Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tractatus Politico-Philosophicus

Last week I received the following in an email from the American Philosophical Association:

Marek Derewiecki, a leading philosophy book publisher in Poland, has just released a new book: W. Julian Korab-Karpowicz, Tractatus Politico-Philosophicus.

W. Julian Korab-Karpowicz’s Tractatus Politico-Philosophicus, both inspired by and critical of, Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, is a work of political philosophy that aims to establish the principles of the good state and a happy society, and to open up new directions for the future development of humankind.

The book is simultaneously published in two languages (Polish/English). The Polish text is used alongside the English. Like Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Korab-Karpowicz’s Tractatus Politico-Philosophicus is written in short, numbered paragraphs. It is concluded by Seven Principles of a Happy Society.

The book can be ordered through or directly from the publisher. Free copies of the book are available to APA members who would consider it for review.

The author of the Tractatus Politico-Philosophicus, W. Julian Korab-Karpowicz has received a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Oxford and is currently Professor at Lazarski University in Warsaw and at Zayed University in Dubai. He is the author of five books. He now intends to publish his Tractatus Politico-Philosophicus in the US entirely in English.
A few pages of the book are available in English translation online for free. I like the idea of thinking about how society should be arranged, but this is strange stuff. The Wittgenstein connection in these pages (from remarks in the 10s, so presumably late in the book) seems to consist solely of the book's being composed of numbered propositions presented with little argument. That's it as far as I can see.

And it's not easy to understand without elaboration. According to 10.252 citizens should not be reduced to a hired workforce, but by 10.25 there should be some large private enterprises. Presumably these will have hired workers. So some citizens will be reduced to a hired workforce. There will be free access to capital (10.26), provided by whom? And "no great differences in wealth" (10. 27), ensured by what?

The idea is not a socialist paradise. The economy is to be based on private entrepreneurship. There will be a draft (10. 67) and, if there are "significant cultural differences in a country" resulting in conflict (how much conflict?), then either "the more tolerant civilization" will dominate the others or else there will be "equal subjection of all to a dictatorship" (10.752). After all (10.753): "A dictatorship that is tolerant of cultural diversity, or an authoritarian government whose purpose is to ensure social peace, is a better regime than an illusory democracy riven by civilizational conflict that ends in civil war."

I think I'll pass.      

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Some poems by Rabindranath Tagore:
The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.
It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.
It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth and of death, in ebb and in flow.
I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life. And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.
Is it beyond thee to be glad with the gladness of this rhythm? to be tossed and lost and broken in the whirl of this fearful joy?
All things rush on, they stop not, they look not behind, no power can hold them back, they rush on.
Keeping steps with that restless, rapid music, seasons come dancing and pass away---colours, tunes, and perfumes pour in endless cascades in the abounding joy that scatters and gives up and dies every moment.
When I go from hence let this be my parting word, that what I have seen is unsurpassable.
I have tasted of the hidden honey of this lotus that expands on the ocean of light, and thus am I blessed---let this be my parting word.
In this playhouse of infinite forms I have had my play and here have I caught sight of him that is formless.
My whole body and my limbs have thrilled with his touch who is beyond touch; and if the end comes here, let it come---let this be my parting word.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Online guide to Anscombe's Intention CFP

This is nothing to do with me but it seems like a great idea:

Call for Entries, Online Companion to Anscombe’s Intention.
As part of the “Intention, Action, and Art” project—developed jointly by the Nova Institute of Philosophy (IFILNOVA, New University of Lisbon) and the Program in Literary Theory (University of Lisbon), and funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) [PTDC/FIL-FIL/116733/2010],— we are putting together an Online Companion to Anscombe’s Intention. We would like to invite philosophers interested in, and currently working on, Elizabeth Anscombe, namely on her Intention, to contribute to this project.
The companion will include an updated bibliography on Intention, and 20-30 short (500-1000 word) entries on assorted topics relevant to that book. We welcome entry proposals both on widely discussed topics (e.g. “under a description”, direction-of-fit, intention-in-action, reasons vs causes, motives, etc.), and on topics deemed to have been insufficiently considered. 
Submissions considered through September 14, 2015. Accepted contributions will be published in January, 2016. Please contact Humberto Brito [] prior to submission. Please find more details on the project website: 

Help circulating this message is much appreciated.

Humberto Brito
Post-doc IFILNOVA / Program in Literary Theory