Waggish

David Auerbach on literature, philosophy, film, etc.

Absolutism in the French Enlightenment

This letter is from the June 8 TLS, in response to a review of Jonathan Israel’s Democratic Enlightenment. It’s a far more substantive review than Darin MacMahon’s silly dismissal, but it makes the ubiquitous mistake of […]

Jun, 12 · in Essays

“We Are All Anonymous” Video

Thanks to Punkcast, video is now available of the Triple Canopy discussion with Gabriella Coleman, James Grimmelmann, and me, discussing Anonymity as Culture and Our Weirdness is Free. Thanks to all involved for making it a great event. I […]

Jun, 01 · in Miscellania

Advertisement for Myself (and Others)

In connection with my Anonymity as Culture articles on Triple Canopy, I will be speaking with Gabriella Coleman and James Grimmelmann this Wednesday the 23rd at 7pm in Brooklyn about internet culture, anonymity, politics, law, […]

May, 22

Gilbert Ryle’s Plato

Plato’s Progress is not just for philosophers. It is a detective story, and a very entertaining one. Mid-century arch-analytic philosopher Gilbert Ryle skillfully constructed it as such, and it’s a shame this book is so […]

May, 18

“Obscene abuse of a randy old hag”: Horace’s Epode 8 in Translation

Coarsely abusive sexual language is an early iambic tradition. Daniel Garrison Besides being Augustus’s favored poet and composing immaculate and subtle Odes, Horace wrote some rougher-hewn pieces in his series of Epodes (30 BC). The […]

May, 09

George Kennedy on Comparative Rhetoric

George Kennedy is a brilliant scholar of Greek and Latin rhetoric, but he also wrote a slim book, Comparative Rhetoric, that makes a better go than most studies at being a genuinely comparative analysis of rhetoric […]

Apr, 29

Wittgenstein on Freud

Laura Quinney, in her book Literary Power and the Criteria of Truth, mentions some of Wittgenstein’s perspicacious remarks on Freud. Since I’d earlier talked about Ernest Gellner’s criticism of Freud as well as his criticism of […]

Apr, 26





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"Those who live in the present but who harbor no doubts about the structure of authority, those whose anger does not drive them to delve into the essentials, and those whose approach to their art raises no questions, all of these must renounce their status as artists."
—Masayuki Takayanagi