“'Marguerite Derrida has just left us, a whole world is leaving,' announced the Institute of Advanced Studies in Psychoanalysis (IHEP) in a press release dated March 21, 2020." The widow of the acclaimed French philosopher has died of COVID-19.
In Italy the moral, social, and human cost of no funerals is mounting.
A criticism of Giorgio Agamben published in the Chronicle of Higher Education (unfortunately behind a paywall) rightly points out that writings on the pandemic have focused on the moral crisis:
Agamben correctly observes that the question of the proportionality of the response is not a scientific one; it is moral. And the answer is not obvious. Here, at least, Agamben arrives at a serious question. This is exactly the kind of question we had hoped the humanist could help us answer.
Note, if you've missed the discussion of Agamben, I've been tracking it in my recent blog posts on the pandemic.
This author zeroes in on some appropriate criticisms, but I feel as if her essay is just the beginning of a response. I was left wanting more from the final section. Also wanting her to grapple more fully with the story out of Italy about lack of funerals, for instance.
The intellectual response is growing this week. Here at The Point, one can read plague journals from around the world, including a shortened version of that Chronicle of Higher Education article not behind a paywall.
And this evening I listened to a good podcast interview with the always interesting Anne Applebaum about authoritarian opportunism during the crisis and how the USA should learn from this to modernize its bureaucracy.
Yesterday I encountered the Philosophers on Medicine podcast, which has yet to grapple fully with this crisis, but they do address some of the concerns that it raises.
An interesting Midlands Voice in our local paper wondered if the luck of the Boomers has finally come to an end as they now face their biggest challenge as a generation.
My long planned sermon theme for this coming Sunday is "To Be More . . . Hopeful." What seemed like a serious challenge at the start of the week quickly took shape, as I will be exploring some of the things I've preached about hope before and testing them against the current crisis.
And just because this post lacked any cute Sebastian photos, here is a previously unshared one from a few days ago.