Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Underground Ecocriticism Liveblog 26

Rhiannon Rogstad. “ ‘Moving along these pleasant walks’: An Excavation of Emerson’s Natural History in Four Early Lectures.”
Emeron's loss of wife. Watershed.  Scientific impulse admirable, but most admirable was the natural historian's drive to connect. 
Going for a walk. Rambling, as a way of knowing. Taking time.


Q: Epistemology. 
A: The risk of going outside. There is a potential for Romanticizing, but with that there is a kernel of risk. The push for epistemology, for what can this description do? There is a connection. 
A: Emerson: you don't only fall in love with things that are pretty (Rhiannon). The disgust factor goes away.  

Q: Gleaners movie. 
A: problem of downcycling. 
A: You leave the confines of your home and go out into the world. 

Q: The idea of diving. Is there a difference between a dumpster and the ocean? 

Q: Freedom and epistemology (for Ben). 
A: Freedom is dynamism because it's purely radical and unthinkable. He wouldn't necessarily say how epistemology relates to freedom. He is trying for a pure idealism. "To think a thing means I have to be a thing that's thinking...which means there must be something beforehand." Because of how human thinking works, we can't really know. By the nature of our thinking we're stuck. You need epistemology to figure that problem out. Nature screwed us by giving us thinking. 

Q: Some people need to live off of dumpster diving. We have to have the best thing in the dumpster.
A: Yes. There is the sticky situation of the need. That is a very important political question. There is a risk of getting sick. 

Q: How to relate Ben's conclusion to Morton's talk yesterday. Since we can't know the limits to thought, and we end up doing this thinking according to objects, how do we think according to hyperobjects? Because of the double unknowability of that term? Thought doesn't know its own limits, and the object is so big...
A: That's a very good question. One aspect is tricky. The form of thinking that is always according to an object is the "cool" one--it's almost always in terms of physical objects. Because the object status of the hyperobject is difficult to grasp. The object pushes you in Schelling. But the hyperobject is based on a lot of intuitions. Speculation is a new ground we don't even quite understand. The ground isn't acceessible to us.

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