english philosophy

I woke up at 4 to finish a…

I woke up at 4 to finish a paper. Yay!

english philosophy

Those germans

A brief quote I got last night while reading the fervently devout correspondence between Charles Peirce -u.s. scientist- and Victoria Welby – english writer.

Welby to Peirce
Duneaves, Harrow, England
December 4th 1903
I am going to send a type-written bit of my last night’s lecture as soon as I can get it done. We say “type-written” here; but your “typed” is better. Ours sounds like a German word. There is too much German influence in this country, in every way. Their subjectivism is detestable & antipragmatical.

V. Welby.

Hardwick, Charles S., ed. Semiotic and Significs: The Correspondence between Charles S. Peirce and Victoria Lady Welby. (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1977): 11-12

I shall expound on this later. *giggles*

english papers philosophy

Alsino and the Condor: The Choice of Identity Over the Law

Yong Ho Kim
Professor Kiarina Kordela
HCST 10 : Introduction to Humanities and Cultural Studies
25 April 2002

Alsino and the Condor is a movie filmed by the Nicaraguan Film Institute and co-produced by Mexico, Cuba and Costa Rica. According to The New York Times, it “is a film about injustice and revolution, not looked at directly but seen, as if passing, by Alsino, a solemn little peasant who, more than anything else, wants to fly.” . The description is more or less appropriate; the movie is the story of a kid named Alsino, who dreams of flying and jumps from a tall tree. This storyline is filled with a somber account of the Sandinista revolution in its effort to undermine the Somoza dictatorship, which presents a sharp contrast (seemingly) to the dreamlike pursuits of Alsino.

Having been produced during the height of the “democratization of the arts” policy of the Sandinista government , the movie occasionally contains typically propagandistic elements. However, close examination of its dialectic structure reveals methods that sweep the audience away with the political message.

The movie’s plot is based on Alsino: Novela , a novel by Pedro Prado, a modernist Chilean writer. Both stories share the same initial settings and similar proceeding. But halfway through the story, the movie takes a detour towards the negation of flight and justification of a new regime (Sandinista Government). The extreme polarity of the two stories will ease the observation of relevant elements for analysis. This paper will utilize Lacanian psycho-analytic theories to decipher the foundations laid in the movie to make the Sandinista discourse possible, and social theories from Guy Debord and application of Lacanian theories by Žižek Slavoj to discuss the discourse’s actual body.


UNFINISHED The continuum in Hobbes’ De Corpore

A linguistic approach to his Geometry and Mechanics

[this paper needs extensive footnote reformatting work]

english philosophy scrapbook

[Audun Solli] analytic and synthetic

Audun Solli: An analytic judgement is for Kant a statement in which no new information or knowledge is contained or presented in the predicated that didn’t already exist in the concept of the subject, like “all mothers are women”. Synthetic judgements, on the other hand, add some information in the predicate that didn’t exist in the concept. E.g. if I say “all chairs are blue”, I thus say something about chairs that is not obtained in the concept of chair. // Descartes would like his “cogito ergo sum” to be synthetic, but the conclusion (I am) is already found in the premise: I think. Cogito results on the principle of contradiction: “I don’t exist” is self-contradictory, “I wouldn’t be able to say that “I didn’t exist”

Kiarina Kordela: Correct, but to be even more precise, we should say: “I think, therefore I am” is an analytiic statement insofar as both “I”s are to be understood as grammatical subjects, as (subjects of the signifiers) As you say, in this case, “I don’t exist” is self-contradictory since “I” wouldn’t be able to say that if “I” didn’t exist [as a grammatical subject]. // When, however, the first “I” is thought at as a grammatical (thinking) subject (i.e., as the subject of the signifier), while the second “I” is thought of as an existential “I” (a living being – not a signifier), thgen the judgement is synthetic – and, of course, not true. And this is one of the ways in which ideology succeeds in passing wrong/untrue statrement as true. For the point is that even though Descartes’ statement is untrue it has had real effects as if it were true: it grounded all secular reason, including the products of the latter, such as science. Everything, from positivism to your computer, exists on the ground of this untrue sttement.

english philosophy scrapbook

[Sherali Tareen] Burke/tree

Sherali Tareen: The supernatural, literary connotations of words, and the distinction between the two concepts seem to be the main main focus for Burke. For instance, he discusses the non-verbal nature of trees that is entirely unrelated to the object of living thing “tree” itself. (1) However, the distinction between “the Word” and “words” remain unclear to me. (2)

Kiarina Kordela: (1) The non-verbal aspect of “tree” is the “living thing ‘tree’ itself”. What is non-verbal is being. Burke’s point is that the effect of the verbal (language/sign) is that in the last analytic there were more than two terms (the sign versus being) because language introduces also the negative/metaphysical. So there is the verbal (sign), the physical (being) and the metaphysical, God, Other. //(2) “The Word” is a concept of the theocratic discourse – not of the secular, “The Word” acknowledges that the sign involves the metaphysical by attributing all signs to God: whatever clue we say, it is always God who speaks through us. // “Words” is the secular understanding of the sign: it is simply humans who speak through signs: Burke (and Lancan’s) point is that, due to (1), it is (the Other/the metaphysical) that speaks even through (secular, words) the sign. When I speak, it is It (God the unconscious -> the metaphysical negative) that speaks.