About the Author

I’m Christian Hendriks, a graduate from the University of British Columbia’s Library and Information Studies program with working experience (collections; grant writing) at a local historical society. I also have an MA (English Literature, UBC) and a BA Honours (English Language and Literature with a Minor in Religious Studies, Queen’s University). I grew up in southern Ontario’s farmlands, to which I have returned for the time being; I have also lived for a while in Kingston ON, Fort McMurray AB, Vancouver BC, and Toronto ON. I am a rabbit owner, an amateur photographer, and an aspiring author. (I say “aspiring”; I have a few minor publication credits.) I am an underpracticing Anglican.

I formerly maintained a Tumblr on which I posted five wondrous things each week, and some collaborators posted more; it is called the Weekly Wonder. I also have other blogs worth mentioning: for a course on social media for librarians I had to make a (very short-lived) blog, which I enjoyed and titled Learning to the Read the Internet; my former main blog, which this one is intended to replace, is The Thinking Grounds.

I don’t find all of these categories or labels helpful but, in case you do, here are some of my designations:
sortinghatchats houses: Hufflepuff Primary, Ravenclaw Secondary (probably)
Jones’s theological worlds: 3 and 5
MBTI: probably INFJ, possibly INFP
major moral foundations (a la Haidt): harm vs. care, fairness and reciprocity
stream of Anglicanism: liberal

About Accidental Shelf-Browsing

This is not a library blog, though I will likely blog about libraries some of the time. I do not yet know what kind of blog this will or should be, but I am sure I will find out. Past experience suggests I will engage a lot of amateur philosophy; I will try for some book reviews, too. I will update this section as I discover what I am doing. [Update 23 July 2016: I still have no idea.]

Recommended Posts

The best way to understand what I’m doing, I suppose, is to read a few specific posts which were either introductory or popular, or turned out to be typical.

What is Accidental Shelf Browsing? is the first introduction, discussing the name.

A More Direct Introduction is the second introduction, discussing what prompted me to start this blog.

On Fallibilism, Protestantism, and Woo: 25 Fundamentals is a haphazard attempt to explain my attitudes and working assumptions.

A Glut of Tradition poses the problem I guess I’m currently working on: a historicist understanding of philosophy might solve postmodernist problems, but it creates new ones.

What World Do You Live In? and Are Jones’s Worlds Comprehensive? explain and explore a theoretical construct I spend a lot of time with these days.

Am I Autistic? Would It Matter? is pretty self-explanatory.

On the Wonderful Properties of My Rabbit Aswan is about pet ownership and suicidal ideation.

4 thoughts on “About

  1. Pingback: Accidental Shelf-Browsing

  2. [I tried to post this comment once before and I didn’t get an acknowledgement that it had posted. Trying again; if both went through, please delete one.]

    Christian, thank you for this post. I’m delighted to see someone poring over and learning from my work as much as you clearly have. I’m also a little startled to see the claim that I’m more inclined to analytic than Continental philosophy; that generally hasn’t been how I see myself, and I think it’s the first time someone’s said that about me, in the past two decades anyway. If that’s what you’re seeing in my work, it probably says something important that I haven’t grappled with yet. I mean it’s true that I have relatively little patience for 20th-century French thinkers, but I’m a big fan of Hegel, Marx and Nietzsche.

    Not surprisingly, the questions that bother you here are ones I’m wrestling with all the time. Here I’m helped by yet another MacIntyrean concept: the distinction between truth and warranted assertibility (the latter could also be called justification) – a distinction that I think your footnote 2 rightly hints at. Truth is timeless, but warranted assertibility is limited by our finite historical existences. We don’t get direct, certain, or full access to truth. The point also ties directly to the fallibilism you mention: we always, always, have to admit we could be shown to be wrong. (Including about that fallibilism itself.) But that doesn’t mean that we can’t get closer to truth. The more warranted or justified we are in our positions, the closer we get to truth. We can’t get all the way; we only have one lifetime. But we can get closer – and if we let others know where we got, we leave a trail for them to follow that allows them to get closer. The clichés about standing on the shoulders of giants are true. MacIntyre couldn’t have written as he has without Aristotle and Kuhn and Lakatos blazing the trail. In turn MacIntyre has blazed a further trail for me to follow; I wouldn’t be able to think the way I do without him. It sounds like I might have done the same for you, which is already a wonderful feeling for me. And you are leaving a record here that others may well pick up. You’re younger than me; you’ve got time.


    • Amod,
      Thank-you for the reply. I don’t know what’s happening technically: this is the only comment of yours I’ve seen this month, and I assume it was meant for this post (https://accidentalshelfbrowsing.wordpress.com/2018/07/03/a-glut-of-tradition/), but it has somehow wound up on my About page.

      I wouldn’t read too much into my suggestion that you leaned toward analytic philosophy: as someone almost wholly exposed to Continental philosophy, I’m very possibly seeing more analytic philosophy than is there, since it’s less familiar to me. Also, I think I read in a few of your earlier posts that that was your preference, but I may have misread that or it may be outdated, come to think of it.

      In general, thank-you for writing. I always look forward to your newest post.


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