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of the manuscripts of “Rammon,” “Story of Daniel Orme,” “Under the Rose,” and around 36 uncollected poems unpublished at the time of Melville’s death on September 28, 1891.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 2019
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728  

Archives

Politics, Culture, Philosophy

  • Rachel Maddow
  • Frank Schaeffer
  • Roberto Ruiz

A quote Trump may come to regret: 'I didn't need to do this'Referring to his emergency declaration, Trump admitted, "I didn't need to do this." I [...]

Friday's Campaign Round-Up, 2.15.19Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country. [...]

On emergency declaration, Pelosi reminds GOP it won't always be in powerTrump is using "emergency" powers to get what he wants in defiance of Congress. If he gets [...]

Trump's emergency declaration represents a special kind of surrenderToday's emergency declaration is many things, but it's principally an acknowledgement of a [...]

With emergency declaration, Trump ignores public will (among other things)When Trump issues an emergency declaration in order to build a border wall, he'll do so while i [...]

GOP criticisms of Obama's 'lawlessness' appear increasingly ironicRepublicans decried Obama as a "lawless" president, indifferent to the rule of law. They w [...]

Spending deal brings Trump's latest embarrassing failure into focusTrump picked a high-profile fight two months ago, and it's now obvious that the amateur preside [...]

With emergency declaration, Trump divides GOP, unites Dems (again)With his shutdown gambit, Trump picked a fight that united his opponents and divided his allies. Tod [...]

Tiny detail raises new questions about Mueller mystery caseRachel Maddow reports on newly unredacted bits in the secretive case involving a mystery company and [...]

Trump faces steep opposition to border emergency declarationRep. John Garamendi talks with Rachel Maddow about making sure that Donald Trump doesn't use hi [...]

Labeling anyone as an anti-Semite who speaks about how Israel cynically uses evangelicals and Jewish [...]

While the enabling Republicans are stuck with the misogynist-in-chief-groper, Democrats have the lux [...]

Here’s how to define Donald Trump: Trump is the intersection where all the con-artists, sleaze-bags, [...]

The roars of approval Trump received from his enabler-Republican lawmakers during his State of the U [...]

After years of a hateful lunatic in the presidency, how do we make our way back into love, beauty an [...]

After years of a hapless amateur in the presidency, how do we make our way back into love, beauty an [...]

Chances are Mike Pence might become president through Trump’s resignation, impeachment or arrest. A [...]

Every year, ordinary homeowners like my family pay a percentage of our house’s value in tax. A house [...]

Howard Schultz and Donald Trump share a religious faith in the self-evident goodness of wealth, gree [...]

The last thing Democrats need in 2020 is a white male candidate (Bernie) who would be 79 on taking o [...]

After having been unjustly convicted of the bogus charges brought against him in that most infamous [...]

The Philosophy of Christopher NolanEver since I first watched Memento and its fascinating exploration of the philosophical question of [...]

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 [...]

Right Living, Thinking, Etc

  • Two Truths News
  • Natural Living-Healthy Planet

Kate Lila Wheeler answers one of the most frequently asked questions about challenges on the spiritu [...]

Buddhist teacher Susan Piver shares her advice for entering the online dating world. The post A Budd [...]

For decades, Talbott edited books written and translated by the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Tulku Thond [...]

Lindsay Kyte explores the dharma of dating as she follows a friend navigating the wacky world of onl [...]

Larry Yang takes an honest look at what it means to be a dharma teacher who hasn’t been, and doesn’t [...]

In the Spring 2019 issue of Buddhadharma, Annabella Pitkin reviews "A Critique of Western Buddh [...]

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, Nikki Mirghafori, and Gyokei Yokoyama answer the question: "We are encou [...]

We take a closer look at the art featured in the Spring 2019 issue of Buddhadharma: The Practitioner [...]

David Loy makes clear what Buddhism offers in the face of climate change. From the Spring 2019 issue [...]

The Spring 2019 issue of Buddhadharma is available now. Preview the magazine contents and sample art [...]

(Natural News) When you interact with top-level Democrats, never make the mistake of thinking you’re [...]

(Natural News) A government vaccine expert is now blowing the whistle on the link between vaccines a [...]

(Natural News) NewsGuard Technologies promotes itself as a company bent on fighting “fake news” and [...]

(Natural News) The mainstream media has been running a massive propaganda campaign to assure concern [...]

(Natural News) Vaccine skepticism is heavily discouraged by the establishment, but research discredi [...]

(Natural News) Yet another entitled, black female (this one embarrassingly overweight) recently deci [...]

(Natural News) As U.S. border agents crack down on organized crime, drugs, and human trafficking at [...]

(Natural News) Even as Leftists Democrats continue to insist that providing proper funding for a bor [...]

(Natural News) To an outsider, the prepping lifestyle may seem paranoid and unnecessary. But if you’ [...]

(Natural News) Almost everyone that goes out to visit one of our major cities on the west coast has [...]

Science News

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

According to multiple sources, Mars One - the organization intent on crowdsourcing the colonization [...]

NASA’s InSight lander has finally placed its heat probe on the surface of Mars. The Heat Flow and Ph [...]

A glaciologist has discovered another enormous impact crater under more than a mile of ice in Greenl [...]

New images from Hubble have shown some interesting seasonal developments on Neptune and Uranus The p [...]

A new study shows that Mars may very well be volcanically active. Nobody’s seen direct evidence of v [...]

Hosts: Fraser Cain (universetoday.com / @fcain) Dr. Paul M. Sutter (pmsutter.com / @PaulMattSutter) [...]

Elon Musk just suggested that the price for a trip to Mars and back could be as low as $100,000. He [...]

A student team associated with the ESA recently developed a concept for a Moon base that would rely [...]

Astronomers have known for some time that the Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxies will collide on s [...]

The latest images to come from the New Horizons mission show that Ultima Thule (the first KBO to be [...]

Perimeter researchers continue hot streak in Buchalter Cosmology Prize competitionWednesday Jan 09, [...]

New fellowships to fuel fundamental physics with radio telescopes in Canada Thursday Dec 20, 2018Per [...]

2018: Perimeter's scientific year in reviewMonday Dec 17, 2018As another year draws to a close, [...]

Perimeter ramps up efforts to support greater diversityFriday Nov 30, 2018Perimeter has taken anothe [...]

Exploring the physics all around usTuesday Nov 13, 2018From climate change to gravitational waves, t [...]

LUKE SANTI AWARD WINNER CULTIVATES CURIOSITY AND GRITWednesday Nov 07, 2018Aidan Richards, a first-y [...]

New fellowships aim to support early-career researchersTuesday Oct 30, 2018Fellowships named in hono [...]

New program aims to bridge gap between high school and grad schoolFriday Oct 19, 2018Perimeter’s new [...]

EINSTEINPLUS EN FRANÇAIS TAKES TEACHERS BACK TO THEIR ROOTSThursday Oct 18, 2018French adaptation of [...]

Perimeter congratulates 2018 Nobel laureate Donna Strickland of University of WaterlooTuesday Oct 02 [...]

Massive Bolivian earthquake reveals mountains 660 kilometers below our feetGeophysicists used data from an enormous earthquake in Bolivia to find mountains at the base of the [...]

Ultra-lightweight ceramic material withstands extreme temperaturesResearchers have created an extremely light, very durable ceramic aerogel. The material could be use [...]

New molecules reverse memory loss linked to depression, agingNew therapeutic molecules show promise in reversing the memory loss linked to depression and aging. [...]

Orangutans make complex economic decisions about tool useFlexible tool use is closely associated to higher mental processes such as the ability to plan actio [...]

NASA's Opportunity rover mission on Mars comes to endOne of the most successful and enduring feats of interplanetary exploration, NASA's Opportunity [...]

New dinosaur with heart-shaped tail provides evolutionary clues for African continentA new dinosaur that wears its 'heart' on its tail provides new clues to how ecosystems evo [...]

Neanderthal footprints found in GibraltarThis work started 10 years ago, when the first dates using the OSL method were obtained. It is then [...]

Antarctic ice shelves buckle under weight of meltwater lakesThe filling and draining of meltwater lakes has been found to cause a floating Antarctic ice shelf t [...]

Ecosystem changes following loss of great white sharksA new study has documented unexpected consequences following the decline of great white sharks from [...]

Giant 'megalodon' shark extinct earlier than previously thought'Megalodon' -- a giant predatory shark that has inspired numerous documentaries, books and [...]

  NAME SLNASA – Sri Lanka Neoteric Astronomy and Science Association ADDRESS No.2279, Stage III Anur [...]

There's more than one way to stretch your data . . . and the truth. The post Astro-Imaging: Str [...]

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) will soon begin a new round of observ [...]

Despite months of listening, NASA has failed to pick up any signals from the stalwart Opportunity ro [...]

Galactic cirrus (clouds of interstellar dust) is challenging to observe, but Mel Bartels shows us ho [...]

On Monday night, February 18th, observers in the western U.S. and Mexico may see the occultation of [...]

By tracing stars in other galaxies, the Gaia satellite has helped astronomers understand the relativ [...]

The post SOLAR DISK appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post Comet C/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto) Coma Gif appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post Conjunction of the Moon and the planets Jupiter and Venus. appeared first on Sky & Tele [...]