Where have I heard this before?

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this theory, so it’s a real question: Leiter has up a synopsis of a classicist who claims that Plato’s works can be broken down into musical notes. I think Michael Naas told me that he had talked to someone during his grad school days who had huge diagrams on this, working out how this all worked. After all that work, though, I’m lost on the point: it’s not new to claim that Plato was deeply influenced by the Pythagoreans. But…then what?

The presence and nature of the hidden codes suggest that Plato may have signed up to the same belief – and that 2,000 years before the birth of modern science, he was leaving a message in his writing that maths and logical patterns ruled the universe, not the gods.

Dr Kennedy argues that Plato did not use the code for pleasure, but for his own safety. Plato’s own teacher had been executed for heresy….

Dr Kennedy added. ‘This is the beginning of something big. It will take a generation to work out the implications. All 2,000 pages contain undetected symbols.’

That’s what been missing from my work thus far: hidden musical stylings…

H/t Alternet

Are you feeling in too good of a mood? A bit self-satisfied? Well, here’s another dismal video from the BP spill. Here you get to see dolphins and a sperm whale struggling (at 6:30 or so) in the oil.

Morton and SR

For those who haven’t noticed, Tim Morton has a great site, and recently he’s been commenting more and more on speculative realism. I did a review of The Ecological Thought for the upcoming Speculations issue, to which he was kind enough to provide a response. One major question that Levi Bryant has had about Morton is his supposed relationism. I see where Levi is coming from, though Levi does note that Morton’s notion of the “strange stranger” is a step away from such relationism (a point I made in my review). I won’t comment much more, but interesting to me was the way in which Morton attempts an oscillation between a Heideggerian “existence is co-existence” and a Levinasian approach to the Strange Stranger and the elemental. I suggested to him as one figure, whom he does cover, is Nancy, as someone attempting a similar move.

Philosophy in Review

Is up with its most recent issue. I’ll just post the TOC. Obviously, my own review of Bennett is there, which they really turned around really quickly. But there’s also a bunch of other reviews of interest….

Alain Badiou, Logic of Worlds: Being and Event II PDF
Reviewed by

Conor O’Dea 155-157
Jane Bennett, Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things
Reviewed by
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Peter Gratton 158-160
Georg Brun, Ulvi Doguoglu and Dominique Kuenzle, eds. Epistemology and Emotions
Reviewed by
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Michael Potter 161-164
Monique Canto-Sperber, Moral Disquiet and Human Life
Reviewed by
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Albert D. Spalding 165-168
Martin Carrier, Don Howard and Janet Kourany, eds. The Challenge of the Social and the Pressure of Practice: Science and Values Revisited
Reviewed by
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Jay Foster 169-172
David Chalmers, David Manley, and Ryan Wasserman, eds. Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology
Reviewed by
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Michael J. Raven 173-175
Stephen R. L. Clark, Understanding Faith: Religious Belief and its Place in Society
Reviewed by
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Robert J. Deltete 176-179
Arthur C. Danto, Andy Warhol
Reviewed by
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Andrew Lugg 180-182
Emmanuel Faye, Heidegger: The Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy in Light of the Unpublished Seminars of 1933-1935
Reviewed by
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Michael Maidan 183-185
Michael Forster, Kant and Skepticism
Reviewed by
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Diego Machuca 186-188
Stefano Gattei, Thomas Kuhn’s ‘Linguistic Turn’ and the Legacy of Logical Empiricism
Reviewed by
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Francis Remedios 189-191
Neil Gross, Richard Rorty: The Making of an American Philosopher
Reviewed by
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J. I. (Hans) Bakker 192-195
Edward C. Halper, One and Many in Aristotle’s Metaphysics: Books Alpha-Delta
Reviewed by
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Edward P. Butler 196-198
Daniel M. Haybron, The Pursuit of Unhappiness: The Elusive Psychology of Well-Being
Reviewed by
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Sophie Rietti 199-201
Martta Heikkilä, At the Limits of Presentation: Coming-into-presence and its Aesthetic Relevance in Jean-Luc Nancy’s Philosophy
Reviewed by
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B. C. Hutchens 202-204
C. S. Jenkins, Grounding Concepts: An Empirical Basis for Arithmetical Knowledge
Reviewed by
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Manuel Bremer 205-207
W. J. Mander, The Philosophy of John Norris
Reviewed by
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Benjamin Hill 208-211
Dean Rickles, The Ashgate Companion to Contemporary Philosophy of Physics
Reviewed by
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Ian James Kidd 212-214
John M. Rist, What is Truth? From the Academy to the Vatican
Reviewed by
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Daniel Gallagher 215-216
Katherin A. Rogers, Anselm on Freedom
Reviewed by
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Michael W. Tkacz 217-219
Joe Salerno, ed. New Essays on the Knowability Paradox.
Reviewed by
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Sam Cowling 220-222
Armin Schnider, The Confabulating Mind: How The Brain Creates Reality
Reviewed by
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Anton Petrenko 223-226
Sally Sedgwick, Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals: An Introduction
Reviewed by
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Victoria S. Wike 227-229
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Morality without God
Reviewed by
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Whitley Kaufman 230-231
Slavoz Žižek and John Milbank, The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialectic?
Reviewed by
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Jason Powell 232-234

Coates on Grant

Ta-Nehisi Coates up with a post on U.S. Grant (what an American name, by the way. And his first name was Ulysses? Sure his parents were tanners, but they did set him up for great things, didn’t they? [Update: d'uh, since his name was given to him when he arrived at West Point.] I named my son after my father’s nickname, Brad. [My dad's real name is Burdette. So Brad did dodge something there. And there is Brad Pitt...]) Speaking of Grant, I’ve been making my way later at night through Ken Burns’ The Civil War on Netflix on demand. I know that anyone sounds like a great prose stylist when you have Morgan Freedman et al. reading your lines, but even your undereducated soldier manages to have lines that rise to the moment. (Is there any more haunting letter than the one read at the end of episode 1 to his wife, only to die one week later at the Battle of Bull Run?)

Politically, there’s a great line from the first episode, too, that I’ll have write down at some point, but I remember from when I first saw the series as a kid: the war was fought, McCullough intones near the intro, to make everything that gave rise to the War unthinkable. In there is the whole temporality of the event in Badiou, isn’t it?

Subjects to Debate…

1. Shaviro is up with a citation from Whitehead, which I presume is in response to Scu’s discussion of anthropomorphism.

2. Someone bought a kid in my neighborhood a vuvuzela. This raises all sorts of questions about cultural differences, the difference between nodding to these differences and simply commodifying them, and… hey, can we knock it off, I’m trying to work over here….

3. There’s been a lot of good online discussion recently surrounding the G-20. Basically, right wing economists have, without any empirical evidence that I can see, been pushing austerity measures. Various people not on the cooky right have been critiquing this online. But the most incisive line on this: Brad Delong’s Duncan Black’s [A/k/a Atrios] quip,

And Speaking Of Bond Vigilantes: 10-Year Treasury dropped below 3%. Quick, fire some teachers!!!!

(Meaning, there’s zero evidence that debt levels are raising any sorts of problems for the government sale of bonds. By the way, when was the last time it was a US president pushing Europe to be less right-wing? We are at 10% unemployment and it’s treated as the new normal…)

4. Paul Ennis is up with his TOC for his manifesto on Speculative Realism. You know what he might appreciate? Write him to let ask him to cover your favorite esoteric topic, while gettting all indignant. Why doesn’t Ennis have something on SR and, I don’t know, eco-Marxism or the problem of evil? Surely a failure of imagination…

5. In light of the recent loss in the World Cup (and so much else), the Onion notes,

U.S. Dignity Reserves Nearly Depleted

If you get indignant over this, does this mean you show more or less dignity?

6. Can we feed the children? Yglesias is up with a post about school lunches, which is really under-discussed. Junior goes to a school where basically so many kids were on free lunches that they just made it free for everyone (including Junior, who has much of a fondness for school lunches than I ever had). But now the summer’s here, and these worries don’t go away: many of these kids have parents who simply don’t have the means to provide the necessary meals for their kids. But it’s summer, so I guess the kids don’t like to eat… Or, as Yglesias puts it:

Conservatives for Malnourished Children

Living in CA, where we really have some nutty conservatives (take that Arizona! And what happened with Texas on this front in recent years? They’ve really fallen on the ball here) I think I’ve may have seen this bumper sticker…