Nordic Summer University 2018: Philosophy during the Holidays

What better way to spend your holidays than to do what you love? Being, thinking, reading, being-together.

Holidays, what are those? Ah, that time of the year that I travel to the Nordic Summer University, to attend one of the interdisciplinary circles and enjoy the company of interesting, passionate and intelligent people.

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Growing Things Takes Time

To be or not be salad. ~ a seed

Organically growing things is perhaps one of the most satisfying things. It reminds me that forcing decisions top-down will never work. That no matter your plans, growth is only possible when connections are created between things, between people, that are based on mutual recognition. That foster truth and honesty. That allow for openness and diversity. Continue reading “Growing Things Takes Time”

Diagnose van de Moderne Filosoof: op de radio & boekpresentatie

Op zondag 8 april de boekpresentatie in Nijmegen, en vorige week op radio 1 kort mijn boek toegelicht. Hoogste tijd voor een update dus.

Sinds vorige week ligt mijn eerste boek in de Nederlandse boekwinkel… ‘Diagnose van de Moderne Filosoof: Waarom filosofen gek zijn‘, uitgeven door Damon.
Spannende tijden dus. Zeker ook met de boekpresentatie volgende week, waar ik samen met Prof. Edith Brugmans het boek zal bespreken. Op zondag 8 april, vanaf 15:30 in Boekhandel Roelants te Nijmegen. Iedereen is van harte welkom op dit feestje.
Op Radio 1 in het programma Nooit Meer Slapen werd ik afgelopen donderdag kort geinterviewd over het boek, wat je hier terug kunt luisteren:
Dat was een hele nieuwe ervaring, zeer leerzaam. Want hoe vat je een boek samen in 6 minuten, waarbij je de lezer wilt uitnodigen en het niet te zwaar wilt maken, en toch wil aangeven dat het een filosofisch boek is dat over best grote vragen gaat. Of dat gelukt is? Jullie mogen het zeggen…

Maar ook spannend omdat de eerste lezers feedback beginnen te geven… Vooralsnog door foto’s te sturen als bewijs dat ze het boek aan het lezen zijn…
Prof. Edit Brugmans was in ieder geval erg enthousiast, en ik zie dan ook erg uit naar de vragen die ze me tijdens de boekpresentatie zal gaan stellen.
Wie weet tot dan!
En tot die tijd… een inkijkexemplaar kun je hier vinden.

The road ahead is long

On why teaching about one’s role in the history of slavery and colonialism is necessary. And only the first step.

We have such a long way to go, still.
And I’m not even talking about overcoming divisions, ending structural racism, loving one’s neighbour.
Simply acknowledging the past is hard enough.
While in #Charlottesville this weekend racial hate, gun-carrying militias and white supremacy was openly allowed, the Dutch parties are still meeting to try and form a government. A leaked document now says they at least agree about something… that a new proposal regarding the way the Dutch role in slavery and the colonial is taught at schools, is NOT necessary. (Instead, they decided to teach about the national anthem, …) (Source: article 16/08/17 on Whereas in the past sixty years, the narrative about the Dutch colonial past has not truly changed, and is still based on the oppressor’s perspective. (See this master thesis on this topic, in Dutch, from 2012.) Continue reading “The road ahead is long”

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. The art of belonging is delicate and tremendously precious! Continue reading “The Art of Belonging – reflection on the NSU summer school”

In memoriam: Anne Dufourmantelle

Because she knew the difference…

At first there is nothing at all. A silence that is persuasive, that leads nowhere and that asks you to follow in its footsteps.

At first there is disbelief. A search for truth that extends to nothing but the very fact you want to un-hear. The search that leads only deeper into the woods, into a translation that cannot be undone.

Anne Dufourmantelle has died. Continue reading “In memoriam: Anne Dufourmantelle”

On the Frustration & the Beauty of Repetition

As a child I thought I despised repetition. Little did I know that I actually loved it, and practiced it. Just not at school.

“Skill development depends on repetition…” I am reading a book by the American sociologist Richard Sennett on the position and the role of The Craftsman in society. An interesting book. But that sentence would have made me angry. At least, when I was young.

When I was a child I was convinced I hated repetition. I hated it all through elementary school and all through high school. At least, that is what I thought. But I was made to repeat tasks that were much too simple for me. Now I know, that if they had given me Chinese characters to learn, told me to repeat them hundreds, thousands to times, I would have gladly done so. Continue reading “On the Frustration & the Beauty of Repetition”

Truth has never been sexy – let's focus on the real issues please

It should be extremely clear to everyone that truth is besides the point. And has been for decades already. 

Truth does not exist. It is not something you can simply point out and say: look at that, that is the truth. Truth is made. Truth exists only in a particular world, in which specific rules and regulations about what is reality matter. Truth is always subjective, as it depends on which world you live in on what kind of rules you will follow, what truth-procedures you follow. And truth is always objective, as within that specific world with its truth-procedures, that truth is the truth, no matter who says it or who thinks it. That is the truth, and nothing but the truth (so help me God). Continue reading “Truth has never been sexy – let's focus on the real issues please”

Cursus: Filosofie voor de kunstenaar

Cursus praktische filosofie als een hulpmiddel richting autonoom kunstenaarschap.

Filosofie is een methode die onmisbare handvatten geeft aan autonome kunstenaars (in opleiding). Het is meer dan een theoretische benadering uitgedacht op een stoffige zolderkamer. In deze cursus filosofie voor de kunstenaar zullen we deze praktische, filosofische handvatten gaan bekijken en vooral ook: ervaren en toepassen.

Deze cursus is geen cursus beeldende kunst, maar ook geen theoretische cursus kunstfilosofie. In deze cursus gaan we expliciet niet op zoek naar een begrip of een verklaring voor kunst of naar antwoorden op de vraag ‘wat is kunst’. In plaats daarvan wordt filosofie in deze cursus ingezet als een methode, die de kunstzinnige houding van de autonome kunstenaar en de beeldend therapeut verdiept en versterkt.

Ook voor filosofen (amateur en professioneel) biedt deze cursus iets unieks: het begrijpen en ervaren van filosofische concepten op een beeldende manier. Je hoeft geen ervaring met kunst maken te hebben. Levenskunstenaar te zijn is al voldoende. Enig kunstzinnig materiaal dien je wel mee te brengen, is eventueel te koop in winkeltje op locatie. Papier wordt verzorgd.

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Forget this "When good men do nothing…"

Reading books can give a distorted idea of what evil is, and what it means to be a good person. And especially when we start using falsely attributed quotes that are both misleading and wrong, we need to reconsider what it actually means – to do good.

The power of a good story

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of good books, with stories that stay with me, hopefully forever. But I have always read a lot of books. As a child, I would go to the library every week and find a new set of books – 6 as that was the maximum. Carefully selected of course, as it would have to last me a week. Continue reading “Forget this "When good men do nothing…"”