Tag Archives: art

Early Tulips

Emirgan Korusu, 2016.03.12

Ayşe was still in Ankara, but I had seen rumors on Twitter that tulips were already blooming in Emirgan Korusu. The bulbs were being dowsed with ice water, lest the flowers be overblown for the Tulip Festival in April. Anyway, I wanted to get away from the crowds of Şişli and Beyoğlu. The morning was mostly sunny. Thus on Saturday, March 12, 2016, I headed out to Emirgan, repeating the trip that we had made the previous April. Continue reading


I went early to the office on Tuesday morning, June 17, 2015. On Harzemşah Sokağı in the Merkez (Center) Mahallesi of Şişli, I paused to note a cafe decorated with the Luncheon of the Boating Party. Continue reading

Art on the Bosphorus

Here are photos from a Saturday (March 7, 2015) spent on the European side of the lower Bosphorus. It is a place I seem now often to go, though I may not have a particular plan. Saturday was another cloudy day; but in Istanbul, in winter, one cannot wait indoors for a sunny day, or one might wait for weeks. No rain was forecast: that was enough reason to go out.

The first place where I got the camera out was the Bezm-i Âlem Valide Sultan Camii, otherwise known as the Dolmabahçe Mosque, dated 1851 at the door. Continue reading

Bosphorus Sky

This is about the morning of Thursday, December 18, 2014, a morning I spent by the Bosphorus, thinking mostly about poetry, and photographing the sky.


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How do our thoughts age?

Having written recently that natural science was not history of nature, I looked back at Collingwood’s posthumous Principles of History for his arguments about this. I read his discussion of freedom as what distinguishes history from natural science. I recalled that his earlier writing was more concerned with removing distinctions than drawing them.

This is something that I investigate here. I occasionally encounter denials that we have free will. I find such denials bizarre; but evidently some people believe them, or at least believe they are worthy of consideration. I find Collingwood’s own account of freedom to be worthy of consideration. But then, considering this along with the rest of his œuvre, I have to conclude that everything is free. This conclusion is not really new to me; I drew such a conclusion as an adolescent. It may be a common thought. Wordsworth seems to have had such a thought, according to his Ode:

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Istanbul, August 1, 2014

This is my first full day in Istanbul for three weeks, and I have four observations, on the color of the sky, on the habits political rulers, on public treatment of space, and on the value of art. Continue reading

Facts (NL IX, Retrospect, first 6 paragraphs)

Index to this series

A certain person says,

I am not better than you or more virtuous than you. If you see me on the right path, help me. If you see me on the wrong path, advise me and halt me. And obey me as far as I obey God.

How should one hear these words: as an eminently reasonable expression of benevolent humility such as any of us might honorably make? Well, no matter how qualified, the command obey me might be a warning sign. The words are in fact from a recently published video, as quoted in the Guardian Weekly (Vol 190 No 5, 11–17 July 2014, p. 4). The speaker is the man whose nom de guerre is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, on whose head the Department of State of the United States of America placed a ten-million-dollar bounty in 2011. He now styles himself Ibrahim, Caliph of the Islamic State, a new entity that is supposed to restore the lost Muslim glory of past centuries. This restoration is to be achieved through war. War requires military discipline, with punishments meted out for infractions like insubordination, not to mention the slaughter of those perceived as enemies. So al-Baghdadi’s request to be advised and halted if seen to be in the wrong must be interpreted rather carefully.

It is difficult to know how to interpret somebody’s words. With that I pass to the transitional chapter in the first part, “Man,” of Collingwood’s The New Leviathan.

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NL VI: “Language,” again

Index to this series

This is about language: language the concept, and “Language,” the sixth chapter of Collingwood’s New Leviathan. We shall consider language in a very basic way, not as a means of communicating what we know, but as the way we come to know things in the first place.
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NL VI: “Language”

Index to this series

This is about the first section of Chapter VI, “Language,” of The New Leviathan. The whole chapter can be ana­lyzed into five sections, with §N consisting of those paragraphs numbered 6. N or 6. NX. I summarize the sections as follows:

  1. Language is an abstraction from discourse. Discourse is an activity together with what is meant by it. (¶¶6. 1–19)
  2. Through language, we become conscious of our feelings. Becoming conscious of our language is another step, which is taken by artists. (¶¶6. 2–29)
  3. A feeling is not “mediated” by the language we use for it. (¶¶6. 3–36)
  4. Hobbes discovered that language is prior to knowledge. (¶¶6. 4–47)
  5. Those who dispute this finding over­look that not all language is rational. (¶¶6. 5–59)

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NL III: “Body As Mind”

Index to this series

In Chapter I of The New Leviathan, we stipulated that natural science, the “science of body,” must be free to pursue its own aims. But we ourselves are doing science of mind, and:

1. 85. The sciences of mind, unless they preach error or confuse the issue by dishonest or involuntary obscurity, can tell us nothing but what each can verify for himself by reflecting on his own mind.

All of us can be scientists of mind, if only we are capable of reflection: Continue reading