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PHILOSOPHY PATHWAYS electronic journal

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P H I L O S O P H Y   P A T H W A Y S                   ISSN 2043-0728
http://www.philosophypathways.com/newsletter/

Issue No. 206
16th November 2016

CONTENTS

Edited by D.R. Khashaba

I. 'Philosophy as Poetry' by D.R. Khashaba

II. 'Becoming as Creativity' by D.R. Khashaba

III. 'Eternity and Freedom' by D.R. Khashaba

From the List Manager

IV. Prize for Charles Taylor

V. Dangers lurk in the march towards a post-modern career

VI. Afterword by Geoffrey Klempner

-=-

EDITOR'S PREFATORY NOTE

Honestly, I do not feel like apologizing for my egotism in taking up
the whole of this Philosophy Pathways Issue for myself. I wanted to
take the opportunity generously afforded me by Dr. Geoffrey Klempner
to present a summing up of my philosophy. Having entered my ninetieth
year it is high time for that. Indeed it is because I cannot now
reasonably expect to have much longer to live that I sought to make
all my books freely available to all readers, first on
http://philosophia937.wordpress.com and then on http://archive.org
[search: D. R. Khashaba]. I shall be obliged to anyone who would care
to download any or all of them [...]

Read more...

http://www.philosophypathways.com/articles/D_R_Khashaba_Philosophy_
Pathways_Issue_206_Introduction.pdf

(c) D.R. Khashaba 2016

Email: dkhashaba@yahoo.com">dkhashaba@yahoo.com

About the editor:
http://www.philosophypathways.com/newsletter/editor.html#khashaba

-=-

I. 'PHILOSOPHY AS POETRY' BY D.R. KHASHABA

There is no agreed answer to the question: What is philosophy? If we
try to apply Wittgenstein's the meaning is the use to philosophy we
get nowhere. Wittgenstein's notion of family resemblances may be more
helpful, though in the case of philosophy the family members are an
odd discordant bunch especially if we take in the youngest
generation. Let us try the historical approach, though here too we
have more diversity than affinity. Even if we confine ourselves in
time to the flicker between the sixth and the fourth centuries BC and
in space to that tiny speck in the north-eastern Mediterranean, who
would say that Thales and Xenophanes, or Heraclitus and Anaxagoras,
or Empedocles and Socrates represent a homogeneous genre of thinking?
[...]

Read more...

http://www.philosophypathways.com/articles/D_R_Khashaba_Philosophy_as
_Poetry.pdf

(c) D.R. Khashaba 2016

Email: dkhashaba@yahoo.com

-=-

II. 'BECOMING AS CREATIVITY' BY D.R. KHASHABA

What makes a thing bring about another thing different from itself?
What sense is there in saying that what has become comes from what
was before? We are so immersed in change that our sense of wonder is
blunted and we come to take the becoming of one thing out of another
as the most natural of things. Yet reflection should make it plain
that for one thing to produce or to become another thing different
from itself is truly mystifying. To describe in minutest detail the
stages through which the sprout passes in coming out of the seed only
gives us the delusion of understanding but the mystery remains
unfathomable; and such is all so-called scientific explanation [...]

Read more...

http://www.philosophypathways.com/articles/D_R_Khashaba_Becoming_as_
Creativity.pdf

(c) D.R. Khashaba 2016

Email: dkhashaba@yahoo.com

-=-

III. 'ETERNITY AND FREEDOM' BY D.R. KHASHABA

The conceptual intellect is the glory and the doom of humankind. It
is in virtue of our conceptual thought that we have our special
character, distinguishing us from all other animals, and it is in all
probability, as it now seems, by this same intellect and our vaunted
reason that the human species will be led to its final annihilation.
So conceptual intellection is the peculiar property of human beings
but it is not what is best or what is most valuable in them. There is
in us a deeper, purer, intelligence in our body, in the tranquility of
serene solitude, in moments when we are struck with awe and wonder, in
the gasp we eject at the sight of beauty, in the gush of love when
soul opens to soul, in the flow of tenderness towards a helpless
creature, in the happy giggle of a baby, in the exuberance of poetic
creativity -- in all of that there is a deeper, purer intelligence, a
state of pure internal joyful illumination, and I find that deep,
pure, intelligence in the warbling of the bird and in the dance of
the butterfly [...]

Read more...

http://www.philosophypathways.com/articles/D_R_Khashaba_Eternity_and_
Freedom.pdf

(c) D.R. Khashaba 2016

Email: dkhashaba@yahoo.com

-=-

IV. PRIZE FOR CHARLES TAYLOR

From the Daily Nous:

http://dailynous.com/2016/10/04/
charles-taylor-wins-million-dollar-berggruen-prize/

Charles Taylor, professor emeritus of philosophy at McGill
University, is the winner of the inaugural Berggruen Prize:
http://berggruen.org/activities/102

The prize, awarded by the Berggruen Institute http://berggruen.org/
is $1 million. The Institute says:

     The Berggruen Prize is awarded annually to a thinker whose
     ideas are of broad significance for shaping human
     self-understanding and the advancement of humanity. It
     seeks to recognize and encourage philosophy in the ancient
     sense of the love of wisdom and in the 18th Century sense
     of intellectual inquiry into all the basic questions of
     human knowledge. It rewards thinkers whose ideas are
     intellectually profound but also able to inform practical
     and public life across the range of world civilizations.
     
Professor Taylor was chosen for the award by a nine-member jury
headed by Kwame Anthony Appiah (NYU).

As a New York Times article about the prize reports
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/05/books/canadian-philosopher-wins-1-
million-prize.html this isn't the first large award Professor Taylor
has won:

     Mr. Taylor's previous honors include the 2015 John W. Kluge
     Prize for the Achievement in the Study of Humanity (shared
     with Jurgen Habermas), the 2007 Templeton Prize for
     achievement in the advancement in spiritual matters and the
     2008 Kyoto Prize, regarded as Japans highest private honor.
     Both the Templeton and Kluge prizes also carry cash awards
     of more than $1 million.
     
The prize will be bestowed on Professor Taylor in a ceremony in New
York on December 1st, the Times reports:

     Given the timing of the award, the Institutes founder,
     Nicholas Berggruen, may be hoping that his eponymous prize
     becomes known as philosophy's Nobel.
     
[Article originally posted on Philos-L
http://listserv.liv.ac.uk/archives/philos-l.html]

-=-

V. DANGERS LURK IN THE MARCH TOWARDS A POST-MODERN CAREER

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

http://www.smh.com.au/comment/dangers-lurk-in-the-postmodern
-career-that-is-missing-job-security-20161017-gs3u5o.html

A bushwalker found his body at the bottom of a cliff in the Blue
Mountains in early August. The previous day he'd caught the train
from Summer Hill where he lived and travelled to Blackheath. CCTV
camera footage showed him with the bicycle and backpack that the
police later found locked up at the top of the valley. John -- the
'unknown scholar' -- philosopher, contrarian, a member of the
academic precariat had taken his own life.

Lack of tenure means many academics are left to drift through
university life, piecing together work contracts each semester.

It was a solitary death: no living relatives, no partner, no will or
suicide note. The legal process was complicated and a small group of
friends dealt with police, coroner and funeral arrangements. It seems
that nobody was very close to him in the last months and that he
confided little to anyone about his state of mind.

But we know enough to tell his story. In his mid-40s, John had worked
as a casual university tutor since finishing his PhD in philosophy 15
years ago. Passed over a few times for tenured jobs, he was a
long-term member of the academic reserve army, the members of which
perform around half of the undergraduate teaching in Australia's
universities.

But this semester no offer of work came through from any of the
universities he had worked for over the years. Without income to pay
the rent, and deprived of institutional anchorage for his vocation,
we can see now that his predicament was dire.

When a full-time worker loses their job their employers must at least
give them notice and pay them their entitlements. But for casuals,
there is nothing. No acknowledgment of their long-term service, no
indication of their future prospects. For John, and other victims of
this year's downturn in university enrolments, there was just silence.

[Extract originally posted on Philos-L
http://listserv.liv.ac.uk/archives/philos-l.html]

-=-

VI. AFTERWORD BY GEOFFREY KLEMPNER

It has been a moving experience for me, to read Daoud Khashaba's
summary of his life's work as an independent philosopher. I find it
impossible to disagree with Khashaba's claim that viewing ultimate
reality as a Parmenidean One -- a blank 'necessary being' filling all
of reality, leaving no room for time, change, creativity, good or evil
-- would be the death of philosophy, a starting point that leads
nowhere.

What is the alternative? Khashaba's answer is: Creative Eternity.
Although I cannot think of any solid objection to such an elevated
vision of ultimate reality, I am still searching for an answer that
fully satisfies me. And so my work, my attempt at philosophical
creativity, goes on.

I told Daoud when we arranged this issue a couple of months ago that
there might be some items of news. I hadn't bargained on there being
two items from the professional Philo-L philosophy e-list that
encapsulate in the starkest terms the conditions of existence of
those who aspire to be philosophers in a world ruled by money and the
cult of celebrity.

I had the fortune to meet Charles Taylor once, back in 1976 at a
session of the Bentham dining club at University College Oxford. The
organizers of the Bentham liked to play 'musical chairs'. For first
course I was seated next to Gareth Evans, for the main course I
enjoyed the company of Professor H.L.A. Hart, followed by Charles
Taylor for dessert. Taylor confided in me that writing his celebrated
book 'Hegel' (1975) had given him a stomach ulcer -- which explained
why he was sipping milk while I enjoyed a glass of red wine followed
by port.

Those were the days. Whisky is my tipple now.

Charles Taylor and the late 'John' were both fortunate to drink from
the ancient well of Philosophy. They lived the life of the mind. Yet
there could not be a greater contrast in their material conditions.

I am sure that Taylor will spend his prize money wisely. Perhaps he
has already donated a generous amount to deserving causes. I doubt
very much whether he will splash out the money on a Ferrari. Yet I
cannot help but feel that there is something wrong with the world,
when those who have an aptitude and talent for philosophizing and
have something to give society -- instead of receiving the minimal
support they need to continue their work are driven to suicidal
despair.

(c) Geoffrey Klempner 2016

Email: klempner@fastmail.net


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