Bakker contacted me via my blog and asked me a preliminary question about Johnston’s book and speculative project: ” Why should anyone entertain, let alone commit to, such interpretations in an age when human cognition is itself on the autopsy table?” He did not tell me he was working on a book review, and may have hoped for something he could use, as I had written a critical comment on the book as embodying an approach that was still ontotheological or religious. Bakker repeats this charge in his post without citing me. Unlike him I give a sketch of an argument, referencing the similarity between Johnston’s concept of weak nature and Caputo’s notion of weak God. He certainly doesn’t mention the parallels I find between his speculative project and Johnston’s, including the proposition that his BBT was just as much a religious extrapolation of scientific results interpreted one-sidedly
(Note: Bakker also appropriates my playful expression in the title to my 8 posts responding to his question of PROLEGOMENA TO THE PROLEGOMENA, stating: “What I propose is a discussion of the difficulties any such project must overcome—a kind of prolegomena to Johnston’s Prolegomena”, again without citing me).
Bakker allowed our dialogue to stretch on over several days while I tried to formulate substantive answers to his own tossed off comments, from Friday10th to Sunday 12tth (evening), till in desperation I emailed him, trying to mollify any conflict, and in his reply he mentioned that he was reviewing the book. He published his review the day after, Monday 13th, after milking me for all I was worth, and not giving any reference to my arguments, no link to my blog, and not the slightest indication of taking my lengthy replies into account in any way. This is totally impolite, and in my opinion unethical behaviour.
So you see for me the essential engagement with Bakker came in the (discarded by him) pre-discussion preparatory (unknownst to me) to his book review. My opinion of the final review is that it is long-winded, repetitious, badly written, badly argued. It does not engage Johnston’s text except for a few sentences that Bakker ripsout of context and just baldly contradicts. If you think I have given no arguments, as both Bakker and you claim, let’s take things little by little.
I rewrote my replies in a more developped form, as Bakker bombarded me with comments demanding explanations and affecting not to understand, or even see, my arguments, leaving me no time to produce a more synthetic response. So I wrote in real time in reply to his repeated urgings. I then did a pedagogical rewrite to bring out the conceptual issues and the problematic, producing a series of 8 posts. I used Bakker’s questions to construct a problematic that goes beyond his or my or Johnston’s actual positions. In the series of posts, I consider Bakker’s type of position (scientistic determinist materialism) as one in a series of attempts to escape from constructionism, along with Kolozova’s, Johnston’s and Stengers’ positions. Bakker’s is the least satisfying, composed mostly of empty repetitious rodomontades profered instead of doing the philosophical work.
So let’s take my first post: https://terenceblake.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/prolegomena-to-the-prolegomena-adrian-johnston-and-the-new-crusade-against-constructionism/. Do you find my contextualization of my discussion with Bakker wrong-headed, incorrect, unargued?
(Remember, I was writing in reply to Scott’s question as to what value or interest could a speculative (philosophical) endeavour such as Johnston’s have. He already knew from my previous post that I disagreed with Johnston’s specific answers. He was asking for a typological answer, not a specific analysis, and he got one. Read my 8 posts and tell me there are no arguments in them.).
I was honey-potted into replying, and am now being brow-beaten for not replying as he wanted.