This is an exchange between two of the main characters in Ex Machina. A superb thriller, the film explores a range of ethical implications concerning the human ability to transcend itself through technological innovation. In this case, it focused upon the Turing Test, and the possibility of creating a conscious machine. Early on, the two characters cited above touch on what is in my mind a crucial ambiguity in the philosophy of technology. It goes back to Plato's Phaedrus, where Socrates cites writing's divine origins. Central to my recent work has been this question of the problematic way in which technique implies transcendence in philosophical discourse. With this problem in focus, I have aimed to provide an alternative approach to basic aspects of technique, such as writing in books. In any case, Ex Machina maintained a philosophical ambition worth noting alongside its coldly narrated suspense.
Grégoire Chamayou "Theorizing the Drone," - http://wp.me/p4KhvY-4me
Longreads blog posted this interesting excerpt of four chapters from Chamayou's book A Theory of the Drone. The article contrasts the logic of the kamikaze and drone as follows: "The drone and the kamikaze stand in contrast as two opposed forms of moral sensibility, two forms of ethos that reflect each other but are each other’s antithesis and nightmare." And yes, Francis Fukuyama really is a drone hobbyist - http://on.ft.com/1EG4PyU. For another take on critical aesthetics of drone practices, the National Gallery Victoria in Melbourne, was displaying the "Untitled (Drone)" series by Trevor Paglen. The works can be seen on his website here, but really need to be seen in person to appreciate their scale.
I often use this website as a space to summarize my research writing. I've been busy this semester finishing two main projects in philosophy of religion.
The first looks at secularization. I've just finished editing a collection of essays for Palgrave Press on Religion after Secularization in Australia which should be out in September this year. The book focuses on the ways religion has changed through ongoing processes of secularization, with attention to the Australian case. It includes essays on the topic by historians, sociologists, legal and cultural theorists and philosophers. My own contribution concentrates upon the hermeneutics implicit to procedural accounts of secularization, with particular attention to religious discourse in the public sphere.
The second project I have been working on investigates the way technology implies transcendence. My approach to the problem focuses upon simple aspects of technology such as the development of writing. For instance, one of the earliest philosophical accounts of technological transcendence can be found in Plato's critique of writing in the Phaedrus. My approach to this topic is grounded in a return to unanswered questions in Derrida's grammatology and Heidegger's question concerning technology. I am just finishing the first monograph which begins with Derrida's deconstruction of Plato in order to return to an early moment in the development of the book, the rise of the codex in the first few centuries of the Common Era. This project is larger than I had anticipated and will be followed by future volumes.
Just came across this Philosophy Bites podcast that compiled responses to the question, "Who is the most impressive philosopher you've met?" 38 minutes of philosophers' answers gives you a sense of recurring criteria, such as wit, breadth, clarity, incisiveness, generosity, and humility, and a few names are repeated such as John Rawls, Derek Parfit, Hilary Putnam, and even Derrida gets a mention.
Faith and Form: The Interfaith Journal of Religion, Art and Architecture, announced its winners for the 2014 International Awards Program: http://faithandform.com/feature/2014-international-awards-program-religious-art-architecture/
A new issue of Feminist Theology on Women, Religion and Politics is out, which features articles from the last few years of research on religion and politics at the University of Newcastle. Dr. Kathleen McPhillips introduces the collection which can be downloaded here: http://fth.sagepub.com/content/current
Kathryn Lofton, "The Digital Is a Place to Hide," The Immanent Frame - http://blogs.ssrc.org/tif/2015/01/07/the-digital-is-a-place-to-hide/