Since leaving UC San Diego a few years back, my work in and on philosophy has been scattered and infrequent (strange, since my seven-year break from college before returning as a philosophy major was packed with Adorno, Kant, Foucault, Marx, Hegel, Heidegger, the Presocratics and others). It’s only in the last handful of months that I’ve finally started to turn my attention there seriously again. This blog is mostly meant to help me keep track of things—a place to take notes that aren’t scattered across a dozen different notebooks, dispersed throughout the margins of whatever I’m reading.
A lot of what goes here is unlikely to be interesting to most people who aren’t me: outlines of parts of books, contextless quotations, disconnected thoughts. Some of it might, though, especially where thoughts get developed into full aphorisms, or even essayistic blocks.
I’m trying to keep my reading down to two books of philosophy, three books of poetry, and two novels at one time. It’s a trick. For a while I’ve been reading Leibniz (the Oxford edition of his Philosophical Writings), and just a couple of weeks ago I finally bought Slavoj Zizek’s The Parallax View, a fantastic book (the fact that I also find Zizek irritating actually helps me to keep my distance a little, which is good for me when encountering philosophy that so often immediately seems right on the money to me). So some of what gets posted here will be ongoing thoughts & notes on those two writers.
Other topics may or may not include:
1) Dialectics—an ongoing project. Seen historically as reaching an apex and crossing a qualitative horizon in Brecht and Adorno, and by no means stopping there. Many definitions, most of which have less to do with one another than it might seem. My own thinking about and through dialectics, treating topics to include art, non-human consciousness, economic relations, the flaws in Anglo-American philosophy, ontology, you name it.
2) Quotations and thoughts for an endless project of writing a poetic series that traces the entire history of philosophy (only the Thales section is actually done so far, so you can see how focused I’ve been on that).
3) A continuing fascination with Heidegger. This will also include some mockery.
4) A philosophy of thought as activity, characterized by “ways of moving,” “kinds of behavior” or “comportments.” This as radically opposed to thought as producer of thought- or knowledge-objects. A philosopher’s way of “moving” as what’s of the greatest interest in their work, what distinguishes them much more profoundly than their claims and arguments.
And on and on…