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With the support of the Alfred Deakin Research Institute, the Centre for Citizenship and

Globalization and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, we are pleased to announce
that Deakin University will be hosting a regular philosophy seminar series in 2012. The
seminar series will feature invited presentations from Deakin staff and a mix of local,
national and international scholars. It is open to all and, unless otherwise noted, will take
place on Tuesdays, from 3.30-5.00pm, on the Burwood campus, room C2.05. A map of the
campus can be found here: http://www.deakin.edu.au/campuses/InteractiveMapBurwood.php.
For any inquiries, please contact Sean Bowden at this address: s.bowden@deakin.edu.au
The program for Trimester 2 is as follows. Details can be found below:
10 July

Petra Brown

17 July

Marguerite La Caze

24 July

Sean Bowden
Erin Manning
Tamas Pataki
George Duke

31 July
7 August
14 August
21 August
28 August
4 Sept

Justine McGill

11 Sept
18 Sept
25 Sept
2 Oct
9 Oct

Vanessa Lemm
Paul Patton

16 Oct
30 Oct

Warwick Fox
Peter Harrison

10 July
Petra Brown

Andrew Inkpin
Geoffrey Boucher

Bonhoeffer: Kierkegaards single individual in a
state of exception
A taste of ashes: vengefulness and impossible
reciprocity in Beauvoir
In Poppers Midrash: Is Karl Popper a Jewish
Expressive Agency in Deleuzes Logic of Sense
Divided minds, selves, egos and internal objects
Eclipse of Practical Reason
Messianic sovereignty: reading Nietzsche with
Nietzsches Politics of the Event
Parody and Truth in Nietzsches Genealogy
Art as the Plenipotentiary of Impulse: A
Reconstruction of Adornos Aesthetic Theory in Light
of His Reading of Freud
General Ethics and the Theory of Responsive Cohesion
What was Philosophical about Natural Philosophy?

Bonhoeffer: Kierkegaards single individual in a state of

Throughout the 1930s, Bonhoeffer protested the influence of National
Socialism on the German church. He also preached pacifism, and
established an illegal seminary to train the leaders of the Confessing
church to resist the authorities using the Sermon on the Mount. Yet,
the same Bonhoeffer became involved in conspiracy only a couple of
years after the closure of the seminary, thereby abandoning the
pacifism he found in the Sermon on the Mount. He became a double
agent in the Abwehr and was killed for this after the failure of the July
20th plot, when papers were found implicating Bonhoeffer as a

conspirator. For many Bonhoeffer scholars and admirers,

Bonhoeffers decision to turn away from pacifism to conspiracy
remains intelligible in the context of Christs self-sacrifice and the
suffering church-community.
Im going to take as a given that Bonhoeffers Christology does
indeed provide the continuing thread between pacifism and
conspiracy. Christ is the unifying figure in Bonhoeffers action, both
as a pacifist and as a conspirator. However, I argue that Bonhoeffers
involvement in conspiracy cannot be understood primarily in the
context of self-sacrifice and the suffering Christian churchcommunity. I will do this in three parts. First, I will argue that the
relationship of Bonhoeffers Christ to the disciple is not mediated
through community, but is more direct in a way that is closer to
Kierkegaards Abraham in Fear and Trembling. Second, through an
analysis of Bonhoeffers concept of the extraordinary in his pacifist
text Discipleship, and the concept of the extraordinary situation in
the conspirator text Ethics, I show that Christ as the unifying figure
may lead to a deity who commands peace in the Sermon on the Mount
but remains free to command killing in an extraordinary situation.
Third, through a comparison with Karl Barths extreme case,
Grenzsituation, and Schmitts state of exception, Ausnahmezustand,
it will become clear that Bonhoeffers disciple in the extraordinary
situation suspends the normal state of affairs, in a way that
disturbingly mirrors Schmitts argument for dictatorship and the right
of the sovereign to suspend the law in a state of exception. I suggest
Bonhoeffers political involvement from pacifism to conspiracy may
be seen as an example of the single individual that enacts a
suspension of ethics in a Schmittian sense.
Finally, I will draw attention to the intellectual source of Bonhoeffers
extraordinary situation and Schmitt state of exception: the Danish
philosopher Kierkegaard and his concept of the teleological
suspension of the ethical in Fear and Trembling. Through the
engagement with both Kierkegaard and Schmitt, I want to show
Bonhoeffers involvement in conspiracy is problematic for anyone
who wants to interpret his involvement in conspiracy as intelligible in
the context of Christs self-sacrifice and the suffering churchcommunity.
Petra Brown is a PhD candidate at Deakin University.
17 July
Dr Marguerite La
Caze (UQ)

A taste of ashes: vengefulness and impossible reciprocity in

Written just after the liberation of France and during the trials of
collaborators, Beauvoirs little-discussed essay An Eye for an Eye
(1946) describes the worst of crimes as those that reduce the human
being to a thing. She suggests that we can only truly understand
reactions of outrage to these crimes, such as vengefulness, in these

extreme situations when we feel them in their true concreteness. I

argue that the essay works to undermine her own refusal to sign the
petition for clemency for Robert Brasillach, an anti-Semitic writer
tried, convicted and executed for treason. Beauvoir sets out to
understand why what she sees as the need for revenge and a restored
reciprocity in the light of these crimes usually cannot be satisfied.
Both private revenge and state punishment fail to bring about the
perpetrators recognition of what they have done, their own
ambiguous existence or an acknowledgement of the perspective of the
victim. Here Beauvoir parallels this impossible reciprocity with that of
love. I show how her position shifts in The Second Sex (1949) and
argue that we must distinguish these emotional reactions of outrage
from reciprocal loving relations. Furthermore, I demonstrate that
Beauvoirs support for capital punishment in this case is in tension
with her developed existential account and her own account of
vengefulness in the essay.
Marguerite La Caze is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University
of Queensland. Her research interests include European philosophy,
feminist philosophy, moral psychology and aesthetics. She is the
author of Wonder and Generosity: Their Role in Ethics and Politics,
(forthcoming with SUNY), and The Analytic Imaginary (Cornell UP,
2002). Marguerite is the current Chair of the Australasian Society for
Continental Philosophy.
24 July

In Poppers Midrash: Is Karl Popper a Jewish philosopher?

Dr Alexander

This paper seeks to rewrite our understanding of Popper through an

exploration of his thought in relation to twentieth century Jewish
philosophers particularly Leibowtiz, Levinas and Wittgenstein. As
most Popper scholars have written about Popper from an Angloanalytic or philosophy of science perspective, this paper seeks to
reposition Popper within, yet not limited to the continental tradition.
This paper builds upon existing scholarship on Poppers formative
Viennese environment and its Jewish context by Malachi Hacohen
(2000), the Kantian basis for Poppers philosophy (Naraniecki 2010),
as well as new perspectives by Michael Fagenblat on the on the way
Kantianism has helped to reframe fundamental features of Jewish
thought such as an opposition to idolatry and theodicy. This paper
argues that the central Kantian and Midrashic aspects that Flagenblat
associates with the thought of Levinas and Leibowitz can also help to
explain key characteristics of Poppers philosophy.
Alex Naraniecki is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Centre for
Citizenship and Globalisation. His current research project is entitled
New Foundations for Multiculturalism and he is currently working
on various publications and research projects focusing on the
development of multiculturalism in Australia as well as the role of
recognition and dialogue in promoting intercultural relations. Alex is
also involved in collaborative research projects within the Migration

and Intercultural Relations Research Cluster.

31 July

Expressive Agency in Deleuzes Logic of Sense

Dr Sean Bowden

It is common to differentiate between two kinds of events: actions and

mere occurrences. Whereas the latter are events which are passively
undergone, the former are things that are actively done. Actions, it is
typically held, are the intentional doings of some agent. In The Logic
of Sense, however, Deleuze appears to collapse the distinction
between actions and mere occurrences, holding that events of both
kinds are ultimately only ever impassive happenings. He asserts an
ontological distinction between the corporeal realm of causes
(including psychological causes) and the realm of events, holding that
events exist only as the expressible of propositions. In relation to the
category of action, this gives rise to the counter-intuitive thought that
what I appear to actively do does not really depend on my prior
willing or conscious intention to do it; it rather depends on the openended expression of the sense of what I do. And insofar as my
apparent action does not coincide with my conscious intention or
volition, it appears to me as something for which I am not ultimately
At the same time, however, Deleuze does not jettison the idea of
willing the event in The Logic Sense. Nor does he dismiss the ideas
of agency and personal responsibility for what happens. Willing the
event, however, does not consist in directly willing some particular
action. It rather consists in expressively engaging with the pure senseevent in which all events are determined.
In order to make sense of this position, this paper will offer an outline
of a conception of expressive agency that Deleuze appears to be
working with in The Logic of Sense. This account involves four
claims. The first claim is that while the intentional agent can no longer
be thought to be behind her actions in the traditional sense, she is
certainly out there in her actions such as these are made sense of by
others. The second claim is that while the actions of agents are
multiply interpretable by others, these others are themselves out
there in their multiply interpretable actions. The third claim is that an
action will count as the action of a particular agent insofar as both this
agent and other agents are able to recognize him in that action. The
final claim is that these multiple interpretations and recognitive
processes take place in a shared expressive medium call it
language which is not fixed but always being produced. Taking
these four claims together, we will see that an action will come to
count as mine, not because I directly will it and subsequently achieve
what I intended to do; but because both I and others expressively
produce the conditions in which we are able to recognize a particular
action as expressing something about me as an agent.
Dr Sean Bowden is an Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow at

Deakin University, Australia. He is the author of The Priority of

Events: Deleuzes Logic of Sense (Edinburgh University Press, 2011),
and the co-editor of Badiou and Philosophy (EUP, 2012).
7 August


A/Prof. Erin

Through a development of the concepts of the art of time and the art
of participation, this paper explores the relationship of intuition and
sympathy in Bergsons work to ask how a concept of artfulness might
be conceived. Artfulness is here defined as the force of the event of
art, a force that is more than human.
Erin Manning holds a University Research Chair in Relational Art and
Philosophy in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University
(Montreal, Canada). She is also the director of the Sense Lab
(www.senselab.ca), a laboratory that explores the intersections
between art practice and philosophy through the matrix of the sensing
body in movement. In her art practice she works between painting,
dance, fabric and sculpture (http://www.erinmovement.com). Current
iterations of her artwork explore emergent collectivities through
participatory textiles. Her project Stitching Time will be presented at
the 2012 Sydney Biennale and The Knots of Time will open the new
Flax Museum in Kortrijk, Belgium in 2014. Her writing addresses
movement, art, experience and the political through the prism of
process philosophy, with recent work developing a notion of autistic
perception and the more-than human. Publications include
Relationscapes: Movement, Art, Philosophy (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT
Press, 2009), Politics of Touch: Sense, Movement, Sovereignty
(Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 2007) and Ephemeral
Territories: Representing Nation, Home and Identity in Canada
(Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 2003). Her forthcoming
manuscript, Always More Than One: Individuations Dance will be
published by Duke University Press in 2012 as will her forthcoming
co-written manuscript (with Brian Massumi), Thought in the Act:
Passages in the Ecology of Experience (Minnesota UP).

14 August

Divided minds, selves, egos and internal objects

Dr Tamas Pataki

Partitive conceptions of mind have a long history in philosophy.

Various types have been advanced to resolve certain troublesome
aspects of self-experience and irrationality in belief and action. Some
of these conceptions propose, radically (and roughly), that the mind
(self, ego) splits into parts (sub-systems, component selves, subsidiary
egos), that have perspectives and aims which are not shared with other
parts, and function as independent centres of agency. Platos tripartite
division of mind is of this kind, as is (I believe) Freuds structural
theory. W. R. D. Fairbairns elegant account of the basic endopsychic
situation involving a multiplicity of egos linked to specific internal
objects is emphatically of this kind; indeed, Fairbairn allows that
internal objects, though not ego structures, may also acquire a

dynamic independence, which seems to mean, at least, that they too

are independent centres of agency.
Many philosophers, and some psychoanalysts, reject these partitive
conceptions, for a variety of reasons; amongst them: that they are
incoherent; that they fail to provide identity conditions for subsidiary
parts or internal objects; that they are in conflict with the conception
of a substantial unified self inherent in common-sense psychology and
therefore sever the fundamental links between such psychology and
psychoanalytic understanding; that they are unnecessary to answer to
the clinical material. I will examine some of these objections against
the backdrop of Fairbairns conception of endopsychic structure and
attempt to develop a partitive conception of the self which is in many
ways faithful to Fairbairns picture while preserving sufficient
elements of a notion of the mind as a unity to answer some of the
salient objections.
Dr Pataki is honorary senior fellow at the University of Melbourne
and honorary fellow of Deakin University. He studied philosophy at
the University of Melbourne and psychoanalysis at University
College, London University. He has been a lecturer in philosophy at
RMIT, University of Tasmania and University of Melbourne. He coedited, with Michael Levine, Racism in Mind (Cornell 2004) and is the
author of Against Religion (Scribe, 2007) as well as of several articles
and book chapters on the philosophy of mind, and numerous popular
pieces and reviews.
21 August

Eclipse of Practical Reason

Dr George Duke

Contemporary expressions of doubt about the possibility of a

substantive employment of practical reason generally seek historical
support from Hume. Defenders of substantive conceptions of practical
rationality, by contrast, tend to draw inspiration from Aristotle,
Aquinas or Kant. My focus in this paper is upon developments in the
period between 1600 and 1650 for theories of practical rationality. My
claim is that an examination of this period, which is perhaps
associated most readily with the rise of a mechanistic philosophy of
nature, is not only crucial for understanding the motivations for
scepticism about practical reason later expressed with particular force
by Hume, it also can also clarify the conditions that would need to be
met for a successful defence of a substantive account. Such an
analysis or at least so I argue also demonstrates that an approach to
practical reason that adopts suitably modified Thomistic assumptions
is better able to meet the relevant conditions than one deriving
inspiration from Kant. The structure of the paper is as follows. In
section one I sketch the distinction between substantive and
procedural conceptions of practical rationality, using the Thomistic
and Humean accounts as ideal-types of such theories. This provides
the background for an analysis of developments in the first half of the
seventeenth century, which is the central focus of section 2. Section 3

closes with some reflections on the lessons of the period between 1600
and 1650 for contemporary debates on the possibility of developing a
substantive account of practical reason.
George Duke lectures in philosophy in the School of Humanities and
Social Sciences at Deakin University. His research interests include
the philosophy of language, the history of analytical philosophy and
political philosophy. He has published on Michael Dummetts theory
of abstract objects, theories of abstract singular terms and the
conceptual presuppositions of analytical philosophy.
28 August


4 September

Messianic sovereignty: reading Nietzsche with Benjamin

Dr Justine McGill
(La Trobe)

Early in the second essay of On the Genealogy of Morals Nietzsche

introduces the figure of the sovereign individual, bearer of the right
to make promises and the extraordinary privilege of responsibility.
He then promises to reveal the history of human development which
culminates in the emergence of a consciousness which is ripe for such
responsibility. However, by the end of the essay the sovereign
individual has disappeared. Instead, Nietzsche dramatically invokes a
redeeming man of great love and contempt who must come one
day, and then declares that at this point, he must fall silent.
In seeking the origins of responsibility we are thus led to discover a
messianic expectation or promise. What does this mean for
Nietzsches approach to sovereignty and responsibility? Is the
sovereign individual a moral figure, or is his sovereign practice of
responsibility better understood in political or religious terms? This
paper will draw upon Walter Benjamins deployment of a similar
nesting of secular and religious thought to explore these questions. To
read Nietzsche with Benjamin will lead to an interpretation of the
sovereign individual as an allegorical figure of messianic politics,
rather than an image of modern moral achievement or aspiration.
Justine McGill is a lecturer in philosophy, currently teaching at La
Trobe University. She is the co-editor, with sociologist Craig Brown,
of an interdisciplinary collection on Violence in France and Australia:
Disorder in the postcolonial welfare state (Sydney University Press,
2010). She has research interests in Nietzsche studies, continental
philosophy, early modern thought, film theory, feminist philosophy
and Asian philosophy, particularly Buddhist thought. She is also
interested in bringing analytic, continental and Asian philosophical
perspectives into dialogue (for example, in exploring philosophy of
mind and consciousness). She is currently working on a book about
the concept of responsibility in modernity.

11 September

Nietzsches Politics of the Event

Prof. Vanessa
Lemm (UNSW)

This paper offers an analysis of Nietzsches politics of the event

(Ereignis). In Nietzsches published works as well as in the Nachlass,
one can distinguish between several different uses of the term Ereignis
(event). On my hypothesis, Nietzsches conception of the event is
inseparable from his conception of the great human being. Therefore
an analysis of the former must come hand in hand with an analysis of
the latter. I argue that Nietzsche provides a politics of the event and
that this politics denotes the task of cultivating great human beings.
On my account, one can distinguish between two different politics of
the event in Nietzsche. On the one hand, there is what Nietzsche refers
to as small politics (kleine Politik) understood as a politics of the
state or of moral and religious institutions which seek to produce
conditions which favor the emergence of great human beings. At the
heart of this politics stands the belief that the rise of great human
beings is inherently contingent and hence requires the task of
transforming contingency into necessity, of turning the occurrence of
great human beings into a necessity. We are here dealing with an
active politics of liberation which seeks to change the course of
history giving it a new direction and a new aim. On the other hand, we
can distinguish in Nietzsche a great politics (grosse Politik) of the
event which is not inscribed into the program of a particular political
or moral institution. Rather it is a politics beyond politics and morality
where the aim is not to change the course of time but rather to affirm
the eternity of the moment. At the center of this politics stands
Nietzsches conception of amor fati. We are here dealing with a
passive-receptive politics situated beyond the historical course of time.
From its perspective, the great human being is a reflection of the
eternal value and worth of the whole of life beyond human measure.
From the perspective of this politics, the challenge is not to turn the
contingent into the necessary but rather to attain knowledge of
necessity for only the latter can truly free up in the human being lifes
potential for culture. Small politics is a human, perhaps all too human
practice which inscribes the event in the historical becoming of
humanity, whereas great politics is a politics of life which inscribes
the event in the eternal return of the same. In what follows, I wish to
show the different elements and entanglements of these two politics of
the event in three recurrent figures in Nietzsches philosophy: the
historical agent, the genius and the philosopher in both his early and
late work.
Professor Lemm is Head of the School of Humanities, UNSW. She is
the author of Nietzsches Animal Philosophy: Culture, Politics and the
Animality of the Human Being (Fordham, 2009), and has edited books
on Foucault and Hegel. Her research focuses on the philosophy of
Friedrich Nietzsche, contemporary political thought, biopolitics, the
question of theanimal, philosophy of culture and cultures of memory,
and theories of justice and the gift.

18 September


Prof. Paul Patton


Paul Patton is Professor of Philosophy at the University of New South

Wales and Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He
has published extensively on contemporary European philosophy and
political philosophy. He is the author of, among other works,
Deleuzian Concepts: Philosophy, Colinization, Politics (Stanford
University Press, 2010) and Deleuze and the Political (Routledge,

25 September


2 October

Parody and Truth in Nietzsches Genealogy

Dr Andrew Inkpin

In view of its apparently scholarly form the Genealogy of Morality is

often viewed as a succinct, relatively systematic, and hence canonical
exposition of Nietzsches mature views on morality. However, the
status of this works claims appears to be challenged by Nietzsches
views on the nature and value of truth, particularly through the selfcancellation of the ascetic ideal with which the work dramatically
closes. In this paper I reconstruct a framework for interpreting the
Genealogys project and argue that Nietzsches overarching intention
was to parody a scholarly work. I then explore whether the intention to
parody undermines the works apparent historical, psychological and
metaethical claims, and whether it results in incoherence (intentional
or otherwise). I attempt to show how successful negotiation of these
difficulties allows the Genealogy to be seen as exemplifying
Nietzsches idea of Gay Science and in supposed contrast to
Wagner blending cheerfulness and profundity.
Andrew Inkpin has first degrees in theoretical physics from the
University of York, and in philosophy, art history and psychology
from the Friedrich Schiller University, Jena. His graduate studies in
philosophy were at University College London, where he completed
an MPhil and PhD. His main research interests are in modern
European philosophy, especially phenomenology (in particular
Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty), Wittgenstein and Nietzsche.

9 October
Dr Geoffrey
Boucher (Deakin)

Art as the Plenipotentiary of Impulse: A Reconstruction of

Adornos Aesthetic Theory in Light of His Reading of Freud
Geoff Boucher is a Senior Lecturer in the Psychoanalytic Studies
Programme and in Literary Studies at Deakin University. He is the
author of several books on critical theory, including The Charmed
Circle of Ideology (2008) and Zizek and Politics (2010). His books on
Understanding Marxism and Adorno Reframed are appearing in 2012.
He works on contemporary culture from a perspective influenced by
Lacanian psychoanalysis, publishing in the fields of continental
philosophy and psychoanalytic studies.

16 October

General Ethics and the Theory of Responsive Cohesion

Prof. Warwick Fox

(University of

In this talk I will outline the nature of ethics and discuss its expansion
from interhuman ethics to environmental ethics to what I have referred
to as General Ethics. By General Ethics I mean the development of a
single, integrated approach to ethics that encompasses the realms of
interhuman ethics, the ethics of the natural environment, and the ethics
of the human-constructed, or built, environment. I will outline my own
approach to General Ethics, which I refer to as the theory of
responsive cohesion. This approach is both different from and more
expansive than others on offer because it sees the basis of value as
lying in a particular form of organization or structure that things can
assume as opposed to particular kinds of higher-order powers or
capacities that some things have, such as autobiographical selfawareness, rationality, sentience, being alive, or the capacity to
maintain some kind of holistic integrity (all of which themselves
represent a subset of the total class of responsively cohesive
structures). A range of significant ethical implications follows from
this approach.
Warwick Fox is Emeritus Professor at the University of Central
Lancashire. He has published widely in environmental philosophy in
particular and, more recently, on the extension of this work into what
he has referred to as General Ethics. He is represented in leading
anthologies and encyclopedias in the area, has served on the editorial
advisory boards of some of the leading journals in the area (including
Environmental Ethics, Organization and Environment, and
Environmental Values), and his books include Toward a
Transpersonal Ecology: Developing New Foundations for
Environmentalism (State University of New York Press, 1995, and
Green Books, UK, 1995), Ethics and the Built Environment (ed.,
Routledge, 2000), and A Theory of General Ethics: Human
Relationships, Nature, and the Built Environment (The MIT Press,

30 October

What was Philosophical about Natural Philosophy?

Prof. Peter
Harrison (UQ)

Historians are agreed upon that fact that science is a relatively recent
conception and that natural philosophy was, roughly speaking, the
pre-nineteenth century equivalent. However, there remains room for
discussion about the exact identity of this early enterprise. In this
paper I survey some common claims about the category natural
philosophy, and propose that we understand this activity better if
think less about disciplines, doctrines, and methods, and a more about
the way in which particular intellectual activities shape the person,
mould behaviour and mental habits, and render the mind susceptible to
the reception of particular truths. Natural philosophy, I will suggest,
can be regarded as a means of intellectual and moral formation, in
other words, as contributing in important ways to the classical

philosophical goal of the good life.

Professor Peter Harrison is Director of the Centre for the History of
European Discourses at the University of Queensland. Prior to taking
up this position, he was for a number of years the Idreos Professor of
Science and Religion at the University of Oxford. At Oxford he was a
member of the Faculties of Theology and History, a Fellow of Harris
Manchester College, and Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre where he
continues to hold a Senior Research Fellowship. He has been a
Visiting Fellow at Oxford, Yale, and Princeton, is a founding member
of the International Society for Science and Religion, and a Fellow of
the Australian Academy of the Humanities. In 2011 he delivered the
Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh. His five books
include, most recently, Wrestling with Nature: From Omens to
Science (Chicago, 2011) and The Cambridge Companion to Science
and Religion (Cambridge, 2010). He has published over 60 articles or
book chapters. He is currently editing his Gifford Lectures under the
working title of Science, Religion and Modernity and is also
working on a project concerned with conceptions of progress in
history and the historical sciences.