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Home News by Category Conferences Footnotes Session 3

Footnotes Session 3

11:20 AM – 12:20 PM—Panel Three: “The Philosophies of David Foster Wallace”

Moderator: Nico Israel, CUNY-Hunter College and the Graduate Center

Maureen Eckert, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

“Where the Conversation Lapses…Understanding DFW’s Philosophy Thesis”
Maureen began with a summary of the history of Taylor's Fatalism argument and revealed how Wallace's thesis in  was able to deny the fatalism argument by refuting the argument's vailidity. This is the important part, Taylor had previously only been able to deny it by refuting premises in the argument. Thus Wallace's thesis is very important to the philosophy community.
Thomas Tracey, Oxford University

 “‘Like The Sky’: Responsibility in Wallace’s Early Fiction”
Thomas spoke about Wallace's take on the moral responsibilities one must perform in order to be human. Some of the things he touched on are the kinds of experience and suffering explored in Wallace's fiction that expand's one perception of what it is to be human.
Joshua Sperling, Yale University

“Reading Infinite Jest through Heidegger’s ‘The Question Concerning Technology’”
A particularly interesting take on the parallels between Heidegger's take on technology. The best summary I can give is the way in which Heidegger's take is that a peasant works with nature, while technology and industrialisation confronts nature. The technology is about human's dominating nature and extracting energy from nature.
In IJ the technology is Media and Pharmacologically based and extracts energy from 'the inside'. 
In both cases, the technology brings us to a cliff. Where we either hit a dead end or find a way to rebirth.
Time for lunch!
Last Updated on Friday, 20 November 2009 22:36  

The Howling Fantods