PS: Stubbornness of the Empirical 2 — Space & Time — 3-7/3/2016

It doubtless seems highly paradoxical to assert that Time is unreal, and that all statements which involve its reality are erroneous. Such an assertion involves a far greater departure from the natural position of mankind than is involved in the assertion of the unreality of Space or of the unreality of Matter. So decisive a breach with that natural position is not to be lightly accepted. And yet in all ages the belief in the unreality of time has proved singularly attractive.
—J. E. McTaggart

We are happy to announce the second installment of “The Stubbornness of the Empirical” at PAF, in collaboration with Anna Longo, which will take place 3rd-7th March 2015. These events continue to build an inclusive philosophically-oriented community at PAF, investigating the co-creation of concepts and giving time-space for us to think & work collectively. Building off this past October's event which had Gabriel Catren and Dorothée Legrand as speakers, this second event will focus on the relationship between space, time, and the empirical.

3rd-7th March 2015

Things will begin with dinner on Thursday evening and end with an open discussion on Monday. We propose to have a weekend-long conversation together, around the blackboard, and see where this takes us. This will be facilitated by one talk of 2-3 hours each day on the three ‘main’ days (Friday/Saturday/Sunday), which can feed into the broader dialogue. Our three speakers for this event are Norman Sieroka, Francesa Biagioli, and Pierre Cassou-Nougès. The final day, Monday, we will connect the three days with a discussion turning towards the future of the project.

But anyway, here is a write-up as a thematic introduction for this installment:

Why space, time and the empirical? Whether space and time exist outside of human thought, and how they are accessed has been an ongoing debate in philosophical, artistic, scientific, and theological practice. Are space and time transcendental, physical, or constructed largely from human minds? If space and time are not absolute (Newton), nor purely dependent upon objects (Leibniz), does relativity (Einstein) properly account for spatio-temporal complexity and our access to it? Is Kant's transcendental account of space and time disqualified because of its reliance on Euclidean geometry (Carnap, Cassirer), or does this overestimate the unity of mathematics? Does naturalism upset any transcendental account of space and time since perception is species-specific (Longo), or is space and time unveiled only via a 'purer' form of intuition (Bergson)? Can it be argued that time does not exist at all (McTaggart, Barbour)? How does the purported fundamentality of physics relate to the need to support its concepts with representations (artistic, technological, conceptual) which lie in other domains of inquiry? To what extent are space and time always empirically mediated, and on what scale can we be sure of its universality or particularity?

We look forward to engaging these questions via our speakers’ work: Sieroka’s investigations into the relation of the continuous and the discrete across phenomenological and physical lines (both neuroscientifically and mathematically coded), Biagioli’s analysis of Ernst Cassier’s influence on the sciences and, in particular, the relation of 19th and 20th century empiricism to abstract geometry and the function of symbols between reason and unreason, as well as Cassou-Nougès theoretical and anthropological reflections on the sea-side as a unique spatio-temporal zone of phenomenal constitution.

The 3rd Installment of the Stubbornness of the Empirical will take place on the 2nd-6th June and focus on Sound.
Our programme culminates with Summer University philosophy week on the 8th-15th August.
More information will be sent in the coming months.

Practical Information:
Rates are as standard:
Staying up to 4 nights: 20 Euros per night
Staying more than 4 nights: 18 Euros per night
Plus 12 Euros for yearlong membership

Food we will collectively organise on site, and from past experience has come to around 10 euro per ‘full’ day with a little excess from that, so in the area of 30 for the extended weekend.

Email PAF with the dates you’d like to attend and bring whatever you’d like to the table ( Anyone who would like to stay the Monday night or longer is, of course, welcome to do so, allowing an organic ‘tail’ to the event.
We hope very much you can join us this March at PAF for these discussions.

Anna Longo, Matt Hare, Amy Ireland, Katrina Burch, Ben Woodard, Lendl Barcelos

More information about PAF: