The University of California, Riverside is currently looking to hire for two positions. The first is for a junior faculty in Early Modern Philosophy. The second is an open rank hire in 19/20th Century European/Continental Philosophy. I’m really hoping to see some Spinozists, Humeans, Schopenhauerians, and Nietzscheans applying and coming in to give job talks!
This is the sixth in a series of conferences examining the relation between the philosophies of Nietzsche and Kant. Each conference has been on a different topic, and the title of this one emphasizes the focus on political themes including “autonomy and rights, equality and democracy, morality and politics, war and cosmopolitanism, history and anthropology”.
Date: December 6-7, 2013
Location: John Cabot University, Rome, Italy
The conference is organized by Tom Bailey, who also has a paper in the recent Oxford Handbook, appropriately titled “Nietzsche the Kantian?” Looks to be quite a good conference, and overall seems like quite a fantastic series to open up more discussion about the important relationship Nietzsche holds to Kantian thought.
“According to rationalism regarding the psychology of moral judgment, people’s moral judgments are generally the result of a process of reasoning that relies on moral principles or rules. By contrast, intuitionist models of moral judgment hold that people generally come to have moral judgments about particular cases on the basis of gut-level, emotion-driven intuition, and do so without reliance on reasoning and hence without reliance on moral principles. In recent years the intuitionist model has been forcefully defended by Jonathan Haidt. One important implication of Haidt’s model is that in giving reasons for their moral judgments people tend to confabulate – the reasons they give in attempting to explain their moral judgments are not really operative in producing those judgments. Moral reason-giving on Haidt’s view is generally a matter of post hoc confabulation. Against Haidt, we argue for a version of rationalism that we call ‘morphological rationalism.’ We label our version ‘morphological’ because according to it, the information contained in moral principles is embodied in the standing structure of a typical individual’s cognitive system, and this morphologically embodied information plays a causal role in the generation of particular moral judgments" (2007: 279).
Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons (“Morphological Rationalism and the Psychology of Moral Judgment”)
About three weeks ago I received this magnificent monstrosity: the long awaited Oxford Handbook. The anthology is fresh off the press and contains thirty-two papers that are going to keep me busy for quite some time.
The anthology is divided into six parts: the first includes biographical essays on Nietzsche’s family, his illness, his relation to women; the second part discusses historical influences from the Greeks through Schopenhauer, as well as Nietzsche’s influence on analytic philosophy; the third part includes essays on a broad selection of his individual works, which is very nice as it’s not common to see a paper focus singly on the Untimely Meditations, Antichrist, or Ecce Homo; the forth has papers on value theory; fifth on epistemology and metaphysics; and the sixth and last on his theory of the will to power.
I’ve read a handful of the included essays in their pre-published versions, so although I’ll have more to say about these and the essays I have yet to read when I get to go over them in print, I can already throw in some strong words of praise.
For some amazing Nietzsche humor, featuring the work of our own Maudemarie Clark and David Dudrick, check out yesterday’s piece from the Onion on freedom of the will. The Onion article discusses the freeing of a kidnapped teen and parodies such articles by contrasting the mentioned sort of freedom of action (where what you can do is limited) with freedom of will (where you are limited by what you can make your will to be).
I’d be curious to know who could be ever working at the Onion to conjure up such a splendid article such as this one, with such references not only to Nietzsche but to serious Nietzsche secondary literature.
For some other really enjoyable Onion humor check out this article on a sullen, Sartrean existential firefighter and this video on scientists trying to teach a gorilla about the concept of mortality.
In a couple days is this great looking conference on Schopenhauer. Speakers include Christopher Janaway and Bernard Reginster.
Date: November 6-7, 2013
Location: University of Texas, San Antonio
You can check out the Reginster paper here. Looks like a great conference for anyone in the area.
Coming next week is the third of Katsafanas’s yearly workshops. Last year the theme was the unconscious; this year the theme is history. Here are the basic details:
Date: October 11-12, 2013
Location: Boston University
Program/see website: http://people.bu.edu/pkatsa/workshop.html
If you’re near Boston, you should definitely check it out. All of the papers look very interesting, and I’m especially curious what Katsafanas and Richardson are working on.
I’ve begun my first year at UCR’s phd program, and I’ve been really happy with my experience so far. Already leading up to the fall quarter was a reading group on John Richardson’s Nietzsche’s New Darwinism and one on Paul Katsafanas’s Agency and the Foundation of Ethics: Nietzschean Constitutivism, the latter in which professors also participated, including Maudemarie Clark and Michael Nelson. With its strengths in agency and German philosophy, and how friendly the faculty and grad students are, this department has really been the philosophical sanctuary I’ve always hoped for.
As a result, however, of me trying to get aligned with the demands of course work, there will unfortunately be a scarcity of updates here for the next couple months. I’ll nevertheless continue to post updates about scholarly activity related to Nietzsche.
However, in the winter quarter will be the Bernd Magnus Lecture (which is a Nietzsche related lecture) by Alexander Nehamas on January 17th, followed by a colloquium by Brian Leiter on February 5th, which I presume will also be on Nietzsche. I’ll have some updates about the content of those talks during that time.
Then, in the spring quarter, is Maude’s “Nietzsche and Morality” graduate seminar! so I’ll definitely be posting more frequently with regards to what’s going on in that course, and hopefully have some substantive things to post as a result.
By the way, check out Leiter’s recent post on Tamsin Shaw’s paper on “The ‘Last Man’ Problem”.
Katsafanas has recently reviewed Clark and Dudrick’s monograph, The Soul of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil. In this excellent review, Katsafanas addresses (1) Clark and Dudrick’s grounds for separating the will to truth from the will to value, (2) their reading of drives as homunculi, and (3) their claim that drives are normatively ordered (as opposed to causally ordered). You can read his review here, and continue reading below for my summary and comments on his review.
Nietzsche scholar Lanier Anderson will be giving the Bernd Magnus lecture this year at the University of California, Riverside. The lecture is titled, “What is the Nietzschean Self?”, and is based off his paper in this anthology.
Date: April 17, 2013
Location: University of California, Riverside
This lecture series has been quite exciting and has brought in many prominent Nietzsche scholars in the past and will continue to do so, putting them in conversation with Riverside’s excellent philosophy community.
“Error of free will. –”
"The whole ancient psychology, the psychology of will, was conditioned by the desire of its architects (the priests at the head of the ancient community) to establish their right to inflict punishment – or to assign the right to God … People were considered ‘free’ so that they could be judged and punished – so that they could be guilty: consequently, every act had to be seen as coming from consciousness (– which made the most fundamental counterfeit in psychologicis into the very principle of psychology …).”
After recommending three papers with which to begin reading Nietzsche scholarship, my friend responded with several questions, responses to which I wanted to address here. I thought others might find the discussion helpful or want to offer their own thoughts.
The papers I recommended were “The Will to Power” chapter of Reginster’s monograph, The Affirmation of Life, and both of Katsafanas’s “Value, Affect, Drive” and “The Concept of Unified Agency in Nietzsche, Plato, Schiller”.
In reaction to these papers, the following questions arose:
(1) Why is there a limiting of the will to power to human psychology; can’t we understand all life as the will to overcome resistance?
(2) Is it possible to suppress drives (through habituation and training) or are they with us for good?
(3) Does Nietzsche’s distinction between life-affirming and life-denying apply to drives? (e.g., some of our drives are life-affirming and others not so)
(4) Is Nietzsche’s point in writing the way he does an attempt to elicit certain kinds of affections that will allow us to perceive the world and understand what’s valuable differently?
(5) Does the will-to-life/will-to-power distinction map onto life-affirming/life-denying or slave/master distinctions or not?
(6) Nietzsche talks about these blonde beasts of prey who subjugated the slavish to their will. Is Nietzsche giving an historical account (does he think this literally happened)?