Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Academic Publishing as Economic Parasitism" post at NEWAPPS

Catarina Dutilh Novaes hits the nail on the head HERE.

I have nothing to add but agreement. Academic presses are, with few exceptions (the few which have made their texts available open access, or which have at least kept their prices low, as Dover has), an obsolete and parasitic farce. 

In a modest effort to exacerbate their obsolescence, or at least remove some of the obstacles to scholarship that they currently present, I would like to use this blog, or perhaps some affiliated website, as something of an AAAAARG.ORG-like resource, gathering together some of the texts that we, the Form & Formalism group, and our readers would like have access to. I'd like to put together something which does for our neck of the woods --- which is what? mostly (but not exclusively) 'continental' philosophy of mathematics and logic, I suppose? -- what AAAAARG is already (and admirably) doing for what seems to be a mostly cultural studies and continental political philosophy community.

Now, I could certainly put together a blog listing links to downloadable pdfs via sites like ifileit, etc., but maybe something more elegant could be built. I don't have much in the way of expertise in these matters, so any ideas or assistance you can offer, dear reader, will be welcome. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Conference Announcement: HISTORY & PHILOSOPHY OF COMPUTING at Ghent

Don't let the 75th anniversary of Church, Post and Turing's 1936 papers pass you by without any philosophical ado:


This essay of Girard's is a rare thing of beauty. It is sheer genius. Bold, sweeping, profound, and yet incredibly accessible and coherent, not just the scattered gnomic gunshots typical of Girard's later writings, which demand the reader to pay for their brilliance with painstaking mathematical and philosophical gap-filling. I plan to write a longer post about this text in the near future, and about the broader programme for a Geometry of Interaction in general, but for now, I ask you to read this beautiful, brilliant essay:

Girard - Towards a Geometry of Interaction

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


So long as academic presses continue to jail our books behind prices like this, I consider anyone who's not making their work available online to be a fool. Paul Livingston, who is not a fool, has just released his excellent book, The Politics of Logic, to you, dear readers. [UPDATE: THE MANUSCRIPT IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE AT THIS URL. PAUL CAN, HOWEVER, BE REACHED HERE.] The book is a fascinating piece of work, which conscripts the conceptual achievements of analytic philosophy -- and, in particular, of that artery of analytic philosophy that has developed a sustained and brilliant reflection on the aporias of structure and language -- to the ends of compiling and illuminating an "orientation of thought" that can compete with Badiou on Badiou's own territory -- what Livingston dubs the "paradoxico-critical orientation". The main gist is something like this: what Gödel's incompleteness theorems throw into dramatic relief is not a simple obligation to accept incompleteness (of any formal system capable of expressing arithmetic, etc.), but the need to make a decision between inconsistency and incompleteness. Badiou's conditioning of his philosophy by mathematics, and principally by the metamathematical and foundational results of Gödel, Skolem, Cohen and others, elides this decision, and so passes over the possibility of the capacity for a rigorous -- and "complete" -- but essentially inconsistent discipline of formal thought to condition philosophy. Against Badiou's vision of the absolutely multiple, Livingston aims to deploy a vision of the paradoxical one, while retaining the ideal of conceiving radical situational change through the lens of formal thought. To this end, the book interweaves a sympathetic and subtle, but at bottom antagonistic reading of Badiou's work with a meditation on the foundations of mathematics and logic, and an invigorating synthesis of Wittgenstein and Agamben, Gödel and Derrida, and others.

Now go and read it [LINK BROKEN] for free.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Conference Announcement: Classical Model of Science II

Starting this evening at 20:15 with a lecture by the great philosopher of mathematics Stewart Shapiro [[UPDATE: SHAPIRO'S TALK HAS BEEN MOVED TO TOMORROW (WED.) MORNING AT 9:45. SCHLIESSER WILL BE SPEAKING TONIGHT ON SPINOZA, INSTEAD]], and running through to Friday (when Paolo Mancosu, historian of mathematics and editor of the indispensable anthology, From Brouwer to Hilbert, and Hourya Sinaceur, a brilliant philosopher of mathematics in the tradition of Cavaillès and author of Fields and Models, will both be speaking, among many others), the AXIOM group is hosting its second conference on "the Classical Model of Science", subtitled, "The Axiomatic Method, the Order of Concepts and the Hierarchy of Sciences from Leibniz to Tarski". The conference is taking place at the Vrije Universiteit Amstersdam, in the Philosophy Department. The conference programme, with schedule and abstracts, can be found here in pdf form. 
H/T to NewAPPS blog for the reminder.