Philosophy as Happening


Public philosophy for the Society of Control? Does this have impact? Despite the circus/rave structure of the event, what does it say that the dominant themes were Stoical?

The mental marathon billed as “A Night of Philosophy” began in an analytic frenzy at 7 p.m. on Friday as three speakers held forth simultaneously in separate lecture rooms… For the next 12 hours, 59 other philosophers held forth in 20-minute bursts at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy on the Upper East Side and its next-door neighbor, the Ukrainian Institute of America… Logic suggests a limited audience for an event of this sort. But, as the philosopher J. C. Beall pointed out in his talk, logic is weak. The line outside the embassy extended several blocks along Fifth Avenue…The dominant school of thought was stoicism, as a chill wind whipped the crowd and the wait approached three hours. Undeterred, an audience of about 5,000 went through the doors over the course of the evening, with lines persisting until 5 a.m.

Inside, the atmosphere was chaotic, by design. “It’s a sort of tribute to the New York art scene of the 1950s and 1960s — John Cage, happenings, the whole freedom of this,” said Mériam Korichi, the philosopher, stage designer and Warhol biographer who organized the event, as well as predecessors in Paris, London and Berlin over the last five years. “From the beginning, I had in mind a multistage event, where you could not possibly attend everything.”

via ‘A Night of Philosophy,’ 12 Hours of a Mental Marathon – NYTimes.com.

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