Month: May 2015

In Conversation: Speaking to Spivak

Thanks to various people on FB for the link. The best part is her description of translating Of Grammatology: she’s 25, hasn’t had a philosophy course at any previous point, then sees the French book advertised in some catalogue. She then, with no background in translating French, gets a year off to get the background she needed, writes the monograph-sized intro, and, of course, translate one of the more complicated texts around at the time. Amazing.

Nice piece in the New Yorker on Mars

By Elizabeth Kolbert. It happens I was reading this past weekend much of Kelly Oliver’s new Earth & World: Philosophy after the Apollo Missions, which, as the title suggests, frames her elegant discussions of notions of the world in Kant, Heidegger, Arendt, and Derrida with a depiction of how our view of Earth changed in light of the early Apollo missions. In any case, Kolbert’s essay is a nice look at strange hope for a future “colonization” of Mars–a dubious proposition at best given technological limitations and the limitations of our bodies–at the same time we’re just about done with destroying this one. It’s also a good example of moving from of moving from the Fordist state model of space travel (5% of 1960s US budgets went to NASA, an unthinkable sum now in the age of austerity) to a neoliberal one, where it’s up to a few billionaires and their pipe dreams to get us back to the moon or indeed beyond. We used to have communal dreams of “conquering space” and “colonizing” the moon or Mars (surely someone’s done a critical analysis of those tropes); now it’s a private whim for those who want to one-up their fellow 1%ers in terms of private planes…

Markus Gabriel interviewed at 3am

This was posted a week or so ago, but is still a good overall view of what he has been working on. He’s recently published Why the World Does not Exist and Fields of Sense, both out in the last three months. (Not sure a philosopher arguing the world doesn’t exist should have such a self-regarding photo for this interview, but he’s up to interesting work.)