Division Day

The blog has been quiet for a few months while I’ve been finishing my thesis and settling in to my postdoc here at Essex. I submitted in August and passed my viva a fortnight ago, and so with marginally more time to myself, I’ve been wondering whether to start posting here again. But after considering it for a while, I’ve decided to mothball the blog.

On the whole, it has been brilliant to interact with so many people interested in similar philosophical issues, and then even to meet some of you (like Nicole, James and Pete). Thanks to everyone who has been reading, commenting and linking here over the years. I’ve been greatful for it all.

Originally, what I’d intended to do here was to chart the progress of my thesis. As it happened, I didn’t end up doing much of this, but nevertheless the end of my PhD seems like an appropriate occasion to stop, or to at least take an extended break. There’s a few reasons for wanting to do so.

Although I was never that frequent a blogger, I feel like I need to take some time for the kind of issues I’ve been discussing here to percolate without disturbance for a while. In short, I want to do some rethinking and reformulation in relative silence. As Deleuze puts it: “What a relief to have nothing to say, the right to say nothing, because only then is there a chance of framing the rare, and ever rarer, thing that might be worth saying.” Secondly, whilst I’ve been amazed at the response the blog has gotten, it has also made me a little uncomfortable (especially if the number of hits is remotely near the 45000 that the WordPress counter claims). What I’ve posted here have essentially been rough notes — some of which are several years old now. Of course, people can appreciate that I’ve changed my mind in that time, but nevertheless I feel a bit too tied to this history, especially when I meet someone who has stumbled across this place before. Though I don’t intend to delete the blog, bringing it to a close might help to create a little bit of psychological distance from the things I’ve written here.

Hopefully, I’ll make a fresh start blogging elsewhere at some point. There’ll be another post here if and when that happens. In the meantime, I’ll continue to be active on Twitter, where you can follow me here. Thanks again to everyone who has been reading!


6 thoughts on “Division Day

  1. When I saw the new post I was excited. Then as I read, I felt an involuntary “Noooooooooo……!” rising up within me.

    But I absolutely get the desire to shut up for a while. There’s a danger in setting oneself up for the pressure to produce, even in a purely voluntary medium.

    Anyway, though I didn’t comment here, I have always appreciated your posts and your comments on other blogs, and I hope both that the blog will stay up, and that eventually you will be back.

    And– congratulations, Dr. O’Shea. Will the thesis be available eventually?

  2. Well done for getting there! Hope you set up a new blog so that I can continue to track your work. Too many philosophers are abandoning normativity as a subject, and I feel there is still much work to do.

    All the best!

  3. Hey! Sorry to be so late to comment (I haven’t been online in several weeks), but I wanted to say congratulations!!! Even though I’ve been very quiet online recently due to offline obligations, I’ve always enjoyed your blog, and I hope you do start blogging again elsewhere in the near future…

  4. Alas! I had looked forward to hearing more from you here. I enjoyed your writing on the blog. But, needing to take a long break is entirely understandable. I do hope that you return to putting your thoughts on the Web when you are ready to do so, whether that’s in six months or 20 years.

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