More Google Penance!

Google Penance—in which I atone for all the strange things I wrote that lead people here.

“Medieval Marginalia/Yves Klein X, W, and V:” yup, this is how most people find me.  Boy I’m glad I can claim fair use for those images—I mean, I’m pretty sure none of them are under an actionable copyright, but . . .

“Brian Leiter is an Ass(hole):” a near-universal sentiment, it seems.  There are others who say it more articulately than me, others who can use more rage, but one understands the feeling.  Sure the PGR’s a sham with more unwarranted assumptions and obvious biases than you can shake a stick at, sure the man can, by all accounts, be just a bit nasty, sure philosophical naturalism’s a joke, especially in law, but hey.  I’m sure there’s something nice that someone could/should say about him, even if I can’t think of it.

“Are Philosophers Weird People?”  Have you read anything I’ve written?  Have you ever met a philosopher?  Are bears Catholic?  Does the Pope . . . well, okay.  Yes.  We’re weird.

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Copyright Law for Philosophers

Or “Please, for the love of God, don’t get us sued; their legal department is bigger than our press.”
Intellectual property law is a gnarly topic, one that, seeing as I’m not a lawyer, I shouldn’t even be playing with—but, since keeping the Press from getting sued is part of my job, I do anyway.  Figuring out who owns how much of what where and for how long is about the greatest international cluster@#$€ ever, and, if you screw it up, you get to settle it in a neutral country that’s a whole lot closer to the foreign publisher you were supposed to get English language rights from, but only got the US rights, so when your book got sold in Canada via a Michigan-based wholesaler . . . Continue reading

Google Penance II: All Art, All the Time

So my blog site-o-meter tells me that most people who come here via search engines are looking for one of two things: Yves Klein or medieval marginalia.  Which means that, while making fun of philosophical book covers may get me quick attention, half-baked art criticism gives me the long-term gains.

So, since this here blog ain’t gonna write itself, it’s time for a subject near and dear to my heart: late medieval/early Renaissance religious art.
Continue reading

About the Manuscripts

I’ve used a few medieval illustrated manuscript photos in some of my posts (and probably will in the future), but, for those of you interested in such things (most anyone reading this, really), there’s a rather interesting discussion of the one I like to use, Royal MS 10 E iv (AKA the Smithfield Decretals) over at Got Medieval.

Enjoy.

The Medieval Ebook, Part II: Writing in the Margins

As I mentioned last time, the odd writings you find in the margins of medieval books (and, for that matter, in between the lines or on loose sheets of paper inserted between the pages) are often of great importance.  Known as marginal or interlinear glosses (or, if on loose paper, extras), these notes, asides, and corrections took on a life of their own, sometimes rivaling the importance of the book they were written in.  Perhaps the most famous collections based largely on these writings would be the Catena Aurea of Thomas Aquinas, one of many such catenae aureae compiled by late antique and medieval authors, and the four books of Peter Lombard’s Sentences—though most any Scholastic writing on philosophical or theological  matters will cite glosses or extras at some point or other.

Royal 10 E IV   f. 59v   Rabbit shooting

We've lost a lot since we decided "*" was good enough.

Which brings me to the point I was making at the end of my previous post.  If you have a copy of the books/papers being cited at your fingertips, in parallel with a paper or essay using them, then, rather than having some artifact of scholarship divorced from its roots, you can see the organic growth and web of relationships between source text and new work.  Though this would be helpful enough if you could click on a citation in a paper and be taken directly to the location cited, the reverse—reading a book or paper and seeing who and what cites it as you’re reading it—could be more interesting and fruitful. Continue reading