Category Archives: academia

Goethe and Hegel discuss Hamann at a tea party

On October 18, 1827, Goethe gave a tea party in honor of the philosopher Hegel, who had come to Weimar to visit him. Although each of the men genuinely respected the achievements of the other, we know from a first-hand report of the discussion that the radical difference in their basic philosophical positions emerged in […]

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Review of Hamann and the Tradition in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews has just published a review of Hamann and the Tradition (Northwestern University Press, 2012), edited by Lisa Marie Anderson, to which I contributed a chapter.

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The Hegemony of the Eye

Insofar as the most innovative instruments of the era – the telescope and the microscope – extended the range and acuity of one sense in particular, scientific experience tended to privilege the visual, with its capacity to produce knowledge at a distance, over the other senses. Even when Bacon castigated normal vision for staying on […]

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Zeno of Citium on Flute-Playing Olives and Harp-Bearing Trees

In his On the Nature of the Gods Cicero alludes to Zeno of Citium‘s discussion of flute-playing olives and harp-bearing trees: “If melodiously piping flutes sprang from the olive, would you doubt that a knowledge of flute-playing resided in the olive? And what if plane trees bore harps which gave forth rhythmical sounds? Clearly you […]

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Hamann and Benjamin on the Concept of Experience

Next month I’ll be giving a paper at the upcoming The Philosophy of Walter Benjamin conference at Goldsmiths, University of London. Here’s the abstract: In his 1917 essay “On the Program of the Coming Philosophy”, Benjamin wrote: “The great transformation and correction which must be performed upon the concept of experience, oriented so one-sidedly along […]

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The Construction of Immateriality

The International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property (ISHTIP) was launched last year at the conference for copyrighthistory.org, a digital archive of primary sources on copyright. In addition to the history of copyright, patents and other rights, the society aims to examine: [...] the diverse “roads not taken” in the evolution of […]

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