Circus Philosophicus

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O Books, Nov 26, 2010 - Social Science - 83 pages
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Platonic myth meets American noir in this haunting series of philosophical images from gigantic ferris wheels to offshore drilling rigs. It has been said that Plato Nietzsche and Giordano Bruno gave us the three great mythical presentations of serious philosophy in the West. They have spawned few imitators as philosophers have generally drifted toward a dry scholarly tone that has become the yardstick of professional respectability. In this book Graham Harman tries to restore myth to its central place in the discipline. In Chapter One the narrator considers the motion of a Ferris wheel of many miles in diameter which generates disasters and other events in its endless revolutions. In Chapter Two he moves from the Chesapeake Bay to the depths of Hell where he observes the show trial of pre Socratic thinkers. In Chapter Three the narrator encounters a battered steam calliope in India that may summon tsunamis solar flares and other catastrophic forces. In Chapter Four he tries to explain reports of a ghostly boat in Japanese waters. In Chapter Five he discusses causation on an offshore drilling platform. And in Chapter Six amidst a deadly Paris hailstorm he proposes a theory of objects without relations.

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