Health warning. -- Brace yourselves for many more of my overly enthusiastic music-posts over the next 10 months!
At last. -- Our Viennese classical-music season starts this Saturday. Yury Revich and Donka Angatcheva play works by Mozart, Beethoven, Franck, Ravel, and de Sarasate. My favourite is Ravel's "Tzigane." -- This has been a long wait!
Metamorphosis: Butterfly to Mole. -- Successive papers of mine only rarely are on the same topic, or follow a comprehensive work-plan. Things will be different for the next few months. I am currently working on a paper entitled “Stances, Voluntarism, Relativism.” Next up will be a piece on “Stances and Dogmas in AGAINST METHOD.” And when that is done, I hope to be in a position to write about “Virtues, Stances, Relativism,” a reply to Maria Baghramian’s Joint-Sessions talk next May. Finally, and hopefully, all these articles will be key chapters in my book on “Relativism in the Philosophy of Science.” -- Wouldn’t it be nice if I could pull this off?
Ageist bias. -- I noticed today that all my living intellectual heroes are in their seventies. It's high time I start looking for heroes in my own generation and in those many generations that have followed.
Quote. -- "... Feyerabend, who is most definitely one of my philosophical heroes!" (Bas van Fraassen, pers. comm.)
Only in Vienna. -- I learnt today that our rector plays piano a quattro mani with some of the professors. Now I am worried ... Psst!
Feyerabend. -- I really feel sorry for him. Today's rationalists think he is a relativist of the worst sort. Today's relativists think he remains too close to the rationalists. Both camps find little reason to study his work.
To be or not to be ... -- ... a player in unversity politics. -- Pro: I like to think I am reasonably good at arguing for things I believe in. -- Con: Since when do good arguments win the day in politics?
Humour amongst gerontologists. -- Just talked to the editor of "Gerontology: The Oldest Journal in the Field."
Call me “Google.” — As I leave my first-ever Simmel-conference I can’t help sharing a critical comment by one exasperated interlocutor during one of the breaks: “Martin, you are like a bloody search-engine for everything to do with German philosophy and politics around 1900.” — I don’t think they meant it as a compliment ... alas.
The Golden Past. -- There were no word limits in Logos.
Humbling. -- The conferences I attend these days fall into two (partially overlapping) categories: they are smack in my long-term areas of specialization, or they feature name-tags. This has a pleasant side-effect: it creates the lovely illusion of being well known. -- The Simmel-conference I am attending at the moment is different. No name-tags and no-one knows me from Adam. People keep asking me: “And who on earth are you?” I keep having to spell my surname, and to refer them to famous Kusches, like the physicist Polykarp or the philosopher-anthropologist Rodolfo. -- I feel like a graduate student again, attending my first ever conference. And I keep telling myself: “Calm down, you are not on the job market; calm down you are not on the job market; calm down, you are not on the job market …”
Bloor, Field, Priest, van Fraassen. -- Four of my heroes, and all locking arms in the paper I have almost finished.
You know that your children are approaching adulthood ... -- ... when they ask you out on a dinner date.
Another problem solved. -- I just had a deadline for a paper extended until January 1st. That answers the question what to do in the Christmas holidays.
How to get from "lose-lose" to "win-lose". -- When you wife says: "If you publish in that paper, I am moving out!"
Dilemma. -- What to do when a widely-circulating newspaper--whose political views you abhor--asks you to contribute an article about your work? If you say "no", you miss a chance to influence (however minimally) a larger audience. If you agree to do it, you lend credibility (however minimally) to an unsavory publication. It seems a "lose-lose" situation.
The last two highlights of my conference Summer. -- First I am off to Hannover for the “Joint ENPOSS & PSSRT Conference” and then I’ll head to Bonn for my first ever Simmel-conference. Oh what fun!
How low we have fallen. -- I am all in favour of Sessions remaining Attorney General.
Anticipation. -- My wife and I are busy booking the musical programme for our Saturday evenings this Autumn and Winter. This first concert is already lined up in my Spotify playlist: sonatas for piano and violin by Mozart, Beethoven, Franck, Ravel and Sarasate.
In case you were wondering. -- The sound of my new piano is out of this world. Alas, I only have time to play it for about an hour per day -- ERC deliverables come first ...
Concern. -- It's 8am local time in Washington, and Trump hasn't yet posted anything on Twitter. Is he alright?
Self-sabotage. -- I keep saying that one is either a good historian or a good philosopher -- one can't be both. Which leaves me with a nasty decision in my own case ...