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About Michael Steinberg

Michael Steinberg writes about the links between social structure and the implicit framing of experience. He has published essays on the philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte and several books, including The Fiction of a Thinkable World: Body, Meaning, and the Culture of Capitalism; A New Biology of Religion; and Enlightenment Interrupted: The Lost Moment of German Idealism and the Reactionary Present.
Latest Posts | By Michael Steinberg
Here Time Becomes Space
4 weeks ago

Here Time Becomes Space

Earth, water, fire, and air Met together in a garden fair, Put in a basket bound with skin: If you answer this riddle you’ll never begin.             –The Incredible String …
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Do Our Lives Need a Story?
3 months ago

Do Our Lives Need a Story?

Grau, teurer Freund, ist alle Theorie, Und grün des Lebens goldner Baum.                         –Goethe, Faust, Part One.[i]

 

In explaining his choice to present a Critique of Pure Reason instead …
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Gods, Goddesses, and German Philosophers
4 months ago

Gods, Goddesses, and German Philosophers

I am a devotee at a South Indian temple a few miles south of Rochester, New York. It’s caste and gender neutral, at least in theory, and its murti, which …
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The Silence of the Gods
7 months ago

The Silence of the Gods

I moved to Canada during the Vietnam war and almost by accident found myself an undergrad at Saint Michael’s College at the University of Toronto. I’m anything but Catholic, but …
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Looking for the Self in All the Wrong Places
9 months ago

Looking for the Self in All the Wrong Places

The subject of self-consciousness is strewn with intellectual land mines. There is no consensus about what kind of consciousness this is or what it is that we’re conscious of when …
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Thomas Nagel’s Bat and Ours
1 year ago

Thomas Nagel’s Bat and Ours

There is a bat in our bedroom. We don’t know how it got in, but bats can crawl through the narrowest of crevices and passageways, and our old house is …
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A Few Points of Philosophical Interest Learned by Watching Our Cats: Part II
2 years ago

A Few Points of Philosophical Interest Learned by Watching Our Cats: Part II

If cats are conscious but not self-conscious—that is, if they do not split experience in two and constitute an inner self which stands at one remove from all other perceptions—they …
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A Few Points of Philosophical Interest Learned by Watching Our Cats: Part I
2 years ago

A Few Points of Philosophical Interest Learned by Watching Our Cats: Part I

Above is our cat Oliver, in a photograph made by my wife Loret. Oliver is four years old. He takes to visitors, though he can be skittish, and they take …
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Fichte. Seriously.
3 years ago

Fichte. Seriously.

In the English-speaking world Johann Gottlieb Fichte (17623-1814) is treated as what one might call a footnote philosopher, mentioned—if at all—only in connection with someone or something else. He is …
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It Is Not Humanity That Is Failing: A Manifesto
3 years ago

It Is Not Humanity That Is Failing: A Manifesto

At some point we will have to admit that we have failed. We will not have averted catastrophic climate change. We will not have spread prosperity as far as it …
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