Friday, April 29, 2005


Since Gillian Russell linked to these pages a few days ago, it is conceivable that people are reading them. This provides an unexpected opportunity to take stock.

What is the point of the essays that appear in this space? I still don't really know. But I do have an idea (an imperfect one, of course): I am trying to engage with philosophy as one of the humanities. So, when I write about philosophy here, I aim to be non-technical, less rigorous and hopefully more accessible than I am in my academic work. If I have "discipline envy", it is for the critical arts, not the natural sciences. (Thus, I ought to have been more trenchant, and less concessive, at the end of this post.)

As well as philosophy itself – the work and the profession – I would like to deal constructively with philosophical ideas in literary criticism and theory. (This was the point of reading Academic Instincts.) It is easy for philosophers to snipe at those who seem to be stepping on their turf: I will try not to do that, even when I am sceptical.

Coming attractions: a reading of Elaine Scarry's very pleasing book, On Beauty and Being Just; and some thoughts on love, too vague and ill-formed to venture in print. (There are risks to the lessening of rigour, and they may be apparent here.)

I seem to be posting once a week, on Mondays.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am reading your blog since seeing it mentioned on Gillian Russell's site. Like it and support your newly-expressed intentions.

Am a computer scientist, so mainly reading it for intellectual pleasure, not business.

7:00 AM  

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