About

I write about serious philosophy in a semi-popular way, aiming to show its relevance to life while addressing substantive issues of potential interest to specialists. Posts are linked together in an evolving larger work, and are often re-edited.

Individual posts vary a good deal in the amount of context they assume.  Many are relatively simple and self-contained.  Others may become more technical, or allude to unfamiliar things.  I try to use links to help explain things I mention, suggest next steps, and avoid repeating myself too much.

“Postmodern” is intended to recall Robert Brandom’s recent nonstandard use of this term for a sort of Hegelian synthesis of the best of the ancient and modern worlds.  “Peripatetic” indicates my excitement over a fresh, historiographically grounded reading of Aristotle in light of current developments.

If the words are already meaningful, I am a sort of Aristotelian Brandomian moral philosopher, with roots in structuralism and a deep interest in the historical interpretation of ethical and material culture.

While presented in blog form, this is really an evolving network of hyperlinked aphorisms and sketches.  It is work in progress, deliberately hazarded in an early stage of development.  Posts sometimes move into topics beyond what is implied by their titles or by my internal links to them.  Links are partly promissory notes for further integration of a larger whole.

I grew up with Socratic method.  My father Alan Brinkley, who later introduced me to Brandom, maintained a lifelong dialogue with Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, Pierce, and others.  I first read Plato and Aristotle in the Great Books program at St. John’s College in the mid 1970s, and later completed an interdisciplinary B.A. in the sociology of knowledge at the University of North Carolina.  From the late 70s, I was captivated by French thinkers broadly associated with structuralism, while retaining a high regard for Plato. After the millenium, I gained new interest in Aristotle, and began reading Brandom. Brandom’s work led me to engage with recent literature on Kant and Hegel. Lately, I’ve been looking into the work of Paul Ricoeur. In professional life, I am a specialist in functional programming.