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Monday, October 31, 2011

To the Archive!

I'm planning an irregular series of posts drawing from the 20-year archive of my own writings, not all of which have been published. The series will present extended excerpts from old papers and presentations, with commentary to provide context and connection.

I have a number of reasons for doing this:

  1. My recent turn to thinking about tragedy has deep roots in my own personal and intellectual history, and it strikes me a good idea to revisit what I have of the record of that history. Part my interest here is a personal interest in reconstructing some of my own history. Part of it is an intellectual interest: there may be half-remembered (or even fully forgotten) things I once thought or wrote that might be of use, and not only in thinking about tragedy.
  2. Many of the relevant writings are unpublished, or are published in academic journals. By posting excerpts here, I can offer whatever insights they may contain to a broader audience.
  3. I am moving toward a more regular posting schedule for the blog, perhaps three times a week. Drawing from existing material will help me maintain that pace.
The first entry in the series - to be posted on Wednesday - will draw from a paper I presented at a conference in the spring of 1995, while I was working on my dissertation. The paper was a contribution to the skeptical critique I was then developing of the speculative tendencies of environmental philosophy.

The way I framed the paper, though, prefigured the turn I would take, five years later, toward a focus on the built environment of the United States, and even my subsequent interest in the limits of ethics.

It was titled "The Earth, as Viewed from the Suburbs."

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