Walden Pond - Concord, MA.jpg

BILLY BUDD, SAILOR AND OTHER UNCOMPLETED WRITINGS – Publication of the Final Volume of the Northwestern-Newberry Series: The Writings of Herman Melville

As of today, October 29, the paperback edition of “Billy Budd, Sailor and Other Uncompleted Writings is available on Amazon as well as the Northwestern University Press website. The hardcover is still in production, but should be available by the end of November. Click here for the NUP catalog page, or here for the book on Amazon.

It has taken a very long time (more than 45 years) to process the 1,000 or so manuscript leaves for publication in the final volume of the fifteen-volume Northwestern-Newberry Writings of Herman Melville series. It was just over 35 years ago that I sat daily as a graduate student from June 8 through August 6, 1982, Monday through Saturday, at the Houghton Library at Harvard transcribing the 335 leaves of the Parthenope (formerly “Burgundy Club”) poems and prose pieces contained in fifteen folders (including the folder containing “Pausilippo” removed by Melville for publication in Timoleon). From July 30 to August 2, 1982, I transcribed what I eventually came to realize was the theretofore unknown and untranscribed, “House of the Tragic Poet.” At the time, I thought surely someone had transcribed this piece previously. But as I worked in the following years on my dissertation with my advisor, Harrison Hayford, we finally determined that “House of the Tragic” poet was in fact a new piece. In the summers of 2013 and 2015, to prepare the reading and transcription texts for the now published final volume, I did a fresh literal transcription of these same manuscripts, as well as new transcriptions of the manuscripts of “Rammon,” “Story of Daniel Orme,” “Under the Rose,” and around 36 uncollected poems unpublished at the time of Melville’s death on September 28, 1891.

Many funding issues delayed the work needed to complete the final volume of the Northwestern-Newberry Writings of Herman Melville series. Sadly, the series General Editor, Harrison Hayford — who began the Northwestern-Newberry publishing project in 1965 — passed away in 2001. But happily by 2010 Northwestern University Press could commit the funds needed to print the final volume, and the editors of the final volume — Hershel Parker, Thomas Tanselle, Alma A. MacDougall, and I — found time in our personal schedules, over a five-year period beginning in 2012, to bring to a successful conclusion the project of publishing the final volume.

Completion of the volume was the result of a sustained collaboration among the editors. Hershel Parker, General Editor, wrote the “Historical Note,” coordinated the editorial process, and negotiated the restart of the project with Northwestern University Press. G. Thomas Tanselle, Bibliographical Editor, who has contributed to each of the NN volumes, was again tireless in the effort he devoted to this final volume. He wrote the “General Note on the Text, produced all of the editorial appendices for BILLY BUDD and WEEDS AND WILDINGS, proofed and checked for accuracy the components of all the other the editorial appendices (discussion notes, lists of emendations, all transcriptions, notes on individual pieces, related documents), and corrected and revised the heretofore standard reading and transcription texts of BILLY BUDD (Harrison Hayford and Merton M. Sealts, Jr., Univ. of Chicago, 1962) and WEEDS AND WILDINGS (Robert C. Ryan, dissertation, 1967). Alma A. MacDougall has acted as the supervising editor for all the NN volumes published since 1982 [ISRAEL POTTER (1982), THE CONFIDENCE-MAN (1984), THE PIAZZA TALES (1987), MOBY-DICK (1988), JOURNALS (1989), CLAREL (1991), CORRESPONDENCE (1991), and PUBLISHED POEMS (2009)]. For this final volume, Alma served as Executive Editor and reviewed for accuracy all reading and transcription texts, historical notes, discussion notes, emendation lists, illustrations, created the index, and prepared the final printer’s copy for the press.

Hershel Parker, who succeeded Harrison Hayford as the series General Editor, suggested that we might think of the publication of the final volume as a birthday present for Harry Hayford on what would have been, on November 1st, his 101st birthday. Happy Birthday, Harry!

Harrison Hayford

Share

Kant Confessed His Suspicions about the Limitations of His System, but Persisted Anyway

Immanuel Kant

It is a mark of courage or at least bold if not heroic confidence that Kant forged ahead with his attempt to describe the mechanisms and functions of human cognition, even though he suspected that some of the descriptive ideas he invented would probably never be scientifically verified.

In a section of the Critique of Pure Reason, titled “The Schematism of the Pure Concepts of the Understanding” (chapter 1 of book 2 of the “Transcendental Analytic”) he wrote:

This schematism of our understanding, in its application to appearances and their mere form, is an art concealed in the depths of the human soul, whose real modes of activity nature is hardly likely ever to allow us to discover, and to have open to our gaze.

Preceding this pessimistic observation, Kant had been explaining his hypothesized “schema” as rules for how to conjoin or link an a priori concept that is not dependent on sensual experience with an object of perception obtained through the senses. He uses several examples to illustrate. With the example of a triangle he asserts that associating the concept of triangle with an empirically apprehend image of a triangle is effected by means of set of innate rules or instructions that he calls a schema. A “schematism” according to Kant is an application of a set of rules whereby a pure, a priori concept of understanding such as space, time, triangle, or number is correlated with an empirically constituted object or idea.

But in the interjected “aside” to the reader quoted above, Kant expresses his suspicion that “nature is hardly likely ever to allow us to discover” the “real modes of activity” that constitute the functioning of those schema, or rules for linking the inner, mental world of pure concepts with sensibly perceived objects or empirically derived ideas.

Kant may have been trying with his schema — sets of rules for linking a priori concepts with sensually perceived objects — to (among other things) heal the body/mind split of Descartes. If Kant was right about “nature” being likely to never allow us to “gaze” upon schema, then neuroscientists who today address the hard problem of consciousness by mapping the areas of the brain that correlate with subjectively reported states of consciousness (qualia), observed behavior, or visible correlates of autonomic nerve activity, these neuroscientists may then, like Kant, worry that they too will likely never succeed in actually “gazing” on the mechanisms (schema, rules) that link inner consciousness experience with the exterior world of things.

More than 230 years following the publication of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, many philosophers and cognitive scientists working with or following the ideas of philosophers like Daniel Dennett, prefer not to invent and use terms or ideas like Kant’s “schema” — the hypothesized (invisible, postulated, unverifiable) rules for how we link or associate inner concepts with perceived objects. They avoid and argue against using scientifically unverifiable ideas or hypotheses. They, like Dennett, will for the sake of argument deign to take up for discussion ideas that are not susceptible to empirical proof (cf. the ether and phlogiston hypotheses), but then, after discussing and exposing their vacuousness and unusability, summarily drop them, and urge others to do the same.

Daniel Dennett

Knowing what terms or ideas to avoid using in attempting scientifically to solve the riddle and mystery of consciousness is important. Knowing what not to do or think is progress. But the hard problem of consciousness (what is like to be somethingqualiaJohn Searle’s Chinese roomMary the color-blind super scientist) is still unsolved. Notwithstanding his occasional use of non-verifiable ideas like “schema” and “schematism,” Kant’s attempts in the Critique to heal the mind-body split deduced by René Descarte in his Meditations, argue against the empirical skepticism expressed by David Hume in his Treatise and Enquiry, and correct or balance the radical empiricism of John Locke’s Essay surely contain many useable ideas that can be “operationalized” by neuroscientists, cognitive researchers, and philosophers of consciousness in their attempt to solve, understand, and explain the “hard problem” of consciousness.

Robert Paul Wolff

Robert Paul Wolff

A book published many years ago by Robert Paul Wolff, Kant’s Theory of Mental Activity: A Commentary on the Transcendental Analytic of the Critique of Pure Reason (Harvard University Press, 1963; Kindle [Society for Philosophy and Culture, 2013]) is the best commentary I have yet read on Kant’s Critique. Wolff has also recorded and published on YouTube a very helpful nine-part lecture series on the Critique.

 

Share

Publication of the Final Volume of the Fifteen-Volume Northwestern-Newberry Edition of the Writings of Herman Melville

Last month G. Thomas Tanselle, Alma A. MacDougall, Hershel Parker, and I at long last completed editing the nearly 1,000 manuscript leaves that comprise the final volume (vol. 13) of the fifteen-volume Northwestern-Newberry edition of The Writings of Herman Melville — “Billy Budd, Sailor” and Other Uncompleted Writings. The late Harrison Hayford had begun work on this final volume, but was unable to complete it before passing away in December 2001. The publication of this volume completes the publishing project begun in the mid-1960s by Hayford. Scores of editors have been involved in the publication of the fifteen-volume series. This final volume includes reading texts and new or corrected literal transcriptions of all the uncompleted prose and verse writings that Melville left in manuscript when he passed away on September 28, 1891. Work on this final volume has been ongoing for more than 35 yearsNorthwestern University Press will publish the volume in September 2017. Click here  for the NUP Catalog listing and description.

Share

Calendar

February 2018
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728  

Archives

Politics, Culture, Philosophy

  • Rachel Maddow
  • Frank Schaeffer
  • Roberto Ruiz

Tuesday's Mini-Report, 2.20.18Today's edition of quick hits. [...]

Trump moves forward with plan to ban 'bump stocks'Trump is prepared to support regulations banning "bump stocks," which is a notable step, b [...]

Allies abroad urged to ignore Trump's intemperate tweetsAmericans have a message to the world: the position of the United States on key international issues [...]

Tuesday's Campaign Round-Up, 2.20.18Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country. [...]

Trump helps put the spotlight back on his women accusersDonald Trump seems eager to relitigate the fight over the women who've accused him of sexual mi [...]

Why Republicans and the US mainstream keep going in opposite directionsThe question is why Republicans, who ostensibly have to worry about elections, are going in one dire [...]

Despite reality, Trump insists he's been 'tough' on RussiaWhen it comes to his record on Russia, Donald Trump says we should "just look at the facts. [...]

Trump's 'no foreign deals' pledge came with an asteriskAs one observer noted, "Trump's company is literally selling access to the president' [...]

The awkward dance between Donald Trump and Mitt RomneyRomney's opinion of Trump has changed a half-dozen times in recent years. It's as if he [...]

Burdened by scandals, school shooting offered Trump World a 'reprieve'If you work in a White House so overcome by scandal that a slaughter in a high school offers a breat [...]

What’s the best definition of a (in Trump’s words) “shithole country?” Maybe this: Any nation where [...]

I recently had the opportunity to chat with historical theologian and author Randal Rauser and Premi [...]

“He always had guns on him,” a former classmate said of Nikolas Cruz, who had a history of problems. [...]

At this point perhaps it might be easier if we just sort out which of Trump’s men HAS NOT been accus [...]

ICYMI – Here’s my appearance this morning on AM Joy, discussing Evangelical Christians’ continued su [...]

Here’s a great (free) NEW outlet put together by an amazing young woman I met; Annafi Wahed, CFA, a [...]

America: We have a draft-dodger ordering up a self-aggrandizing military parade. Eisenhower saved th [...]

I’m in New Orleans at the “Unrig the System” conference with lots of folks talking about ways to get [...]

Democrats have a rational positive agenda you can find in white papers and ten-point-plans that no o [...]

Voltaire - CandideThe philosophical problem of evil—the question of how the existence of unnecessary suffering is poss [...]

Arrow - A Celebration of LoveLife is hard enough as it is. Existence, in many ways, is suffering. Obviously, some have it much wo [...]

If 'Despacito' Were Written by an Evo-Devo BiologistIf you are a geek, you are likely to get excited over things others might find boring, laughable, la [...]

James Baldwin Debates William F. BuckleyJames Baldwin, the great essayist, poet, civil rights activist, writer and orator, would have turned [...]

Genius of the Ancient World - SocratesFew figures have been more important and influential in the history of civilization than the ancient [...]

The PresocraticsAnyone who's ever contemplated Raphael's celebrated painting The School of Athens knows th [...]

President Obama's Farewell AddressAs his presidency sadly comes to an end, President Obama delivered last night what is sure to become [...]

John Berger - Ways of SeeingArt critic John Berger's recent death has left a huge void in the world of art appreciation. Wh [...]

Some Thoughts and Feelings on the Aftermath of the ElectionWhen I saw that anger, hate and bigotry were going to win two nights ago, I had to unplug for a whil [...]

The Philosophy of Marvel's DaredevilEveryone is familiar with the most obvious tropes of superhero comics: exciting action sequences, sk [...]

Right Living, Thinking, Etc

  • Two Truths News
  • Natural Living-Healthy Planet

Ven. Eido T. Shimano Roshi, founder of the Zen Studies Society, died on February 18 in Japan at the [...]

Naropa University is launching the Chögyam Trungpa Institute to highlight the work of its founder, m [...]

Matthieu Ricard provides a glimpse into the life of Patrul Rinpoche, one of the most revered spiritu [...]

Apparently, no one was harmed, and the Tibet Daily reports that the fire was "quickly extinguis [...]

Leslie Booker offers step-by-step instruction. The post How to Practice Walking Meditation appeared [...]

Colin Beavan, a senior teacher in the Kwan Um School of Zen, looks at the meaning of meditation in l [...]

Upaya Zen Center announced Wednesday that Matthew Kozan Palevsky has been selected to serve as the c [...]

Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society has published a letter clarifying the teaching status [...]

Guo Gu, a longtime student of the late Master Sheng Yen, presents an experiential look at the Chan p [...]

The Padmasambhava Buddhist Center of Tennessee is building a new Tibetan Buddhist temple near downto [...]

(Natural News) Herbicide drift continues to plague millions of acres of American crops, and the expe [...]

(Natural News) Keeping your brain healthy well into old age can be difficult. But with the right com [...]

(Natural News) The latest tactic of the “mob rule” Left is to puppeteer high school students, paradi [...]

(Natural News) There are plenty of examples in history of mind control being used to influence masse [...]

(Natural News) Nearly all Americans were horrified by the latest school shooting — this one at a hig [...]

(Natural News) American physician, author, and speaker on public health issues Dr. Michael Heschel G [...]

(Natural News) The demand for plastic surgery has gone way up, especially with both men and women’s [...]

(Natural News) Just how ready is the United States to serve the needs of the natural gas market? Bet [...]

(Natural News) Diabetes and obesity: These diseases now affect tens of millions of people worldwide. [...]

(Natural News) Through a special arrangement with The Food Grow Network and Food.news, we’ve made a [...]

Science News

  • The Universe Today
  • Perimeter Institute
  • Science Daily
  • Sky and Telescope

According to the Department of National Intelligence's (DNI) 2018 report, China and Russia coul [...]

A team of Japanese astronomers conducted the first detailed observation of a dust and gas torus surr [...]

The Opportunity rover just experienced its 5000th sunrise on Mars and is still revealing things abou [...]

Subscribe to our weekly email newsletter, written by Universe Today publisher Fraser Cain. The post [...]

Hubble images track the demise of an enormous storm in Neptune's atmosphere. Rather that expiri [...]

Welcome to the 549th Carnival of Space! The Carnival is a community of space science and astronomy w [...]

According to a recent study by a French-Chinese collaboration, the Andromeda galaxy (as we know it) [...]

An award-winning astrophotographer in California has captured images of the Tesla Roadster and its d [...]

According to the latest study by a team that has been observing 'Oumuamua since it was first di [...]

According to a new study, there is a slim chance that Musk's Roadster (and Spaceman) could coll [...]

Perimeter welcomes cosmologist Neal Dalal to facultyWednesday Jan 31, 2018 New Faculty member Neal D [...]

Perimeter hosts international planning session for G7 SummitTuesday Jan 30, 2018 Representatives fro [...]

“Big bounce” work earns cosmology award for Turok and GielenTuesday Jan 09, 2018 With second- and th [...]

Perimeter Founding Faculty member named to Order of CanadaTuesday Jan 02, 2018 Raymond Laflamme, a f [...]

2017: Perimeter’s scientific year in reviewTuesday Dec 19, 2017 Science typically advances in increm [...]

Pedro Vieira wins Sackler PrizeTuesday Dec 12, 2017 Quantum field theorist shares $100,000 award for [...]

Myers makes "most influential" list for fourth timeFriday Dec 08, 2017 Perimeter Faculty C [...]

Perimeter cosmologist shares in Breakthrough PrizeMonday Dec 04, 2017 Perimeter cosmologist Kendrick [...]

Lieutenant Governor champions empowerment through scienceThursday Nov 16, 2017 Ontario Lieutenant Go [...]

Award honours Perimeter's impact on high-skills labour marketThursday Nov 16, 2017 Toronto’s Cr [...]

Largest study of its kind finds alcohol use biggest risk factor for dementiaAlcohol use disorders are the most important preventable risk factors for the onset of all types of [...]

Distant tropical storms have ripple effects on weather close to homeResearchers report a breakthrough in making accurate predictions of weather weeks ahead. They'v [...]

'Brain on a chip' reveals how the brain foldsOur brains are wrinkled like walnuts by the time we are born. Babies born without these wrinkles -- [...]

Land use change has warmed Earth's surfaceRecent changes to vegetation cover are causing Earth's surface to heat up. Activities like cutt [...]

Researchers achieve 'Olympic ring' molecule breakthrough just in time for Winter GamesMore than 7,000 miles away from the snowcapped peaks of PyeongChang, scientists in Florida have unlo [...]

Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signalsA new study shows how tiny, light-powered wires could be fashioned out of silicon to manipulate elec [...]

Brain aging may begin earlier than expectedPhysicists have devised a new method of investigating brain function, opening a new frontier in the [...]

Low-fat or low-carb? It's a draw, study findsNew evidence might dismay those who have chosen sides in the low-fat versus low-carb diet debate. Cu [...]

Quintillionths of a second in slow motionMany chemical processes run so fast that they are only roughly understood. To clarify these processe [...]

Astronomers reveal secrets of most distant supernova ever detectedAstronomers have confirmed the discovery of the most distant supernova ever detected -- a huge cosmi [...]

The recent budget proposal for NASA dealt a blow to the astronomical community, putting several key [...]

The post IC443, a Lum/Ha-SII Bi-color picture. appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post Orion in appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post Rosette Nebula with filters SHO appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post Rosette Nebula with filters HOO appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post HDR image of the Great Orion Nebula. appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post A beautiful transit! appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post The eclipsed sun under a blanket of clouds appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post Going to sleep appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post Eclipse at sunset appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]