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Experience as an Anchor for Thinking

experience
Ari-Elmeri Hyvönen discusses how the absence of experience leads philosophy and ideology into useless abstractions that ignore the reality of human interactions. Posted on 1 December 2014 | 9:00 am

Amor Mundi – 7/28/13

Hannah Arendt considered calling her magnum opus Amor Mundi: Love of the World. Instead, she settled upon The Human Condition. What is most difficult, Arendt writes, is to love the world as it is, with all the evil and suffering in it. And yet she came to do just that. Loving the world means neither…Read more Amor Mundi – 7/28/13 Posted on 29 July 2013 | 1:57 pm

Who’s Afraid of the Intellectuals?

“WHO’S AFRAID OF THE INTELLECTUALS?” That is the opening sentence of Jan Mieszkowski’s excellent review of Belgian historian Christian Ingrao’s recent book Believe and Destroy: Intellectuals in the SS War Machine. I have not yet read the book. But Mieszkowski’s review raises important questions about the role of intellectuals in the systematic administration of evil.…Read more Who’s Afraid of the Intellectuals? Posted on 26 July 2013 | 11:31 am

Defending the Humanities While Trashing Them

Leon Wieseltier, the longtime cultural editor of the New Republic, dedicated his commencement address at Brandeis last month to a defense of the humanities. He asks, “Has there ever been a moment in American life when the humanities were cherished less, and has there ever been a moment in American life when the humanities were…Read more Defending the Humanities While Trashing Them Posted on 21 June 2013 | 4:07 pm

The New Materialism: From ‘Why’ and ‘What’ to ‘How.’

“The shift from the ‘why’ and ‘what’ to the ‘how’ implies that the actual objects of knowledge can no longer be things or eternal motions but must be processes, and that the object of science is no longer nature or the universe but the history, the story of the coming into being, of nature or…Read more The New Materialism: From ‘Why’ and ‘What’ to ‘How.’ Posted on 8 April 2013 | 11:03 am

What is a Fact?

What is a fact? Few more thorny questions exist. Consider this, from Hannah Arendt’s essay, “Truth and Politics:” But do facts, independent of opinion and interpretation, exist at all? Have not generations of historians and philosophers of history demonstrated the impossibility of ascertaining facts without interpretation, since they must first be picked out of a…Read more What is a Fact? Posted on 7 December 2012 | 1:23 pm