Tore's blog

Tore's blog


I took the picture above some years ago: the Nile somewhere between Luxor and Aswan.

In Swedish:


OF BOOKS AND PEOPLEPosted by Tore Nordenstam Wednesday, September 23 2015 09:17:30
Tore Nordenstam - The Short Version:

Go to

The long version:

  • Comments(0)//


OF BOOKS AND PEOPLEPosted by Tore Nordenstam Friday, April 12 2013 18:12:54

Three years ago, Carla Carmona Escalera defended her doctoral dissertation Egon Schiele: Análysis ético-formal de su obra pictórica at the University of Seville.

I said then that Carla is a marvellous guide through Schiele’s pictorial universe and that her Schiele study is a beautiful example of what a lucid presentation in Wittgenstein’s sense might amount to. (Cf. my review of the dissertation.)

And I expressed the hope that the dissertation will soon lead to a book.

That hope has now been fulfilled. A revised version of Carla Carmona's analysis of Schiele's oeuvre was published last year with the title La idea pictórica de Egon Schiele. Un ensayo sobre lógica representacional (Genueve Ediciones, Santander etc. 2012, 324 pages).

It is an extremely interesting contribution to the literature on Schiele's art and indeed to the whole field of pictorial understanding.

I hope that this book will soon be translated into German and English.

The same applies to the collection of essays on related themes which was published earlier this year with the wonderful title On the slack rope of the eternal - En la cuerda floja de lo eterno. Sobre la gramática alucinada de Egon Schiele (Acantilado, Barcelona 2013, 152 pages).

The introduction to La idea pictórica de Egon Schiele (pp.13-33) can be read here.

The first chapter of En la cuerda floja de lo eterno (pp.7-14) can be read here.

Addition September 2015

For a critical look at Carla Carmona´s views on the similarities between Schiele and Wittgenstein, go to my 2015 paper on Wittgenstein and Schiele:

  • Comments(0)//


OF BOOKS AND PEOPLEPosted by Tore Nordenstam Monday, September 19 2011 14:35:20

When I met him for the first time, I was surprised. The context was a seminar series organised by Albert Danielsson, professor of Industrial Economy and Organisation at the Royal Technical Institute KTH in Stockholm, and Håkan Törnebohm, professor of Theory of Science at the University of Gothenburg. The general theme was values and evaluations, and I was invited to talk about values and evaluations of an élite in an underdeveloped country. A Ph.D. student in Albert Danielsson’s department had been selected to comment on my contribution. In the ensuing discussion he tried to clarify what he was after with the help of references to Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Strindberg’s Miss Julie ...

It turned out that the Ph.D. student in question had started his academic career with an unusual combination of subjects – mathematics and theatre studies. That span has characterised his whole career. With one foot in the world of formal rules and the other foot in the world of theatre, music and art, he was one of the first to observe the limits and dangers of computerisation. The tension between the exact language of formal rules and the practical knowledge which is to be found in the various professions was the leitmotif of Yrkeskunnande och teknologi (Professional Knowledge and Technology), the new subject which he created at KTH in the eighties and nineties. The meeting between art and science was the main theme in the other great innovative enterprise of his, the Dialogue Seminar, crossing the borders between Academia, in casu KTH, and the world of theatre, represented by the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm.

A dynamic and creative person of this calibre won’t by stopped by such hazards as becoming a retiree. As visiting professor he takes a very active part in the establishment of Professional Knowledge and Technology at Linnæus University in Southern Sweden, including co-operation with the Centre for Practical Knowledge at the University of Nordland in Bodø, Norway. The time for surprise is not over yet …

On October 4, he will be seventy.

A fanfare for Bo!!/Menu/general/column-content/attachment/CV-Bosse.pdf

  • Comments(0)//


OF BOOKS AND PEOPLEPosted by Tore Nordenstam Tuesday, December 15 2009 13:18:51

Håkan Törnebohm, the grand old man

in Swedish philosophy of science,

celebrated his 90th birthday a few days ago.

Congratulations and all the best!

  • Comments(2)//


OF BOOKS AND PEOPLEPosted by Tore Nordenstam Tuesday, January 20 2009 11:24:26


      Wittgenstein in the Fellows' Garden at Trinity, 1939 (taken by Norman Malcolm).

The work of The Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Bergen in the 90s led to the publication of Wittgenstein’s Nachlaß on 6 CDs  – the Bergen Electronic Edition (Oxford University Press, 2000).


Dr Alois Pichler and his collaborators at The Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Bergen are now working towards the ambitious goal of making Wittgenstein’s writings available on the internet.


Some texts are already available in a preliminary form, e.g. some of the manuscripts belonging to the so-called Big Typescript complex (1929-34).


For more information and links, go to the following address:




  • Comments(0)//


OF BOOKS AND PEOPLEPosted by Tore Nordenstam Thursday, January 15 2009 15:24:55

Arne Naess, the nestor of Norwegian philosophers, died on January 12, 2009.

He was appointed to the chair of philosophy (at that time the only philosophy post in the country) at the University of Oslo in 1939, at the age of 27, and left it in 1970. He remained very active indeed for another three decades or so, with a particular interest in environmental problems (ecosophy, deep ecology).

His little book on objective argumentation – translated into English as Communication and argument. Elements of applied semantics was first published in Norwegian in 1941 and has been used again and again in the compulsory first year courses (the examen philosophicum) in all the faculties and universities in Norway.

Arne Naess was a versatile and open-minded thinker with broad interests. He started out as a logical empiricist, and became one of the leading figures of the environment movement in the last decades of the 20th century. In-between, he published books on Mahatma Ghandi’s thinking, the history of philosophy (including Chinese and Indian philosophy), epistemology, philosophy of science, and so on. He even wrote an introduction to Sanskrit for philosophers. The table of contents of The selected works of Arne Naess (10 volumes, Springer 2005) gives a good idea of the terrain covered by this philosopher. 

For those of you who are willing to expose yourselves to a bit of Norwegian I can recommend a short biography of Arne Naess – in the form of a comic book! (Jeg, Arne Næss. Et tegnet liv, Kagge Forlag, Oslo 2001, 2005). The picture above is taken from the cover of that book.

P.S. A long time ago I wrote a concise critical survey of Naess’ contributions to epistemology and philosophy of science, which is included in a paper on Norwegian philosophy of science (co-authored by Hans Skjervheim). The paper is available here:

  • Comments(0)//


OF BOOKS AND PEOPLEPosted by Tore Nordenstam Sunday, September 28 2008 15:56:58

I have known Thomas Mautner since we were ten years old. We first met in the Boy Scouts in Gothenburg, and then again when we both studied philosophy at the university there. Then we both left Sweden. I headed for Khartoum and after that Bergen, Norway, and Thomas settled down in Canberra where he got a post in philosophy in 1965. His publications include The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy (second edition, 2005) and works on the Swedish philosopher Axel Hägerström etc.

Yesterday, one of the Bergen newspapers had a long article on him (Bergens Tidende, 28 September, 2008), the last in a series about the fate of the small Jewish community in Bergen during World War II. Many of the Bergen Jews were deported and murdered by the Germans who occupied Norway from 1940 to 1945. Thomas and his sister Ilse had been sent to Bergen from their native city Prague in the autumn of 1939. He was four years old at that time. He never saw his parents again. His foster father was active in the Norwegian resistance movement, was arrested and sent to the Grini prison in Oslo. He died a few weeks before the capitulation.

In 1943, the Nansen rescue organization, which had arranged the transport from Prague to Bergen, helped Thomas and his sister and some twenty others to flee to Sweden. First to Oslo, then under a tarpaulin at the back of a lorry, then walking in the snow through the forest which separated the occupied country from its neighbour…

More on the history of the Jewish settlement in Bergen in a Norwegian book which has just been published: … ”vi blir neppe noensinne mange her”. Jøder i Bergen 1851-1945.


Blog Image

  • Comments(0)//


OF BOOKS AND PEOPLEPosted by Tore Nordenstam Saturday, March 29 2008 14:02:55

Blog Image


The quote is from the book Research and Development in the Sudan, p. 241. (The whole book is now available on the internet.)

Joseph Awad was born in 1938 in Wau in Southern Sudan. When we interviewed him in Juba in 1979, he was Dean of the College of Natural Resources in the University of Juba.


Research and Development in the Sudan

  • Comments(0)//
Next »