Love Please – Original Flash Fiction with a pinch of philosophy by @nobyeni

In a world far far away, in a galaxy that doesn’t exist, and in a time that is already forgotten, there was a man…

So I wrote a story today, in response to a 24-hour challenge. The prompt was ‘a robot that falls in love with its owner’. I was talking to someone over in an online writers group I’m part of, and he kind of challenged me to write fantasy. So I thought of the most crazy thing I could think of and wrote a short flash fiction story (of about 500 words).

A story which, I’m happy to report, many people seem to like, as it was awarded special curation. So, if cryptocurrency is real, it will be my best paid piece of writing so far.

You can read the full story here, for free:
https://steemit.com/twentyfourhourshortstory/@nobyeni/love-please-original-flash-fiction

The Art of Belonging – reflection on the NSU summer school

Is it possible to define the sense of belonging that is more than simply the addition of the parts, that does not erase philosophical loneliness but gives it a place and makes you regard it as a strength?

It has been truly a magnificent gift to be able to spend an intensive week with a group of strangers, talking about venturing into the unknown, into the future of (feminist) philosophy, and who, during the final session, dare to share their feelings of loneliness and inadequacy. In life. But mostly in their philosophical being. A loneliness that is both personal and professional. And I wonder how that shared attitude of fundamental openness creates a space of belonging. Continue reading “The Art of Belonging – reflection on the NSU summer school”

Go #Steady with a Philosopher

Ever wanted to know how you could support a philosopher? Be involved and go steady with a philosopher…

Read more here about how to go steady with a philosopher… Provide independence, be involved and help create a steady environment that allows for the silence necessary to think.
Steady is a team of developers, designers, journalists and founders in Berlin. They are motivated by the belief that good content should be well rewarded. With Steady, they make it possible. Continue reading “Go #Steady with a Philosopher”

Can women think?

Wednesday, November 30th 2016, I’ll give a talk at the University of Maryland about the question “Can women think?”

Why are there so few women philosophers? In most fields of the humanities there are about the same number of women as men, yet the number of women in philosophy looks more like those in mathematics and physics. Why is that? Is it because women cannot think? Is it simply because, as Hegel puts it: “Women can, of course, be educated, but their minds are not adapted to the higher sciences, philosophy, or certain of the arts …. The difference between man and woman is the same as between animal and plant.” (Hegel, Philosophy of Right, 1820, par. 166, note)
desbouvrie-flyer
Continue reading “Can women think?”

The Burden of the Freedom to Philosophise

“…freedom to philosophise can not only be granted without injury to Piety and the Peace of the Commonwealth, but that the Peace of the Commonwealth and Piety are endangered by the suppression of the freedom.”

The chairperson of the Dutch parliament has some books standing on her desk, an old Wikipedia article informed me. Three books that symbolize – well, something. An importance, a specific guidance, a reminder of the standards we set ourselves? The million-dollar-question is of course: which books are these? Continue reading “The Burden of the Freedom to Philosophise”

Podcast – "Don't know. Ask!"

For those interested to know (hear) a little bit about what I think about now and again… I was interviewed and the resulting podcast by Nadja Schnetzler is now online!

For those interested to know (hear) a little bit about what I think about now and again… I was interviewed and the resulting podcast by Nadja Schnetzler is now online!
Some of the topics discussed:
What are good ‪#‎questions‬? True friendship is with those who are different from yourself. How we don’t see the other for what they have to offer us: their otherness. The importance of boring questions. Collaboration and Bahá’í consultation. And about the need for humbleness.

This link takes you directly to the podcast: http://word-and-deed.org/…/collaboration-booster-episode-4…/
To create something new we need the radical other

Recensie: 'Jij zegt het' door Connie Palmen

Een boek om nog lang over na te denken.

Het meest recente boek van Connie Palmen (Prometheus, 2015) heeft voor redelijk wat ophef gezorgd. Een roman, een vertelling, over de beroemde liefdesrelatie tussen het dichtersduo Sylvia Plath en Ted Hughes. Een liefde die voor altijd is getekend door de zelfmoord van Plath.
Plath liet Ted Hughes en haar twee kleine kinderen achter, en de media indertijd smulden er van. Nog steeds wordt Plath vereerd door vrijgevochten vrouwen. Hughes werd afgeschilderd als de boeman, die de feministe en dichteres Plath van de mogelijkheid tot leven beroofde. Hij was degene die vreemd ging, die zijn vrouw achterliet om te zorgen voor de kinderen. Het boek van Palmen is een terugblik van Hughes. Een terugblik op zijn tijd met Plath. Een bijzonder boek, dat een uitgebreide reflectie oproept.
Continue reading “Recensie: 'Jij zegt het' door Connie Palmen”

Hedendaagse recensie en oproep geïnspireerd door Rousseau

Eens te meer wordt onze samenleving opgeschrikt door wandaden die de menselijkheid van alle mensen lijkt te vergeten. We worden in beslag genomen door een debat dat in economische termen over vluchtelingen praat, terwijl ontelbare lijken in de Middellandse Zee drijven. Tijd voor een heroverweging. Een recensie als kritiek op deze tijd als oproep tot een bekrachtiging van een ieders vrijheid, door Nicole des Bouvrie.
Eerder gepubliceerd op Zinweb.
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Continue reading “Hedendaagse recensie en oproep geïnspireerd door Rousseau”

Beyond the prejudice of philosophy

Translation of published article on Zinweb.
Having finished my master of philosophy at one of the Dutch universities, I often find myself confronted with prejudices against philosophy, both in the world and the job market. The discussion about closing one of the faculties of philosophy in the Netherlands (Earsmus University Rotterdam) has brought them all to the surface once more. Here is my response.
Continue reading “Beyond the prejudice of philosophy”

Meeting the Other – Question of one who is Home-less

Living in large metropolitan cities is not just a difference in size, compared to villages and towns that are still to be found at the countryside. There are more people.
More people means more houses, more suffering, more joy, more making love, more fighting over jobs, more food, more sewers. (It also means more books, more theatres, more pie, more languages, more colours, more… life.)
We Take (you) away from Here
But is also means more alienation. For me it means also the need to get away, to be alone. Which is sometimes easier in a city full of strangers, than in a forest in which you’re the only person alive. (Something to do with being confronted with oneself, hearing one’s own thoughts, etc. See also this article on why people prefer electric shocks over being alone with their own thoughts…)
But even in cities, one is being confronted with oneself, precisely because of the alteriority of the people one is surrounded with. There are moments, where the Other Faces you. And this leaves one utterly vulnerable, and destitute of understanding. There is one group of people who knows this very well, and who are making a living out of it. By facing the people around them, approaching them, and consciously crossing the border of anonymity, they touch their victim and mirror their estrangement from themselves. And they know this is not a pleasant situation for the one who is running away from all authenticity that could perhaps be. So they offer an easy resolution. One is able to buy off this uneasiness. In return, one gets nothing. One is left alone, or in an extreme case, one ends up with some newspaper.
Of course, I talk about a specific subgroup of homeless people.
One encountered me this morning. Of course, he didn’t know I wasn’t impressed by him sitting in a wheelchair. He didn’t know, that the sense “can I ask you something”, has a very specific meaning for a philosopher. I thought about his question, asking me whether he could ask me something. I was tempted. I like questions, I find them an important means to come to a new understanding of the world and the life we live. But this was already a question he was asking me. Why postpone the asking of a question, by positing the question whether it is okay to ask something.
There are of course reasons why one can postpone or prolong human interaction. Most probable reason in this case is the bonding of us, two people bound by interaction. By choosing to giving him permission to ask me something, I already had to acknowledge him as a person, as a fellow other, one whose face I couldn’t say ‘no’ to. This pre-question is some kind of trick, to make me feel connected and to have to answer the following question positively. Or negatively, but that would mean that I would break off the human connection just established.
Of course, I wasn’t sure what he was going to ask. He could ask for directions, he could ask to marry me, he could ask me for a smile. (He could have just read Blanchot, and ask “I’m afraid; would you accompany me for a moment?” (The Step Not Beyond, p.60)) But being primed by being asked this question hundreds of times before, knowing the humiliation that follows – for I would not only refuse to give money, I will also have taken up his time by allowing him to connect to me – I said: “No.”
Of course, I had already stopped walking at this point, pondering over the meaning of the pre-question and the best response. While looking at him – for where else to look, but to the one who questions? My “no” made him respond: “But you don’t even know what I was going to ask, you Sau.” ‘Sau’ being a very rude thing to say, something like ‘bitch’, although literally related to the word ‘sour’.
I walked on. Happy I had limited my human connection to a minimum, for this offensive word to not touch me (at least, not too much). And sad, because another instance, another possibility of meeting the other, was forever lost.
ps. It’s good to note that asking for money, is not a question but a request. Just saying.