In this course we shall trace the evolution of the concept of the virtual from Bergson to Deleuze, before turning to consider the question of time in Whitehead, Russell and Wittgenstein. These various ways of thinking of time and the virtual will then serve as our guide as we consider the cosmologies of various "outsider" physicists such as Eric Lerner and Julian Barbour and Ilya Prigogine. In conclusion we will consider whether we can find what Einstein and Goedel were looking for in their Kant reading group.
Lecture One - Proust and Bergson: or, why we were already virtual. Proust, Remembrance of Things Past, vol 1 pp 56-62 & vol 12 pp.222-290 (Chatto&Windus). Bergson, Time and Free Will: an essay on the immediate data of consciousness. Bergson, Matter and Memory
Lecture Two - Bergson continued.: or, how intelligence was always artificial. Bergson, Creative Evolution Bergson, "The Possible and the Real" and "The Perception of Change," chapters III and V in The Creative Mind.
Lecture Three - Deleuze on Bergson: or, the cinematographical mechanism of thought and the mechanistic illusion. Deleuze, Bersonism Deleuze, Cinema volume I, chapters 1 & 4; volume II, chapters 2-5
Lecture Four - Deleuze on Leibniz and Spinoza: or, back to the background. Deleuze, "On the Difference between the Ethics and a Morality" and "Spinoza and Us," chapters two and five in Spinoza: Practical Philosophy. Deleuze, The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque chapter 6, "What is an event?"
Lecture Five: Time and the virtual in Deleuze's Difference and Repetition. Deleuze, Difference and Repetition pp.85-102; 208-221. (Columbia U.P. / Althone, 1994)
Lecture Six: Whitehead via Bergson: or, the philosophy of organism explained to a vitalist. Whitehead, Process and Reality (The Free Press corrected edition paperback, 1985) Part II Ch III Sec XI, pp.106-109; Part II Ch X Secs I - V, pp.208-215; Part III Ch I Secs I - III pp.219-222; Part IV Ch IVSecs IV and V pp.318-321.
Lecture Seven: From Whitehead to Wittgenstein via Russell: or, art shown to the artless. Reading: A Wittgenstein selection will be provided at the start of the course.
Lecture Eight: two unconventional cosmologists - Julian Barbour and Eric Lerner. Is time really a dimension? Did the big bang really happen? Reading: Julian Barbour, The Discovery of Dynamics, esp. pref to pbk ed, (dated March 2001), and Ch12.8 pp.690-696; Julian Barbour The End of Time esp. Part 1 & Part 5; Julian Barbour The Janus Point esp. Chapters 8, 16 & 20. Eric Lerner; The Big Bang Never Happened. Chapters 1, 4, 6 & 7.
Lecture Nine: Time, Chaos and a new paradigm for dynamics? Reading: Ilya Prigogine The End of Certainty
Lecture Ten: will be devoted to convincing you that mathematics is not ontology. Reading: more Whitehead, more Wittgenstein selections will be provided.
Lecture Eleven: Back to Kant with Wittgenstein as a guide; or, in search of a new set of metaphors. Kant, Critique of Pure Reason Aesthetic on time (A30/B46 - A49/B73), plus refutation of idealism (A218/B266 to A235/B294, but esp. B275).
Lecture Twelve: Time and the Virtual; or, can we find what Einstein and Goedel were looking for in the Critique of Pure Reason ? Goedel, "Some observations about the relationship between the theory of relativity and the Kantian philosophy," in Collected Works volume III, pp.202-260. Versions 1, 2 as well as the published version in Schlipp's Library of Living Philosophers volume on Einstein.