Back from SC


It is really a delight to be invited to a place where people have no choice but to listen to your ideas and give the impression of being interested. Everyone should have that experience from time to time, and if they are lucky the place will be Columbia, SC. The couple of days I spent there were absolutely beautiful, and everyone was friendly and engaging. The pictures above are of the campus, the state capitol building, and Matt Kisner, Spinoza scholar and my host. In addition to be wined and dined, I was allowed to bounce ideas off a history of philosophy reading group and a lecture audience. There were also several informal chats with grad students and faculty — really a fun time for me, though I felt completely “idea’d out” by the end. Which is as it should be.

I came back with several key ideas to wrestle with. The one distracting me the most is whether Nz really does encourage a “meta-perspective” sorting out of values and perspectives — or does he rather just sink into his own perspective and then battle it out with the other possible perspectives. In other words, does Nz presume to have found some key criteria by which we should sort out the good sets of values from the bad ones, or is it instead just that he thinks his values are best and is pushing forward aggressively with them?

Several other ideas and objections also came about, and I will be blogging about them later. Right now I’m just glad to be back, though the trip really was delightful.

About Huenemann

Curious about the ways humans use their minds and hearts to distract themselves from the meaninglessness of life.
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1 Response to Back from SC

  1. Rob says:

    I’ve been puzzling over this issue a lot while reading TSZ, especially at this point, near the end of “The Last Supper”:

    ‘I am a law only for my own; I am not a law for all. But whoever belongs with me must have strong bones, and light feet too,
    ‘– eager for wars and festivals, no obscurantist, no dreamer, as ready for the hardest things as for his festival, healthy and hale.
    ‘The best belongs to my own and to me; and if it is not given to us, then we take it: — the best food, the clearest sky, the strongest thoughts, the most beautiful women!’ —

    He seems to be invoking a comprehensive hierarchy on which his kind occupies the highest rank; yet it doesn’t seem to be a hierarchy those of lower rank could (ever) be expected to acknowledge or even recognize. And so I wonder if affirmative acceptance of this state of affairs isn’t at the heart of wanting eternal recurrence.

    Glad you had a good and fruitful time. You visited Columbia at a good time of year, weather-wise, as it’s known for being exceptionally hot and humid, even for that area of the state.


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