The Practical Ontologist
Philosopher using a geometrical spell to obtain the philosopher's stone.

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Featured Article · Blog of the APA

“Psychiatry and the Humanities”: Postgraduate Course in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal

By Vincenzo Di Nicola ¶ As contemporary psychiatry works through the current version of our identity crisis, some leaders in my field argue for a more scientific psychiatry, grounded in the so-called “evidence base” from genetics and neuroscience, while the great majority of clinical practitioners concern themselves with the humane care of the people whom come to us with their anguish and distress. This tension has been persistent in my field for the past century during which our colleagues in the humanities, often led by anti-psychiatric critics within the profession, have decried the “medicalization” of human suffering. With a group of psychiatrists at the University of Montreal, we are looking for a larger definition of our field, embracing the benefits of the medical model by enlarging the very definition of medicine to include the social determinants of health in the enriching context of the humanities. ¶ Now, our pioneering course on “Psychiatry and the Humanities” for postgraduate students in... Read More ›

The American abroad, from James to Highsmith and Ozick: Ryan Ruby in Lapham’s Quarterly: At the beginning of the twentieth century Henry James returned to the international theme, the subject tha...


A 130-Year-Old Fact About Dinosaurs Might Be Wrong: Ed Yong in The Atlantic: When I first read Matthew Baron’s new dinosaur study, I actually gasped. For most of my life, I’ve believed that the dinosa...


I'm a Silicon Valley liberal, and I traveled across the country to interview 100 Trump supporters — here's what I learned: Sam Altman in Business Insider: After the election, I decided to talk to 100 T...


Elon Musk, Stuart Russell, Ray Kurzweil, Demis Hassabis, Sam Harris, Nick Bostrom, David Chalmers, Bart Selman, and Jaan Tallinn discuss with Max Tegmark (moderator) what likely outcomes might be if we succeed in building human-level AI



Sketches on Mutant Design (or, Situationism at the after party)


What is the mood of a philosophical argument?: A film has a mood, a story has a mood. What is the mood of philosophy? What is the beauty in a particular argument, its grotesqueness, its tensions, and re...


In Memoriam: Marilyn McCord Adams (1943-2017): A distinguished philosopher of religion and scholar of medieval philosophy, Professor Adams taught for more than two decades at UCLA, and then over the la...


“Psychiatry and the Humanities”: Postgraduate Course in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal: By Vincenzo Di Nicola As contemporary psychiatry works through the current version of our identit...



Sexual Harassment, Assault, and Retaliation Lawsuit Against John Searle


The Limits of My World (IAI video): Language has been the focus of philosophical enquiry for the last century. But was the ‘linguistic turn’ a wrong turn, leading to a barren discipline with...


March 29: Markus Gabriel in Paris: If you happen to be in Paris on that date, it will be well worth attending Gabriel’s workshop on his book Fields of Sense (published a couple of years ago in the...


A Theft: Your heart burns for me so and your body and your soul burn with desire for me and for my body and my face. Here is what I am referring to: Selivanko and Mikheiko and Yakovets Boldykin took my ...


In Memoriam: Marilyn McCord Adams (1943-2017): Christina Van Dyke shares the following: Marilyn McCord Adams passed away early morning on March 22, 2017. She was an uncompromisingly fierce person: in he...


Problems with Confucianism: It’s sad that they say they want to make philosophy more inclusive, but what they do is bring in more male philosophers like those of the Confucian tradition. Do they k...


Omniscience and realism: Marginal notes about a workshop in Hawai’i: A non-intelligible entity cannot be conceived to exist. But, if the world needs to be known in order to exist, we need to postulate a...


“Eilif Verney-Elliott” named in fraud case

Some readers of this blog may recall someone named Eilif Verney-Elliott in the UK, who accused me of being a Nazi because– I read Heidegger. He even challenged me to a public debate in London at one point, a call I obviously ignored. He put up several YouTube videos accusing OOO of complicity with fascism, etc. etc. Well, there’s been an interesting twist in the saga of this gentleman. One long-time reader of this blog informs me that Eilif Verney-Elliott seems to be the alias of one Tony Cochran, recently convicted of the fraudulent practice of “radical existential psychoanalysis.” More than that, he talked his patient into moving in with her as part of the treatment, tried to steal money from her credit card, and made false claims of sexual assault against her. I suppose there could be two separate people named Eilif Verney-Elliott, though it seems unlikely. [ADDENDUM: This is definitely the same guy, now that I’ve had the chance to compare the two se... Read More ›

Object Oriented Philosophy · Featured Blog

March 29: Markus Gabriel in Paris
If you happen to be in Paris on that date, it will be well worth attending Gabriel’s workshop on his book Fields of Sense (published a couple of years ago in the Speculative Realism series at Edinburgh University Press). Details HE...Read More ›

Cogburn’s Garcian Meditations
Word just in from Edinburgh that Jon Cogburn’s Garcian Meditations now exists in printed form, though Amazon still lists the publication date as April 1 and it probably won’t ship until at least then. This is an extremely imp...Read More ›

Re-Scheduling the Third Kipnis Debate
It turns out that Jeffrey Kipnis and I were unable to find an additional date this semester that works for both of us. So, the previously postponed second debate will take place on April 12, 2017 at SCI-Arc. The third debate, originally ...Read More ›

The Rise of Realism
My co-authored book with Manuel DeLanda, The Rise of Realism, now exists in printed form. The official release date of the book, however, is April 14 for the UK and (I’m not sure why) June 5 for the USA. Read More ›

second Kipnis debate postponed
My second debate with Jeff Kipnis, which was to have been held tomorrow at noon at SCI-Arc in Los Angeles, has been postponed. The reason is the bad weather in the Eastern U.S., which caused the airline to delay my flight by one day. The...Read More ›

metaphysics course in Torino
The details of my course at the University of Torino (Italy) this summer have been posted HERE. It begins on June 5. Read More ›

France’s uneasy relationship with the Holocaust: Caroline Moorehead at the Times Literary Supplement: When, in 2004, Irene Némirovsky’s lost manuscript,Suite française, came out in France, it became th...


Derek Walcott’s Dueling Legacies: Ryu Spaeth at The New Republic: It is telling that, when confronted with the work and the life, Walcott emphasizes the work, Rhys, the life. For Walcott, it sometimes ...


on telling one's story: Andrea Canobbio at Threepenny Review: A few years ago, in a piece entitled “Premonition,” I wrote a lapidary phrase, which to me is perhaps the mother of all lapidary phrases, m...


Thursday Poem: Paradise Lost, Book IV, Lines 639–652 .... —Eve speaks to Adam With thee conversing I forget all time; All seasons, and their change, all please alike. Sweet is the breath of Morn, her r...


Thursday Poem: Freud, 1938, Vienna “...men are not gentle creatures who want to be loved...; they are  on the contrary, creatures among whose instinctual endowments is  to be reckoned a powerful share ...


Foreseeing Self-Harm: Marina Bolotnikova in Harvard Magazine: Psychology professor Matthew Nock has spent his career studying self-harm, but he remains humbled by how little is yet understood about why...


Everything is Possible: Roy Sorensen argues in his Cabinet of Philosophical Curiosities that we know “everything is possible” cannot be true.  Because if it were true, then one of the things...


Passions of philosophers outside of philosophy -- Thi Nguyen: Unexpectedly, it turns out - to my brain at least - that the pleasures of rock climbing and the pleasures of philosophy are weirdly similar....


The Spirit of Modern Philosophy at Central APA: James Pearson was the chair of the Josiah Royce Society’s session on ‘Revisiting Royce’s The Spirit of Modern Philosophy’ at the APA Cen...


How to do story-driven philosophy for audio : The Humanities-writ large initiative at Duke University is responsible for allowing me to work full time this entire academic year to produce the first seas...



When Philosophers’ Skepticism Sacrifices Other Intellectual Values


Reader query on feeling stuck: In the comments section of our newest "How can we help you?" post, a reader (’Stuck, PhD) writes, I am feeling really, really stuck, and am unsure how to even begin ...


Scouting, STEM, and...Philosophy?: One thing that philosophy seems to struggle with is wider public influence and understanding. How do we get people before they get to college or independent of college...


Daniel Dennett profiled...: ...in The New Yorker....


LARUELLE’S DE-PHILOSOPHY (2): surplus scientism or noetic expansion: Laruelle’s method proceeds by stipulation and supplementation, rather than by dialogue demonstration. This is not necessarily a...


LACAN HEURISTIC: every successful analysis is a falsification: I was into Lacan from 1975 to 1979 and then became disgusted with the dogmatic exclusive use of his thought, to the point that I moved from...


LATOUR/BADIOU: a “wild” comparison: The problem with Bruno Latour’s style is largely due to his anxiety of influence and his consequent covering his tracks by changing the terminology and hiding t...


LATOUR AGAINST CRITIQUE? surely you are joking: Latour’s well-known opposition to critique is a pretence. Noone critiques as ferociously as Latour, only his de-concepted surface is “diplomat...


LATOUR’S STYLE: blindness and cynicism?: Another example of de-philosophisation is the way Latour is read and sometimes even defended in English. This reception represents all the worst excesses of bana...


LARUELLE’S DE-PHILOSOPHY: confirmation bias legitimated: The problem with Laruelle’s attempt to escape from philosophical sufficiency is that he is only able to do so under the sign of a sketchy f...


Workshop on Happiness, Virtue, and the Meaning of Life at Stockholm University | May 5-6, 2017: This two-day workshop aims to close the gap between empirical and philosophical approaches to questions of...