18 May 2013
His scholarship focuses on social inequality, the effects of urban growth on the individual, and the interconnection between authority, modernism and public life. Professor Sennett has been described as “one of the great urban enthusiasts of our age”.
14 May 2013
Latour and the Politics of Nature
Bruno Latour describes his Politics of Nature as work of political ecology. Its subtitle, “How to Bring the Sciences Into Democracy,” suggests a specific and limited topic, albeit an interesting one. Yet what this book really offers is a full system of metaphysics, perhaps the first original system of the new millennium. Latour declares these large ambitions openly. In so doing, he is fully aware of the stones that might be showered upon his parade: he warns us jokingly of “a dreadful specter…the obligation to engage in metaphysics, that is to define in turn how the pluriverse is furnished and with what properties [its members] must be endowed.” Here already we see what separates Latour from some of the better-known French thinkers of the preceding generation: Derrida, Foucault, Lacan. Like these other figures, Latour is usually pigeonholed as a “postmodernist”; unlike these others, no legitimate case can be made that Latour deserves this label. Owing much to Whitehead and nothing to Heidegger, Latour belongs to an invisible but effective tradition in contemporary philosophy that might be called “School X,” for lack of a better name. School X has nothing to with either the analytic or continental schools, which are often taken to exhaust the field of possible contemporary philosophies. The endless duels and reconciliations of the analytics and the continentals, like those of Pepsi and Coke or Doritos and Tostitos, only distract us from their overarching shared features. Both schools remain too loyal to Kant’s Copernican Revolution. Both continue to loiter in that narrow strip of philosophy that deals with the conditions of human access to the world rather than the world itself-for the simply reason that they assume from the start that philosophy has no legitimate right to do otherwise.
14 May 2013
Guesswork: System, Science, and the Advancement of Knowledge
This is the second of two Leverhulme Re:Enlightenment Lectures by Clifford Siskin. These lectures examine how knowledge gets stuck and the strategies for restarting it. Ranging from past to present–and back–they link Galileo’s and Bacon’s efforts to advance knowledge to efforts to scale up to new possibilities today. The first lecture highlights the “good fortune” (Bacon) of new tools, by debuting one. Like Galileo’s spyglass, “Tectonics” zooms in–in this case, to clarify how our modern disciplines emerged from Enlightenment. The second lecture zooms out to reconsider the history of science in terms of Newton choosing “system” as his tool for guesswork.
12 May 2013
Zizek: The Event: Politics, Art, Ontology
The Department of Psychosocial Studies presents: Professor Slavoj Zizek – The Event: Politics, Art, Ontology
11 May 2013
Jaron Lanier explains why if squid only had childhoods, they would rule the world…
10 May 2013
Why are new information technologies so frequently associated with freedom? Which cultural and philosophical concepts of freedom are central to technology design, use and critique? Why freedom instead of justice, equality or well-being? How was the link forged and why? This presentation will explore the fog of freedom in episodes from the last 40 years of the development of information technology: the development or UNIX, the rise of free software, the appearance of “social media”, cloud computing, and crowdsourcing, and the eternal return of the monopoly tech company.
9 May 2013
Share Festival 2012 | Open Your City
11th nov — 3PM — Regional Museum of Natural Science
The City as Interface