Thanks to everyone who came out last week, we had a great discussion on democracy. If you want to check it out, the link is in my signature. This week Tapping Philosophy will be Thursday at Yeats at 8:00, meeting at 7:30 in Connelly for rides.
Firstly, I must warn you. This email is lengthy, so I will reinstate the "Short version" concept. The email has two components. The first part is the topic, temptation. You know you want to. 'Nuff said.
Secondly, for you academic types, there is a call for papers in the undergraduate journal Stance. Papers are due in December. You can contact Cassandra Reid, the editor in chief, if you have questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
So now for the long version.
Temptation (and Desire)
"I have no problem not listening to the temptations… which is weird."
-Mitch Hedberg, R.I.P.
So what does it mean to be tempted, or to tempt someone? Is temptation simply desire's cousin, or is there something more insidious about temptation that is damaging to either of its participants? In other words, does temptation have to be wrong somehow, in order for it to be temptation as such? Admittedly in a religious context or moral context it may take on a certain negative connotation, but temptation seems to be a part of life, that might even be valorized by someone with a more Dionysian outlook. Could temptation be seen this way as a form of rebellion against outdated social mores? If so, does the word temptation really even apply anymore?
One important distinction to draw between temptation and desire is the difference in agency. In desire, agency belongs to the desiring subject that seeks its object of the desire, whatever it may be. Of course this is not to say that the object of desire is SOLELY an object, but it is the force that drives the subject, very similar to Aristotle's unmoved mover. In temptation, however, the action is not on the part of the desirous subject, but in fact of the object so desired. In this way, the object of the desirous subject is in fact a subject in its own right, as its agency allows it to create the desirous subject as such, through the act of temptation. Therefore, temptation inverts the schema of desire by placing agency in the hands of the object.
So what can we derive from this logical difference in the agency of desire and temptation? If we say something tempts us, does that mean that we are not taking responsibility for our desires? If so, what does that say about the psychology of moral and religious schemas of thought, if they create a category that moves the responsibility of desire to outside forces? To use an example, someone might say to you, "I lost my book" or "The book was lost." What is the significance of the passivity of temptation versus the activity of desire, and which of these narratives do we think are more applicable to the way people conduct themselves in society today?
And a message from Sally Scholz regarding a call for papers in the Philosophy Journal Stance:
Hi! would you mind sending this with your next tapping email?
Please find attached a Call For Papers for Vol. 2 of Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal. Stance is a peer-reviewed, peer-produced, academic journal that publishes papers by current undergraduate students.
Authors of published papers will receive a free print version of the journal and their article will be in the Philosopher's Index. Stance has a full digital presence: http://stance.iweb.bsu.edu. Via the website, you can reach past issues in an open source format.
Please encourage your students with superior work to submit a paper. Also, please distribute this CFP widely.
I will be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Call For Papers
An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal
Stance welcomes papers concerning any philosophical topic. Current undergraduates may submit papers between 1500 and 3500 words in length (exclusive of notes and bibliography). Papers should avoid unnecessary technicality and strive to be accessible to the widest possible audience without sacrificing clarity or rigor. They are evaluated on the following criteria: depth of inquiry, quality of research, creativity, lucidity, and originality. For more specific guidelines see the website at http://stance.iweb.bsu.edu.
• Manuscripts should be in Microsoft Word format and sent as an attachment to email@example.com
• Manuscripts should be double spaced (including quotations, excerpts, and footnotes)
• The right margin should not be justified
• To facilitate our anonymous review process, submissions are to be prepared for blind review. Include a cover page with the author's name, affiliation, title, and email address. Papers, including footnotes, should have no other identifying markers.
• Footnotes should use the author-date format found in The Chicago Manual of Style.
• Please use American spellings and punctuation, except when directly quoting a source that has followed British style.
VISIT STANCE ON THE WEB AT HTTP://STANCE.IWEB.BSU.EDU/
Deadline: Friday, December 19, 2008
Call for External Reviewers
Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal
Stance is looking for interested undergraduate philosophy students to serve as external reviewers for this year's issue. This is an exciting opportunity to gain experience working for a groundbreaking journal in the field of philosophy, as well as a chance to hone your skills in writing and reviewing philosophy papers.
Participation in this project will require a moderate level of experience in philosophy, strengths in writing and editing, as well as a sufficient degree of self-motivation necessary to complete the work by the given deadlines. We anticipate that each external reviewer will be sent one or two papers to review in late December or early January. It is possible that a reviewer will be asked to review one or two further submissions later in the spring if a particular piece requires further consideration. If accepted as an external reviewer, training material will be provided that will explain what is expected in the formal review. Reviewers will also be credited in both the print and electronic versions of the journal.
If you are interested, please provide us with the following information:
Name of School:
Year in School:
Philosophy Courses Taken:
Your specialty, or concentration
What experience do you have that would qualify you for this project?
What goals do you have that working on Stance will support?
What, in your opinion, are the makings of a good philosophy paper?
Along with this application, we have provided a further application form to serve as a letter of recommendation from a philosophy professor with whom you have worked. Please have both items returned to us by e-mail atSTANCE@bsu.edu or by mail at:
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana 47306-0500
Postmarked By: November 3
Thank you for your interest. We look forward to working with you.