25 April 2005

Book Publishing, (un)Ltd.

Today there comes from BMCR a review of language on a holiday--er, I mean, Plotinus (that's not necessarily disparaging: maybe language should take a holiday sometimes!)--published by a press that, an Aristotelian might argue, cannot actually exist:

Brian Hines, Return to the One: Plotinus' Guide to God-Realization.
Bloomington and Salem: Unlimited Publishing, 2004. Pp. xx, 372. ISBN
1-58832-100-2. $16.99 (pb).

It turns out that Unlimited Publishing is an on-demand publishing outfit (said by some to be the way that publishing must go in the future, to compete successfully with on-line texts). So their name signifies merely a potential infinity of books, and Aristotle's thesis is safe after all.

Hines' book is Unlimited's only philosophy book on offer so far. The telltale blurb, however, is not encouraging:
In the Enneads, 3rd century mystic philosopher Plotinus synthesized a thousand years of accumulated Greek wisdom with his own profound mystical experiences. Whatever your spiritual beliefs, you will find yourself challenged and stimulated by Plotinus's blend of rationality and mysticism.
And if my 'spiritual belief' is that no 'mystical philosophy' can be challenging and stimulating to all spiritual beliefs whatsoever...?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Then you would simply be close-minded, or perhaps rather merely reactionary, having decided a priori both that no mystical belief could be challenging to all other beliefs (though it is hard to see why one might not come along that could be, except perhaps by reference to some questionable definition of the 'mystical') and that your understanding of what counts as a mystical belief includes the beliefs expounded in a book you have not read. It would be like deciding that no books by Christian philosophers could escape the necessary irrationality of Christianity, when clearly the test of that would be the books themselves. And of course it does not follow from the (questionable) fact that all Christian philosophers so far have been unable to escape the irrationality of Christianity that none could, unless the two terms are defined at the outset as mutually exclusive. Yet clearly a philosopher ought to recognize that once he refuses to allow the definitions of terms to be modified, he is not likely to be doing much philosophy in the future...

Of course, one might try to argue that 'all beliefs' must include beliefs which include their own infallability as a part of the belief content (or, say, the belief that anything called 'mystical' must be false, regardless of what that term means in any given context). But perhaps the blurb, in its subtle wisdom, is suggesting that such beliefs are immune to challenge not qua belief, but qua rigidly dogmatic attitude towards those beliefs. Could the blurb be suggesting a relevant distinction between epistemic claims and affective states relative to those claims?

Could we move dialectically from the blurb back to the One?

I favor a thorough philosophical examination of all blurbs. It can be a new specialization in analytic departments.

Michael Pakaluk said...

Hey, lighten up...it's a joke.

INC. said...

Find out how your company rates by using a little known rating system!

Is your company a Scam, Dud, Scheme, Fraud Or Good Opportunity?.

95% of the money-making opportunities on the internet have been worked to death or are not suitable to be marketed through the internet. How does your company and/or opportunity rate… I’ll leave it to you to decide if your service, product and/or money making opportunity falls in this category.

Hurry you may NOT be happy with what you will find!

HealthyPetNet said...

Find out how your company rates by using a little known rating system!

Is your company a Scam, Dud, Scheme, Fraud Or Good Opportunity?.

95% of the money-making opportunities on the internet have been worked to death or are not suitable to be marketed through the internet. How does your company and/or opportunity rate… I’ll leave it to you to decide if your service, product and/or money making opportunity falls in this category.

Hurry you may NOT be happy with what you will find!

Anonymous said...

Gooday ##NAME##, I was surfing around and came accross your post on ##TITLE## quite by accident. Although it is slightly related to what I was searching for it somehow ads to ones list of lifes experiences.

I sometimes have a soft spot for blogs related to ##LINK## and /or sites that have a central theme around publishing program type items.

Once again ##NAME##, thank you for your post. :-)

Mary Rita Earle said...

Wow, I just ran across your blog while surfing, Blogger, pretty neat! I think you might have some interest in my site. You may find some content of interest.

Warm Spirit said...

I found a company that pays $10 - $50/hr for shopping the classifieds!

Work At Home $10 - $50/hr Easy part/full time work, no boss, no commute, no set hours, paid every 12 days..

I'm making over $500 a day with this company and will be happy to help you do the same.

Hurry postions are filling fast!