War, Minus the Shooting

Socrates: 60 caps for Brazil

What with the English Premier League season starting this weekend it seems appropriate to go back to a few articles written during the World Cup. First of all Peter Singer takes Germany’s Manuel Neuer to task for unethical conduct against England. Is the only ethical imperative in a football match the will-to-victory? Of course not, avows Singer.

On the same tip, an excellent post over at Minus the Shooting on cheating, getting away with it, and transgressions (or not) of the moral law in another of the tournament’s infamous incidents, Luis Suarez’s goalline handball against Ghana. Continue reading “War, Minus the Shooting”

Hauntology

An excellent, detailed introduction to the application of the term “hauntology” to music is at Rouge’s Foam here. The term was coined by Jacques Derrida in Spectres of Marx. It plays on “ontology”; the two terms sounds almost identical in French. He asserts that the spectre of Marx’s ideas will continue to haunt Western consciousness in the same way that the spectre of communism was haunting Western Europe when Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto.

In music it has come to be associated with artists such as Burial, Boards of Canada and the Ghost Box label (see the Rouge’s Foam post for listening). However, its application is much broader than music. Here it is discussed in relation to visual art. As theorist Mark Fisher notes here, hauntology can be seen as a paradigm for the malaise of postmodernism, a static world haunted by the ghosts of the past after Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History. Continue reading “Hauntology”

Punking the BNP

Scientific_racism_irishK-Punk (aka writer Mark Fisher) writes about possible responses to the BNP on his blog:

“Much of the BNP’s appeal derives from its granting of legitimacy to those feelings of resentment and aggrievement – yes, it says, you’re right to feel angry and betrayed…Here, class emerges…But this brief flash of class antagonism is immediately subsumed by race-logic”.

Later on he notes that any effective response to the BNP cannot simply argue with the BNP within the current framework, but seek to undermine the framework itself, this thing that sublimates class differences into racial differences. He describes this process using a particularly philosophically-loaded term: Narrative.

Narrative is that which gives structure to everyday human existence – it is historical, social. In After Virtue, Alasdair Macintyre argues that the self is a “narrative self” (as opposed to an “emotive self”) – identity is constructed by the myriad roles an individual plays in multiple systems. The good for an individual must therefore be “the good for one who inhabits these roles” (AV, 220). If Macintyre’s argument holds water, this means that social critiques – such as the one detailed in the previous paragraph – have not only political implications, but moral ones.

Related articles:

Contemporary virtue ethics
By Karen Stohr, Georgetown University
(Vol. 1, February 2006)
Philosophy Compass

Race, Colorblindness, and Continental Philosophy
By Michael J. Monahan , Marquette University
(Vol. 1, September 2006)
Philosophy Compass

In defence of theory

theory as drug
theory as drug

A recent article for frieze by Simon Reynolds defends the importance of theory in discussions of music. Several issues raised by this:

1. The fact that writers such as Reynolds feel the need to jump to its defence is a symptom of the profound mistrust that large parts of society have of Theory, specifically critical/cultural theory, sometimes known as continental philosophy. Is this something that is growing or has it always been the case? Continue reading “In defence of theory”