Like a Tsurezuregusa for a philosophy grad student.


On my way home from the Pacific APA

My Confucian Theory of Race paper was a massive hit. When I get back from California, I’ll post a cliffs notes version for Tumblr as well as e-mailing interested parties the full version.

Of particular note was the fact that several philosophers (non-Asian philosophy specialists) came specifically to the session to hear my paper. This is usually not a thing that happens at group meetings as we philosophers are kind of cliquish.

The presentation I gave (19 pages in 20mins) on martial arts and Dewey’s aesthetics was a hot topic even after the presentation, which went almost a half-hour over time and spilled into a bar.

Also, the CSW site visit program presentation was amazing and generated excellent conversation about ways to improve the climate of not only departments, but the field itself. Of particular interest is a “climate centered” approach to sexism in departments, as opposed to a “person centered” approach.

Also, apparently there was some fuckery on my dash? I’ll see about collecting the nonsense once I have an actual wi-fi connection.

ninjaruski WHaaat that’s wild. How…

I’ve studied Japanese for almost seven years off and on. One of the really interesting things about the language (and some other East-Asian languages) is that it perceives the world in terms of relations and qualities as opposed to essences. To ask what a “thing” is in Japanese is to ask about the object that you’re oriented towards is: it is to express a question about relations.

Even more interesting is that to ask if someone has seen or been somewhere “ita koto” and “mita koto ga arimasu ka” is to ask if they’ve had the experience of seeing or being in a particular place. You’re literally asking about the phenomenological nature of their experience. Now, this might not seem all that different from the English “have you seen that movie,” but the language does not imply anything experientially in the way that Japanese does.

That not to mention a word like “monooboe” or “memory” or “the object towards which your recollection is directed,” or “the object towards which your learning is directed.” To remember something is to engage in a relation with that object through the medium of memory: it is to experience something again through that relation, not just to dredge it out of your mind.

Japanese is full of stuff like that.

About to go to the APA’s Committee on the Status of Women in Philosophy’s panel on their site visit program.

This should be good, especially since the CSW’s site visit program is sort of the de-facto site visit program of the other diversity committees.

While the APA doesn’t have the authority to shut down departments that are racist or sexist, having the site visit program show up in a department can result in massive overhauls and changes.

I’m eager to see what they’ve learned.

This is the hell that awaits you should you seek a Ph.D.

Let this be a warning.



How to Turn All Your Essays into Feminist Rants No Matter the Subject Matter: An Autobiography by Me. 

Having to answer an essay question on a test about Kant’s theory of beauty and sublime while not constantly swearing over his sexist shit is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

I fixed it for you.

Argh, my dissertation makes my head hurt sometimes.

So, for Motoori the poem isn’t the product of an affective state, but the process that enables intersubjective awareness of an affective state felt by the poet. What the poem, as a processs, does is call forth a general feeling of how the poet is feeling, as opposed to what is being felt. The poem then embodies the mode of the affective state, rather than the state itself, though the two are interdependent: the mode of the affective state carries the concreteness of the affective state with it.

Gender performance can, maybe, be a process that enables the intersubjective experience of a mode of being of the performer. Gender “performance” on the “stage” of culture carries with it the “performative situation” that acts as the process of signification. The undergoing of gender, in a Deweyan sense, as a mode of experience, is what is intensified by the rituals associated with “doing” gender.

Now, this mode of being can include sexuality, but does not necessarily have to include sexuality, (some argue that it transcends sexuality in a rigid sense, which squares with the reports of some otokonoko) which is what enables otokonoko and wakashu to be heterosexual while engaging in in a “poetics” of gender in an Aristotelian or Deweyan sense. The process of intensifying a mode of being through the cultural rituals associated with “doing” gender, enables a “making” that produces certain effects by appealing to a general “feeling” of gender supplied by the culture itself.

As a “making,” the arrangement of “elements” that go into the doing of gender can produce a variety of gendered feelings: being in the mode of masculinity can be felt in a variety of ways depending on the process used to call forth that feeling. This is where you get things like the bishounen, especially as described by Murasaki Shikibu in the Genji Monogatari, and people like David Bowie, particularly in his role as Jareth, and even SquareSoft characters like Sephiroth (though I might not use him in a dissertation), especially Sephiroth because he strikes most as a very masculine character, despite the softness of his embodiment.

I’ll look at this again in the morning and see what’s salvageable. There’s a hell of a lot of Japanese classical literary and dramatic sources I could use to make the point aside from Sephiroth (the Genji Monogatari example is a prime example).

During my presentation on psychological rigidity and racial perception.

Colleague: You wrote a phenomenology of blackness, and then you wrote this. What are you going to write next?

My advisor: His dissertation.

Me: .......

Wait, wait.

If the work expresses how one feels as opposed to what one feels, then it’s more the “how of the what” that is being expressed. How one feels cannot be divorced from what one feels, so if the expression of how is what aware is concerned with no matter the social consequence then this makes a lot more sense for a lot of things especially in Dewey where a the what of a feeling is the consciousness of a disruption in our experience and the how of it would be the meaning/name we give to it.