Even in darkening days…

22/07/2016

At Hannah Arendt’s funeral, December 8, 1975, her close friend for decades, philosopher Hans Jonas, spoke about the immense biographical significance of her coming to the US. True, her politicization had started in Parisian exile, but ti was here, in the US, that she developed her vision on what “beginning anew” means: “Still, what would have become of that, had she not come to these shores–who knows? It was the experience of the Republic here which decisively shaped her political thinking, tempered as it was in the fires of European tyranny and catastrophe, and forever supported in her grounding in classical thought. America taught her a way beyond the hardened alternatives of left and right from which she had escaped; and the idea of the Republic, as the realistic chance for freedom, remained dear to her even in its darkening days.” (Quoted by Richard H. King, “Arendt and America,” University of Chicago Press, 2015)

 


In Memoriam Medi Wechsler Dinu

18/07/2016

Adio unei artiste de excepţie! A incetat din viaţă, la vârsta de 107 ani, pictoriţa Medi Wechsler Dinu. Impreună cu soţul ei, poetul Stephane Roll (Gheorghe Dinu), Medi a trait intens experienţele avangardei din România si nu doar de-acolo. Absolventă a Şcolii de Belle Arte din Bucureşti (1932), la clasa lui Jean A. Steriadi şi Ipolit Strâmbulescu, unică supravieţuitoare a generaţiei interbelice, a revenit în viaţa artistică după mai bine de o jumătate de secol de absenţă, în 2003, în cadrul expoziţiei „Seniori ai picturii româneşti contemporane”, organizate de Fundaţia HAR în cadrul programului „Restituiri”.

De atunci şi până în prezent, artista a fost protagonista mai multor expoziţii personale deschise în Bucureşti, Constanţa, Tulcea, Râmnicu Vâlcea şi Brezoi, judeţul Vâlcea. Fiecare nouă apariţie publică a prilejuit cunoaşterea unei opere valoroase, aproape necunoscute, dar şi întâlnirea cu o personalitate aparte a culturii noastre, cu o pictoriţă care a lucrat în celebra colonie artistică de la Balcic şi care i-a cunoscut pe pictorii şi scriitorii grupului de avangardă. In decembrie 2015, galeria “Conceptual” a organizat o expozitie retrospectiva Medi Wecsler Dinu. Curatorul expoziţii a fost criticul de artă Luiza Barcan.


Let’s face it: Coup d’etat in Turkey

15/07/2016

Let’s face it: The Erdogan regime is not a democracy. I deliberately use the present tense because the situation remains uncertain, volatile, and fluid. Kemalism has been the institiutional and ideological pillar of Turkey’s adherence to modernity. Imperfect as is is, democratically speaking, it is the opposite of Erdogan’s sham democracy based on boundless corruption, disguised, self-serving Muslim radicalism, and populist techniques of mass mobilization. I have no idea (does anybody have?) who the coup architects/protagonists are. Maybe they are the new Young Turks. We shall see. Turkey is a crucial NATO member, its stability is a key for NATO vitality and viability. These are just cursory, early thoughts. We need more information based on which we can go beyond guesstimation…


Prayer on Bastille Day

14/07/2016

God, please protect us from revolutionary saints! “Those who make revolutions by halves do nothing but dig their own tombs.” (January 1793) [Source: Oeuvres Complètes de Saint-Just, vol. 1 (2 vols., Paris, 1908), p. 414]

 


Dreptul la normalitate

11/07/2016

Nu e nevoie de analize sofisticate pentru a deslusi semnificatia a cea ce se intampla acum in privinta doctoratelor obtinute prin furt. Sensul acestor decizii e limpede precum cristalul. Este absolut normal ca intr-un stat de drept infractiuni precum plagiatul sa fie sanctionate fara urma de ambiguitate.

Sa nu ni se vorbeasca de “vendete” politice! Politizarea a avut loc in 2012, cand din ordinul mega-plagiatorului au fost inlocuite intregi comisii ministeriale si s-au anulat decizii perfect legale. Atunci a fost dezonorat statutul doctoratelor din Romania prin legitimarea hotiei.

Noul ministru al Educației, Mircea Dumitru a declarat că va semna ordinul de retragere a doctoratului lui Victor Ponta. Consiliul Naţional de Atestare a Titlurilor, Diplomelor şi Certificatelor Universitare (CNATDCU) a stabilit că Victor Ponta a plagiat în lucrarea de doctorat şi a dispus retragerea titlului de doctor acordat fostului premier. Felicitari profesorului Mircea Dumitru si membrilor CNATDCU!

Ceea ce intreprind ei acum vine in prelungirea demersului inceput in 1990 in vremea cand ministrul educatiei era filosoful Mihai Sora. Domnul Sora a demisionat in semn de protest impotrva barbariei intrata in istoria Romaniei drept mineriada din 13-15 iunie 1990. Este vorba acum, ca si atunci, de necesitatea afirmarii unei viziuni comune despre binele public. Acolo unde-i plagiatu-n floare, binele public se afla in grava suferinta…


Dialectica desvrajirii: Imre Lakatos si Cercul Petőfi (Budapesta, iunie 1956)

09/07/2016

Dialectics of disenchantment: In the spring of 1956, Imre Lakatos joined the Petőfi Circle where he delivered a vitriolic, devastating attack on Stalinism. In fact, his speech went further than the self-limited revisionism embraced by Georg Lukács. In the aftermath of the revolution’s crushing, he left Hungary and taught philosophy of science at the London School of Economics. He is widely regarded as as one of the most influential epistemologists of the twentieth century. Lakatos died suddenly in 1974 of a heart attack at the height of his powers. He was 51.

“The very foundation of scholarly education is to foster in students and postgrads a respect for facts, for the necessity of thinking precisely, and to demand proof. Stalinism, however, branded this as bourgeois objectivism. Under the banner of partinost [Party-like] science and scholarship, we saw a vast experiment to create a science without facts, without proofs.

… a basic aspect of the rearing of scholars must be an endeavour to promote independent thought, individual judgment, and to develop conscience and a sense of justice. Recent years have seen an entire ideological campaign against independent thinking and against believing one’s own senses. This was the struggle against empiricism [Laughter and applause].”


Ce inseamna un doctorat…

08/07/2016

Doctoratul nu este o rezervare de masa la un restaurant. Dai un telefon si o anulezi. Doctoratul este bazat pe un contract a carui incalcare il descalifica moral pe cel care o comite. Doctoratul presupune truda, originalitate, onoare. Presupune ca o institutie academica il si te garanteaza. Doctoratul figureaza pe primul loc in CV cand se mentioneaza scoli si universitati absolvite. Plagiatul echivaleaza cu analfabetismul moral, tot asa cum invocarea unui doctorat inexistent este o sarlatanie revoltatoare. Mai ales atunci cand faci cariera, politica si/sau academica, pe baza unui fals. Am condus (singur ori in co-tutela) cel putin 30 de doctorate in Statele Unite, Belgia, Franta, Ungaria, Romania etc Cred ca vorbesc in cunostinta de cauza…


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