SSPP @ Historical Materialism in NYC?

29 09 2009

Would any members be interested in joining me in putting together a panel to present at the Historical Materialism Conference, January 14-16, 2010 in NYC?  The due date is November 1, so we would have to work fast.  I was thinking about us maybe discussing the place of Marxian methodology in academic philosophy &/or political theory in the united states, but I am open to any suggestions.

Respond in comments below, please, and, if we get a core group, we can coordinate the submission by email.


William Lewis, treasurer and e-board member




4 responses

3 10 2009

Bill: Hasana and I are planning to attend, but we’re already commited otherwise on the paper front. I’d love to attend such a panel, though!

5 10 2009
William Lewis

Glad to know that you will be there. I’ll definitely attend. The panel thing is quite appealing to me and so i hope to find some

15 11 2009

Did you get a panel together, Bill? Maybe folks who are going to HM could post their abstracts here, so everyone could see what was going on. I’ll start:

“Aristotle’s Communism: Paolo Virno on the Political Animal”

During and immediately after the Cold War, Western scholars tended to conscript Aristotle in the forces of capitalism. His criticism of Plato’s Republic in Book B of the Politics was commonly treated as a criticism of Soviet communism avant le lettre, and anticommunism was the common ground uniting respected scholars (Miller) and embarrassing autodidacts (Rand). The presupposition was that Platonism, being a radical rationalism and idealism, amounts to a utopian totalitarianism in practice, whereas Aristotle’s realism and “empiricism” are supposed to translate into practical pluralism and meliorism. The recent work of Paolo Virno cuts against the grain by repeatedly invoking Aristotle as the original thinker of transindividuality, the necessary – that is, fundamental even when unacknowledged – communism of both bodily experience and politics. In contrast to the Platonist communism of the Cold War imagination, which focused readers’ attentions on institutions of property and family, Virno’s Aristotelian communism is concerned with the modalities in which human beings become and persist as human beings through being in common, and the ways in which logos both disrupts and repairs this being in common. This essay analyzes and assesses Virno’s Aristotle, focusing in particular on a) how best to understand the naturalism of his position and b) the motivations for and consequences of his identification of politics with the use of language.

17 11 2009

No, no panel put together. We’ll have to think about this for future conferences, if it is a good idea. I am going to deliver a paper, this time on H. Lefevbvre and Philosophy of Science. My abstract is way too long to post so how about this to whet appetites: Lefebvre must have been reading Carnap while he was driving a cab and waiting to get back into academia. Mind blowing stuff!

william lewis

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