Monthly Archives: November 2016

The flux of it all

[An excerpt from Reality: a primer] Heraclitus was one of the earliest known philosophers. He lived in what we now recognize as western Turkey, in the late 6th century BCE. We know hardly anything about him, and his philosophy is … Continue reading

Posted in Historical episodes, Metaphysical musings | 3 Comments

Getting the facts straight

[Reading Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison, Objectivity, Zone Books, 2007.] We might think that knowers have striven always for objectivity, for a vision of the world unblemished by the viewer’s own biases and prejudices. But Daston and Galison argue that … Continue reading

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The Problem of Disenchantment

[Reading Egil Asprem, The Problem of Disenchantment: Scientific Naturalism and Esoteric Discourse, 1900-1939. Brill, 2014.] Egil Asprem’s fascinating and learned work is centered around seeing disenchantment – or the growing propensity to see nature as empty of magical and divine … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Historical episodes, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Victorian anthropology

[Reading George W. Stocking, Victorian Anthropology (Free Press, 1987)] Stocking’s book is most centrally about how 19th-century upper-class British males managed to combine their sense of superiority with an emerging awareness of Darwinian evolution. Many loose threads needed to be woven … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Historical episodes, Meanings of life / death / social & moral stuff, Uncategorized | 1 Comment