc. does not solve this problem.  This is why I have not been supportive of object-oriented ontologies; it’s neo-substance talk with so many bells and whistles that distract from the fact that it does not resolve the classical counter-arguments against substance metaphysics, e.g., the problem of change and temporality.  Harman has a solution to this that is clearly worked out, in which case it is just creatively implausible.  Levi can do no better than Harman, no matter all his appropriations from other philosophies, until he deals with this problem.  This is why so many OOO bloggers jumped onto the idea of contingent withdrawal some weeks ago; it’s a recognition of the problem.

Some advice.  Start by working the problem of temporality and be sure not to spatialize time.  Moreover, embrace asymmetric mereological relations, e.g., meditate upon Hegel, which will help understand where recent views of temporality are coming from.  And bring me a hamburger and fries while I am busy pontificating.

Apologies that I cannot be more detailed in my discussion, as I lack the time.  Regardless, I'm not really saying anything new.  What I say just does not appear to stick.

Monday, February 20, 2012

CFP: International Conference on Rethinking Pragmatist Aesthetics

International Conference “Rethinking Pragmatist Aesthetics”

*August 31-September 2, 2012*

*Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Campus in Wroclaw (Poland)

** Theme: Pragmatist aesthetics is a rich theoretical tradition which has
its beginnings in the work of classical pragmatists (most notably, John
Dewey’s 1934 book Art as Experience), and which was rejuvenated in the 80s
and the 90s by such scholars as Richard Rorty, Joseph Margolis, and Richard
Shusterman. The latter’s 1992 book Pragmatist Aesthetics can be seen as a
symbolic moment in the emergence of the second wave of pragmatist
aesthetics, and today, twenty years after its publication, it is perhaps
the right time to rethink pragmatism’s contribution to aesthetic theory.

** The aim of this conference is to reflect on pragmatist aesthetics’
history and current condition, but also on its potential to address the
most pressing problems of contemporary philosophical aesthetics, and to
project the future avenues for its progress. In particular, we welcome
submissions that: provide historical accounts of pragmatist aesthetics’
development; address aesthetic themes in the work of classical pragmatists
(Peirce, James, Dewey, F.C.S. Schiller, etc.) and/or neopragmatists (Rorty,
Goodman, Margolis, Shusterman, Putnam, et al.); deploy a (neo-)pragmatist
perspective in addressing a given aesthetic problem or in interpreting
concrete works of art; provide a comparative analysis of pragmatist
aesthetics and aesthetic theories developed in other philosophical
traditions or in different disciplines – for instance in analytic
philosophy, continental and post-continental thought, evolutionary
psychology, psychoanalysis, etc.

Keynote speaker: Richard Shusterman (Florida Atlantic University)

** Abstracts of between 350 to 500 words and a short author profile should
be sent to prof. Leszek Koczanowicz ( or dr. Wojciech
Malecki ( no later than May 15th, 2012. The
conference language is English.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Backing Away from Object-Oriented Discussion

I was talking to a friend about object-oriented philosophy who precisely encapsulated my misgivings with it.  He wrote,

"They seem intent on systematization of their viewpoint, but don't seem willing (or able) to acknowledge the shortcomings in their position."

While I applaud so much of the work in systematizing the position, especially because it is often uncelebrated work, even among those who have solidly constructed it I note a failure to acknowledge the shortcomings.  After months of engagement as I learned more and more of the field in general and several thinker's positions in particular, I have backed away.  Given that I have no interest in helping members of the field ticker with the internals of their viewpoint, I have little to say.  My critiques have been made, and I see not value in repeating them unless I were to become a specialist in the field and a dedicated critic.  Construction rather than destruction is my vocation.  I hope to engage with speculative realism more generally, as it is one of the few contemporary discussions of non-reductive realism.

To give ammunition to my supposed opponents, I think that one reason I am not compelled by object-oriented thinking is that I am not beholden to the concerns of contemporary continental philosophy, and thus the solutions that OOO provides are answers to questions that I am not asking.  I now have enough familiarity with OOO to know that I would not ask those questions that we do not have in common.  I do think that much may come of the new tradition, and I have a bit of advice.  Do not confuse systematizing your viewpoint with philosophical advance in general.

I still enjoin discussants to come chat, but I will in general keep the quiet on that subject that I have maintained for some time already.  Hopefully I will have much more to say about Americanist positions in the future.

Conference: New York Pragmatist Forum


Fordham University at Lincoln Center - Lowenstein Building 708
Columbus (9th) Avenue at 60th Street
New York, New York, USA

Friday, February 24, 2012
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

“Pragmatism and Sociology”
- - - - - - -

Charles C. Lemert, Senior Fellow,
Center for Comparative Research/Sociology, Yale University

“The Dilemmas of Social Theory: Can Pragmatism Help?”

David W. Woods, Southern Connecticut State University
Author of Democracy Deferred: Civic Leadership after 9/11
(Palgrave Macmillan, March 2012)

“George Herbert Mead and the Social Bases of Democracy”

Judith M. Green, Fordham University
Co-Editor of Pragmatism and Diversity: Dewey in the Context of Late Twentieth Century Debates (Palgrave MacMillan, January 2012)

“Cultivating Pragmatist Cosmopolitanism:
Democratic Local-and-Global Community amidst Diversity”
- - - - - - -

Celebratory Refreshments Will Be Served

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Temporality and Imagination

Though I have not had time to post regularly, I do with to comment on the ongoing discussion at Archive Fire, Knowledge Ecology, and Footnotes to Plato.

I argue that imagination is an emergent feature of nature whose principle root is the temporality of nature.  Human imagination dilates the present moment and manipulates its temporality, i.e., manipulates the inter-relations of present, past, and future.  Human imagination’s primary function is the projection of the anticipated consequences of an action, i.e., the meaning of an action by definition (cf. Peirce), and thus imagination allows us to make the anticipated future part of the present.  To the extent that we may anticipate the consequences of our transactions with the world, we may render it comprehensible.

I am arguing for a kind of naturalism, but not scietnfic or reductive naturalism.  E.g., I hold that imagination is an extension of and continuous with the basic anticipation of any homeostatic organism, though it is not reducible to it.  I may explain this in more detail, but let me say that a reader without familiar with the process metaphysics and emergent naturalism supporting this view cannot take my words at face value, as they will likely misjudge the implied arguments.  I can supply a short annotated bibliography upon request in addition to my own work.

Some technical points about the above.  Yes, I take phenomenological temporality to be continuous with natural temporality, which is a major deviation from the Husserlian tradition of phenomenology.  Screw Kant and his insistence that time is the inner form of representation; we can do without that presumed dualism of body and mind.  The utter lack of the concept of continuity is part of the Americanist rejection of many post-Kantian philosophies, especially in metaphysics and phenomenology.  This is also part of my own hesitance to accept object-oriented ontology insomuch as it rejects continuity.  (This seems to vary depending on which OOO-thinker we are talking about.)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ecstatic Naturalism Conference

EN 2012 Conference Schedule

Second International Congress on Ecstatic Naturalism

13–14 April 2012, Drew University, Madison, NJ USA

Friday, 13 April 20122:00-5:00: First Session: Aesthetics and Semiotics
Martin Yalcin, “Orpheus and the Aesthetic Character of the Sacred: Can We Replace Religion with Art?”
Inna Semetsky. “Reading Signs: Peirce, Deleuze, Hermeneutics”
Michael Raposa, “What may lie hidden in the icon: On boredom, ecstasy and the limits of semiosis"

Commentator: Nick Wernicki

6:00 PM: Dinner

7:00 PM: Keynote Presentation by Robert C. Neville with an introduction by Robert Corrington

Saturday, April 14th7:30 AM: Breakfast

8:30 AM – 11:30 PM: Second Session: Education, Psychology, and Psychoanalysis
Darryl De Marzio, “On the Unity of Eros and Agape: An Ecstatic Naturalist Perspective on the Dynamic of Love in Education”
Kwang Yu Lee, “What Ecstasy is to Shamanism, Manic-Depression is to Ecstatic Naturalism?”
Lydia York, “Abyss and Ground: Expanding Ecstatic Naturalism’s Material Maternal with Psychoanalytic Object-Relations Theory"

Commentator: Theresa Ellis

11:45-12:45PM: Book Celebration Panel: Nam T. Nguyen’s Nature’s Primal Self: Peirce, Jaspers, and Corrington and Leon Niemoczynski’s Charles Sanders Peirce and a Religious Metaphysics of Nature.

Commentators: Wade Mitchell and Todd Willison

Respondents: Leon Niemoczynski and Robert Corrington (on behalf of Nam Nguyen)

12:45 – 2:30 PM: Break

2:30 – 5:30 PM: Third Session: Nature and Metaphysics
Guy Woodward, “Cleaving the Light: The Necessity of Metaphysics in the Practice of Theology”
Jea Oh, “Nature’s Spontaneity and Intentionality: Ecocracy, Doing Non-Doing Principle of Donghak [Eastern Learning]”
Leon Niemoczynski, “Speculating God: Meillassoux, Whitehead, Corrington”

Commentator: Karen Bray

6:00 PM: Dinner

8:00 PM Performance

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

CFP: Speculative Realism and Religion

Thinking the Absolute:
Speculation, Philosophy and the End of Religion

June 29th – July 1st 2012, Liverpool Hope University

Keynote speakers
Catherine Malabou
Iain Hamilton Grant
Levi Bryant
Ray Brassier

‘The contemporary end of metaphysics is an end which, being sceptical, could only be a religious end of metaphysics.’
Quentin Meillassoux, After Finitude. An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency (London: Continuum, 2008), p.

Meillassoux identifies the ‘turn to religion’ in contemporary continental philosophy with a failure of thinking. The Kantian refusal to think the absolute leads to scepticism about reality in itself. Ironically, this lends itself to ‘fideism’, the decision to project religious meaning on to the unknowable beyond. According to Meillassoux, a philosophy obsessed with mystery becomes the accomplice of irrational faith. The solution is to find ways of once more thinking the absolute in its reality, severed from its dependence upon a knowing subject, or upon language and social norms. At the same time, new possibilities for thinking religion (exemplified by Meillassoux’s own Divine Inexistence) are emerging.

This conference invites proposals which critically consider this speculative turn in philosophy and its implications for thinking about religion. To what ‘end’ is speculation leading? Does it simply announce the closure of religion and its subordination to a philosophy of the absolute, nature or the ‘All’? Can it open new lines for a philosophy of religion which is not wedded to the Kantian horizon? Is speculation itself open to Kierkegaardian critique as yet another move to position and reduce ethical and religious claims, sacrificing the future on the altar of abstract possibility? Does renewed attention to the canon of speculative idealism offer a way beyond the impasse between relativism and dogmatism?

The organisers welcome proposals which examine the roots and extensity of recent speculative thinking, and which critically consider its impact – direct and indirect - on philosophy of religion. Relevant thinkers and themes might include Quentin Meillassoux on God and the absolute, Alain Badiou’s ontology, Catherine Malabou on Hegel and plasticity, Francois Laruelle’s ‘future Christ’, Iain Hamilton Grant on Schelling’s Naturphilosophie and the thinking of the All, Ray Brassier’s nihilism. However, we are particularly looking for contributions which creatively use or depart from the speculative turn to offer original insights into the nature and content of the field.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

CFP: Summer Institute in American Philosophy

2012 Summer Institute in American Philosophy

The 2012 Summer Institute in American Philosophy will be held at the
University of Oregon from July 16-21, 2012. The deadline for this year’s
call for abstracts is April 15, 2012.

This year's summer institute will feature a number of plenary seminars
including: ‘(Re)Reading Dewey’s Unmodern Philosophy and Modern Philosophy’
(Larry Hickman, Tom Alexander, Phillip Deen), ‘(Re)Reading Dewey & Addams’
(Marilyn Fischer, Amrita Banerjee), ‘Critical Pragmatism’ (Leonard Harris,
Jacoby Carter, Lee McBride), and Crossing Disciplines: Pragmatism in
Philosophy & Political Science (Christopher Ansell, Gerry Berk, and others
TBA). We are excited to announce that our featured keynote speaker will be
Charlene Haddock Seigfried, Professor Emerita at Purdue University.
Professor Seigfried’s two keynote lectures will address the idea of the
social self in the work of Jane Addams.
Further information, including a conference registration form, is available
at <>. This website
will continue to be updated in coming weeks.

CALL FOR PAPERS/ABSTRACTS (Deadline: April 15, 2012)
We invite submissions to present papers in any area of American Philosophy
at SIAP. (As with last year, we are inviting a variety of types of
submissions again this year.) Presentations may either be Traditional
Conference papers or one of a variety of In-Progress presentations.
Submission Instructions: Please specify in your submission the type of
presentation from the list below, according to instructions. Email your
submissions to Colin Koopman at The subject line of
your email should read: "SIAP 2012 Submission: [format type (e.g.,
Traditional Paper, Dissertation-In-Progress)]. Please include the complete
text of your submission in the body of your email and do not include
anything as an attachment. The submission deadline is April 15, 2012 with
decisions to be made no later than May 4, 2012. If you absolutely need an
earlier decision for the sake of securing institutional funding, please
contact Colin Koopman beforehand, and we will see what we can do.

* Traditional Papers: Papers in all areas of American philosophy are
welcome, but we will particularly favor papers whose topics are related to
the themes of the plenary seminars and the work of our keynote speaker.
Instructions: Please submit an abstract of 500 words describing the paper
in detail. Final papers should be of a length suitable for a short
presentation of 15-25 minutes.

* Books-In-Progress Submissions: Those working on book manuscripts in some
area of research pertinent to American philosophy are invited to discuss
their idea with seminar participants. This includes fresh ideas for books
just underway as well as books nearing completion, but does not extend to
author-critics sessions on recently-published books. Instructions: Please
submit a 500 word abstract describing your book manuscript, the content of
your presentation, your ideas for the format of the presentation.

* Dissertations-In-Progress: Graduate students preparing dissertation
proposals, in the dissertation-writing phase, or approaching their
dissertation defense are invited to present their work at special
dissertations-in-progress sessions. This is a regular tradition at SIAP
and one of the most exciting venues to showcase new work that is being
developed in American Philosophy at various graduate programs across the
country and internationally. Instructions: Please submit a 500-word
abstract describing the content of your dissertation. We will work with
you in advance of the session on general guidelines for preparing the
presentation and what to expect. In addition please note: we have a
limited number of travel grants available to graduates at the conference
who will be presenting, so please indicate if you would like to be
considered for a travel grant which will cover the entire cost of
room/housing as well as registration fees. These grants are generously
funded by the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. (See
below for more information on the grants).

* Experiments-In-Progress: We invite presentations on projects,
collaborations, group work, public philosophy forays, field philosophy
work, and other philosophical experiments for the purposes of discussion at
SIAP. Some examples: Michael Eldridge’s 2009 group discussion of Obama’s
Pragmatism (and see the most recent issue of Contemporary Pragmatism for
papers on the topic, some of which were initially formulated at this
session), Donald Hood and Eric Weber’s 2011 presentation on pragmatism as
public philosopher, a presentation on some in-progress interdisciplinary
research collaboration including reflections on what is going right in the
project and what unexpected blockages have come up, a roundtable
presentation concerning the development of open access scholarship in
American philosophy, discussions oriented toward the design of advanced or
introductory courses in pragmatism using online resources and collaborative
assignment. These sessions will be limited in number and are intended to
provide opportunities for innovative forms of work, thought, and
scholarship in the American tradition. Instructions: Please submit a
500-word abstract describing your project, the content of your
presentation, your ideas for the format of the presentation, a
justification of the project terms of larger issues of outreach and
scholarship, and any a/v needs you might have.

We have a limited number of travel grants available to graduates at the
conference. Priority will be given to graduates who are presenting their
work and who have not previously attended. In your submission, please
indicate if you would like to be considered for a travel grant. Grants
will cover the full cost of on-campus housing (on a shared room basis) as
well as registration fees (note that travel expenses, airfare, fuel, &c.,
will still need to be covered independently). These grants are being
generously funded by the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

CFP: Ender's Game and Philosophy

                                                    Call for Abstracts

Ender’s Game and Philosophy

Edited by Kevin S. Decker

The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series

To propose ideas for future volumes in the Blackwell series please contact the Series Editor, William Irwin,

If you have comments or criticisms for the series, please read “Fancy Taking a Pop?” at

Abstracts and subsequent essays should be philosophically substantial but accessible, written to engage the intelligent lay reader. Contributors of accepted essays will receive an honorarium.

Possible themes and topics might include, but are not limited to, the following: Possible themes and topics might include, but are not limited to, the following: “A Childhood Deferred?”: the ethics of hyper-specialized training for the very young; “The Military and their Monitors”: issues of privacy and civil rights during wartime; “All-Out War”: just war theory and the ethics of total mobilization of Earth society against the buggers; “We Know What You Think”: how and why monitors could be used to keep track of individuals’ inmost thoughts and desires; “They Aren’t Normal; They Act Like—History”: Hegel and the cunning of reason in history and future wars; “The Hook and the Raft”: does the I.F. “System” colonize the human and bugger “Lifeworlds”?;“The Giant’s Drink”; Ender’s training is a simulation, but are we living in one?; “Know Your Enemy”: the strategic philosophies of Sun-Tzu and Ender Wiggin; “Ender’s Game and the Problem of Dirty Hands”; “Constructing Subjects in Space”; Foucault and Ender’s military leaders; “Bugger All!”: when cultural incommensurability turns into conflict; “Wiggin’ the Dog”: ethical and political dimensions of stage-managed wars; “Down with the Warsaw Pact!”: the epistemology of blogging; “Locke and Demosthenes”: ‘virtual’ politics with false personas; “Of Bachelard and Battlerooms”: philosophy of bodies in space; “Peter’s in the Mirror Again”: virtual simulations and artificial intelligence; “Valentine’s Day”; philosophy of emotion in Ender’s Game;“Like a Gun”: is Ender responsible for the terrible consequences of his actions, or has he been a pawn for the I.F.?

Submission Guidelines:

1. Submission deadline for abstracts (100-500 words) and CV(s): March 19, 2012.

2. Submission deadline for drafts of accepted papers: June 18, 2012.

Kindly submit by e-mail (with or without Word attachment) to: Kevin S. Decker at

CFP: German Idealism, Romanticism, and Poe

CFP: “Theory Mad Beyond Redemption”: The Post-Kantian Poe

call for papers for a special issue of The Edgar Allan Poe Review, forthcoming in Fall 2012, and guest-edited by Sean Moreland, Devin Zane Shaw, and Jonathan Murphy.

The editors invite original essays that address the influence of German Idealist and Romantic thought upon Edgar Allan Poe. While it has become a critical commonplace that Poe both makes use of and mocks many elements of German Idealism, there has been scant discussion of the specificities of Poe’s complex, and often vexed, treatments of Kantian and post-Kantian philosophy. Poe studies enjoyed a brief revival of the “French Poe” following the psychoanalytic and deconstructive interventions of Lacan and Derrida, but the anti-theoretical backlash of the past two decades has tended to extradite Poe back to his country of origin, restoring his “American Face” at the cost of recognizing the transatlantic influences that indelibly shaped his writing. This collection will focus on Poe’s indebtedness to, as well as his critical distance from, the German Idealist and Romantic writers, but its intent is not to delineate, as Hansen and Pollin (1995) have done, the “German Face” of Poe, so much as it is to reintroduce the theoretical aspect of Poe’s artistry back into the critical conversation.

We especially welcome papers that consider the relationship between Poe’s reception of Kantian and post-Kantian philosophy (including Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Schiller, and the Schlegels) and that of his American literary contemporaries (including Emerson, Fuller, Hawthorne, and Melville); articles that examine the role of Coleridge and Carlyle, Cousin and de Stael in disseminating German idealism upon American shores; and essays that interrogate more recent peregrinations of German philosophy in Continental theory, especially as they pertain to a reconsideration of Poe’s literary legacy.
We require a 250 word abstract and a brief bio by no later than April 30, 2012, and the finished paper (Chicago-style, no more than 9000 words including endnotes) by July 15, 2012. Abstracts, papers, and questions should be directed to:

CFP: Transactions Issue on Ransdell


*Special Issue*

*“The Meaning of a Thought is Altogether Something Virtual”: Joseph
Ransdell and His Legacy*

*Editors:** *
*Catherine Legg, University of Waikato, New Zealand*
*Gary Richmond, LaGuardia College – City University of New York*

*Joseph Ransdell (1931**-**2010),** based for most of his career at Texas
Tech University, offered a highly original and focused challenge within
academic philosophy at the end of the Second Millennium. His guiding
philosophical passion was truth-directed communication. This led him to
think deeply about the Platonic Socrates and the Socratic Plato, and the
problematics of early modern philosophy. Most of all, however, he claimed
that the thought of Charles Sanders Peirce held the key not just to
endorsing truth as a regulative ideal, but to showing how the ideal might
be worked out in practice by means of a community of inquiry exercising
critical self-control.*

*From early in his career Joe was concerned that professional gatekeeping
was hindering progress in philosophy, and was unafraid to speak about it.
From the initial evolution of the Internet he grasped its potential as
a**place “where people can and do critically question and challenge
one another without the usual protections of office, rank, agenda, and official
moderation”, something that he argued had “all but disappeared from public
life — including intellectual life — in the U.S. and many other countries
as well during the 20th Century”.*

*Thereafter he threw enormous effort and enterprise into realizing this
vision, swimming against a rising tide of other kinds of institutional
reward. This resulted in the email list and online community peirce-l,
which he founded in 1993 and moderated in unique style until his death, and
the accompanying website that he beta-launched in 1997 and called
Arisbe,after the house where Peirce lived during the later years of
his life and
dreamed of establishing a research centre. *

*Joe’s exceptionally conscious and critical approach to nurturing online
communication may be seen in the “How the Forum Works” guidelines that he
wrote for peirce-l: Much
there now seems prescient in the light of subsequent developments on the
Internet, whereby ordinary persons build public knowledge resources with no
thought of monetary reward. A key example is of course the astounding
Wikipedia, whose success was also arguably due to its open, self-correcting
development of its own processes (and who would have guessed that so many
would gather there and freely give so much energy to help others learn
**-**except perhaps Charles Peirce?)

*Many felt that the mores Joe charted for peirce-l made it a unique and
valuable place to do philosophy. Another noteworthy feaure of the list was
the way in which its composition mirrored the polymathic and international
outlook of Peirce himself. One might find, for instance, a semiotician, a
theologian, a computer scientist, and a book translator discussing Peirce’s
relation to Leibniz. *

*We are interested in papers which record, honour, explicate, and
critically appraise Joe’s published writings, his online efforts and their
ongoing legacy, and the relation between the two. In keeping with the
spirit of peirce-l, we welcome submissions from a wealth of disciplines,
although we expect philosophy to make a prominent showing. *

*All papers will be blind-refereed, and should be prepared as such.
Submissions should follow the Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce
Societymanuscript guidelines, online at: They may be submitted by
email to Catherine Legg at The deadline for
submissions is September 1st, 2012.*