Sunday, January 28, 2018

I am not an atheist. I have no compelling argument for the existence of God, but I can't shake the sense that my soul is only "mine" to lose. I believe my essential being depends (forever) on the moral quality of my actions. I feel God's judgment upon them.

Friday, January 26, 2018

"Literature is news that stays news." (E.P.)
News is literature that fails (as literature).

Friday, January 19, 2018

Deference is to power
as reference, to knowledge.

Science tells you what it is—
politics, who's to come.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The remark is to the philosopher
as the strophe, to the poet.
One passes what the other turns —
the aspect, the angle of an image.

But there is nothing in philosophy
as composed and finished as the poem.
There is no unit of work done,
just bits and pieces of the seen.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Three things you might try:
Make up your mind.
Have a change of heart.
Use your imagination.

Political ambition seeks power.
Scientific curiosity seeks knowledge.

(It is possible that the terms "political ambition" and "scientific curiosity" are pleonasms. All curiosity may, in a sense, be "scientific", and all ambition may, in a sense, be "political". Or we may say that even apolitical ambition (like that of the athlete or artist) seeks a kind of power, and even unscientific curiosity (like that of the lover, or, again, the artist) seeks a kind of knowledge.)

Friday, January 12, 2018

Wisdom is the stillness of the mind
in which things are what they are.

Love is the movement of the heart
through which we become ourselves.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Literature maintains the connection between language and imagination.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

"Matter," said Schopenhauer, "is the objective correlative of pure understanding."

The social, I add, is the subjective disposition of brute obedience.*

Thus, matter is the objective correlative of the subjective disposition of society.

Marx may have been on to something.

*The subject is to the object as passion is to reason. Obedience is to understanding, as the social is to the material. Relations are to positions as knowledge to power.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Variation on a Theme by Robert Brandom

We are distinguished by capacities
as broadly affective as cognitive.
Our transactions with other things,
and especially with each other,
mean something to us
in a special and characteristic sense—
they have an emotional context, we obey them
in one way rather than another
even when we do not understand them.

My strategy identifies us as passionate beings,
not merely reasonable ones. Reasonable beings
who are passionately becoming, perhaps.
Passion is as nothing to the beasts of the field.
We are the ones on whom passions are binding,
subject to the peculiar force of the greater passion.

See here for the source and some explications.