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Philosophy over the summer

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• Is the world eternal? YES
• Do humans have contra-causal free will (i.e., can humans do otherwise)? NO
• Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? YES
• Do humans have souls? YES
• Are there natural rights? YES
• Is it morally permissible to eat meat? NO
• Is the unexamined life worth living? NO
• Is truth subjectivity? YES
• Is virtue necessary for happiness? YES
• Can a computer have a mind? YES
• Can humans know reality as it is in itself? YES
• Is hell other people? YES
• Can art be created accidentally? NO
• Can we change the past? NO
• Are numbers real? NO
• Is it always better to know the truth? YES

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A few students have asked me about the possibility of forming some sort of informal reading group over the summer, thus avoiding the very real dangers of intellectual withdrawal. So let this be a space for self-organization: if you are interested, add a comment, maybe with a proposal of what to read, or when/where to meet. I can’t promise how involved I’ll be, as I have a book to write, but I hope to poke my head in here and there, at the very least.



  1. blood_and_ashes says:

    To tie in to any Shafters watching this site, why not Machuga? I don’t know yet when I’ll be working this summer but I’ll probably be open for the evenings at any location. Classrooms might be the most predictable, but places (such as my apartment or quiet spot in the White Owl if it exists) might also be a good idea. I know I’m one of a few that is ready for something outside of monadistic point based hyper divisible physiological consciousness :)


  2. Sandi says:

    I am taking some week-long summer work shops but would be interested in meeting when I can. Does Heidegger or Hagel interest anyone? If not, I will be studying them alone I guess. I’m just putting that out there. I don’t really know enough to make suggestions but would like to be involved–so keep me in the loup. I can meet anywhere that is convenient for everyone else.


  3. blood_and_ashes says:

    I haven’t read enough Heidegger, if there can be such a thing. I’ll readily admit to not having yet conquered my copy of Poetry, Language, Thought. Since I know Sandi is really well read in science why not Feyerabend or Magee?
    We should further entice Huenemann along, I suggest The Ear of the Other and the Gift of Death by Derrida.


    • Sandi says:

      I am up for any suggestions, B&A I trust your judgement, I think. Who is Derrida anyway? He/She? keeps coming up lately.


      • blood_and_ashes says:

        Derrida, in the quick and sweet way, is a wall to wall liberal deconstructionist whose view of duty was total submission of the self and the identity of the self. His most landmark work, Of Grammatology, was an examination of written language as part of a sort of literary criticism, that concluded (more or less) that language had no true origin and was only formulated by the meaning we give it at any given time, and communication continued due to meanings that sort of held together as fragments which he called “traces”, just enough of a general meaning to get what is needed at the moment in a social circumstance but not enough to generate anything substantial and permanent. His views of the Other were of absolute obedience in the light of our inability to ever do what is just, for all that we do to one is not done to everyone else, and so no matter the nature of the person (which we can’t know or ask for so as to not do violence) we must only say “I am here” and do what they ask.
        Also our nature and our deaths are gifts, because they are what define us most as unique persons, most certainly our death, which can never be shared, duplicated or at all traded off. We die alone, but it is what makes the I. As they say in metal music, “only death is real.”

        His work Of Grammatology was translated by Gayatri Spivak, whom my ex girlfriend was studied under. Huenemann loves Derrida like Kleiner loves Sartre, for enlightening him to the nature of his dogs.


  4. Huenemann says:

    Ooh — how could I resist that?!


  5. Adam says:

    Interesting. It would be fun to just have a time where we meet and discuss books we’re currently reading. I will be reading Beyond Good and Evil, and having a place where I can talk about it would be AWESOME!!

    Tue/Thur evening works for me!


  6. Bryce says:

    I would be very interested in such a group. Most evenings or weekend mornings work for me. If anyone really wants to take some initiative, you could make an event at


  7. blood_and_ashes says:

    Alright damnit, who’s interested in the group? I’m up for any agreed time though I might be traveling from Salt Lake to meet up (jobs in Logan are the same as last year, non existent) but fine by me. Weekends might be best for flexibility, so who’s up?
    I’m offering a last ditch effort for getting input since my fascist desires to just schedule the thing will result in no attendance. Anybody at all? All up for beyond good and evil too, my Poli Sci class reading of it was very different. The most input seems to be of Heidegger and Nietzsche, which isn’t a bad combination at all. Who’s up and able?


  8. Huenemann says:

    I’m up for meeting, but I won’t be able to join you until after June 10.


  9. Sandi says:

    I will be busy the first two weeks of July but otherwise fairly available and definitely interested.


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