by Scott McLemee on October 11, 2006

Off the top of my head, I can recall at least one passage each in which Derrida and Foucault say, more or less: “Okay, yes, it would be good to stop talking about Hegel, finally. It’s been a long time since we all agreed that dialectics was a dead end, in fact it seems like we’ve been at this point forever. But there I go, talking about Hegel again. Because he makes us do it, somehow. Damnit, this is really getting old.”

It sounds more impressive when they get that Ecole Normale Supérieure rhythm going, but that’s the rap, in paraphrase. It’s as if the first half of the twentieth century were spent rediscovering Hegel, and the second half trying to forget him.

All of this as prologue to what Adam Kotsko thinks is the present and future “Can we just shut up about this guy?” dynamic:

In fact, although it’s early yet, I will venture a prediction — the 21st century will have been little more than the century of Heidegger fatigue. There will be no great figure who arises to take his place. The recent half-hearted rise of Badiou is little more than a symptom of Heidegger fatigue, and — more to the point — Badiou’s own monumental arrogance can never be anything more than a feeble parody of Heidegger’s. Long after Being and Event has been forgotten (ca. 2009), we’ll all still be doing our painfully close readings of Being and Time, even though we hate it, even though we’ve forgotten why.

Is this sort of thing limited to people doing Continental philosophy and/or “capital-T to show we’re dead serious” Theory? Are there figures in poli sci or sociology — or elsewhere for that matter — who keep monopolizing the conversation for decades after their death?

5,000 blows

by Henry on October 11, 2006

Crooked Timber has just passed a sort of milestone without really realizing it; Daniel’s piece on faking physics was the 5,000th post on CT. We’ll make a bigger fuss over post number 10,000; promise!

Joseph Jupille, Procedural Politics: Issues, Influence and Institutional Choice in the European Union (Cambridge 2005). Available from “Powells”:http://www.powells.com/s?kw=Jupille%20Procedural%20Politics%20European%20Union&PID=29956 and from “Amazon”:http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FProcedural-Politics-Institutional-Cambridge-Comparative%2Fdp%2F0521832535%2Fsr%3D8-1%2Fqid%3D1160582701%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks&tag=henryfarrell-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325

This book isn’t aimed at a general audience – it’s clearly written to be read by people who are interested in the inner workings of the European Union, or in theories of institutional choice, most of whom are going to be academics. But for those people, this book does some important and interesting things. It demonstrates exhaustively how traditional academic ways of thinking about the European Union are wrong, or at least badly misguided, and it furthermore makes some substantial methodological and theoretical advances in understanding how processes of institutional choice and institutional change are likely to work.
[click to continue…]

Lancet report redux

by Chris Bertram on October 11, 2006

According to a new “report”:http://www.thelancet.com/webfiles/images/journals/lancet/s0140673606694919.pdf (pdf) in the Lancet on post-invasion mortality in Iraq:

bq. We estimate that as of July, 2006, there have been 654 965 (392 979–942 636) excess Iraqi deaths as a consequence of the war, which corresponds to 2·5% of the population in the study area. Of post-invasion deaths, 601 027 (426 369–793 663) were due to violence, the most common cause being gunfire.

With a lower bound of 426,369 for violent deaths, maybe we won’t hear from Fred “This isn’t an estimate. It’s a dart board” Kaplan this time.