Descartes, The Planned City, And Misplaced Philosophical Desires

In Part 2 of Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and Seeking for Truth in the Sciences Rene Descartes, as a prelude to his ‘clearing away’ of prior philosophy, writes: [T]here is very often less perfection in works composed of several portions, and carried out by the hands of various masters, than inContinue reading “Descartes, The Planned City, And Misplaced Philosophical Desires”

Hankering for a ‘Comfortable’ Past

In Home: A Short History of an Idea (Penguin: New York, 1986, pp. 213) Witold Rybczynski writes: If department stores or home-decorating magazines are any indication, most people’s first choice would be to live in rooms that resemble, as much as their budgets permit, those of their grandparents….such nostalgia is absent from other periods of our everyday lives. WeContinue reading “Hankering for a ‘Comfortable’ Past”

Incontrovertible Proof of the Corporatized University: Its Modern Architecture

In “Laboratory Conditions” (New Yorker, September 19 2011), Paul Goldberger waxes lyrical over the architectural details of new science buildings like the Rockefeller University Collaborative Research Center, Columbia University’s new “fourteen-story tower for scientific research,” and the University of San Francisco’s “new center for stem-cell research.” Goldberger clearly likes what he sees: [A]ll three ofContinue reading “Incontrovertible Proof of the Corporatized University: Its Modern Architecture”

Allison Arieff on Architecture and Jargon, and Why Ethical Theory Should Listen

Allison Arieff’s article, “Why Don’t We Read About Architecture” (New York Times, March 2nd, 2012), concludes, roughly, that the use of jargon in descriptions of architecture interferes with our appreciation of, and engagement with, the sciences and arts of the ‘built environment’. Arieff’s complaint is a familiar one in bemoaning jargon in fields of writingContinue reading “Allison Arieff on Architecture and Jargon, and Why Ethical Theory Should Listen”