Open Philosophy Seminar, 02.10.20

Henry Mead will give a paper in the Open Philosophy seminar series at Tallinn University on 02.10.20 (Room S-240). Title and Abstract below:

Modernist Temporalities: Fictions, Myths, and the ‘Religious Attitude’ 

This paper first considers Frank Kermode’s account of modernist apocalyptic thinking in The Sense of an Ending (1967) as a reference point for temporality studies, noting its distinctions between secular chronicity, epiphanic kairos, and intermediate forms identifiable in modern literature. Using this theory as a frame, the paper focuses on T.E. Hulme, whose essays capture a type of modernist ‘clerical scepticism’, as Kermode puts it, in treating assertions about progress or historical crisis as humanly-constructed ‘fictions’. The paper then traces Hulme’s analysis of early 20th century thought, moving from forms of positivist progress to a vitalist perspectivism – and considers his ‘religious attitude’ in his late writing, in relation to Kermode’s categories of ‘myth’ and ‘supreme fiction’.