Quote Originally Posted by andy_k View Post
And right here, I knew that in you I (could potentially) find my foil. Please, please, I beg you on bent knee, please take some time for this book. A solid second chance, start at chapter one, and tell me what you think. Please.

This is the kind of thing that I was hoping to get out of this thread. But, without a kind of common place to begin a discussion on such a difficult subject (for the totally uninitiated) with some discourse about some very carefully considered and well explained ideas, I don't think the conversation could get very far. So, if my desperate and sincere pleading succeeds, I think we could make this a hell of a thread to read.
I have no problem reading the book, it just isn't going to happen today - I enjoy reading thoughtful books, as long as they actually have something interesting to say. And I am more than willing to admit that perhaps I have not properly understood the thesis or argument that Van Lier is trying to make.

An example of the vacuous type of item is his description of photographers working in black as opposed to other artistic approaches - this sounds deep and profound but he is fundamentally describing a working method, not a philosophy or meaning. Change the analogy and see if it holds - a sculptor working with stone, the basic element of our world evokes the more base or primitive feelings of his audience. Bullsh*t! "By contrast, the photographer inhabits the camera obscura, and he ultimately and always draws in the future viewers with him." Bullsh*t! Both are mediums of expression - the fact that the sculptor needs light to see is no more significant than the fact that I don't need a chisel to make a photograph. While his prose sounds impressive and admittedly somewhat poetic, it is not meaningful. However, I will take the time to read the book before deciding on its' value to me. If it has value to you, use it and care not what I think! I don't mean to discourage you, I mean to prod you into deeper introspection.

However, I would not get my hopes up too greatly for a thread like this - my experience is that people will discuss the precipitation rate of AgN03 in a metol solution for hours or the log of a exposure curve (I have no idea what these things mean, as much as I have tried) but will not read through a thread like this. There is a reason philosophy departments are generally small - not only can't you get a job with such a degree, it is intellectually harder to pursue than a number of other disciplines (I'm looking at you accounting!)

Quote Originally Posted by andy_k View Post
this is clearly analytic philosophy in the mainstream of the continental tradition.
At the Universities I attended, these were fighting words - analytic philosophy is heavily distinguished from continental and it was pretty insulting to either camp to mistake one for the other. Perhaps things have changed in the past decade but I would be careful around certain academics with a comment like that.