“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Friday, October 14, 2011

Harman's New Essay

“The Problem with Metzinger,” in Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, vol. 7, no. 1, 2011, pp. 7-36.

Somewhat synchronistically I provided a brief taste of one line of argument in a recent post on Žižek.

Graham's essay argues against Metzinger's reductionism, which employs Buddhism (as does quite a lot of neuroscience these days). I am finding it increasingly disturbing that ever-so-conveniently Buddhism shows up at the horizon of Western thinking just as two interconnected things go into overdrive: the emergence of industrial society, and the presence-at-hand–nihilism doublet.

This is disturbing for me in particular, as a Buddhist, because such uses of Buddhism forget that it's about love, compassion, not fucking your life up. You know, stuff that Metzinger might diss as merely “folk.” Furthermore, it's about Buddha nature and enlightenment. You can say that there is no self if you like, but if by that you mean that there are no Buddhas with no qualities, then I'll have to see you outside!

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