Saturday, February 22, 2014


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM

The title was suggested by a 1921 article
by Hermann Weyl and by a review* of
a more recent publication —

The above Harvard Gazette  piece on Davos is
from St. Ursula's Day, 2010. See also this  journal
on that date.

See as well a Log24 search for Davos.

A more interesting piece by Peter E. Gordon
(author of the above Davos book) is his review
of Charles Taylor's A Secular Age .
The review is titled

"The Place of the Sacred
in the Absence of God

(The place of the sacred is not, perhaps, Davos,
but a more abstract location.)

* Grundlagenkrise  was a tag for a Jan. 13, 2011,
  review in The New Republic  of Gordon's
  book on Cassirer and Heidegger at Davos.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Object Lesson

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 3:17 AM

Yesterday's post on the current Museum of Modern Art exhibition
"Inventing Abstraction: 1910-1925" suggests a renewed look at
abstraction and a fundamental building block: the cube.

From a recent Harvard University Press philosophical treatise on symmetry—

The treatise corrects Nozick's error of not crediting Weyl's 1952 remarks
on objectivity and symmetry, but repeats Weyl's error of not crediting
Cassirer's extensive 1910 (and later) remarks on this subject.

For greater depth see Cassirer's 1910 passage on Vorstellung :

IMAGE- Ernst Cassirer on 'representation' or 'Vorstellung' in 'Substance and Function' as 'the riddle of knowledge'

This of course echoes Schopenhauer, as do discussions of "Will and Idea" in this journal.

For the relationship of all this to MoMA and abstraction, see Cube Space and Inside the White Cube.

"The sacramental nature of the space becomes clear…." — Brian O'Doherty

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Kernels of Being

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 10:29 PM

For the Pope in Germany

"We wish to see Jesus. For somehow we know, we suspect, we intuit, that if we see Jesus we will see what Meister Eckhart might call “The Divine Kernel of Being”— that Divine Spark of God’s essence, God’s imago Dei, the image in which we are created. We seem to know that in seeing Jesus we just might find something essential about ourselves."

—The Reverend Kirk Alan Kubicek, St. Peter’s at Ellicott Mills, Maryland, weblog post of Saturday, March 28, 2009, on a sermon for Sunday, March 29, 2009

See also this journal in March 2009.

Related non-theology—

Weyl on coordinate systems, Cassirer on the kernel of being, and A Study in Art Education.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Piracy Project

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:02 AM

Recent piracy of my work as part of a London art project suggests the following.


           From http://www.trussel.com/rls/rlsgb1.htm

The 2011 Long John Silver Award for academic piracy
goes to ….

Hermann Weyl, for the remark on objectivity and invariance
in his classic work Symmetry  that skillfully pirated
the much earlier work of philosopher Ernst Cassirer.

And the 2011 Parrot Award for adept academic idea-lifting
goes to …

Richard Evan Schwartz of Brown University, for his
use, without citation, of Cullinane’s work illustrating
Weyl’s “relativity problem” in a finite-geometry context.

For further details, click on the above names.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Search for Invariants

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:29 AM

The title of a recent contribution to a London art-related "Piracy Project" begins with the phrase "The Search for Invariants."

A search for that phrase  elsewhere yields a notable 1944* paper by Ernst Cassirer, "The Concept of Group and the Theory of Perception."

Page 20: "It is a process of objectification, the characteristic nature
and tendency of which finds expression in the formation of invariants."

Cassirer's concepts seem related to Weyl's famous remark that

“Objectivity means invariance with respect to the group of automorphisms.”
Symmetry  (Princeton University Press, 1952, page 132)

See also this journal on June 23, 2010— "Group Theory and Philosophy"— as well as some Math Forum remarks on Cassirer and Weyl.

Update of 6 to 7:50 PM June 20, 2011—

Weyl's 1952 remark seems to echo remarks in 1910 and 1921 by Cassirer.
See Cassirer in 1910 and 1921 on Objectivity.

Another source on Cassirer, invariance, and objectivity—

The conclusion of Maja Lovrenov's 
"The Role of Invariance in Cassirer’s Interpretation of the Theory of Relativity"—

"… physical theories prove to be theories of invariants
with regard to certain groups of transformations and
it is exactly the invariance that secures the objectivity
of a physical theory."

— SYNTHESIS PHILOSOPHICA 42 (2/2006), pp. 233–241

A search in Weyl's Symmetry  for any reference to Ernst Cassirer yields no results.

* Published in French in 1938.

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