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Anti-Reason April 10, 2008

Posted by Andy in Foucault, Idea History, philosophy, theology.
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When I went to a conference on the place of reason in Theology, I gave a paper called “The Places of Unreason in Theology“. Unreason harks of course back to Foucault.

What strikes me in much Philosophy is that its contribution to its field is so negative. Foucault starts off by writing about Unreason; Wittgenstein claims to finish off all Philosophy, and so on. Something similar can be seen in other fields: Joyce writes the anti-novel; Bataille writes an Atheology.

I think we can agree that these negations of reason end up simply as developments in reason. They give arguments, are refuted, argue, offer evidence. All reasonable activities. But they argue for a reformulation of reason.

Is that what the call is arguing against when it calls for a renewed valuing of reason? Is it saying we can’t do anti-reason? And if so, does that just mean we have to continue as before?

I’m trying to get at how strange a project it is to recommend reason…

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The Grandeur of Reason: Conference April 8, 2008

Posted by Andy in Idea History, liberation theology, philosophy, theology.
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The Call for papers is now out for this conference which looks rather exciting:

1-4th September

I am assured that women are also welcome, but obviously shouldn’t expect to be attributed any significant role. It is still a little uncertain what these speakers will have to say in response to the pope’s (in-)famous Regensburg address, but if they do respond to it (as the papers are meant to), then it should be an extremely exciting conference.

The call for papers is interesting and thought provoking, and since I am currently considering contributing something to it, I hope to suggest some inroads to the topic over the next few weeks. Any comments, suggestions, or sneak peaks of what you might say should you give a paper on the call, would be welcome.

If nothing else, it should turn out to be a great social event for friends and associates of the Centre of Philosophy and Theology! And hey, the poster’s pretty.