Phase 1 of deontologistics is roughly 2009-2017. I started the blog while in the second year of my PhD at Warwick, because there was a burgeoning intellectual blog scene including several established blogs, the most important of which was Mark Fisher’s k-punk, alongside a growing selection of philosophy blogs started by philosophy grad students (e.g., Splintering Bones Ashes, Naught Thought, Grundlegung, etc.). These experiments in online writing were varied and interesting, but most failed, winking out as their authors lost interest. Some lasted longer than others, and several of these remain online as testaments to the thinking that happened there. Still others survived and thrived.
This blog very nearly didn’t survive. Despite my blog writing being very prolific, I struggled to turn what was being written here into anything publishable, largely because the conversational approach that worked so well for me was incompatible with writing for anonymous reviewers. I made a conscious choice to stop writing here in order to start writing elsewhere, and this proved to be a terrible one. From 2013-2017 the blog ceased to be a place where I thought out loud, and became a place to post links to the the thinking I was doing elsewhere. Its utility for collating and organising my output is what kept it going.
The concerns that animated my thinking during Phase 1 can be grouped into two roughly overlapping threads: the methodology of metaphysics and the nature of normativity. These topics can appear isolated and even opposed to many people, but their intersection is the thing that drove my thinking forward. To put this in the form of a question: how does thought demand that we think that which exceeds it?
Here is the selection of posts from this era which I think are most important.
The most significant non-blog/non-book products of Phase 1 were my The Question of Being: Heidegger and Beyond, my unpublished PhD thesis, and my Essay on Transcendental Realism, my unpublishable attempt to take both Analytic and Continental strands of dogmatic metaphysics and metaphysical skepticism to task.
Intrigued? Check out Phase 2.