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Readings in Empiricism, Analytic Philosophy, and the Philosophy of Science, hosted by Allan K and Michael S. For electronic copies of the reading assignments or questions about the group, please email Allan K @ [masked]. Reading assignment: With our discussion of Francis Bacon's 'Novum organum' finished, we'll begin discussion of Galileo's 'Dialogue concerning two chief world systems', http://www.kuhmann.com/starstuff/Dialogue%20Concerning%20the%20Two%20Chief%20World%20Systems.pdf . In at least one respect the two works are similar - both are critiques of Aristotelianism. However, from this perspective Galileo is a lot more convincing than Bacon. Although Bacon and Galileo were contemporaries, the Dialogue reads much more compellingly on the side of modernity than Novum Organum does. The Dialogue is about 100 pages and we will try to discuss it in two sessions. Salviati (Galileo) lectures (I don't think the word is too off) Salgredo and Simplicio (an Aristotelian, probably Pope Urban VIII). Galileo and Maffeo Barbarini, the future pope, knew each other socially. Galileo's trial before the Inquisition may have been partly a function of Galileo making Pope Urban look like a simple fool in the Dialogue. The Dialogue starts with the Aristotelian proof of the perfection of the world in the number three, proceeds to the Heavens and comets and revolution of the earth around the sun, and ends with discussion of tides. Every item they discuss is pretty much self-contained. You might be inclined to take one of these arguments for sharing with the group. As a target for next time let's try to make it up to Day three (the Dialogue is split into 4 days). I've linked Galileo's 'Dialogue concerning two chief world systems' and Aristotle's 'On the heavens', https://classicalastrologer.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/ontheheavensaristotle1.pdf . Galileo will be the primary source, although Aristotle will be useful as a reference (not least as a check on the validity of Galileo's arguments). Many of the arguments in the Dialogue have their analogue in 'On the heavens'. Group description: Join us every-other Saturday at 5:30pm for discussion of philosophy of science. From its inception this group was organized to provide a science friendly philosophy group. Readings (selected from parts of books or articles) often juxtapose countering perspectives. This is intentional, as friendly, passionate discussion is encouraged. With active discussion of differences comes understanding. We hope to leave every meeting with a better understanding of some of those perennial issues regarding knowledge and science which continue to engage active discussion – the problem of induction, usefulness of philosophy and metaphysics, reconciling the old and new, relationship of language to doing. The readings are partitioned into quasi- self-contained units for the convenience of some who might wish to occasionally drop in. We explore science from its origins to its modern developments, as voiced not only in the writings of those who have philosophized about science, experience, and knowledge, but also in the voice of the scientists themselves. We explore history of scientific ideas, connections between these ideas, and streams of scientific thinking. The readings and discussions steer deep into empiricism, rationalism, and realism, as well as into the nature of objectivity, role of language and logic, and, not least, how we collectively come to agreement on what is true.
When: Saturday, 9/21, 7:30PM Where: THE HEADWATERS THEATRE 55 NE Farragut Street, Suite #9 Portland, Oregon Who: director Donovan James and other curious Colloquians! Tickets cost $20: https://thelittleboxoffice.com/missinglinktheatre/book/selection/111201 From Donovan: Hey everybody! I’ve been directing a theatre production the past couple months, and I wanted to invite ya’ll to come see it! It’s a sci-fi story that explores what it means to be human, how trauma and identity are intertwined, the fleeting nature of time, and the fate that awaits us all. It’s very philosophical, and heart-wrenching, and I love it. Here’s the synopsis: It’s the age of artificial intelligence, and 85-year-old Marjorie has been gifted an AI version of her deceased husband. As their interactions deepen, the family begins to develop diverging recounts of their lives, drawn into the chance to reconstruct the often painful past. What would we remember, and what would we forget, if given the chance? In this richly spare, wondrous new play, Jordan Harrison explores the mysteries of human identity and the limits — if any — of what technology can replace. It's a Pulitzer-finalist play, and I am beyond excited for it. Tickets are available here: https://thelittleboxoffice.com/missinglinktheatre/book/selection/111201 Hope to see ya there!
Seminar: The Greeks and Modernity, hosted by Michael McGettigan, ABD Reading recommendation: Schmitt[masked]. Why feeling and representation are the real abstractions, and concrete thought is achieved through distinction. Please finish reading as far as you want pp. [masked] from the last couple of weeks. We shall open the floor for participants to ask questions and lance into a discussion about any material here that is found interesting or confusing. Once we've completed that, we will begin with Chapter 5, pp. 263ff. If you want out of the cave you will have to lose your attachment to shadows. For a copy of the reading or if you have questions, please email Michael at [masked]. This group will explore the relation to Greek thought and the modern era by looking at texts that view Greek thought as a corrective to the ills of modernity, as well as texts that view modernity as representing true progress over Greek thought. We will first look more closely at Greek thought to distinguish it from popular and widespread misconceptions, thereby comprehending why philosophy exists and what it is supposed to be. Afterwards we will look at authors such as Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Auerbach, Arendt, Strauss, Macintyre and others whose diagnosis of modernity's shortcomings and virtues are nourished by their respective return to Greek origins.
Seminar: Postmodernity, Nihilism, Trans/Post-Humanism, Philosophy of Horror, Digitality/Singularity, Speculative Realism, etc., hosted by Richard Pope and Raven Connolly Reading assignment: Hyperobjects, by Timothy Morton, pgs 45 - 81, the chapters on Temporal Undulation and Phasing. Group Description: Oh, Humanity. You wonderful, foolish, magnificent, pathetic tragicomic actor, part ape, part angel, artist strung out on her own genius … What will become of you? Your technologies have become strange even to the hands of their makers. Your philosophers are drunk and delusional as they carelessly crack open the door of Truth’s inhospitable rooms. Your civilizations becomes unwieldy and Titanic, with many an unknown iceberg awaiting in the cold arctic waters of the void. Your very natures are in doubt just as much as they are under the constant duress of nootropic chemical evolutions, quantified re-imaginings, digital rituals, Einsteinian/Quantum-weirdness events … Welcome to post-post-post-(ad nauseum)-modernity in the shadow of the singularity and within the light of infinity as we sickened, hairless apes manufacture and recycle our own apotheosis on a daily basis, with last week’s churn lying discarded in the trash bin next to Shakespeare, Cicero, and Heraclitus, along with the rest of post-capitalism’s manufactured obsolescence, vis-à-vis unending simulations and hyperrealities … … and such a description could go on, and will go on, but proceeds from here rather with the companionship of others such as yourself, minds who wish to meet, discuss, rant about, and debate texts and ideas, dreams and musings, visions and falsities, as we seek just a better understanding of the unique times we find ourselves thrown within, unwitting actors in a numberless act … Readings will likely be between 20-50 pages per week, depending on the difficulty of the text and its “discussion potential.” Upcoming readings / topics: TBD! Prior readings / topics: In The Dust of This Planet, Eugene Thacker On Alien Philosophy, R Scott Baker