October 1966, Johns Hopkins

Friday, 15th December 2017

from Dec. 15, 2017


We don’t have many events in philosophy, not “EVENTS” at least, you know, those earth-shaking seismic changes in intellectual culture. The October 1966 Johns Hopkins conference that was the “French invasion” was an event. This piece, ostensibly about Rene Girard, is a nice account of why it mattered. Peter Caws was there (and mentioned in this piece). For some, this was the beginning of the end; for others, it opened up a huge space for thought. It was supposed to introduce French structuralism to the US while putting a stake through the heart of existentialism, but ended up writing structuralism’s own eulogy. And, it gave us a young unknown thinker named Jacques Derrida. I would have loved to have been there, but then, being only 6 at the time, would probably have only understood Lacan and little else.

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