Rough Theory

Theory In The Rough

Re-Reading Group

So the reading group reassembled for a planning meeting a couple of days ago, deciding what we’d like to do now that everyone is back in Melbourne – particularly given that preparation for the coming term and other practical obligations will be interfering with all of our schedules for the next several weeks. The blog write-ups on Hegel continue to lag well behind discussions (which themselves lag well behind intentions, in a sort of pile up of unfulfillment…). L Magee and I will dedicate the rest of the month to finishing our in-person discussion of Phenomenology, with the intention, however, of gradually continuing that discussion in writing on the blog over a more extended period of time. In March, the group as a whole will begin a tangent into the sociology of knowledge, with a primary focus on the sociology of scientific knowledge – a decision which has caused L Magee to dub us the “re-reading group”, as much of this material will have a… certain familiarity to some of us… Nonetheless, this material is of fairly direct relevance to several dissertations I can think of offhand, and would benefit from a group discussion – that, and a couple of us have expressed some interest in looking at something a bit… lighter than Hegel, for at least a little bit…

We’ll begin the first week in March with a discussion of Mannheim’s Ideology and Utopia, and move on from there to Bloor’s Knowledge and Social Imagery. We’ll pick up on some of Latour’s work – specifics yet to be chosen – and also plan to discuss some Foucault (likely to be Archaeology of Knowledge) and Hacking (likely his work on probability), as well as the Popper-Kuhn debates. Except for the first couple of works, of course, these plans may well mutate as the reading and discussion actually gets underway.

We have, though, made the all-important decision to continue meeting in the basement coffee shop – our first experimental meeting this past week led to such a productive, illusion shattering set of mutual confessions about past academic sins, that we are no longer certain we merit meeting in air and in light… ;-P A bit of penance underground – as well, perhaps, as a bit more practice with manipulating our metadata – seems appropriate…

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