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Showing posts from June 13, 2010

More Kierkegaardian notes - for Mr. T.

I’m going to range a bit in these notes. A. the real paradise In a footnote to the Concept of Anxiety, Kierkegaard references a theory propounded by F. Baader about the Fall – namely, that the Fall must be seen under the category of temptation. Baader is one of those German thinkers who toil up the back staircase to the Castle, unlike Hegel, and thus is praised for his “usual authority and vigor” – and yet here, Kierkegaard can’t go the extra step with him: “Baader seems to me to have neglected some intermediate elements. To pass from innocence to error by nothing other than the concept of temptation risks giving God, in his relation to man, almost the role of the experimenter, and in this way neglects the intermediary, psychological observation, for after all, the intermediary is concupiscentia.” [Translation from the French translation] There is, here, an echo – a repetition interrupted. Kierkegaard’s scenario, again and again, consists of two men and one girl. The game is played in

salle des crises

It was the stoics who first concerned themselves with the logical implication of the event – that is, they were concerned with the seeming disjunction between the realm of the quantitative and the qualitative, which were what they were left with after Aristotle’s syllogisms. The classical example is the heap of sand. There is no one grain of sand that ‘crowns’ the heap, – it does not emerge as a thing to be analyzed quantitatively, its structure opening up, its covering – dermis, hide - transparent, to our pullulating pluses and minuses. Of course, these are the issues that became famous, again, in the eighties and nineties with chaos and then complexity theory. But the event is the secret rail that many a fumbling soul has squeezed in the dark, going up the back stairs in the Castle. Lichtenberg, somewhere, remarks that the proportion of the corpuscle of light to the eye was similar to the proportion between the Meditteranean and a leaf that has fallen into it – and just as the corpu

the ninth series: the problematic

There is a passage in Nordentoff’s book, Kierkegaard's Psychology, written in the 1940s, that assures readers that when Kierkegaard writes of experimental psychology, he was not speaking of "the rat cages of the laboratory". This is very true; but it is also, from the perspective of a materialist intellectual history, sadly insufficient. That is, the transposition of a contemporary sense of experimental psychology to Kierkegaard’s texts doesn’t really explain Kierkegaard’s relation to the experiments of his own day – the experiments of Baird, the coiner of the word hypnosis – or the experiments Baird references in his chapter on “Nervous Sleep” (beautiful phrase) that were performed by the royal commission in 1783 to evaluate Mesmer, and that were repeated in 1838 to evaluate the cures of animal magnetism. This is too bad – as Jacqueline Corroy has pointed out in an article on the history of experiment in psychology, there was, from the beginning, a large allowance made i

Get better, Infinite Thought

One of our favorite bloggers, Infinite Thought, is infinitely sick from various medieval maladies that we didn't think still existed. But who knows about Wiltshire? Thurber, of course, had an aunt who contracted Dutch Elm disease and wilted to death - so you can never tell what is waiting to get you! Anyway, we are posting five songs for Nina's health: 1. Bored - Deftones . Which must be how she is feeling, between bouts of deathgrip pain. 2. Biggie and Lil Kim. Another. I was going to put a Tatu song here, but ... I couldn't find one that worked. Whereas this dialogue is in its own way... What it is. 3. Kapital - Trubetskoy. A cheer you up Marx-y song, what could be better? 4. London Hates You - the Kills 5. And naturally - Here comes sickness - Mud Honey . Which used to go together with intoxication and cars for me - but not any more! I listen to it very quietly and soberly.