Saturday, December 21, 2013

Philosophy and Science Episode 2

Decided to do something different for my class. We worked some of this out thru an activity, then we discussed further some of the motivations for it (i.e. Rorty and his use of Oakeshott in Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature). Then the students did this themselves.

"This is our mini web series, Philosophy and Science. In this series, we, students of Philosophy of De La Salle University - Manila, will talk about the effect of Science on the different issues in Philosophy.
In this episode of P&S, Mr. Zimmermann and Mr. Gacula talk about Time Travel and Free Will."

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Still looking out for other philosophy and philosophy-related CFP's

This term I've been working on a new course and that has taken up some of my time. However, this has not stopped me to look for other CFP for 2014. Doing a conference also is an opportunity for travel. Travel is another avenue for learning new things. The new course seems to be a good way to learn too.

The Philippines has been hit with a number of typhoons and I've been also trying to deal with that (i.e. leaking roofs, gathering supplies etc.) It appears there is another one on the way.

I just might have to buy extra supplies tomorrow just in case.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

So you want to be an actor? Meisner's On Acting

Here is another recent read for January. Meisner and Longwell's On Acting, with an introduction by Sydney Pollack.

I think this is the last book for January. I was thinking of posting this during the time of James Gandolfini's (of "Sopranos" fame) untimely passing. Gandolfini studied the "Meisner technique." At the time of this entry, I have yet to see Gandolfini in Inside the Actor's Studio.
But, thinking about Meisner reminds me of Dustin Hofmann's impression of Robert Duvall.Hofmann did his impression when he was a guest at Inside. Let us just say that Duvall had no kind words for Lee Strasberg, Hofmann's teacher. Well, Meisner also has no kind words for Strasberg in On Acting.One instance of Meisner's dim view of Strasberg, is his claim that Pacino is good in spite of Strasberg!

Meisner's book might not be the best place to start if one is just beginning to study what actors do. But it is worth a read for those who have gone thru some experience and training. Even for those who write plays and have worked with actors, I would add, might benefit from reading Meisner's .

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Call for Papers: PAP Conference (“Philosophy, Spirituality, and Secularity”)

CALL FOR PAPERS  [c/o Mark Calano. I made this shorter for readingandphilosophy]
Midyear Conference
Philosophical Association of the Philippines (PAP), Inc.
“Philosophy, Spirituality, and Secularity”
San Beda College, October 25, 2013 (Friday)

This year’s midyear conference aims to engage philosophers from both the continental and the analytic traditions on the theme of philosophy, spirituality, and secularity.

Taking its cue from recent developments in philosophy, the midyear conference aims to focus on the following questions:

1. What is the relationship between philosophy and spirituality?
2. What becomes of this relationship in the advent of secularity?
3. What is the conception of spirituality that operates within secularist regimes?

The keynote speaker for the midyear is Rev. Fr. Ranhilio Calangan Aquino, Ph.D., J.D., with a paper on “Faith in a Secular World.”

The PAP midyear conference will be held in San Beda College on Friday, October 25, 2013.

Since 2013 is also a commemorative year for philosophers, such as Paul Ricoeur, Albert Camus, and Søren Kierkegaard, a special panel for each philosopher is also provided for scholars who wish to share their papers/research.

We welcome paper abstract submissions from academics, graduate students, and independent scholars on the theme “Philosophy, Spirituality, and Secularity” and also commemorative papers on Ricouer, Camus, and Kierkegaard. Please send a 300-word abstract, a clear and complete outline of the argument of your paper, and a short bionote to The deadline for applications (abstracts, outline, and bionote) is on September 06, 2013 (Friday). A letter of acceptance will reach successful applicants by September 09, 2013. Please note that due to the limited structure of the conference sessions, we will be selecting only eighteen (18) papers for presentation.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Hunter S. Thompson's Hey Rube: Another read for January

Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness is Hunter S. Thompson's final book before his death in 2005. I posted about his death on Multiply! That's how long ago that is.

I believe has some of  Thompson's articles also. Here is my pic of the book:
Hohoho, I found out here that Thompson also commented on the XFL. Then again, maybe Nixon would have also commented on it.From the title, it is easy to surmise what else Thompson commented on. It was also from Thompson, though not in this book, that I learned of the
Lisl Auman.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Diane Keaton's Then Again: Another Read for January

Still another autobiography, in the last blog post it was J.G. Ballard's, now it's
Diane Keaton's. Aside from looking at the beginnings of her career, Then Again reflects on her relationship with her mother.
I particularly liked her  brief account of Sanford Meisner. She was part of the Neighborhood Playhouse when Meisner was there.Of course, there were parts that touched on Al Pacino and Warren Beatty. There are also a bunch of pictures from Keaton's collection.  Keaton also writes about her experience doing Hair in Broadway. You would have to read Then Again in order to see why I had to mention Keaton's reminiscence of Hair. Now go and read it!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

J.G. Ballard's Miracles of Life: A Recent Read for January.

Many are familiar with Ballard probably because of Empire of the sun. After all, Steven Spielberg adapted this as a film, with a young Christian Bale in the cast. As for me, Ballard's Crash made an impression. What kind of impression? Go ahead and read it to find your own!

Ballard's Miracles is his autobiography. I've been reading a bunch of biographies this year. I recently finished Laurence Olivier's autobiography. Coincidentally they were both English and wrote about similar time periods. I highly recommend Ballard's Miracles of life, especially if you have read some his works.
[Yup, I took that photo!]

Friday, June 14, 2013

Prep for Gender Studies seminar next week, new publication and Peirce 2014

After Helsinki, still more Gender Studies related work to come next week. Working on a number of things that have to do with physicalism, skepticism and philosophy of science. One of my papers on Quine is featured in C and E Publishing's Tao po? Readings in the Philosophy of the Person. I guess I will write about that too. But the paper on Quine came out with grappling with some of the implications of some of the isms just mentioned.

I'm going to take some photos later, to post for the recent reads thing that I have neglected to do for months! I think I put in one of my previous posts that I will be using my own photographs from now on. I had a lot of practice doing some photography in Helsinki and Vienna.

Still thinking about Peirce 2014. Visa, cost and paper, what to do? Take it one day at a time...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Abstract for DLSU Research Congress 2013

The Importance of Biology to Philosophy: THE CASE FOR PHILOSOPHY OF BIOLOGY

This paper argues for the importance of issues raised by biology to the practice of philosophy. Acknowledging the importance of biology to philosophy would also mean that the study and knowledge of biology is also important. At first blush this may be obvious to some when they think of bioethics or medical ethics. The overwrought issue of abortion and contraception immediately come to mind. However, there are other issues that bear directly on philosophical discussion. As a field of study, this is called philosophy of biology, involving discussions between scientists and philosophers. Philosophy of biology features works of scientists and philosophers from the issues stemming from evolution, sociobiology, the human genome project and creationism.
 Difficulties in recognizing such a field arise for those who think that there is an unbridgeable gulf between science and philosophy. Many of those who engage in philosophy of biology do not think of such a gulf, for many of them are naturalists. Naturalism is the view that philosophy is continuous with science. While naturalism is not an unproblematic view and methodology, it has flourished in philosophy of biology. Philosophers, insofar as they are not naturalists, would probably argue the importance of philosophy to biology. Arguing for the importance of philosophy to biology may be satisfactory to traditional philosophical discussion. But what of problems stemming from issues found in biology? Should philosophers be ignorant of these issues?  A case in point would be human nature. Researches in sociobiology and genetics have reframed the question of human nature. Whereas before one can think of an armchair intellectual reflecting on his thoughts; it would be more difficult now to ignore the findings of the fields just mentioned.
Historically, the American pragmatists Peirce, James and Dewey recognized the significance of Darwin. Unfortunately, mischaracterizations of their thoughts proved to downplay their contributions to philosophy. Thankfully, recent philosophers like Elliot Sober, Philip Kitcher and Peter Godfrey-Smith has led to recover this significance.
Philosophy’s relevance can be found anew by acknowledging the importance of biology. The former cannot stay in the armchair. Many of the issues raised by findings in the latter are not merely for abstract theorizing in the classroom. While such theorizing does have its place, the concerns raised in biology are for all human beings, philosopher or not.

Abstract for the 5th Christina Conference at the University of Helsinki

 [I'm preparing some necessities for the trip. About the activities here, I do something similar for my classes in philosophical anthropology.]

Taking on a Role: An Actor-Oriented Approach to Discussing Gender and Introducing Intersectionality

Gender studies is a fledgling course for Philippine universities. This paper argues for an actor-oriented approach to the study of gender. By “actor-oriented,” it is meant that many of the activities are inspired or taken from what actors do in order to prepare for a play. This approach is taken to bring the issues closer to the students. For instance, activities used to deepen listening expose the problematic assumptions and stereotypes regarding hypothetical situations. These hypothetical situations have to do with the interplay of gender, race and social status. One hypothetical situation is that of a woman bleeding who is refused entry to a hospital.  A further description is that the woman has a swollen abdomen. The students are asked to give reasons as to why the woman was refused entry. The added condition is that students repeat the reasons of the previous student. Apart from students defending the hospital, the repeated reasons usually feature embellishments like “she was poor”, “she’s of x-religion”, “she had an abortion.”  
Listening is just one of the many basic skills nurtured even further by actors (especially those informed by the practices of Konstantin Stanislavsky and Stella Adler) in order to be in the scene, from moment to moment. This also means that listening is also an attempt to see through our own judgments. The insights that may be gathered from doing the activities usually lead to discussions of intersectionality. It should be noticed that gender, race, religion and social status also forms some of the elements in building a character, and many of these dynamically intertwine and overlap.  This paper also argues that the actor’s approach is also a good way of introducing intersectionality, especially since this might be the first and last time our students will take up gender studies.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Manila Heat!

The temperature here is fever level hehehe... I'm supposed to be working on my presentation but I'm taking a break with this Manila heat. I have decided that my recent reads would feature my photographs of the books I have read. Just an explanation for the delayed posts. Many things in store in the months to come.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Twitter of Reading and Philosophy

Still getting used to it. Some philosophers there too, following some of them.The link to is:

Friday, March 8, 2013

On the Research Congress 2013

I went a bit longer than the time allotted in my presentation.It would have been nice if there was more of an audience. Still, the call for papers from this have extended and renewed some of the research I have been doing. It can be hard for a recent PhD with a 4-5 classes to teach, but there is no excuse.
I will be posting portions of my paper "The Importance of Biology to Philosophy: The Case for Philosophy of Biology" soon.

I really need to post my recent reads soon.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

DLSU Research Congress 2013 in a few

   I've been handling five classes a week, for the past few weeks. Though I have still been able to do some leisurely reading. Still, not the same amount as January's. Oh I have yet to log my recent reads for January or February.
   The nice thing about having classes is you do get to work out your ideas more. I have quite a few things lined up in March aside from Research Congress. Something for Women's Month, maybe something for the Philosophical Association of the Philippine. Of course there is the 5th Christina Conference in Finland.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Conference Prep: DLSU Research Congress and 5th Christina Conference

Made some last minute changes to my paper for the DLSU Research Congress and submitted some weeks ago. I presented there before when it was still called the Science and Technology Congress. My paper before was a short discussion of philosophy of mind and how the positions of Putnam and Searle might come to similar conclusions, exposing some of the weaknesses of some forms of functionalism.
My upcoming paper will be on philosophy of biology.
The link to the 5th Christina Conference is here.
The link to the Research Conference  2013 is here.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

William James on Minnie Temple

Minnie, your death makes me feel the nothingness of all our egotistical fury. The inevitable release is sure: wherefore take our turn kindly, whatever it contains. Ascend to some partnership with fate, and since tragedy is at the heart of us, go to meet it, work it to our ends, instead of dodging it all our days, and being run down by it at last. Use your death (or your life, it’s all one meaning) tat tvam asi.