The Politics of Renaissance Hermeticism, and the Magic of Science

I’ve been reading Frances Yates’ Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition (1964). Part of her project is to dispel the myth that Bruno was burnt at the stake primarily for his heliocentrism and generally scientific and materialist attitude. This was certainly one of the Roman Inquisitions many accusations, but the real reasons the Church lit […]

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‘Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine’ by Alan Lightman

[Update 4/19: listen to the interview here] On Thursday at CIIS, I’ll interview physicist and novelist Alan Lightman, author of the just published Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine (2018). As of this writing, Lightman’s book is #1 in Metaphysics on Amazon.com.*  Lightman begins his reflections in a cave in Font-de-Gaume, France, famous for its adornment of […]

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Historical Background and Overview for “Etheric Imagination in Process Philosophy”

I realized I posted the same section twice last week, so here is the real historical and overview section of my dissertation proposal. ————————————————————————– This dissertation examines the metaphysics of imagination in the process philosophies of Schelling and Whitehead through the hermeneutical lens of a certain stream of Western esotericism. In describing the process-philosophical imagination […]

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Jacob Sherman on Joshua Ramey’s “The Hermetic Deleuze” (2012)

Read it HERE. Jake writes: I suspect that Ramey seeks to divine a new shape for philosophy in the hermetic tradition rather than, say, in Hadot’s ancient philosophical schools, because of the degree of creativity that hermeticism not only thematizes but also unleashes. Goethe’s Faust is at his most hermetic when he translates the opening […]

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Philosophy and the City

A few good posts on the polis recently. One by Adam Robbert. Another by Bill Thorn. … Re-thinking politics is something most Athenian citizens never had to do. They had common categories to guide them in the agora, as well as comedy and tragedy to form and re-form their feelings for them at the theater. […]

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“The Hermetic Deleuze: Philosophy and Spiritual Ordeal” (2012) by Joshua Ramey

I’ve just been made aware of this very new book on Deleuze and the Hermetic tradition. As the commenter who brought it to my attention already guessed, it couldn’t be more relevant to my current project. Hermeticism has long been an interest of mine; I’ve even described myself as a Christian Hermeticist in the past. The […]

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Poetics of Resistance: Radical Politics in the Waning Years of Capitalism

Levi Bryant has had a lot to say in the past several months about the relationship between politics and ontology. HERE is his latest. Essentially, he argues that academia is too caught up in symbolic and cultural forms of resistance to capitalism, when in reality what changes history are not shifts in consciousness but transformations […]

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[final draft] Poetic Imagination in the Speculative Philosophies of Plato, Schelling, and Whitehead

Poetic Imagination in the Speculative Philosophies of Plato, Schelling, Whitehead The Garden of Eden and Expulsion from the Garden by Thomas Cole “I am convinced that the supreme act of reason, because it embraces all ideas, is an aesthetic act; and that only in beauty are truth and goodness akin.–The philosopher must possess as much […]

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Coleridge and Scientific Realism

I’m continuing to read Barfield’s book What Coleridge Thought (1971) with great excitement. Barfield includes two short chapters entitled “Ideas, Methods, Laws” and “Coleridge and the Cosmology of Science” wherein he attempts to say a bit about how Coleridge’s dynamic philosophy might be brought into conversation with contemporary natural science. It would be helpful, before […]

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The Role of Imagination in the Science of the Stars

Is the history of science a continuous progression from less to more accurate theories of physical phenomena? Or, as Thomas Kuhn suggested, is its history characterized by a discontinuous series of paradigm shifts? In the latter case, gradual “progress” occurs only locally within established theoretical frameworks until, through the sudden imaginative leap of a genius […]

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The Poetics of Copernican Cosmology

In his cosmographic study of the Copernican Revolution,The Poetic Structure of the World (1987), Fernand Hallyn entirely re-envisions the foundations of modern science. Instead of reading Copernicus’ break with the geocentric scheme as a rejection of the enchanted cosmos of the ancient world, Hallyn makes clear that Copernicus himself believed he was only making ancient […]

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