About Z

Z is a 50-something cosmopolitan anarcho-philosopher, and previously was a tenured full professor of philosophy at a public university somewhere in North America, but still managed to escape with his life.

“Poetry is the Hero of Philosophy”: Novalis’s Metaphilosophy.

Introduction Novalis is perhaps best known to contemporary philosophers for his aphorism, “Philosophy can bake no bread; but she can procure for us God, Freedom, Immortality.” But less well known is the following sentence: “Which, then, is more practical, Philosophy or Economy?” In other words, Novalis is saying that philosophy is profoundly more practical than … [continue reading]

Multi-Culti Is Anti-Kanti.

For … non-Kantian philosophers, there are no persistent problems — save perhaps the existence of Kantians. — R. Rorty[i] What do you think of the following argument? ARGUMENT 1 (i) E.T. is a fictional philosopher. (ii) E.T. is an alien of indeterminate gender who is personally biased against women, non-white races, non-Europeans, and blind people. (iii) Therefore, E.T.’s … [continue reading]

Canon Wars, Round 2: The Multi-Culti Critique of Western Philosophy.

Mainstream contemporary professional academic philosophy is seriously under attack, and not just by APP. In a recent edgy essay, “Taking Down Descartes: The Canon Wars,” I critically analyzed and historically contextualized Christia Mercer’s very interesting New York Times article from 25 September 2017, “Descartes Is Not Our Father,” and drew two main conclusions: It’s … … [continue reading]

Performance Philosophy, Public Philosophy, and Borderless Philosophy.

Two New Movements in Contemporary Philosophy Two extremely interesting movements in contemporary philosophy have emerged simultaneously, but also almost entirely independently of one another, within the past five years: performance philosophy and public philosophy. I think that both performance philosophy and public philosophy are not only extremely interesting, but also extremely important. That is because … [continue reading]

On Philosophical Failures.

Eighteen months ago, in “‘Failed Academics’: Schopenhauer, Peirce, and the (D)evolution of University Philosophy,” APP wrote about the meta-philosophically fascinating phenomenon of great philosophers who are also notable social “failures,” and in particular “failed academics.” We focused on Schopenhauer and Peirce: but we might just as easily have written about Diogenes, Socrates, Spinoza, Kierkegaard, Thoreau, … [continue reading]

Taking Down Descartes: The Canon Wars.

The history of modern philosophy begins with Descartes, right? Wrong. In “Descartes Is Not Our Father,” a very interesting–but I also think, very wrong-headed– essay published in The New York Times on 25 September 2017, Christia Mercer writes this: René Descartes has long been credited with the near-single-handed creation of modern philosophy. Generations of students … [continue reading]

Philosophy Unbound.

The painted veil, by those who were, called life, Which mimicked, as with colours idly spread, All men believed or hoped, is torn aside; The loathsome mask has fallen, the man remains Sceptreless, free, uncircumscribed, but man Equal, unclassed, tribeless, and nationless, Exempt from awe, worship, degree, the king Over himself; just, gentle, wise: but … [continue reading]

Professional Philosophy For and Against the Enlightenment.

The modern university and modern philosophy, alike, are founded on the intellectual, moral, and political ideals of the Enlightenment. But in the second decade of the 21st century, an era in which the university is not only intensely pressured from without by the demands of neoliberal politics and advanced capitalist values, but also intensely pressured … [continue reading]