How to be Wrong

8 03 2013

I can’t remember when I first heard Dudley Hersbach’s bit about error, but it’s a good one to repeat and discuss in Hegelian terms:

And often, the key thing, if you’re going to be wrong, is to be wrong in an interesting way-because you tried some excursion in thought that took you over somewhere and gave you a new perspective. That’s the kind of thing to try to emphasize.

This plea for a broader notion of science and scientific endeavor applies equally well as a description of the Hegelian vision of specualtive philosophy’s relationship to knowledge in general. It is also, like Hegel, frustratingly vague on the matter of what it means to be ‘wrong in an interesting way.’ What does a ‘new perspective’ entail and why does it even matter?

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Reading Hegel’s An Introduction to a Philosophy of History

2 07 2012

I spent some recent bit of vacation (re)reading through portions of G. W. F. Hegel’s Introduction to a Philosophy of History (Hackett edition, translated by Leo Rauch). In part, that’s just because thinking about Marx puts me in mind of Hegel, but I also wanted to revisit this little book with the fresh eyes; the last time I really read Hegel was almost a decade ago. What follows is mostly a record of my responses to it, in a rough sort of order. I might revisit it more carefully later, but then I might not.

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[News] Cornel West and Melissa Harris-Perry

3 06 2011

Cornell West was in the news a bit last month because of some fairly harsh things he has said about the President. The story seems to have taken off here and, to my mind, had its most meaningful articulation here on the Ed Show. There seems to be a fair amount in between those two points, but especially Melissa Harris-Perry’s print response here.

What interests me most keenly is the pair of interviews on the Ed Show. The interview of West followed immediately with that of Harris-Perry shows off well the conceptual distance between them and their ways of thinking. I’m pleased that the show gave each interviewee a block of time rather than simply using the simultaneous split-screen method.

That space gave each of their views room to breathe and prevented the interview from becoming an occasion for debate-style one-upmanship. The show does give Harris-Perry’s view pride of place in terms of how the host responds and in closing out the segment, but a certain bias is inescapable.

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Towards a proper understanding of religious community

29 07 2009

[8/5/2010: Virtually no modification from original posting in July of 2009]

This post is largely critical, distinguishing obstacles that have come between me and a healthy concept of religious community.  It’s propadeutic.  It includes some glimmers of how I want to start talking about religion and community, but an awful lot about what I think may stand in the way of that.

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