Brazil Questions: Responses from Kelly Dean Jolley

Quantum Est In Rebus Inane

20031876_10105043101855321_990241595142773217_nI am heading to Brazil to talk about Thoreau at a bi-centennial conference.  I was sent a set of questions to answer for a pre-conference publication.  Here are the answers.  I haven’t included the questions, but they are easy enough to reverse engineer.  

Question 1:  Wittgenstein and Thoreau.

I have long been most fascinated, most challenged and changed, by philosophers who combine analytical rigor with existential pathos.  I strategize that bringing Wittgenstein and Thoreau together makes more visible the existential pathos of the one, Wittgenstein, and the analytical rigor of the other, Thoreau.  So you could say that my strategy is to use each to insist on the completeness of the other, and so to offset the tendency to find only analytical rigor in Wittgenstein (if even that) or existential pathos in Thoreau (if even that).  

Each writes in a way that creates a desire to refuse him:…

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2 comments on “Brazil Questions: Responses from Kelly Dean Jolley

  1. dmf says:

    a bit of Deleuze & Guattari
    Perhaps one can pose the question What is philosophy? only late in life, with the arrival of old age and the time for speaking concretely. In fact, the bibliography on the nature of philosophy is very limited. It is a question one poses in a moment of quiet restlessness, at midnight, when one no longer anything to ask for. One asked it before; one asked it ceaselessly, but too indirectly or obliquely; the question was too artificial, too abstract. One was not seized by it, rather one set it out and dominated it in passing. One was not sober enough. One had too much desire to do philosophy, one did not wonder what it was, except as a stylistic exercise. One had not reached that point of non-style where one can finally say, “What is it I have been doing all my life?”

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