So, after a pretty good stretch of consistent blogging I’ve taken a two week+ break. But I have good excuses! I spent a little over a week travelling around going to conferences with little to no internet access.
The first conference was the Immanence and Materialism event at Queen Mary, University of London. By clicking the above link you can access some of the papers, and hopefully I’ll have mine up soon. While I’m not the type to recount conferences play by play, I will say that I found this to be an excellent event, and almost every paper was highly interesting and there was some great debate during the discussion times. One interesting aspect was the contrast between the panels. For example, myself and a colleague were the only two papers on the first panel, and we both gave presentations that dealt with issues of freedom, subjectivity, choice, will, and the like. The next panel then featured papers of a highly determinist/monist bent, and one presenter even said, during her paper, “I’m glad that there have already been some papers dealing with will and freedom, because I am TOTALLY against that.” It was bold, but I appreciated the honesty, and it led to a fun debate over dinner where the two of us from Dundee attempted to convince this individual of the necessity of an ontological account of freedom. I don’t think we were convincing enough…
Wonderful conference though, and I look forward to future events at Queen Mary.
The next conference I attended was the ‘Towards a Philosophy of Life’ event at Liverpool Hope University. This event was the launching point for the new Association for Continental Philosophy of Religion. Although my panel was absolute shit, due to the fact that no chair showed up to moderate, and the first person decided to take 35 minutes to give their 20 minute presentation, the conference itself was a very good event. I got to meet lots of interesting people, and catch up with some old friends, and overall I was left feeling quite positive about the future of Continental Philosophy of Religion in the UK. The only horrible parts were the keynotes by John Caputo and Don Cuppit, who are collectively the most boring philosophers of religion still living, maybe when they die this obsession with ‘postmodernism’ will die too. Cuppit was one of the most bold apologist for globalization and the religion of capital I’ve ever seen, but maybe he can blame it on age or something.
Overall, I had a great time at both, and it was a wonderful excuse to get out of scum-dee Scotland for a week.
That’s all for now, but will attempt to get back to ‘real’ posting soon enough.