QA 53. The wheels in my head go round and round

Participants in last year’s “Archives of the Non-racial” mobile workshop through South Africa and Swaziland were asked to submit fragments of our notebooks – doodles, notes, reflections, poems, coffee stains. These have been gathered in the JWTC’s online journal, The Salon. Check out all the loveliness here.  This is my bit. Solidarity and the non-racial (Political struggle 1) “I’m not…

QA 52. The real world keeps us honest

Still thinking about the need for a new mode of thinking… What is the proper relation between philosophy and science now? Last year, citing Stephen (Philosophy-is-Dead) Hawking and Martin Heidegger, I wrote about “the end of philosophy” in the triumph of science. Given the massive productivity of scientific theory and technology and a world in…

QA 51. Optical illusions, the political economy of

One image that can be seen in two distinct ways, but never both at once. Faces or a vase? Duck or rabbit? Crone or maiden? Someone shows you: See, the old woman’s chin is the young woman’s throat! All of a sudden, you do see. You start to switch the two back and forth, grinning like…

QA 50! Thoughts at sea

A funny thing happened at the Philosophy Café last month. I got lost. We all set sail on a conversation about “sadness”, but I didn’t know what they were talking about. My mind was clear and present. I just couldn’t relate, couldn’t get a grip, couldn’t participate. And the good ship “we” sailed on without me….

The ethics and politics of life: An interview about philosophical counselling

“But if they’re interested in being able to work out their life, with someone who is going to keep them company, keep them safe, and not do anything to them while they’re doing that, then they stay. And then we work.” Ran Lahav interviewed me and several other participants at the recent 13th International Conference on Philosophical Practice in…

Archives of The Bus (#JWTC2014 Archives of the Non-racial)

Did you miss the bus? Do you miss the bus? Here are two next-best things. My talk at Kalk Bay Books about my trip and the ideas that grabbed me is here. And the documentary film by Tjasa Kancler and Kirk Sides, featuring interviews with many of the participants, speakers and organisers, is up on Vimeo here.

QA 49. A motley cruise? (JWTC 2014: Archives of the non-racial)

A motley crew is a cliché for a roughly organized assembly of characters. Typical examples of motley crews are pirates, Western posses, rag-tag mercenary bands, and freedom fighters… characters of conflicting personality, varied backgrounds and, usually to the benefit of the group, a wide array of methods for overcoming adversity. Traditionally, a motley crew [that]……

(QA 48 revisited.) conception, in other words

Heidegger says you must be born again. No, that was Jesus. Even Heidegger, then. As philosophy will be born again from a thinking mother. Philosophy’s first birth was attended by the son of a midwife. He himself practiced husbandry. A ranchero. Pedagod who knew which theoria should be brought to bear and which aborted. A miscarriage, God’s…

QA 48. Think, again (The end of philosophy)

In 2010, Stephen Hawking pronounced philosophy dead: “Philosophy has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly physics. Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge.” But he had not kept up with Martin Heidegger, who already said this in 1964, in “The end of philosophy and…

New essay: PHILOSOPHICAL COUNSELLING AS A PRACTICE OF EMANCIPATION

This paper has just been published in Philosophical Practice, the journal of the American Philosophical Practice Association. You can find it here  and there … PHILOSOPHICAL COUNSELLING AS A PRACTICE OF EMANCIPATION Helen Douglas, Philosophy in Practice, Cape Town Abstract: This is a second ‘field report’ of a Levinassian philosophical counseling practice. The first part elaborates the practice by…