Article Titles

November 5, 2007

I think we all know that the best part of writing an article is contemplating the title. Some favorites from over the years:

  • The late, great Joseph Yeh’s idea for a paper on Heidegger: “We Are Stuck.” Best of all, the paper itself would be only the title, with each word footnoted. The footnotes for “We” and “Stuck” would be about 10 pages each. The footnote for “Are” would simply say, “Cf. Being and Time.”
  • I can’t remember if it was Robert Shields, I, or the combination that came up with writing the same paper about personal identity over time twice, once for a stereotypically continental audience, the other time for an equally cartoonishly analytic readership. I can’t remember the continental title precisely (something like “Liminal(who[a])man: Face/Space/Place o’ the Other”), but the analytic title was to be “I @ T2”.
  • Now it looks like the project I’m batting about here will need to be titled something like “Normativity, Explanation, and the Ends of the Social Sciences,” but I remain committed to someday writing a paper titled either “Turner-Proof Practices” or, better, “How to Turner-Proof Your Practices”.

So yesterday Greig Mulberry and I were talking all of this out, and realized again that our projects seem to be leading very slowly but inexhorably to an apologia for some sort of neo-Hegelianism, but without the determinism. A couple of quips from Greig later and our destiny was clear:

“Hegel: Now with Finitude!”

Followed, of course, by:

“Extreme Hegel: Now with Even More Finitude!!”

The universe, and the market, demand it.