Archive for the ‘Continental Philosophy’ Category

Dearest unhappy nihilist,

You do not know me, but I write to you as a brother. (Excuse me if I have mistaken your gender. Remember, I do not know you.) I know that, in your current place, the brotherhood relationship can have no value, but I invoke the relationship as a way to tell you this: We are from the same philosophical family, which is just to say that you and I have lived under the same roof with that bastard of a father, Nihilism.

You and I have suffered together the presence of his absence. He abandoned us because that is his character. That is how he shows himself. If we were wiser, we would have expected nothing more, or shall I say nothing less? We have suffered his present-absence on those quiet nights when we have looked up at the cold and uncaring sky, when we have contemplated the vastness of the earth and our next-to-thing-ness among it all, when we have come to that same breathtaking truth Solomon discovered many years ago: Everything is nothing. All is vanity, a chasing after the wind.

I am sorry, dear brother, to stab you again with those words. The wound I inflict here, however, is necessary. “Necessary for what?”, you ask. You are both angry and suspicious with your question. Angry, because you have been mildly successful at forgetting the present-absentness of our father. (Be not excessively angry, dear Brother, for you and I know that forgetfulness of this kind can be rekindled as easily as it is disturbed.) You are suspicious because the phrase “Necessary for” hints at some goal for one’s actions, and if we really are brothers, then neither of us can have such goals. Your suspicion is correct, and this is the purpose of my letter to you.



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I have been in Madrid, Spain for nearly a week now. From this stay I have made some generalizations, of which the philosophy related ones I´d like to share here. Notions of what Philosophy “is” are different in Spain, and perhaps this applies to all of continental Europe as well. Here, the Philosopher is closer to what I would consider, back in the States, an anthropologist, sociologist, literary theorist, or even amateur psychologist. Back home, Quine is the standard, here it is Foucault. Get into a conversation about Philosophy with an English speaking native and you´ll be likely discussing literary theory, capitalist oppression, or the recent unfolding of history. Here, Philosophy of Langauge, of Mind, of Science, of Mathematics, of Logic, and non-political ethics simply are nowhere to be found. Unfortunate.

However, the average Spaniard is more likely to have heard of Nietzsche, Benjamin, Heidegger, Foucault, and Adorno. The Spanish teach their children the virtues of art much more than Americans do and it is usually through discussions of art that people here hear of the said philosophers. In Spain, philosophers are better respected than they are in the States. There is a respect of the willingness to spend so much time reading, thinking, discussing and writing. No burger flipping jokes here. The philosopher is held in high regard, he is a public intellectual.

I´ll close with this photo that I took today from an exhibit called “Atlas” at the Museo Reina Sofía. Those are the type of bar room conversations I have gotten into, even at the English pub.

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Welcome the 116th Philosophers’ Carnival!

The Florida Student Philosophy Blog is proud to once again host the Carnival. This instantiation of the Carnival is a collection of the best submitted Philosophy posts for the last three weeks of October 2010.


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From USF:

The University of South Florida Philosophy Graduate Student Organization is pleased to announce:

The Fourth Annual USF Graduate Philosophy Conference “Ipseity & Alterity: Dialectics and Distances between Self and Other”

March 4th & 5th, 2011

Deadline for Submission: December 31st, 2010

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Thomas Flynn (Emory University): “Sartre and Merleau-Ponty on the Dialectic”

We are also pleased to announce a faculty address by Dr. Charles Guignon (University of South Florida)


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Congratulations to Andrew Brenner and Ace Comparato whose projects were accepted for presentation at UNF’s annual Undergraduate Research Symposium!

Here are the abstracts of their projects:

“Special Relativity and Divine Eternality: The Contemporary Debate”
Andrew Brenner


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Congratulations to the students whose papers have been accepted for presentation at the 12th Annual Northeast Florida Student Philosophy Conference at UNF on February 7th:

“How to Motivate the Maxim that ‘Ought Implies Can’ to Defend the Principle of Alternate Possibilities”
Sean Armil (University of Florida)

“On the Limitations of Formal Methods”
Wataru Asanuma (Florida State University)

“A Defense of Lewisian Contextualism”
Yael Benjamin (University of Massachusettes at Dartmouth)

“The Impact of Chalmers’ Theory of Consciousness on the Theistic Argument from Consciousness”
Andrew Brenner (University of North Florida)


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The current issue of Philosophy Now marks the 100th birthday of Simone de Beauvoir with several informative articles about her work.

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