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Daily Archives: June 10th, 2010

Joseph Dietzgen

THE NATURE OF HUMAN BRAIN WORK – JOSEPH DIETZGEN

The Nature of Human Brain Work: An Introduction to Dialectics

By Joseph Dietzgen
$20.00

Available now at PM Presswww.pmpress.org

Called by Marx “The Philosopher of Socialism,” Joseph Dietzgen was a pioneer of dialectical materialism and a fundamental influence on anarchist and socialist thought who we would do well not to forget.

Dietzgen examines what we do when we think. He discovered that thinking is a process involving two opposing processes: generalization, and specialization. All thought is therefore a dialectical process. Our knowledge is inherently limited however, which makes truth relative and the seeking of truth on-going. The only absolute is existence itself, or the universe, everything else is limited or relative. Although a philosophical materialist, he extended these concepts to include all that was real, existing or had an impact upon the world. Thought and matter were no longer radically separated as in older forms of materialism. The Nature of Human Brain Work is vital for theorists today in that it lays the basis for a non-dogmatic, flexible, non-sectarian, yet principled socialist politics.

About the Authors:

Born near Cologne in 1828, Joseph Dietzgen worked most of his life as a tanner. A self-educated man, he participated in the Revolution of 1848 where he first read the writings of Karl Marx and became one of his supporters. Exiled from Germany after the failed revolution, he spent time in both America and Russia, where he wrote his most famous work The Nature of Human Brain Work, published in 1869, before returning to Germany. In 1884 he moved to the United States for the third and last time after being imprisoned in Germany for his political writing. He became editor of the anarchist Chicagoer Arbeiterzeitung when it’s previous editors were hung by the State in response to the Haymarket bombings. When he died 2 years later he was buried beside them in Chicago.

Larry Gambone grew up in logging towns on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, where he was active in the anti-nuclear weapons ‘Ban-the-Bomb’ movement. He attended Simon Fraser University between 1967-70 and was involved in the campus New Left. He formed a campus IWW branch, and later joined the Vancouver Yippies. Gambone briefly lived on a commune in the Kootenays in the 1970’s, helped form the anarchist paper Open Road and became involved in the Surrealist Movement. In the 1980’s he began a serious study of working class movements and the autodidact thinkers that influenced them, which lead to an interest in the writings of Joseph Dietzgen. Gambone remains active in his community and continues to study and write about anarchism and other social movements.

Product Details:

Author: Joseph Dietzgen with an Afterword, notes and bibliography by Larry Gambone
Published by PM Press
ISBN: 978-1-60486-036-8
Pub Date May 2010
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 144 pages
Size: 8.5 by 5.5
Subjects: Dialectics/Politics

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European Philosophy

MIDDLESEX UNIVERSITY PHILOSOPHY DEPARTMENT CAMPAIGN – UPDATE 8th JUNE 2010

From http://savemdxphil.com/

Posted on 8 June 2010
http://savemdxphil.com/2010/06/08/announcement-8-june-the-crmep-is-moving-to-kingston-university/ by aletheiaticverse http://savemdxphil.com/author/aletheiaticverse/

The campaign to save our philosophy programmes has just won a partial but significant victory: Kingston University
http://www.kingston.ac.uk/ in south-west London announced today that it will re-establish our Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy http://www.web.mdx.ac.uk/CRMEP/ (CRMEP) at Kingston, by employing the four senior staff in Philosophy at Middlesex (Eric Alliez, Peter Hallward, Peter Osborne and Stella Sandford). Our MA and PhD programmes (full-time and part-time) will be re-launched at Kingston this September, and all current post-graduate students will be invited to move along with the staff. Institutions in France and Germany have also made significant new proposals for collaboration with the CRMEP, which may allow it to expand the European dimensions of its work considerably in the near future.

This remarkable turn of events would never been possible without the extraordinary local and international campaign that began six weeks ago, to save our philosophy programmes.

Like Middlesex, Kingston is a post-1992 university, with a commitment to widening participation in education. Unlike Middlesex, Kingston is expanding rather than cutting back its provision in humanities subjects, and it is investing in research in these areas. In addition to taking on CRMEP staff, Kingston will be making a number of other high-level appointments over the coming months, and is launching its own London Graduate School in conjunction with colleagues from several other Universities internationally.  We believe that Kingston will provide an enthusiastic and supportive base for the activities of the CRMEP.

Although we have not won all the demands made by our campaign, the move to Kingston is a major achievement. We have found a way to keep all of our postgraduate programmes open, and to keep most of the CRMEP staff together in a single unit. We have preserved a place in London for the unique academic community that has built up around the Centre and its distinctive research interests, and this will continue to be a place where the criteria for entry and participation remain as open as possible. The campaign has directly refuted the line that Middlesex managers have repeated for many years now – a variation of the line that ‘there is no alternative’ but to follow the neoliberal way of the world, and to close down small academic departments in favour of large vocational ones. The campaign hasn’t merely proved that ‘another way is possible’: it has helped to indicate what needs to be done to make such a way a reality, and shown that there are universities in the UK and in Europe that are willing to embrace it.

We hope that the campaign will continue, evolving to become one of several contributions from a range of institutions across London and the region to a broader and deeper struggle in support of philosophy, the humanities and public education more generally. Some of the protestors who made the biggest impact in our campaign came from supportive universities such as Sussex, KCL, SOAS, Westminster and Goldsmiths. This emerging network of education activists isn’t going to disperse, and is likely to play an important role in the struggles that will soon affect the entire sector. Although the closure of Philosophy at Middlesex is yet another indication of the ongoing commercialisation of education in the UK, our campaign, along with other recent mobilisations at universities up and down the country, has helped change the balance of power across higher education. The campaign to save philosophy at Middlesex has already made a powerful intervention in the fight for public education in general and for endangered humanities programmes in particular. The future looks challenging but there is now much to build on, at Middlesex, at Kingston and across the UK.

Eric Alliez, Peter Hallward, Peter Osborne and Stella Sandford

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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