More Postmodernism (see the last post to get started or jump in here).Nacho wrote, “What those basic themes do is really open up a three-pronged crisis (Norman Denzin): 1) A crisis of Representation (we cannot capture direct lived experience. Such experience is constituted textually. This renders the connection between experience and text problematic also). 2) A crisis of Legitimation ( if we have a crisis of representation, how do we legitimate validity, generalizability, etc.), and 3) A crisis of Praxis… Read more

Amongst other topics, there has been a recent surge in talk on Postmodernism here so I thought I should dedicate a post to it. I would love to see comments with links to further reading (as I know all of this could baloon into endless exegesis on our parts, and I for one don’t have time for that!)First read the third comment here for Nacho’s full intro to Postmodernism. My own scattered comments can be found elsewhere, but aren’t worth… Read more

I think I’m in the midst of some kind of intellectual spasms at the moment. I had been chained and confined (my energy channeled) in academia for the last 5 years, and now, my dissertation completed and taking only two graduate courses, I feel a certain intellectual openness.Of course, that is not necessarily a good thing. I could just flounder, absorbing bits and pieces from a dozen different perspectives without understanding them as whole systems, and fade out into obscurantism.It’s… Read more

Listening to Ken Wilber, and having just read Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit (or much of it for a course) I’ve decided to lay out some of the schemata of Hegel’s work, with some interpolations of my own.Hegel’s work itself reads as a flow of the development of consciousness. It is famously opaque, and has been neglected, so my professor claims, mostly due to its breadth and difficulty (Ken Wilber may face similar shunning, from academics at least). Hegel’s development is… Read more

So I’m reading Ken Wilber now (thanks to Zen Unbound’s comments); more ‘listening to him’ actually, I have Kosmic Consciousness on audio, along with A Brief History of Everything, which I tried to get into a while back but got distracted.I also read “A Way out for Wilberians” by John Heron, a critical examination of his life’s work today. I didn’t find it too convincing, to be honest. Quotes like, “Buddhists throw the distinct baby out with the separated bathwater”… Read more

Tsuru, Japanese Flute Read more

I’m working on William Mcneill’s book, Plagues and People’s, at the moment, aside from everything else :). It is a fascinating study of humanity reduced purely to micro and macro parasitism. Those tiny organisms feeding on us (malaria, smallpox, influenza) being the micro and us (or other large organisms) feeding on us being the macro. The coherence of the study is stunning: based on simple parasite-host relationship models, Mcneill predicts and presents a wide range of historical events. His most… Read more

‘Philosophy Songs’: Proof that philosophers like to laugh – even at themselves. Reminds me of some of the stuff on Buddhanet for kids (although this has much higher production quality – )My favorite – great to hear the Pali chorus:Namo tassa bhagavato arahato Samma-sambuddhassa. *Translation: Homage to that Lord, the Worthy One,Perfectly enlightened by Himself.Pali (and other ancient languages) just lends itself to song in a way English seems to struggle at.And David Chalmers’ Blog … Oh…. lovely stuff. (not… Read more

I have to laugh a bit, but it seems like now that my dissertation is done and I should be relaxing, all I do is work! But in a sense it is more of a fun kind of work… but then my dissertation had its fun too.Amongst my recent readings, a poem called Tea, posted on Woodmore Village, was especially delicious.I also read (1997) Buddhist reductionism (mentioned on my last post). Zen Unbound says he’ll have a look, “wearing my… Read more

I haven’t had time to write much lately. I’m studying for a test on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, preparing to teach a class on Buddhism, and trying to keep up on a couple dozen other projects (including an interesting back-and-forth on Socrates/world as illusion with Steven), so time is has been lacking.One thing that I’ve been discussing with a friend here is the issue of selfhood in Buddhism, which famously seems to reject that there is a ‘self’ (atta in… Read more

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