On Saturday, I was slated to give a talk at the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA). I came down with a rather nasty stomach bug on Friday afternoon, however, and was out of commission all weekend. Since I prepared a talk that I was unable to give, I am still sharing that work with anyone interested in the subject. In addition to requesting for SLSA to link the talk on their program website, I also plan to do a podcast and update this post later in the week.
Links to the talk and a copy of the abstract is enclosed. Enjoy.
Click here to access the talk (via Academia.edu)
Click here to access the talk (via Google Docs)
Epistemologies of Ecstasy:
A Synthesis of Parliament (P-Funk) and Aristotle’s Theories of Happiness and the Good.
What is happiness? As a causal influence of pleasure or wealth, contemporary consumers often locate happiness in an object, or through the acquisition of a thing. As many studies show, the belief that happiness is a ‘thing to be possessed’ produces the opposite effect (Frey and Stutzer; Gilmour ; Haybron ; Nicolao and Irwin; Wilkenson ). One reason that happiness seems to be unattainable lies in a fundamental misconception about humans’ relationship to ecstasy. Aristotle wondered whether the praise of ecstasy was misunderstood as a human virtue when he considered that, “Certain thinkers used to believe that beyond these many good things [honor, pleasure, etc.] there is something else good in itself, which makes all these good things good.” This paper responds to the problem of the good by proposing that this ‘genesis of good’ that eluded Aristotle is what Parliament/Funkadelic, or P-Funk, dubs ‘the funk.’ Parliament’s theory of Funkadelic productively engages Aristotle’s uneasiness about the relationship between happiness and ecstasy. Through Parliament’s discussion of Funk as cosmos intercoursing with the mind, the presenter explores the idea of the Funk as the feeling of mind and body syncing with the cosmos and the emotional, intellectually stimulating ecstatic experiencing of Self as cosmic Being. For Parliament, Funkadelic is ‘dedicated to the feeling of good,’ which is antithetical to a culture that stigmatizes feeling good. Therefore, the presenter will analyze how Funkadelic operates as an epistemology of pleasure that is capable of cultivating entelechy.