Category Archives: ethics

The Totality of Facts

In 2013 I attended the European Quizzing Championship in Liverpool and wrote a piece about it. The original was so long and misshapen it took me two years to get around to editing it. I finally did, and it’s up … Continue reading

Posted in aesthetic experience, Berlin, criticism, cultural memory, David Markson, essay, ethics, Frances Yates, memory, philosophy, quizzing, Uncategorized, Wittgenstein | Leave a comment

If an artwork is morally dubious, does that make it aesthetically bad?

This stupid question needlessly dominates so much discourse about the “ethical criticism” of artworks. I wish it could be torpedoed out of sight. The question is stupid because (i) the answer is obviously “no”; (ii) it risks conflating two forms … Continue reading

Posted in aesthetic experience, aesthetics, criticism, ethical criticism, ethics, philosophy, pointless rants, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“How Should a Person Be?”: Sheila Heti’s imaginative philosophy

I have a piece up at The Point on “imaginative philosophy” in Sheila Heti’s How Should a Person Be? This is an attempt to put into practice the kind of reading implied by Cora Diamond’s work on meta-ethics and literature, … Continue reading

Posted in concepts, Cora Diamond, criticism, ethics, form, friendship, literature, philosophy, publications, Sheila Heti, Stanley Cavell, work, writing | Leave a comment

Beethoven, Cavell and Talking Nonsense

In music, film and literature (though not in visual art), grammar is the question of what comes next. The grammar of natural languages imposes restrictions on word order. Functional harmony frowns upon certain progressions of chords. The famous Kushelov Effect suggests … Continue reading

Posted in academia, Adorno, aesthetic experience, aesthetics, criticism, ethics, form, literature, music, philosophy, pointless rants, Rilke, Stanley Cavell, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Nouveaux dialogues entre littérature et philosophie

For French readers, I have a review up at Acta fabula discussing questions of form in literature and philosophy. Existe‑t‑il vraiment une distinction précise entre la littérature et la philosophie ? Au moins depuis l’époque poststructuraliste, la tendance des départements … Continue reading

Posted in academia, aesthetic experience, aesthetics, Cora Diamond, ethics, form, literature, philosophy, publications, reviews, Robert Brandom, work | Leave a comment

Getting to the desk: Lars Iyer on writing and (not) on dignity

Here’s an excellent interview with Lars Iyer (of Spurious) in which he says two things that particularly stuck me. The first is about writing:  It is only by returning to our creative projects, over and over again, that we can achieve anything by … Continue reading

Posted in ethics, friendship, Lars Iyer, Withnail & I, writing | 2 Comments

Pascal: Pensée 186

What a nice little nœud we have here. To be read every morning with breakfast: L’homme n’est qu’un roseau, le plus faible de la nature, mais c’est un roseau pensant. Il ne faut pas que l’univers entier s’arme pour l’écraser; … Continue reading

Posted in bullshit, consciousness, ethics, Frederic Rzewski, Pascal, philosophy | Leave a comment