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“Recent neuroscience, in replacing the old model of the brain as a single centralized source of control, has emphasized “plasticity,” the quality by which our brains develop and change throughout the course of our lives. Our brains exist as historical products, developing in interaction with themselves and with their surroundings.Hence there is a thin line between the organization of the nervous system and the political and social organization that both conditions and is conditioned by human experience. Looking carefully at contemporary neuroscience, it is hard not to notice that the new way of talking about the brain mirrors the management discourse of the neo-liberal capitalist world in which we now live, with its talk of decentralization, networks, and flexibility. Consciously or unconsciously, science cannot but echo the world in which it takes place.In the neo-liberal world, “plasticity” can be equated with “flexibility”–a term that has become a buzzword in economics and management theory. The plastic brain would thus represent just another style of power, which, although less centralized, is still a means of control. In this book, Catherine Malabou develops a second, more radical meaning for plasticity. Not only does plasticity allow our brains to adapt to existing circumstances, it opens a margin of freedom to intervene, to change those very circumstances. Such an understanding opens up a newly transformative aspect of the neurosciences.In insisting on this proximity between the neurosciences and the social sciences, Malabou applies to the brain Marx’s well-known phrase about history: people make their own brains, but they do not know it. This book is a summons to such knowledge.” ~ Peperback Swap

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 Reza has a wonderul discussion of decay in relation to space and triadic formulation of time.  One sentence in particular stuck out to me: “vital time introduces nightmares of the cosmic time into the phenomena of life.”  In a sense this defines the project of a dark phenomenology – of tempering the jubilant comportment as well as the ontological limits of sense as defined in most phenomenology.  Furthermore, Reza’s concluding remark: “We can say that in decay space is perforated by time: Although time hollows out space, it is space that gives time a twist that abnegates the privilege of time over space and expresses the irrepressible contingencies of the absolute time through material and formal means.”… Read More

via Naught Thought

Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) mit Studenten. Lit...

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As mentioned a while ago, John Caputo has been running a new course on continental philosophy of religion featuring After the Postsecular and the Postmodern: New Essays in Continental Philosophy of Religion (Amazon: US, UK) as well as a number of speculative realist thinkers. As the course goes on, lectures are being posted up at this site and are certainly worth checking out: 

Index of Caputo Fall 2010

 In other news, the journal Speculations has released a CFP for its second issue:

Speculations, a journal for speculative realist thought, invites submissions for its second issue. Given the intrinsically open and unconstrained nature of the arena for speculative thought which Speculations aims at embodying—and in view of the favorable reception of the inaugural issue—our aim is to broaden the range and ambition of the Journal. In accordance with speculative realism’s mandate to open philosophy to the richness of reality, we particularly encourage scholars to engage with speculative realism from disciplinary perspectives beyond philosophy. We therefore welcome papers discussing speculative realism’s renewed philosophical concern with the non-human world from a wide array of disciplines.

Speculations is an open-access and peer-reviewed journal that hopes to provide a forum for the exploration of speculative realism and ‘post-continental’ philosophy. Our aim is to facilitate discussion about ongoing developments within and around speculative realism. We accept short position papers, full length articles and book reviews.

Potential authors should make sure to go through the ‘Submission Checklist’ before submitting. Articles should be no longer than 8,000 words and follow the Chicago Manual of Style (http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html).

The deadline for submission is the 8th of January 2011.

Submissions can be sent to speculationsjournal@gmail.com

via Speculative Heresy

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