Thursday, October 27, 2022

Philosophy/Critical Theory (Concepts & Theories)

We live in the best of times in which we are able to learn about the world and its incredible diversity of cultures/beings/places/perspectives in a way never historically possible. We live in the worst of times when we are able to isolate ourselves completely from anything different from our own narrow view/conception of the world/reality.  The choice is yours!


Abrams, David. "How a Man Turned Into a Raven." To the Best of Our Knowledge (November 20, 2021) ["Years ago, the animist philosopher David Abram was a sleight-of-hand magician who wanted to learn from the "traditional magicians" of Asia. So he apprenticed with a powerful shaman in Nepal, who seemed to have the ability to transform into a raven. What Abram experienced was its own life-changing kind of magic."]

Anderson, Elizabeth S. "What is the Point of Equality?" Ethics 109.2 (1999): 287 - 337. ["What has gone wrong here? I shall argue that these problems stem from a flawed understanding of the point of equality. Recent egalitarian writing has come to be dominated by the view that the fundamental aim of equality is to compensate people for undeserved bad luck-being born with poor native endowments, bad parents, and disagreeable personalities, suffering from accidents and illness, and so forth. I shall argue that in focusing on correcting a supposed cosmic injustice, recent egalitarian writing has lost sight of the distinctively political aims of egalitarianism. The proper negative aim of egalitarian justice is not to eliminate the impact of brute luck from human affairs, but to end oppression, which by definition is socially imposed. Its proper positive aim is not to ensure that everyone gets what they morally deserve, but to create a community in which people stand in relations of equality to others."]

Andrews, Kehinde (Interviewed by Brad Evans). "Histories of Violence: We We All Should Read Malcolm X Today." Los Angeles Review of Books (June 1, 2020) ["This conversation is with Kehinde Andrews, professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University, director of the Centre for Black Studies, founder of the Harambee Organisation of Black Unity, and co-chair of the Black Studies Association. His latest book is Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century (Zed Books, 2018)."]

Andrews, Kristin, Monica Miller, and Gabriel Rosenberg. "Living in a Zoopolis." Hi-Phi Nation (April 18, 2023) ["A zoopolis is a future society that philosophers envision where wild, domesticated, and denizen animals have full political and legal rights. What would that look like? In this episode, we look at how animals were put on trial in medieval European courts, and how animal rights advocates are bringing animals back into the courtrooms to sue people and the US government.
We then look at what the science of animal minds tells us about how much agency animals have, and envision what political and legal rights various animals would have in a zoopolis. From there, we discuss and debate whether we should be allowed to farm animals, control their reproduction, and have them work for us. Co-produced with Alec Opperman, guests include historian Gabriel Rosenberg, attorney Monica Miller, and animal minds researcher Professor Kristin Andrews."]

Appiah, Kwame Anthony. "How To Make a Moral Revolution." Open Source (November 12, 2010) ["Kwame Anthony Appiah in The Honor Code is inviting all of us to pick the “moral revolution” of our dreams and let him show us how to get big results fast. His exemplary case histories start with the end of dueling in England, which came swiftly on the news in 1829 of pistol shots between the Duke of Wellington (victor at Waterloo and by then Prime Minister of England) and the Earl of Winchelsea. In the same quarter century, England got out of the English slave trade and abolished slavery in the English colonies. And from the East, Appiah recounts the sudden, shamefaced end of female footbinding in China — the collapse of a thousand-year tradition within a generation after 1900. In each instance, a persistent, noxious openly immoral practice died of ridicule, as much as anything else. Appiah makes it a three-step process. First, “strategic ignorance” gets overwhelmed by a very public confrontation with an evil tinged with absurdity. Then the stakes of “honor” get redefined; no longer a prop of support, the idea of honor (as earned respect) becomes a battering ram of opposition. And finally group lobbying and popular politics seal a shift in values and practice. Professor Appiah, the Ghanaian-English-American philosopher now at Princeton, the author of Cosmopolitanism, is talking about some of his dream crusades, and mine, maybe yours: how’s to kick the props of “honor” out from under mega-wealth and permanent war? How’s to end the routine torture of feedlot animals, the soulless warehousing of good parents and grandparents? Who is to take the “honor” out of “honor killings” today of Pakistani women and girls who’ve been raped or sexually compromised?"]

Ashcroft, Richard, David Healy and Emily Jackson. "Brave New World." The Philosophy Forum (March 2, 2019)  ["In this age of utopian technologies, we can design mechanical limbs for amputees and chemically engineer happiness for depressives. From the fluoride in our water to genetically modified babies, scientific advances pose complex new ethical questions. We explore the major bioethical issues of our time. Is philosophy braced for this brave new world? Are scientists and engineers morally obliged to design a utopia? Or are things best left to ‘nature’? Speakers: Richard Ashcroft, Professor of Bioethics, Queen Mary University of London; David Healy, Professor of Psychiatry, Bangor University; Emily Jackson, Professor of Law, LSE."]

Assange, Julian and Slavoj Zizek. "Full Video of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange & Philosopher Slavoj Žižek With Amy Goodman." Democracy Now (July 2, 2011) ["In one of his first public events since being held under house arrest, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange appeared in London Saturday for a conversation with Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, moderated by Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman. They discussed the impact of WikiLeaks on world politics, the release of the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, and Cablegate — the largest trove of classified U.S. government records in history."]


Baldwin, James, et al. "I Am Not Your Negro." Making Contact (November 8, 2017) ["Master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished, Remember This House. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and flood of rich archival material. I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for."]

Ball, Norman. "The Power of Auteurs and the Last Man Standing: Adam Curtis' Documentary Nightmares." Bright Lights Film Journal #78 (November 2012)

Bass, Diana Butler. "Grateful." Princeton Theological Seminary Season #1 (2017) ["In this episode, Diana Butler Bass reimagines gratitude by examining two primary approaches: the self-help approach and the ethical approach. Acknowledging her inner ingrate, she critiques social systems of gratitude and turns to envision how we might become more grateful individuals and communities."]

Bates, David. "The Artificiality of Natural Intelligence." Entitled Opinions (February 1, 2024) ["In this philosophy-heavy episode, Professor Robert Harrison and David Bates, Professor of Rhetoric at UC Berkeley, discuss the “unnatural” origins of human technology and the difficulty of drawing sharp distinctions between artificial and natural intelligence."]

Bedic, Tamara and Phillip Murray. "Basic Legal Rights for Animals: Activists and Advocates." Law and Disorder Radio (March 16, 2020)

Bejan, Teresa. "On Free Speech, Tolerance and Civility." Mindscape #116 (September 28, 2020) ["How can, and should, we talk to each other, especially to people with whom we disagree? “Free speech” is rightfully entrenched as an important value in liberal democratic societies, but implementing it consistently and fairly is a tricky business. Political theorist Teresa Bejan comes to this question from a philosophical and historical perspective, managing to relate broad principles to modern hot-button issues. We talk about the importance of tolerating disreputable beliefs, the senses in which speech acts can be harmful, and how “civility” places demands on listeners as well as speakers."]

Benton, Michael Dean. "A Guide for Developing Critical Skills for Thinking About the World." Dialogic Cinephilia (August 8, 2021)

---. "My Understanding of Anarchism 5.0." Dialogic Cinephilia (March 17, 2017)

---. "Notes on Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophernia." Dialogic Cinephilia (November 28, 2017)

Bregman, Rutger. "Utopia for Realists." Panpsycast #56 (March 10, 2019) ["Rutger Bregman is a historian and author, best known for his bestselling book, Utopia for Realists: and how we can get there. Arguing for new utopian ideas such as a fifteen-hour work week and universal basic income, Utopia for Realists has been translated into over 30 different languages, making headlines and sparking movements across the world. ... At best, Bregman provides us with a desirable and achievable vision of human progress; a world with no borders, 15-hour work weeks and a universal basic income for everybody. At worst, Bregman wakes us up from our dogmatic slumber, encouraging us to ask important questions about 21st-century life. In his own words: “Why have we been working harder and harder since the 1980s despite being richer than ever? Why are millions of people still living in poverty when we are more than rich enough to put an end to it once and for all? And why is more than 60% of your income dependent on the country where you just so happen to have been born?”"]

Beshara, Robert K. "Dear Boots, Thank You For Bothering Us!" Dark Matter (December 13, 2018)

Biagetti, Samuel. "Myth of the Month 1: The Enlightenment." Historiansplaining (April 2018) ["There was no Enlightenment. Steven Pinker’s new book, “Enlightenment Now,” is a classic re-statement of the myth of the Enlightenment which holds that in the 1600s and 1700s, Europeans threw off the tired dogmas of the Middle Ages and embraced a new philosophy of Reason, Progress, Science, and Humanism. In fact, the 1700s were a period of confusion, with no clear unifying ideas or trends: occultism, mysticism, and absolute monarchy flourished alongside experiments in democracy and chemistry. “The Enlightenment” forms one of the central pillars of Whig history, serving to re-affirm the notion that our present-day beliefs and values are rational and coherent."]

Boggs, Grace Lee. "Becoming Detroit: Grace Lee Boggs on Reimagining Work, Food, and Community." On Being (July 18, 2013)

Bonneval, Karine, Paco Calvo and Tom Greaves. "Plants." The Forum for Philosophy (April 2019) ["Philosophers have long assumed that plants are inferior to humans and animals: static, inert, and unreflective. But recent scientific advances suggest that we may have underestimated plants. They can process information, solve problems, and communicate. We explore what plants can teach us about intelligence and agency, and ask whether plants think."]

Borradori, Giovanna. "The Illusion of Negative Freedom." Dialogic (Excerpt from "Terrorism and the Legacy of the Enlightenment: Habermas and Derida." Philosophy in a Time of Terror: Dialogues with Jurgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida. University of Chicago Press, 2003: 1-24.)

Bosworth, David. "American Individualism and the Cultural Maintenance of Capitalism." Revolutionary Left Radio (September 11, 2017) ["Brett and David sit down to discuss American Individualism, its philosophical roots, and its cultural manifestations. Topics include: The Enlightenment, American culture, The philosophical and historical roots of Individualism, the connections between individualism and capitalism, Ronald Reagan, Thomas Paine, and how 40 years of capitalist decadence has given rise to Donald "The U.S. Id Monster" Trump."]

Botton, Alain De. "The True Hard Work of Love and Relationships." On Being (February 9, 2017) [This is a wise discussion about personal relationships that has ramifications for how we relate in general to the broader world! Doesn't this seem like something that should be taught at an early age and that we should be having very frank discussions about. Lets dispel the myths/mystification surrounding personal relationships!]

---. "Wants a Religion for Atheists: Introducing Atheism 2.0." Open Culture (January 26, 2012)

Bridle, James. Ways of Being - Animals, Plants, Machines: The Search for a Planetary Intelligence. Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 2022. ["Artist, technologist, and philosopher James Bridle’s Ways of Being is a brilliant, searching exploration of different kinds of intelligence—plant, animal, human, artificial—and how they transform our understanding of humans’ place in the cosmos. What does it mean to be intelligent? Is it something unique to humans or shared with other beings— beings of flesh, wood, stone, and silicon? The last few years have seen rapid advances in “artificial” intelligence. But rather than a friend or companion, AI increasingly appears to be something stranger than we ever imagined, an alien invention that threatens to decenter and supplant us. At the same time, we’re only just becoming aware of the other intelligences that have been with us all along, even if we’ve failed to recognize or acknowledge them. These others—the animals, plants, and natural systems that surround us—are slowly revealing their complexity, agency, and knowledge, just as the technologies we’ve built to sustain ourselves are threatening to cause their extinction and ours. What can we learn from them, and how can we change ourselves, our technologies, our societies, and our politics to live better and more equitably with one another and the nonhuman world? The artist and maverick thinker James Bridle draws on biology and physics, computation, literature, art, and philosophy to answer these unsettling questions. Startling and bold, Ways of Being explores the fascinating, strange, and multitudinous forms of knowing, doing, and being that make up the world, and that are essential for our survival."]

Brownlee, Kimberlee. "Stop Labelling People Who Commit Crimes 'Criminals.'" Aeon (November 10, 2017) ["But this thinking is wrongheaded. People who offend are not always blameworthy. And, people who are blameworthy are not always criminally liable. Moreover, even when people are both blameworthy and liable, they have a life story beyond the simple fact of committing a crime. Psychology studies indicate that we are more lenient in our judgment of someone for an offence when we know the details of their story. They become to us not just a 16-year-old male who engaged in armed robbery, but the neighbours’ son, Jack, whose dad passed away two months ago, whose mother is struggling with depression, and who was beaten up at school again last week."]

Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. Routledge, 2006. ["One of the most talked-about scholarly works of the past fifty years, Judith Butler's Gender Trouble is as celebrated as it is controversial. Arguing that traditional feminism is wrong to look to a natural, 'essential' notion of the female, or indeed of sex or gender, Butler starts by questioning the category 'woman' and continues in this vein with examinations of 'the masculine' and 'the feminine'. Best known however, but also most often misinterpreted, is Butler's concept of gender as a reiterated social performance rather than the expression of a prior reality. Thrilling and provocative, few other academic works have roused passions to the same extent."]

Callanan, John, Alison Hills and David Oderberg. "Kant's Categorical Imperative." In Our Time (September 21, 2017) ["Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss how, in the Enlightenment, Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) sought to define the difference between right and wrong by applying reason, looking at the intention behind actions rather than at consequences. He was inspired to find moral laws by natural philosophers such as Newton and Leibniz, who had used reason rather than emotion to analyse the world around them and had identified laws of nature. Kant argued that when someone was doing the right thing, that person was doing what was the universal law for everyone, a formulation that has been influential on moral philosophy ever since and is known as the Categorical Imperative. Arguably even more influential was one of his reformulations, echoed in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in which he asserted that humanity has a value of an entirely different kind from that placed on commodities. Kant argued that simply existing as a human being was valuable in itself, so that every human owed moral responsibilities to other humans and was owed responsibilities in turn."]

Chomsky, Noam. "Everyday Anarchist." Modern Success (April 14, 2013)

Cleary, Skye C. "How to Be Authentic: Simone de Beauvoir and the Quest for Fulfillment (St. Martin's Press, 2022)."  New Books in Gender Studies (July 27, 2022) ["Skye C. Cleary is a philosopher, writer and university teacher. In her new book How to Be Authentic: Simone de Beauvoir and the Quest for Fulfillment (St. Martin’s Press, 2022) offers an introduction to Beauvoir’s thinking about authenticity and how experience and situation shape the people we become. For Beauvoir, as an existential philosopher, we first exist and spend our lives not uncovering who we are but constructing our identity. Authenticity is the pursuit of self-creation and self-renewal. Under patriarchy women receive a set of myths that stand in the way of taking responsibility for our freedom. Through the experiences and the milestones of friendship, love, marriage, children and confronting death we have opportunity to choose who we will become. Because we live in interdependence with others, Beauvoir’s philosophy of the self and genuine living allows others to also achieve freedom in self-creation through reciprocity. Cleary has given us a lively written book drawing not only from Beauvoir’s life but her own experience in self-creation."]

Dash, Anil, et al. "Tech's Moral Void." Ideas (March 14, 2019) ["Lawyers and doctors have a code of ethics. Teachers have them. Even journalists have them. So why not the tech sector, the people who create and design our very modes of communication? Coders and designers make products that allow to us communicate with each other, across cities and nations and borders. How we speak and how many we reach determines what we buy and sell, affects our health and economy, and — as we've come to realize — influences our democracy. Contributor Tina Pittaway explores whether the time has come for tech to reckon with its moral void."]

Daub, Adrian. "Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and his heirs." Entitled Opinions (October 19, 2011)

Deleuze, Gilles. Essays: Critical and Clinical. trans. Daniel W. Smith and Michael A. Greco. Verso, 1998.

"Desert Island Economics." Existential Comics #234 (April 2018)

Devine, John William, Vanessa Heggie and David Papineau. "Doping." The Forum for Philosophy (February 18, 2019) ["World-class athletes push themselves beyond normal limits and transform their bodies through training and diet. But in the wake of various scandals across the world of sport, we know pharmaceuticals can also play a role. Doping is considered a form of cheating, but should it be? And with the arrival of ‘smart drugs’, this is no longer only a worry for sports. Can we ensure a level playing field, in sports and beyond, or will the advances in drug development always outpace regulation? We explore the philosophy behind all things doping, competing, and cheating."]

Diaz, Junot. "Radical Hope is Our Best Weapon." On Being (September 14, 2017) ["'From the bottom will the genius come that makes our ability to live with each other possible. I believe that with all my heart.' These are the words of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Dominican-American writer Junot Díaz. His hope is fiercely reality-based, a product of centuries lodged in his body of African-Caribbean suffering, survival, and genius."]

Dobson, Teresa M. and Tammy Iftody. "Consciousness and Complexity in Waking LifeComplicity: An International Journal of Complexity and Education 6.1 (2009)

Dresser, Sam. "How Camus and Sartre Split Up Over the Question of How to Be Free." Aeon (January 27, 2017) ["Been going through similar disagreements the last week and been discussing these philosophers with students. I guess my biggest problem in regard to the former "disagreements" is how can those that believe they are fighting for social justice, and resisting authoritarian tendencies, become/be proponents of dogmatic absolutism and willfully ignorant of abuses/terrors in the histories of their own particular ideologies."]

Earp, Brian. "Choosing one’s own (sexual) identity: Shifting the terms of the ‘gay rights’ debate." Practical Ethics (January 26, 2012)

Eisen, Arnold. "The Opposite of Good is Indifference." On Being (September 21, 2017) ["'In a free society, some are guilty, but all are responsible.' A mystic, a 20th-century religious intellectual, a social change agent, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel marched alongside Martin Luther King, Jr., famously saying afterwards that he felt his legs were praying. Heschel’s poetic theological writings are still read and widely studied today. His faith was as much about 'radical amazement' as it was about certainty. And he embodied the passionate social engagement of the prophets, drawing on wisdom at once provocative and nourishing."]

Eisen, Jessica. "Animals under the law: What options are there for animals to 'lawyer up'?" Ideas (March 22, 2019) ["Under the eyes of the law, animals that live in our homes or on a farm are 'property.' But there's a growing movement to grant some animals like chimpanzees, elephants and dolphins 'non-human persons' status. Harvard Law School doctoral candidate Jessica Eisen thinks the law could do even better than that."]

Eisenstein, Charles. The Ascent of Humanity. (Panathea Productions, 2007)

"The Enright Files on suffering, sorrow and the search for meaning." Ideas (January 3, 2018) ["This month's edition of The Enright Files explores how the works of Viktor Frankl, Anton Chekhov and Joan Didion wrestle meaning and solace from tragedy, horror and suffering."]

Eshel, Amir. "On Hannah Arendt's Origins of Totalitarianism." Writ Large ( December 22, 2020 )   ["In 1951, following the Holocaust and Second World War, Hannah Arendt wrote The Origins of Totalitarianism. Arendt’s aim was in part to document and reflect on the atrocities that had occurred. But more importantly, she wanted to expose the elements of the human condition that enabled those atrocities to happen as well as the tools societies can use to fight totalitarian regimes. Amir Eshel is a professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature at Stanford University. He is the author of Poetic Thinking Today and Futurity: Contemporary Literature and the Quest for the Past."]

Feldman, Karen. "Walter Benjamin and his 'Artwork' essay." Entitled Opinions (July 3, 2013) [They are discussing Benjamin's 1936 essay: "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction"

Fontainelle, Earl. "So What is Western Esotericism, Anyway?" The Secret History of Western Esotericism (September 5, 2017) ["This episode introduces the SHWEP project, designed to be a tool for anyone wishing to explore the often misunderstood or overlooked byways of western culture; the aim is to be accessible to anyone with an interest in the history of ideas, while maintaining a standard of evidence-based, reliable, and balanced scholarship which will make the podcast useful to high-level academic specialists as well. The SHWEP is a long-form historical investigation, starting from as far back in history as we can go and attempting to trace the genealogies of important streams of esotericism all the way from the beginning to the present day. By engaging in dialogue with leading experts and specialists in every branch of the amazing field of western esoteric studies, SHWEP aims to provide the most complete, detailed, and up-to-date resource for studying these currents available anywhere outside of formal academe."]

Ford, Phil and J.F. Martel. "Below the Abyss: On Bergson's Metaphysics." Weird Studies #76 (June 24, 2020) ["According to the French philosopher Henri Bergson, there are two ways of knowing the world: through analysis or through intuition. Analysis is our normal mode of apprehension. It involves knowing what's out there through the accumulation and comparison of concepts. Intuition is a direct engagement with the absolute, with the world as it exists before we starting tinkering with it conceptually. Bergson believed that Western metaphysics erred from the get-go when it gave in to the all-too-human urge to take the concepts by which we know things for the things themselves. His entire oeuvre was an attempt to snap us out of that spell and plug us directly into the flow of pure duration, that primordial time that is the real Real. In this episode, JF and Phil discuss the genius -- and possible limitations -- of his metaphysics."]

---. "Does Consciousness Exist, Part One." and "Does Consciousness Exist, Part Two." Weird Studies #17 & #18 (June 6 & June 13, 2018) ["JF and Phil finally get down to brass tacks with William James's essay 'Does Consciousness Exist?' At the heart of this essay is the concept of what James calls "pure experience," the basic stuff of everything, only it isn't a stuff, but an irreducible multiplicity of everything that exists -- thoughts as well as things. We're used to thinking that thoughts and things belong to fundamentally different orders of being, but what if thoughts are things, too? For one thing, psychical phenomena (a great interest of James's) suddenly become a good deal more plausible. And the imaginal realm, where art and magic make their home, becomes a sovereign domain." & "JF and Phil finally get down to brass tacks with William James's essay 'Does Consciousness Exist?' At the heart of this essay is the concept of what James calls 'pure experience,' the basic stuff of everything, only it isn't a stuff, but an irreducible multiplicity of everything that exists -- thoughts as well as things. We're used to thinking that thoughts and things belong to fundamentally different orders of being, but what if thoughts are things, too? For one thing, psychical phenomena (a great interest of James's) suddenly become a good deal more plausible. And the imaginal realm, where art and magic make their home, becomes a sovereign domain."]

---. "The Medium is the Message." Weird Studies #71 (April 15, 2020) ["On the surface, the phrase "the medium is the message," prophetic as it may have been when Marshall McLuhan coined it, points a now-obvious fact of our wired world, namely that the content of any medium is less important than its form. The advent of email, for instance, has brought about changes in society and culture that are more far-reaching than the content of any particular email. On the other hand, this aphorism of McLuhan's has the ring of an utterance of the Delphic Oracle. As Phil proposes in this episode of Weird Studies, it is an example of what Zen practitioners call a koan, a statement that occludes and illumines in equal measures, a jewel whose shining surface is an invitation to descend into dark depths. Join JF and Phil as they discuss the mystical and cosmic implications of McLuhan's oracular vision."]

---. "On Hyperstition." Weird Studies #36 (December 19, 2018) ["Hyperstition is a key concept in the philosophy of Nick Land. It refers to fictions which, given enough time and libidinal investment, become realities. JF and Phil explore the notion using one of those optometric apparatuses with multiple lenses -- deleuzian, magical, mythological, political, ethical, etc. The goal isn't to understand how fictions participate in reality (that'll have to wait for another episode), but to ponder what this implies for a sapient species. The conversation weaves together such varied topics as Twin Peaks: The Return, Internet meme magic (Trump as tulpa!), Deleuze and Guattari's metaphysics, occult experiments in spirit creation, the Brothers Grimm, and the phantasmic overtones of The Communist Manifesto. In the end we can only say, "What a load of bullsh*t!""]

---. "Weird Music, Part One." Weird Studies #27 (September 26, 2018) ["In this first of two episodes devoted to the music of the weird, Phil and JF discuss two works that have bowled them over: the second movement of Ligeti's Musica Ricercata, used to powerful effect in Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, and the opening music to Cronenberg's film Naked Lunch, composed by Howard Shore and featuring the inimitable stylings of Ornette Coleman. After teasing out the intrinsic weirdness of music in general, the dialogue soars over a strange country rife with shadows, mad geniuses, and skittering insects. And to top it all off, Phil breaks out the grand piano."]

Ford, Phil, Conner Habib and J.F. Martel.  "On Clive Barker's Hellraiser and The Hellbound Heart." Weird Studies #144 (April 12, 2023)  ["In the 1980s, Clive Barker burst onto the cultural scene with The Books of Blood, collections of unforgettable tales of horror, depravity, and decadence the likes of which had been seldom seen since the days of Lautréamont's Les Chants de Maldoror and Huysmans' Là-Bas. In the decades that followed, he went on to create an astounding body of work in fantasy and horror as a writer, artist, and film director. In this episode, author, lecturer, and podcaster Conner Habib joins JF and Phil to discuss what is arguably Barker's best-known work, the 1987 horror classic Hellraiser, as well as the novella that inspired it, "The Hellbound Heart.""]

"Forty years on, Edward Said's 'Orientalism' still groundbreaking." Ideas (October 23, 2019) ["Edward Said's seminal book, Orientalism (1978), proposed one of the most influential and enduring analyses of the relationship between the West and the Middle East. In many ways, his ideas seem uncontroversial, perhaps even obvious today. But four decades ago, what Said proposed was radical. It still is."]

Foucault, Michel. "Panopticism." From Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison (NY: Vintage Books 1995): 195-228.

The Frankfurt School (Critical Theory) Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Archive)

Fromm, Erich. "The Authoritarian Personality." (1957: Translated by Florian Nange)

Gessen, Masha. "Judith Butler Wants Us to Reshape Our Rage." The New Yorker (February 9, 2020) ["You begin with a critique of individualism “as the basis of ethics and politics alike.” Why is that the starting point? "In my experience, the most powerful argument against violence has been grounded in the notion that, when I do violence to another human being, I also do violence to myself, because my life is bound up with this other life. Most people who are formed within the liberal individualist tradition really understand themselves as bounded creatures who are radically separate from other lives. There are relational perspectives that would challenge that point of departure, and ecological perspectives as well. ... Acknowledging dependency as a condition of who any of us happens to be is difficult enough. But the larger task is to affirm social and ecological interdependence, which is regularly misrecognized as well. If we were to rethink ourselves as social creatures who are fundamentally dependent upon one another—and there’s no shame, no humiliation, no “feminization” in that—I think that we would treat each other differently, because our very conception of self would not be defined by individual self-interest.""]

Giroux, Henri, Kathleen Higgins and Jason Stanley. "The Truth about 'Post-Truth.'" Ideas (July 18, 2017) ["The election of Donald Trump has ignited talk that we're now living in a "post-truth" era. But are we? Where does the idea that the truth no longer exists come from? Or the notion that the truth doesn't matter anymore? Host Paul Kennedy talks to thinkers who argue that the story began years earlier, with a kind of collective identity crisis: authoritarianism can become attractive when you no longer remember who you are."]

Goff, Philip. "Why? The Purpose of the Universe." New Books in Philosophy (December 23, 2023) ["Does the universe have a purpose? If it does, how is this connected to the meaningfulness that we seek in our lives? In Why? The Purpose of the Universe (Oxford University Press, 2023), Philip Goff argues for cosmic purposivism, the idea that the universe does have a purpose – although this is not because there is an all-powerful God who provides it with one. Instead, Goff argues, fundamental physics provides us with reason to think it is probable there is a cosmic purpose – and, moreover, the best explanation of these reasons is to posit cosmopsychism: the idea that there are fundamental forms of consciousness such that the universe itself is a conscious mind. Goff, who is professor of philosophy at Durham University, argues that these claims are not as extravagant as they may initially seem, and that his view provides a way for understanding human purposes that lies between secular humanism and religious or spiritual perspectives."]

Golluber, Michael. "Sophrosyne: In Search of Moderation." Continuing the Conversation (March 14, 2023) ["Sophrosyne is the ancient Greek word for moderation, which is one of the four classical virtues. But what does Socrates’ definition of moderation really mean and how is it connected to another classical virtue: courage? Santa Fe tutor Michael Golluber explores this question by juxtaposing Plato’s Charmides against his own passion for the good life, which he defines as consisting of good food, good wine, good company, and good conversation. Together with host Krishnan Venkatesh Golluber seeks to untangle the complexity of sophrosyne—a virtue that often masks a desire for order and control—revealing how difficult it is to both understand and attain."]

Graeber, David. "On the phenomenon of bullshit jobs." libcom (August 20, 2013)

Gulick, Robert van. "Consciousness." The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (January 14, 2014) ["Perhaps no aspect of mind is more familiar or more puzzling than consciousness and our conscious experience of self and world. The problem of consciousness is arguably the central issue in current theorizing about the mind. Despite the lack of any agreed upon theory of consciousness, there is a widespread, if less than universal, consensus that an adequate account of mind requires a clear understanding of it and its place in nature. We need to understand both what consciousness is and how it relates to other, nonconscious, aspects of reality."]

Gunderman, Richard. "John Keats’ concept of ‘negative capability’ – or sitting in uncertainty – is needed now more than ever." The Conversation (February 22, 2021) ["Keats coined the term negative capability in a letter he wrote to his brothers George and Tom in 1817. Inspired by Shakespeare’s work, he describes it as “being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.” Negative here is not pejorative. Instead, it implies the ability to resist explaining away what we do not understand. Rather than coming to an immediate conclusion about an event, idea or person, Keats advises resting in doubt and continuing to pay attention and probe in order to understand it more completely. ... It is also a good idea to take the time to look at matters from multiple perspectives. Shakespeare’s comedies are full of mistaken identities and misconceptions, including mixed-up genders. Keats reminds us that we are most likely to gain new insights if we can stop assuming that we know everything we need to know about people by neatly shoehorning them into preconceived boxes. Negative capability also testifies to the importance of humility, which Keats described as a “capability of submission.” As Socrates indicates in Plato’s “Apology,” the people least likely to learn anything new are the ones who think they already know it all. By contrast, those who are willing to question their own assumptions and adopt new perspectives are in the best position to arrive at new insights. Keats believed that the world could never be fully understood, let alone controlled."]

Haber, Jonathan. "Critical Thinking (MIT Press, 2020)." New Books in Education (September 15, 2020) ["In this episode, I speak with fellow New Books in Education host, Jonathan Haber, about his book, Critical Thinking (The MIT Press, 2020). This book explains the widely-discussed but often ill-defined concept of critical thinking, including its history and role in a democratic society. We discuss the important role critical thinking plays in making decisions and communicating our ideas to others as well as the most effective ways teachers can help their students become critical thinkers."]

Hacking, Ian and Andrew Pickering. "How To Think About Science (Part 4)." Ideas (February 11, 2015) ["Philosophers of science tended, until quite recently, to treat science as a mainly theoretical activity. Experiment - science's actual, often messy encounter with the world - was viewed as something secondary, a mere hand-servant to theory. Popular understanding followed suit. Theories were what counted: one spoke of the theory of evolution, the theory of relativity, the Copernican theory and so on. It was as thinkers and seers that the great scientists were lionized and glorified. But this attitude has recently begun to change. A new generation of historians and philosophers have made the practical, inventive side of science their focus. They've pointed out that science doesn't just think about the world, it makes the world and then remakes it. Science, for them, really is what the thinkers of the 17th century first called it: experimental philosophy. In this episode we hear from two of the scholars who've been influential in advancing this changed view: first Ian Hacking, widely regarded as Canada's pre-eminent philosopher of science, and later in the hour Andrew Pickering, author of The Mangle of Practice. "]

Haidt, Jonathan. "The Coddling of the American Mind, How to Become Intellectually Antifragile, and How to Lose Anger by Studying Morality." The Tim Ferris Show (December 21, 2022) ["Jonathan Haidt is a social psychologist at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Jonathan received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. His research examines the intuitive foundations of morality and how morality varies across cultural and political divisions. He is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis and the New York Times bestsellers The Righteous Mind and The Coddling of the American Mind (with Greg Lukianoff)."]

Hanegraaff, Wouter. On Western Esotericism." The Secret History of Western Esotericism #3 (September 5, 2017) ["We ... discuss the thesis of his recent book Esotericism and the Academy, and in the process explore the contours of the historical development of western esotericism from late antiquity down to modern times, and consider the formation of western esotercism as an object of historical study in now almost forgotten polemics of the Reformation period. Finally, Professor Hanegraaff gives a cogent and forceful argument that the study of western esotericism is not just interesting to specialists and nerds (although it is), but absolutely essential to creating a more accurate history of the development of western thought as a whole."]

Hanich, Julian. "The journeys of a film phenomenologist: An interview with Vivian Sobchack on being and becoming." NECSUS (December 6, 2017) ["Vivian Sobchack, born in 1940 in New York City, is one of the most influential American film theorists of the last 25 years. At the beginning of the 1990s she was the main driving force behind the recuperation of phenomenology as a viable methodology in film studies with her book The Address of the Eye: A Phenomenology of Film Experience (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992). Insisting on the bodily and material foundations of film viewing, she has fervently defended an existential-phenomenological approach to moving image media ever since, perhaps nowhere more elegantly than in the essays of Carnal Thoughts: Embodiment and Moving Image Culture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004)."]

Hecht, Jennifer Michael. "A History of Doubt." On Being (May 3, 2007)

Heller, Nathan. "The Philosopher Redefining Equality." The New Yorker (January 7, 2019)  ["Elizabeth Anderson thinks we’ve misunderstood the basis of a free and fair society."]

Hicks, Stephen and James Orr. "Conservatism vs Liberalism." (Posted on Youtube: November 10, 2023)

Higgins, Kathleen. "Post-Truth Pluralism: The Unlikely Political Wisdom of Nietzsche." The Breakthrough #3 (Summer 2013) ["In recent years, liberals have blamed conservatives for the declining societal respect for facts, the rise of deceptive partisan media outlets like Fox News, and the creation of an echo chamber effect in public discussion. The insinuation behind the critique is that if people only knew the truth, we wouldn’t have as many wicked problems. On the other hand, the conservative case against liberalism revolves less around declining respect for the truth and more around values such as the weakening of human will to creative greatness, which was argued by Allan Bloom. In attempting to reduce political disagreement to black and white categories of fact and fiction, liberals, like Paul Krugman, dismiss Nietzsche’s important lesson that truth is always a function of the will to describe reality, and that the plurality of viewpoints is a necessary feature, rather than obstacle, of a developed democracy."]

Hinton, David. "An Ethics of Wild Mind." Emergence (April 30, 2024) ["How would our response to the ecological crisis be different if we understood that our own consciousness is as wild as the breathing Earth around us? In this conversation, poet, translator, and author David Hinton reaches back to a time when cultures were built around a reverence for the Earth and proposes that the sixth extinction we now face is rooted in philosophical assumptions about our separation from the living world. Urging us to reweave mind and landscape, he offers an ethics tempered by love and kinship as a way to navigate our era of disconnection."]

Histories of Violence  (MB - Great collection of resources that might be of use to peace studies, critical theory and social justice researchers & teachers. "The Histories of Violence project explores the theoretical, aesthetic and empirical dimensions to violence. Taking advantage of the latest developments in new media technologies and online broadcast capabilities, it provides open access resources to compliment existing teaching formats and further facilitate trans-disciplinary discussion and reflection. Committed to pedagogy in the public interest, its guiding ethos is to critically challenge violence in all its forms. Since its launch in September 2011, our videos have enjoyed over 500,000 hits from over 50,000 unique users spanning 152 different countries. Founded & Directed by the project benefits from an international advisory board which brings together renowned academics from the United Kingdom, Europe and North America, breaking down the intellectual boundaries between politics, culture and the Arts."]

Høeg, Matte Leonard. "Aphantasia Can Be a Gift to Philosophers and Critics Like Me." Psyche (March 20, 2023) ["I have aphantasia, the neurological condition of being unable to visualise imagery, also described as the absence of the ‘mind’s eye’. Still, I know that those visual elements were there; they’re stored in my mind as knowledge and concepts; and I have particular and strong emotional responses to the thought of the light and colours. Until very recently, I had always assumed that my experience of reality was typical, and that being able to see only things that are actually there – present and visible in the external surroundings – was normal. But discovering that I have aphantasia brought to my awareness differences in perception and self-conception between me and others that I’d always registered on some level, and felt disturbed by, but had never consciously thought about. The further I’ve delved into research on this neurological anomaly, the more extensive its explanatory reach has proven. It has been like finding the master key to my life and personality, and has significantly deepened my understanding of my psychology, my philosophical views, and my aesthetic and literary preferences."]

Hovey, Jed. "The Spectacle of the Scaffold – Foucault, Corporal Punishment, and the Digital Age." Blue Labyrinths (January 6, 2016)

Hoxby, Blair. "Aristotle's Poetics." Entitled Opinions (March 8, 2011)

Hudis, Peter. "Frantz Fanon, The Philosopher of the Barricades." Against the Grain (October 9, 2017) ["Peter Hudis discusses the Martiniquan philosopher, psychiatrist, and revolutionary Frantz Fanon, best known for his books The Wretched of the Earth and Black Skin, White Masks."]

Human Resources: Social Engineering in the 20th Century (USA: Scott Noble, 2010: 119 mins) ["Human Resources — Social Engineering in the 20th Century is about the rise of mechanistic philosophy and the exploitation of human beings under modern hierarchical systems. The film captures how humans are regarded as a resource by corporations—something to be exploited for pecuniary gain—by following the history of psychological experiments in behaviour modification, conditioning and mind control; applying the outcomes to modern day establishment experiments such as institutionalised education, military training, and social engineering by way of things like television…"]

Into Eternity Making Contact (March 18, 2014) ["Our world is generating more and more nuclear waste, but have no permanent place to dispose of it. But the nation of Finland has a plan. They’re building an underground cave, to hold thousands of tones of nuclear waste, for at least 100 thousand years. On this edition, we hear excerpts of the film, “Into Eternity”, which explores the logistical and philosophical quandaries around the construction of something that if it works, might very well outlast the entire human race."]

Janz, Bruce. "Theses on Freedom." (Academic Website: May 1, 2020)

Jones, Kent. "To Live or Clarify the Moment: Rick Linklater’s Waking Life." Senses of Cinema (March 2002)

Jones, Matthew. "The Case for Animal Rights: A Defense of Tom Regan." Philosophy in Film (October 24, 2020) [On Tom Regan's 1987 book The Case for Animal Rights and Bong Joon-Ho's 2017 film Okja.]

Kaplan, Alice. "Albert Camus and The Stranger." Entitled Opinions (May 18, 2016)

King, Charles. "How A Few 'Renegade' Thinkers Helped Usher In A New Era Of Anthropology." Fresh Air (August 20, 2019) ["In his new book, Gods of the Upper Air, Charles King tells the story of Franz Boas, Margaret Mead and the other 20th century anthropologists who challenged outdated notions of race, class and gender."]

Klemp, Nate. "Mindfulness in a Distracted World." Entitled Opinions (February 15, 2024) ["A conversation with Nate Klemp, a philosopher, writer, and founding partner at Mindfulness Magazine, on practicing mindfulness in our fast-paced, technology-dependent world. He is also co-author of the New York Times bestseller Start Here."]

Koopman, Colin. "The Power Thinker." Aeon (March 15, 2017) ["One need not be locked away in a prison cell to be subject to its designs of disciplinary dressage. The most chilling line in Discipline and Punish is the final sentence of the section entitled ‘Panopticism’, where Foucault wryly asks: ‘Is it surprising that prisons resemble factories, schools, barracks, hospitals, which all resemble prisons?’ If Foucault is right, we are subject to the power of correct training whenever we are tied to our school desks, our positions on the assembly line or, perhaps most of all in our time, our meticulously curated cubicles and open-plan offices so popular as working spaces today. To be sure, disciplinary training is not sovereign violence. But it is power. Classically, power took the form of force or coercion and was considered to be at its purest in acts of physical violence. Discipline acts otherwise. It gets a hold of us differently. It does not seize our bodies to destroy them, as Leviathan always threatened to do. Discipline rather trains them, drills them and (to use Foucault’s favoured word) ‘normalises’ them. All of this amounts to, Foucault saw, a distinctly subtle and relentless form of power. To refuse to recognise such disciplining as a form of power is a denial of how human life has come to be shaped and lived. If the only form of power we are willing to recognise is sovereign violence, we are in a poor position to understand the stakes of power today. If we are unable to see power in its other forms, we become impotent to resist all the other ways in which power brings itself to bear in forming us."]

Kriss, Sam. "Love in the Time of Coronavirus." Idiot Joy Shadowland (March 12, 2020)

Krznaric, Roman. "The Power of Outrospection." RSA Animate (December 3, 2012)

"The Lectures of Joseph Campbell." Spotify (Playlist) ["Joseph John Campbell was an American mythologist who worked in comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work covers many aspects of the human experience."]

Lain, Douglas. "How I Accidentally Wrote the Antithesis of a Spielberg Blockbuster." Los Angeles Review of Books (April 18, 2018)

Lamb, Robert and Joe McCormick. "Bicameralism, Part 1: The Voice of God." Stuff to Blow Your Mind (September 26, 2017) ["In 1976, psychologist Julian Jaynes presented the world with a stunning new take on the history of human consciousness. His book “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” hypothesized that ancient humans heard hallucinated voices in place of conscious thought, and presented archaeological, literary, historical and religious evidence to support this highly controversial view. Join Robert and Joe as they dissect bicameralism and discuss the evidence, the criticisms and more in this two-parter."]

---. "Bicameralism, Part 2: The Silent Pantheon." Stuff To Blow Your Mind (September 28, 2017)

Lennard, Natasha. "On Non-Fascist Life." Politics Theory Other (August 14, 2019) ["Natasha Lennard joins me to discuss her book, 'Being Numerous: Essays on Non-Fascist Life'. We spoke about whether or not Donald Trump and the movement that has coalesced around him ought to be characterised as fascist, we also talked about the contributions of Wilhelm Reich, Michel Foucault, and other figures in the anti-psychiatry movement to theorising fascism. We discussed the legitimacy and history of anti-fascist violence and its treatment by the media, and finally we spoke about Natasha's writing on suicide and how the act of suicide brings into question capitalism's positing of the idea of the sovereign individual."]

---. "What Does it Mean to Live a Non-Fascist Life." Broadly (April 9, 2019)

Levine, Bruce E. "How Ayn Rand Seduced Generations of Young Men and Helped Make the U.S. Into a Selfish, Greedy Nation." AlterNet (December 15, 2011)

Like Stories of Old. "The Philosophy of Sense8 | Emotion and Connection." (Posted on Youtube: 2017) ["From the Matrix to Cloud Atlas to Sense8; a video essay on the Wachowski’s philosophical exploration of connection and emotion."]

---. "The Tree of Life | Crafting an Existential Masterpiece." (Posted on Youtbe: May 7, 2017) ["

Loewinger, Micah. "How Youtube's Left is Changing Minds." On the Media (July 19, 2019) ["The president’s racist tweets this weekend provoked revulsion throughout the mainstream media. But on YouTube, America’s most popular social media site, racism has found a home. Free of old-school gate-keeping, YouTube hosts a much wider political spectrum, reaching very impressionable eyes and ears. On the Media producer Micah Loewinger tells the story of three young viewers whose right-wing beliefs melted away after encountering videos by an informal movement of leftist creators known as Left Tube. He spoke with two of Left Tube's most famous personalities, Natalie Wynn (ContraPoints) and Oliver Thorn (Philosophy Tube) about how they think about crafting compelling videos. "]

Ludlow, Peter. "Hacktivists as Gadflies." The Stone (April 13, 2013)

Macy, Joanna. "A Wild Love for the World." On Being (November 1, 2012)

Marenbon, John. "On Boethius' The Consolation of Philosophy." Writ Large (November 16, 2022) ["For much of his life, the Roman philosopher Boethius was exceptionally fortunate. But towards the end of his life, his luck ran out. He was accused of treason, thrown in jail, and sentenced to death. While he was awaiting execution, he began to reflect on his life and how luck had played such an important part. He wrote his thoughts in what would later become one of the most influential philosophical works in history, The Consolation of Philosophy. John Marenbon is a Fellow of the British Academy, Senior Research Fellow, and Honorary Professor of Medieval Philosophy at Trinity College in the University of Cambridge. He is the author of Medieval Philosophy: An Historical and Philosophical Introduction and editor of The Cambridge Companion to Boethius, among other works."]

Marino, Patricia. "Philosophy of Sex and Love (Routledge, 2019)." New Books in Philosophy (September 2, 2019) ["For those who think that philosophy must speak to everyday experience and ordinary life, it would seem that philosophical questions occasioned by love and sex should take center stage. Moral, epistemic, metaphysical, and political issues surrounding sex and love pervade our culture. Where would pop music, television, and fine art be without the dilemmas at the intersection of love and sex? And yet there are some less familiar philosophical issues lurking as well. In Philosophy of Sex and Love (Routledge, 2019), Patricia Marino not only introduces a wide range of philosophical issues pertaining to love and sex; she also develops original and compelling positions on the questions she explores."]

Martel, James. "Histories of Violence: Why We Should All Read Walter Benjamin Today." Los Angeles Review of Books (February 3, 2020)

Martel, J.F. "Consciousness in the Aesthetic Imagination." Metapsychosis (July 11, 2016)

Massey, Douglas S. "The Mexico-U.S. Border in the American Imagination." Proceeding of the American Philosophical Society 160.2 (June 2016): 160-177.

May, Todd. "A Fragile Life." This Is Not a Pipe (November 23, 2017) ["Todd May discusses his book A Fragile Life: Accepting Our Vulnerability with Chris Richardson. May is the Class of 1941 Memorial Professor of the Humanities at Clemson University. He is the author of fourteen books of philosophy, most recently A Fragile Life: Accepting our Vulnerability and A Significant Life: Human Meaning in a Silent Universe, both from University of Chicago Press."]

McAfee, Noëlle. "Feminist Philosophy." The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (June 28, 2018) ["After a brief account of the history of feminist philosophy and various issues regarding defining feminism, the entry discusses the three main sections on (1) approaches to feminist philosophy, (2) feminist interventions in philosophy, and (3) feminist philosophical topics. Feminists working in all the main Western traditions of contemporary philosophy are using their respective traditions to approach their work, including the traditions of analytic, Continental, and pragmatist philosophy, along with other various orientations and intersections. As they do so, they are also intervening in how longstanding basic philosophical problems are understood. As feminist philosophers carry out work in traditional philosophical fields, from ethics to epistemology, they have introduced new concepts and perspectives that have transformed philosophy itself. They are also rendering philosophical previously un-problematized topics, such as the body, class and work, disability, the family, reproduction, the self, sex work, human trafficking, and sexuality. And they are bringing a particularly feminist lens to issues of science, globalization, human rights, popular culture, and race and racism."]

McLemee, Scott. "Culture War to Shooting War." Inside Higher Education (August 10, 2011)

Midgley, Mary. Myths We Live By. Taylor & Francis, 2005. ["How myths work -- Our place in the world -- Progress, science and modernity -- Thought has many forms -- The aims of reduction -- Dualistic dilemmas -- Motives, materialism and megalomania -- What is action -- Tidying the inner scene : why memes? -- The sleep of reason produces monsters -- Getting rid of the ego -- Cultural evolution? -- Selecting the selectors -- Is reason sex-linked? -- The journey from freedom to desolation -- Biotechnology and the yuk factor -- The new alchemy -- The supernatural engineer -- Heaven and earth, an awkward history -- Science looks both ways -- Are you an animal? -- Problems about parsimony -- Denying animal consciousness -- Beasts versus the biosphere? -- Some practical dilemmas -- Problems of living with otherness -- Changing ideas of wildness."]

Miller, Daegan. "Toward a Useful Ignorance: From Connection to Coexistence." The Point #18 (Winter 2019) [MB- Powerful philosophical/environmental/literary/nemophilist meditation ... Check out the link to the extensive bibliography linked at the end of the essay.]

Mishra, Pankaj. "Jordan Peterson & Fascist Mysticism." NYR Daily (March 19, 2018)

Moody-Adams, Michele. "On John Rawls' A Theory of Justice." Writ Large (December 1, 2022) ["How do you create a fair society? Who deserves to rule? What rights do citizens have? How are those rights protected? What does it mean to act morally within society? These are the kinds of questions political philosophers furrow their brows and scratch their chins trying to answer. In 1971, an American philosopher named John Rawls introduced a new answer: justice as fairness. Michele Moody-Adams is the Joseph Straus Professor of Political Philosophy and Legal Theory at Columbia University. She is the author of Fieldwork in Familiar Places: Morality, Culture and Philosophy."]

Mooney, James. "Epistemology: Dreams and Demons -- Abre los ojos (Open your eyes)." Film and Philosophy (September 9, 2011)

Morris, David. "Where is Kropotkin When We Really Need Him? If you want to know what anarchism is and why we should care, read Kropotkin." Common Dreams (February 10, 2012)

Nightingale, Andrea. "Epicurus and Epicureanism." Entitled Opinions (November 8, 2005)

---. "Is Henry David Thoreau a Philosopher?" Entitled Opinions (October 18, 2017)

Nuland, Sherwin. "The Biology of Spirit." On Being (March 6, 2014)["Dr. Sherwin Nuland died this week at the age of 83. He became well-known through his first book, How We Die, which won the National Book Award in 1994. But pondering death was for him a way of wondering at life. He reflected on the meaning of life by way of scrupulous and elegant detail about human physiology."]

Nussbaum, Martha. "21st Century Enlightenment." RSA (Dec 16, 2010)

Oliver, Paul. "Michel Foucault - The Development of Knowledge." Excerpt from Foucault: The Key Ideas. Blacklick, OH: McGraw Hill, 2010: 17-21.

Pavlic, Ed. "Baldwin's Lonely Country." Boston Review (March 29, 2018)

Pinn, Anthony. "Humanism, Theology, and the Black Community." Mindscape (July 12, 2018) ["According to atheism, God does not exist. But religions have traditionally done much more than simply proclaim God’s existence: they have provided communities, promoted the arts, handed down moral guidance, and so on. Can atheism, or perhaps humanism, replicate these roles? Anthony Pinn grew up as a devout Methodist, but became a humanist when he felt that religion wasn’t really helping the communities that he cared about. Today he is a professor of religion who works to bring together atheism and the black community. We talk about humanism, identity politics, and the way forward."]

Pizarro, Dave, et al. "Situationism in Psych: Milgram & Stanford Prison Experiments (Part One)." Philosophize This (November 6, 2017) ["Do difficult situations make good people act badly? Are there really "good" and "bad" people, or are we all about the same, but put in different situations? Situationism is supported by Milgram's experiment, where most subjects could be easily pressured into delivering shocks to an innocent person (really an actor… punked!). A more immersive example was provided by The Stanford Prison Experiment, where students took on the roles of guard and prisoner, and quickly became sadistic and passive respectively. John Doris argues that situationism is a direct attack on virtue ethics, that really there is no such thing as a virtue like "bravery" or "generosity" that cuts across all sorts of situations. While there are of course consistent personality traits, these don't map against the virtues as depicted by Aristotle and our common cultural notions. Rather, they're more context-dependent, specific to certain types of situations."]

---. "Situationism in Psych: Milgram & Stanford Prison Experiments (Part Two)." Philosophize This (November 13, 2017) ["Continuing with Dave Pizarro on articles by Stanley Milgram, Philip Zimbardo, and John Doris about situationism, which entails that people's level of morality will vary by situation, as opposed to virtue ethics, which posits that how people will act in a novel situation will be determined by the quality of their character. We get into Doris's article, "Persons, Situations, and Virtue Ethics" (1998), where he argues against the traditional idea that we have virtues like "honesty." Instead, these traits are more situation-specific, so even someone who doesn't cheat on his or her taxes or spouse might well still steal candy. Doris sites a 1975 study by Levin and Isen where people who found a (planted) dime in a phone booth were much more likely to then help someone who dropped some papers as the subject was leaving the booth. Does this really show that helpfulness isn't a stable virtue in people, or is something else going on here and in Milgram's experiment? Does situationism excuse bad behavior? Would any one of us do just what most the citizens of Germany did during the Nazi regime if we were in that situation? Can we maybe train ourselves to better resist social pressure, not just in specific situations we've rehearsed in advance, but across the board?"]

Popova, Maria. "What Is Science? From Feynman to Sagan to Asimov to Curie, an Omnibus of Definitions." Brain Pickings (April 6, 2012)

Power, Nina. "The Spectre of the “Public”: The Ideology of Law and Order." Backdoor Broadcasting Company (The Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities "Ideology Now – Conference": April 28, 2012)

The Power of Nightmares (United Kingdom: Adam Curtis, 2004) ["Is the threat of radical Islamism as a massive, sinister organised force of destruction—specifically in the form of al-Qaeda—a myth perpetrated by politicians across the globe, but particularly the American neo-conservatives, in order to unite and justify empire? This series of films charts the rise of both groups and movements, drawing comparisons between them and their origins, to provide much-needed and missing context to the War of Terror."]

Remen, Rachel Naomi. "Listening Generously: The Healing Stories of Rachel Naomi Remen." On Being (July 29, 2010)

Robcis, Camille. "On Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish." Writ Large (November 22, 2022) ["We moderns often tell ourselves a story that goes something like this: The past was barbaric, especially when it came to punishing criminals or persecuting minorities. Legal punishment used to include hanging, chopping off a head, burning at the stake, quartering, stoning, drowning, and crushing. Eventually, we tell ourselves, we learned to be more humane. But the 20th century French philosopher Michel Foucault didn’t believe this story modern people told themselves. He didn’t accept that modern punishment was any more humane than it used to be. In his 1975 text Discipline and Punish, Foucault makes his point by tracing the evolution of punishment and power through history. Camille Robcis is associate professor of French and history at Columbia University. She is the author of The Law of Kinship: Anthropology, Psychoanalysis, and the Family in France."]

Roberts, Neil. "Race, Injustice, and Philosophy: An Interview with Tommie Shelby." Black Perspectives (January 2, 2018)

Roberts-Miller, Patricia. "Teacher Neutrality and Fairness in a Culture of Demagoguery." (Personal/teaching website: February 23, 2018)

Robinson, Andrew. "Bakhtin: Carnival against Capital, Carnival against Power." Cease Fire (September 9, 2011) ["The dominant worldview of medieval Europe was of a natural order which is hierarchical, stable, monolithic and immutable, but poised on the brink of disaster or ‘cosmic terror’, and hence in need of constant maintenance of order. This is similar to Aristotle’s view. For Bakhtin, such a view is oppressive and intolerant. It closes language to change. The fear of ‘cosmic terror’, the pending collapse of order if things got out of control (or the threat posed by the Real to the master-signifier), was used by elites to justify hierarchy and to subdue popular revolt and critical consciousness. Today, we might think of this vision of monolithic order in terms of fantasies of ‘broken Britain’, of civilisation under siege from extremists, and a discourse of risk-management (and the crisis-management of ‘ungovernability’) in which ‘terrorism’, disease, protest, deviance and natural disaster fuse into a secularised vision of cosmic collapse. This vision of collapse has infiltrated legal and political discourse to such a degree that any excess of state power seems ‘proportionate’ against this greater evil. The folk view expressed in carnival and carnivalesque, and related speech-genres such as swearing and popular humour, opposes and subverts this vision. For Bakhtin, cosmic terror and the awe induced by the system’s violent power are the mainstays of its affective domination. Folk culture combats the fear created by cosmic terror.""]

---. "Bakhtin: Dialogism, Polyphony and Heteroglossia." CeaseFire (July 29, 2011) ["In the latest addition to his A-Z of Theory series, political theorist Andrew Robinson introduces, in a two-part essay, the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, one of the most important theorists of discourse in the twentieth century."]

Robinson, Nathan J., et al. "The Bourgeois Morality of 'The Ethicist.'" Current Affairs (April 24, 2024) ["The New York Times advice column, where snitching liberal busybodies come to seek absolution, is more than a mere annoyance. In limiting our ethical considerations to tricky personal situations and dilemmas, it directs our thinking away from the larger structural injustices of our time."]

Rohr, Richard. "Growing Up Men." On Being (June 13, 2019) ["Men of all ages say Richard Rohr has given them a new way into spiritual depth and religious thought through his writing and retreats. This conversation with the Franciscan spiritual teacher delves into the expansive scope of his ideas: from male formation and what he calls “father hunger” to why contemplation is as magnetic to people now, including millennials, as it’s ever been. Richard Rohr is a Franciscan writer, teacher, and the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His many books include Falling UpwardDivine Dance, and most recently, The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe."]

Roth, Alvin. "For Sale, By Owner: The Psychology Of Repugnant Transactions." Hidden Brains (March 4, 2019)

Rushkoff, Douglas interviewed by Seth Godin. "Book Launch: A Live Human Team Conversation." Human Team #117 (January 23, 2019) ["Not the typical book reading, Douglas and Seth use this live event as an opportunity to engage with each other and audience in a spontaneous, free-form Team Human conversation. It’s a talk launched by a question that cuts to the heart of the book itself – How have technologies meant to connect us come to alienate and atomize us instead? Douglas and Seth share why we must reclaim connection and find the others. “It’s not too late! We can retrieve what it means to be human in a digital age.” Join Douglas, Seth and the live Betaworks Studios audience for this invocation of the spirit of community and solidarity so desperately needed in this pivotal moment in the human story."]

Russell, Bertrand. "Authority and the Individual, Pts. 1-6." The Reith Lectures (December 24, 1948 - January 30, 1949)

Sandberg, Anders. "Asking the Right Questions: Big Data and Civil Rights." Practical Ethics (August 16, 2012)

Sanford, Matthew. "The Body's Grace." On Being (May 3, 2012)

Schafer, Simon. "How To Think About Science (Part 1)." Ideas (October 10, 2017) ["In 1985 a book appeared that changed the way people thought about the history of science. Until that time, the history of science had usually meant biographies of scientists, or studies of the social contexts in which scientific discoveries were made. Scientific ideas were discussed, but the procedures and axioms of science itself were not in question. This changed with the publication of Leviathan and the Air Pump, subtitled Hobbes, Boyle and the Experimental Life, the book's avowed purpose was - "to break down the aura of self-evidence surrounding the experimental way of producing knowledge." This was a work, in other words, that wanted to treat something obvious and taken for granted - that matters of fact are ascertained by experiment - as if it were not at all obvious; that wanted to ask, how is it actually done and how do people come to agree that it has truly been done. The authors of this pathbreaking book were two young historians, Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer, and both have gone on to distinguished careers in the field they helped to define, science studies. Steven Shapin will be featured later in this series, but How to Think About Science begins with a conversation with Simon Schaffer. David Cayley called on him recently in his office at the Whipple Museum of the History of Science at Cambridge where he teaches." - entire series here ]

Schnapp, Jeffrey. "The Phenomenon of Crowds." Entitled Opinions (November 29, 2005)

Schönecker, Dieter. "Protecting Academic Freedom: Five Arguments for Freedom of Expression." Philosophy Now #135 (January 2020)

Scialabba, George and Cornel West. "Public Thinking: Social Media and the New Public Intellectual." Ministry of Ideas (January 30, 2023) ["We have usually relied on public intellectuals to provide facts, ideas, and cultural leadership--though not all have lived up to the ideal of “speaking truth to power.” Today, however, online networks and social media mean we are all public intellectuals, and we have new responsibilities that come with this role. Guests: Cornel West, professor at Union Theological Seminary and author of, among other works, Black Prophetic Fire. George Scialabba, author of What Good Are Intellectuals Good For?, and many other works."]

"Science and the Search for Meaning: Five Questions, Part Five: Can Science be Sacred?" To the Best of Our Knowledge (08/28/11)

Scott, James C. Two Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play. Princeton University Press, 2012.

Serpell, Namwali. "Does Fiction Promote Empathy?" Against the Grain (October 22, 2019) ["Do fictional narratives, like those found in novels, plays, and films, promote empathy? Does emotion-based empathy spur people to alleviate suffering in the real world? Namwali Serpell calls into question much of the conventional thinking about empathy in relation to art. Drawing on thinkers like Arendt and Brecht, Serpell points to fiction’s capacity to enlarge our understanding to encompass the positions of others."]

Sheehan, Thomas. "On the Historical Jesus." Entitled Opinions (January 31, 2006)

Shelby, Tommie and Brandon M. Terry. "MLK, Political Philosopher." The Dig (March 21, 2018) ["Tommie Shelby and Brandon M. Terry talk about their new book To Shape a New World: Essays on the Political Philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr. King is often remembered for his soaring oratory. But the commonplace emphasis on his rhetoric in place of his ideas too often allows enemies of King's agenda to domesticate him or, worse, to weaponize his taken-out-of-context words to bolster the very forces of racism and oppression that King had struggled to defeat. Dan asks Shelby and Terry about King’s theory of nonviolence (more complicated than you might think), his debate with the Black Power movement, and his thinking on gender, hope, political economy, Beloved Community and more."]

Sluga, Hans. "The Life and Work of Michel Foucault." Entitled Opinions (April 18, 2012)

Smith, Mark K. "Dialogue and conversation for learning, education and change." Informal Encyclopedia of Education (2001)

Srinivasan, Amia. "What is a Woman?" Philosophy Bites (January 1, 2017) ["'What is a woman?' may seem like a straightforward question, but as Amia Srinivasan explains, it is not quite as easy to answer as you might think. Here she discusses key feminist ideas about what a woman is, beginning with Simone de Beauvoir's ideas on the topic."]

Stanley, Jason. "Introduction: The Problem of Propaganda." How Propaganda Works. Princeton University Press, 2015: 1 - 26. ["Our democracy today is fraught with political campaigns, lobbyists, liberal media, and Fox News commentators, all using language to influence the way we think and reason about public issues. Even so, many of us believe that propaganda and manipulation aren't problems for us―not in the way they were for the totalitarian societies of the mid-twentieth century. In How Propaganda Works, Jason Stanley demonstrates that more attention needs to be paid. He examines how propaganda operates subtly, how it undermines democracy―particularly the ideals of democratic deliberation and equality―and how it has damaged democracies of the past. Focusing on the shortcomings of liberal democratic states, Stanley provides a historically grounded introduction to democratic political theory as a window into the misuse of democratic vocabulary for propaganda's selfish purposes. He lays out historical examples, such as the restructuring of the US public school system at the turn of the twentieth century, to explore how the language of democracy is sometimes used to mask an undemocratic reality. Drawing from a range of sources, including feminist theory, critical race theory, epistemology, formal semantics, educational theory, and social and cognitive psychology, he explains how the manipulative and hypocritical declaration of flawed beliefs and ideologies arises from and perpetuates inequalities in society, such as the racial injustices that commonly occur in the United States. How Propaganda Works shows that an understanding of propaganda and its mechanisms is essential for the preservation and protection of liberal democracies everywhere."]

Sullivan, Kathleen. "On the U.S. Constitution." Entitled Opinions (May 2, 2006)

Sylvia, John. "All the Argument We Need (Radiohead and Philosophy)." Pop Culture and Philosophy (June 10, 2009)

Taylor, Astra. "It Would Feel Like Having a Future: On What Democracy Might Be." This is Hell (February 16, 2019) ["Filmmaker Astra Taylor explores the big questions around democracy in the 21st century - as the framework of the 20th century liberal order collapses, a public raised on the precarious edges of capitalism is looking for new answers to the old dilemma of which people get what power."]

Terry, Brandon M. "MLK Now." Boston Review (January 8, 2018)

Thacker, Eugene. "Horror of Philosophy: Three Volumes." New Books Network Seminar (September 28, 2015) ["Eugene Thacker‘s wonderful Horror of Philosophy series includes three books – In the Dust of this Planet (Zero Books, 2011), Starry Speculative Corpse (Zero Books, 2015), and Tentacles Longer than Night (Zero Books, 2015) – that collectively explore the relationship between philosophy (especially as it overlaps with demonology, occultism, and mysticism) and horror (especially of the supernatural sort). Each book takes on a particular problematic using a particular form from the history of philosophy, from the quaestio, lectio, and disputatio of medieval scholarship, to shorter aphoristic prose, to productive “mis-readings” of works of horror as philosophical texts and vice versa. Taken together, the books thoughtfully model the possibilities born of a comparative scholarly approach that creates conversations among works that might not ordinarily be juxtaposed in the same work: like Nishitani, Kant, Yohji Yamamoto, and Fludd; or Argento, Dante, and Lautramont. Though they explore topics like darkness, pessimism, vampiric cephalopods, and “black tentacular voids,” these books vibrate with life and offer consistent and shining inspiration for the careful reader. Anyone interested in philosophy, theology, modern literature and cinema, literatures on life and death, the history of horror…or really, anyone at all who appreciates thoughtful writing in any form should grab them – grab all of them! – and sit somewhere comfy, and prepare to read, reflect, and enjoy."]

Tulenko, Abigail. "Folklore is Philosophy." Aeon (February 26, 2024) ["Both folktales and formal philosophy unsettle us into thinking anew about our cherished values and views of the world"]

West, Stephen. "A Basic Look at Post-Modernism." Philosophize This (May 21, 2018)

---. "Achievement Society and the rise of narcissism, depression and anxiety - Byung-Chul Han." Philosophize This! (September 6, 2023) ["Today we talk about positive power, neoliberalism, narcissism as a reaction to modern life, how technology makes isolation easier, and some tactics to find peace in the digital panopticon."]

---. "A conservative communist's take on global capitalism and desire. (Zizek, Marx, Lacan)." Philosophize This! #199 (April 15, 2024) ["Today we talk about the distinction between left and right. Lacan's thoughts on desire. How Capitalism captures desire and identity. I would prefer not to. Moderately conservative communism."]

---. "Adam Smith Part 1 - Specialization." Philosophize This!  #48 (January 17, 2015)  ["... we begin our discussion of Adam Smith and how specialization has enabled each of us to live like a king, whether we realize it or not. First, we find out why Stephen is that weird guy who sits alone in the bar smiling to himself. Next, we take a look at what an hour of work buys today versus 200 years ago, and consider how this changes our ideas about wealth. Finally, we find out how pursuing our own self-interests ultimately benefits society and allows us to accomplish more together."]

---. "Antonio Gramsci on Cultural Hegemony." Philosophize This! #131 (May 23, 2019) ["Gramsci begins his explanation by evoking and repurposing a word that had been thrown around all throughout human history but it was a word that he thought in recent years was starting to take on an entirely new meaning. The thing that was responsible for allowing a particular social class to ascend to power and then maintain a privileged status…was what he called Cultural Hegemony. This concept of hegemony is going to become massively important to the political conversation of the 20th and 21st centuries and by the end of this arc of the show we’re going to have looked at it from a lot of different perspectives. Maybe we should start from the origins of the word…the word hegemony originates in ancient Greece…the root of the word comes from the greek word meaning “to lead”, some translators say it’s closer to “to rule over”…but either way during antiquity there were things called hegemons…now in the context of ancient Greece a hegemon was typically a state that had a significant military advantage over another state…the arrangement being that if the weaker state didn’t comply with certain demands from the hegemon they would be annexed or dominated militarily or burned to the ground, take your pick. The term hegemony implied the threat of physical dominance over a population of people…this was the case all throughout human history. But Gramsci is going to say that in our modern world the definition of the word hegemony needs to evolve with the political reality we are living in. We are no longer living in a world where most political control is exercised by military dominance over a population of people. Since the advent of mass media people in positions of power have realized that a much more effective way of controlling populations is by manipulating the cultural parameters that citizens have to navigate. The general idea is this: to be a human being living a life in our modern world…you always HAVE to be living that life immersed within a particular culture. But what IS a culture other than an elaborate collection of norms, rules, structures, mores, taboos, rituals, values, symbolic gestures…these things are not exactly abstract concepts…they are acute. They are visible. This is the cultural custom of a handshake to pay deference to someone else. This is not talking with your mouth full. This is the sum total of every ritual we engage in on a daily basis that all come together to create a cohesive society. But what Gramsci is going to ask is: who exactly created all of these norms and taboos that we abide by?"]

---. "Are we heading for a digital prison? - Panopticon (Foucault, Bentham, Cave)." Philosophize This! #186 (August 23, 2023) ["Today we talk about Jeremy Bentham's concept of the Panopticon. Michel Foucault's comparison to society in 1975. The historical role of intelligence as a justification for dominance. The anatomy of free will, and how a digital world may systematically limit our free will without us knowing it."]

---. "Are You Left or Right?" Philosophize This! #50 (February 6, 2015) ["On this episode of the podcast, we discuss the contrasting political philosophies of Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine. First, we find out the origin of the terms “left” and “right” in relation to politics, and find out that the meanings of these terms are not as simple as they may first seem. Next, we discuss the opposing viewpoints of Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine on how society should progress and implement change. Finally, we think about how their ideas relate to modern issues and consider whether or not their positions are mutually exclusive."]

---. "The Buddha." Philosophize This! #9 (November 10, 2013) ["... the life of Siddhartha Gautama and his Heisenberg-esque transformation into Buddha. We learn how Buddha left a lifestyle of being fed grapes and being fanned with palm leaves to pursue a life of celibacy, starvation, and sleep deprivation. We also learn about how Buddha reached enlightenment while sitting beneath a fruit tree à la Isaac Newton, and about the four noble truths which he believed were the key to ending human suffering once and for all. "]

---. "Capitalism vs Communism." Philosophize This #81 (May 10, 2016)

---. "Carl Schmitt on Liberalism, Part 1." Philosophize This! (July 1, 2019) ["When John Dewey and Antonio Gramsci show up with their lunchbox the first day at the new job…this is the first order of business that people like them are going to have to deal with. Now, it’s right here that we can understand why the two of them went in the respective directions they did…because like we talked about the beginning of the 20th century can be broadly understood in terms of three major branches of political discussion, three primary conversations…that are going on…we’ve already talked about two of them and understanding all three of them is absolutely crucial because the contents OF these conversations is going to go on to dictate the direction of almost all subsequent political philosophy all the way up to the present day…when a philosopher sets out to contribute something to the political discussion of the 20th century they are almost without exception doing so in consideration to one of these three major critiques of the way we’ve done things in the past. Once again, what we’ve done in the past is Liberal Capitalist Democracy…the three major critiques are going to be John Dewey and his critique of traditional Democracy…Antonio Gramsci and his critique of Capitalism…and the guy we’re going to be talking about today…the philosopher Carl Schmitt and his critique of Liberalism."]

---. "Carl Schmitt on Liberalism, Part 2." Philosophize This! (July 1, 2019) ["So maybe the best place to begin our discussion today is just to say that the fact that the sovereign still exists at some level in our Liberal societies shouldn’t come as an enormous surprise to people. I mean, after all what exactly are systems of norms like the constitution trying to normalize? Carl Schmitt would ask if the constitution is a regulatory document…what exactly is it regulating? He would say that what it is regulating is the more fundamental, underlying political process that has been going on since the dawn of civilization. Liberalism’s been tacked on after the fact…makes us feel good…helps us feel like the world is a lot more peaceful and tolerant than its ever been…but once again, the reality of the world to Carl Schmitt, the reason we haven’t seen a respite from dictatorships, bloodshed and political instability is because we are still engaged in the exact same political process we’ve always been engaged in…one rooted in intolerance…to Carl Schmitt the foundation of the political lies in a distinction between friend and enemy."]

---. "Confucianism." Philosophize This! #8 (October 29, 2013) ["On this episode of the podcast, we learn about Confucius, a man whose ideas impacted China and eastern philosophy for thousands of years after his death. We find out how Confucius went from being the poor, friendless son of an ancient Chinese 'Teen Mom' to becoming one of the most quoted people in history, as well as how he was reduced to selling his philosophy door-to-door after a brief career as a politician which ended in conspiracy and bribery."]

---. "Consequences of Reason." Philosophize This! #134 (August 7, 2019)

---. "Daoism." Philosophize This! #7 (August 9, 2013) ["So, this demand to find strategies and guidelines to follow in an attempt to rule more efficiently and masterfully caused these officials to spread out and sort of innovate and teach their own versions of what the most effective way to rule people was. There were a lot of them, and a lot of great wisdom comes from their teachings. A few of these stood out from the rest, the best of which still affect Chinese and Asian culture to this day. But all of their ideas collectively became known as the One Hundred Schools of Thought. Daoism and Confucianism are two of these hundred. So, philosophy in the East arose by means of necessity."]

---. "David Hume, Part 1." Philosophize This! #51 (February 24, 2015) ["On this episode of the podcast, we talk about David Hume! First, we learn about Hume’s ‘is’ versus ‘ought’ distinction and how not being mindful of this pitfall can lead us down a dangerous path. Next, we discuss the limitations of science and learn what Hume thought should fill in the gaps it leaves (spoiler alert: it’s not religion). Finally, we discuss Hume’s thoughts on causality and ensure that you’ll never think about playing pool the same way again."]

---. "David Hume, Part 2." Philosophize This! #52 (March 4, 2015) ["On this episode of the podcast, we continue our discussion of David Hume. This time, we focus on Hume's response to the Teleological Argument, which goes a little something like this: “Look at how perfectly everything works! All of this must have been designed by God.” We also learn about Hume’s view on miracles, and find out how unimpressed he is that Bruce Willis was the sole survivor of that train accident. "]

---. "David Hume, Part 3." Philosophize This! #53 (March 15, 2015) ["On this episode of the podcast we talk about David Hume's thoughts on the soul, the self and how "custom is the great guide of human life."]

---. "David Hume, Part 4 - Art." Philosophize This! #54 (March 27, 2015) ["On this episode of the podcast, we discuss Hume’s views on taste and find out whether or not all of our opinions about art are equally valid. First, we compare the poetry of Shakespeare and Shel Silverstein, the music of Beethoven and Skrillex, and throw in the profound prose of Spongebob Squarepants just for good measure. Next, we examine some of the biases that influence our ability to judge art, and Stephen correctly guesses your favorite song of all time by throwing a dart at the Top 40 chart from your senior year of high school. Finally, we learn how to be better art critics by employing the five qualities Hume sets out as pre-requisites for Art Appreciation 101."]

---. "Derrida and Words." Philosophize This (June 25, 2018) ["On this episode, we begin our discussion of the work of Jacques Derrida. It is going to take time to set up properly. "]

---. "Dewey and Lippman on DemocracyPhilosophize This #130 (May 23, 2019)

---. "Everything that connects us is slowly disappearing. - Byung Chul Han pt. 2." Philosophize This! #189 (October 3, 2023) ["Today we talk about the disappearance of rituals, truth, community, communication, public spaces and talk about the importance sometimes of being an idiot."]

---. "The Frankfurt School - Introduction." Philosophize This #108 (August 17, 2017) ["The Frankfurt School, also known as the Institute of Social Research (Institut für Sozialforschung), is a social and political philosophical movement of thought located in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It is the original source of what is known as Critical Theory. The Institute was founded, thanks to a donation by Felix Weil in 1923, with the aim of developing Marxist studies in Germany. The Institute eventually generated a specific school of thought after 1933 when the Nazis forced it to close and move to the United States, where it found hospitality at Columbia University, New York."]

---. "The Frankfurt School (Part 2) - The Enlightenment." Philosophize This #109 (August 26, 2017)

---. "The Frankfurt School (Part 3) - The Culture Industry." Philosophize This #110 (September 7, 2017)

---. "The Frankfurt School (Part 4) - Eros." Philosophize This #111 (October 20, 2017)

---. "The Frankfurt School (Part 5) - Civilization." Philosophize This #112 (November 6, 2017)

---. "The Frankfurt School (Part 6) - Art As a Tool for Liberation." Philosophize This (December 2, 2017)

---. "The Frankfurt School (Part 7): The Great Refusal." Philosophize This (December 23, 2017)

---. "The Frankfurt School: Erich Fromm on Love." Philosophize This! #150 (January 30, 2021) [A discussion of Erich Fromm and his book The Art of Loving.]

---. "The Frankfurt School - Walter Benjamin, Part 1." Philosophize This! (March 19, 2021) [With a focus on "The Task of the Translator."]

---. "Frederick Hayek - The Road to Serfdom." Philosophy This! #139 (February 11, 2020)

---. "Guy Debord: The Society of the Spectacle." Philosophize This! #171 (November 1, 2022) ["... if you were lost in a city…right now in 2022…what would you do to find your way back home? I don’t know about you, but I would pull out my phone, and I would map my way back to wherever I wanted to go. Back in the 90’s though…maybe you’d pull out your Thomas Guide to find your way home. Back in the 70’s maybe you’d ask someone for directions. In the 1800’s maybe you’d pull out a compass and a map. 20,000 years ago maybe you’d look at your relative position to the sun and trace your steps back to where you came from. Point is: the technology available to you, changes how you live your life. And if the technology available to you is an elaborate spectacle … that perpetuates a religious obsession with appearances, alienates you from other people, keeps you hypnotized never really knowing what’s going on in reality, commodifies your relationships, personal information, even where your eyes are pointing…if this is what technology is doing to us… we can’t look at this stuff as just disinterested technology anymore…to Guy Debord this is a clear degradation of human life and relationships. Not to mention the fact that you face a situation with this technology that no other human generation has ever had to deal with. You can’t just choose to abstain, from the economic system like someone can just walk out of a Catholic mass if they think it’s all nonsense. You have to be a part of it in some way. And as you do that…there are literally teams of people working in close correlation with algorithms… super smart people…where their entire job …is to look at your tendencies on these screens…and find any way they can to get you to spend more time contemplating the spectacle instead of living."]

---. "Hannah Arendt - The Banality of Evil." Philosophize This! (November 1, 201

---. "The Hellenistic Age Pt. 5: Race to the Dark Ages." Philosophize This! #14 (January 18, 2014) ["On this episode of the podcast, we discuss Middle Platonism and the Race to the Dark Ages. We learn how Philo of Alexandria reconciled Judaism with Plato's vision of God as a master craftsman, and find out how this relates to building an IKEA bookcase. We also discuss the important distinction Plutarch made between a flatterer and a friend, and why he would have absolutely hated Facebook. "]

---. "How much freedom would you trade for security? (Foucault, Hobbes, Mill, Agamben)." Philosophize This! #187 (August 31, 2023) ["On today's episode we talk about the upsides of a surveillance state. The ongoing social dilemma of freedom vs security. The value of privacy. States of exception. And Deleuze's Postscript on Societies of Control."]

---. "The Improbable Slavoj Zizek - Pt. 1." Philosophize This! #196 (February 26, 2024) ["Complexity of Zizek's Ideas: The episode discusses Slavoj Zizek's philosophy, highlighting the challenge of making his complex ideas accessible to a broad audience. Zizek's provocative style is not mere trolling but aims to disorient and awaken people from ideological complacency. Zizek's Philosophical Influences: Zizek's philosophical framework is deeply influenced by Hegel, Marx, and Lacan. This combination allows Zizek to offer unique interpretations of culture and society, particularly in critiquing global capitalism and exploring human subjectivity. Ideology and Subjectivity: The episode emphasizes Zizek's view on ideology. Zizek argues that everyone is influenced by ideology, and it's crucial to be aware of this in our pursuit of truth. This perspective challenges the simplistic view of ideology as something only others possess, highlighting its universal impact on human subjectivity. Analyzing Zizek's Communication Style: Zizek's method of delivering his philosophy is analyzed. He often starts with a progressive position, makes it appealing, then flips it to show its contradictions. This disorienting style is intentional, designed to reveal the limitations of ideology and encourage deeper critical thinking."]

---. "John Rawls - A Theory of Justice." Philosophize This! (January 2, 2020) ["But another way to think about the answer to this question is to say that every, great philosopher in their own way... questioned the fundamental assumptions that were present in the thinking of their time. That is a hallmark of a great philosopher...because when seeking solutions to philosophical problems...casting aside the cultural or linguistic assumptions of a particular snapshot in time...very often leads philosophers of the next generation to understand how those assumptions have been limiting our ways of thinking about things. The philosopher we're going to talk about today falls into this category...and he's going to question an assumption that seemed to others as radical as it was dangerous. His name was John Rawls...and this was the assumption that he questioned: Can human beings actually live and flourish for any extended period of time in liberal democratic societies? The political paradigm of the Enlightenment...liberal democratic societies. A government BY the many. Democracy. Liberal in the sense that there is a strong focus on rational discourse, the acceptance of outside ideas... the legitimacy of political ideas being decided by having conversations between competing ideas, let the best ideas rise to the top and direct the future of society for the time being, and if those prevailing ideas don't happen to be the ones you believe in, you're supposed to accept those ideas as part of the greater political process and work to defend your positions better the next time we're having a conversation."]
---. "Jürgen Habermas – The Public Sphere." Philosophize This! #143 (May 1, 2020) ["When transnational corporations with very specific ends they’re trying to achieve OWN major media outlets. When there is so much power in controlling people’s values…Habermas thinks the economic/governmental system COLONIZES the lifeworld. Where we used to sit around the dinner table and have discussions to determine our thoughts about the world…we now turn on a screen and are SOLD ways to think about things. The further we got from the origins of the public sphere in those coffee houses back in France …the further we got away from communicative rationality. We got so far away from it we could barely SEE it anymore…to the point where brilliant thinkers like Adorno and Horkheimer wrote an entire book about rationality and didn’t even consider its existence! But for any chains we were supposedly wrapped in by the Enlightenment, Habermas thought the key to get us out of them was built into the Enlightenment all along. We just lost sight of it. The emancipatory potential of reason…reason’s ability to direct us AWAY from treating people as a means to an end…the type of reason GROUNDED in communication…GROUNDED in the pursuit of genuinely trying to understand the other person’s perspective and then working towards agreement…the type of reason that can allow us to make our decisions about things not by buying into an endless sales pitch, but by talking to our fellow citizens in the lifeworld comparing our individual perspecitives… True democracy, to Habermas, is when the lifeworld controls the system. Not the system controlling the lifeworld."]

---. "Leo Strauss: Moderns vs Ancients." Philosophize This! (October 9, 2019)

---. "Michel Foucault (Part 1)." Philosophize This (August 15, 2018) ["Foucault himself would never describe [Discipline and Punish] as a 'history' of anything. Foucault hated the word history and almost never used it in his writing. He used words to describe this book more like, a geneology of the way we’ve treated criminals, or an archaeology of how criminals have been punished over the years. He hates the word history…because so often the word history brings with it a connotation… that we exist in our modern world at the end of this long historical timeline of events that have led to near constant progress. This idea that, hey, we used to be these barbaric savages that followed the playbook of Machievelli, the ends justify the means, we used to believe that it was morally acceptable for the king or the people in power to brutally torture and kill someone that was guilty of a heinous crime…but then HISTORY happened. Time went on…progress was made. Great political theorists came along…great leaders, great ethical philosophers did their work and we all realized the error of our ways and brought into existence a more modern world where everyone is much more free…the people in power inhibiting the lives of the average citizen far less than they used to . Foucault is going to call this assumption about history into question and really dig deeper into the idea of: how much has really changed when it comes to the fundamental relationship between those in power and the citizens?"]

---. "Michel Foucault Pt. 2 - The Order of Things." Philosophize This! #122 (September 24, 2018)

---. "Michel Foucault Pt. 3 - Power." Philosophize This (September 24, 2018)

---. "New Atheists and cosmic purpose without God - (Zizek, Goff, Nagel)." Philosophize This! #197 (March 10, 2024) ["As we regularly do on this program-- we engage in a metamodernist steelmanning of different philosophical positions. Hopefully the process brings people some joy. Today we go from ideology, to New Atheism vs Creationism, to Aristotle, to Thomas Nagel, to Phillip Goff's new book called Why? The Purpose of the Universe."]

---. "On Media: Manufacturing Consent, Pt. 1." Philosophize This (December 17, 2020) [On Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman's landmark book Media Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media.]

---. "On Media Pt. 2: Marshall McLuhan." Philosophize This! #149 (January 5, 2021) ["Regardless of where you stand on McLuhan’s media theory, he’s responsible for an entire branch of contemporary media theory that honestly wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for him. Some say his ideas are nostalgic and old. Some say they were far ahead of their time and that the longer technology develops the more we’ll see how many things he got right. For me personally, I don’t really care either way. The value of Marshall McLuhan to me, the true takeaway after reading his work that I think he would have been most happy if people left him with, is that we should pay attention. Be aware of the things that are going on around you. Try to be aware of media and the effects they’re having on human affairs. Don’t just cling to the ship and ride the vortex down into the blackness. Look at the details. Try to make connections. Try to find patterns. Because it’s only by paying attention that we can ever hope to step outside of the landscape we inherited at birth against our will. In the immortal words of Marshall McLuhan, 'A fish doesn’t know what water is until it’s been beached.'"]

---. "The modern day concentration camp and the failure of human rights: Giorgio Agamben." Philosophize This! #191 (December 4, 2023) ["Today we talk about the philosophy of Giorgio Agamben. Human rights, a political tactic to dehumanize groups that has been growing in popularity, governments declaring states of emergency and how the concept of potential may in fact be a unifying force."]

---. "Plato." Philosophize This! #4 (June 20, 2013) ["In this week's episode, we learn about Plato's "Symposium", which you might think of as philosophy's version of fan fiction. We also learn about Plato's "Theory of Forms" and ask ourselves what makes a tree, well, a tree. This leads to discussion of Plato's famous "Allegory of the Cave" and calls into question whether or not everything we see is merely a shadow of its true self. Finally, we learn about Plato's views on society and government and why he thought democracy was one of the worst forms of government, second only to tyranny."]

---. "Richard Rorty." Philosophize This! 142 (May 1, 2020) ["Some people called Rorty a postmodernist…which would usually place him in staunch opposition to anything that even sounds like the word Enlightenment. Like excitement! But let me tell ya…Rorty was a very exciting man. He rejected the title of postmodernist and most titles for that matter. He operated in a very unique realm for a thinker where like a typical post-structuralist he didn’t believe in any sort of grand narrative that could explain away the universe…but yet he was still…a die hard, card carrying fan…of the project of the Enlightenment overall. See in a world where there are so many 20th century thinkers hating on the Enlightenment…here is a guy some viewed as a post-structuralist, coming to its defense. Let me explain why he would do something like this."]

---. "Robert Nozick - The Minimal State."  Philosophize This! #138 (January 21, 2020) ["Robert Nozick and the book of his we're going to be talking about today is titled Anarchy, State and Utopia. Now, just to give the following conversation a little preliminary structure...that title, Anarchy, State and Utopia is referencing the three major sections that the book is divided into. The first section would be Anarchy...where Nozick spends a considerable portion of time being understanding of the Anarchist's aversion to government, but ultimately making a case that they go too far. The middle portion of the book, State, has Nozick laying out the TYPE of state that HE thinks is best...and in the Utopia section is where he describes WHY his version of a state is the best...Utopia is a sort of tongue in cheek musing by Nozick..he by NO MEANS thinks his system is an actual Utopia...but he thinks it's FAR BETTER than other systems that have been tried and he argues for why he thinks that is.See, Nozick is not a fan of there being a BIG state, with a lot of responsibilities...he's not a fan of there being no what is he a fan of? How big should the government be and what exactly should it do? Nozick is a fan of what he would call "the minimal state". The best way to start understanding what he means by this is probably to contrast him with both the work of Rawls and the Anarchists of his time..."]

---. "Rousseau pt. 2 - Democracy, Aristocracy or Monarchy?" Philosophize This! (January 1, 2015) ["On this episode of the podcast, we continue last week's thought experiment about creating a society from scratch on a deserted island. First, we find out how building a society is similar to making cupcakes, in the sense that every ingredient contributes something important and interacts with the other ingredients in a unique way. Next, we discuss “human nature” and consider how our perception of it may be unfairly influenced by a small handful of people. Finally, we compare the three categories into which Rousseau believs all governments can be classified (democracy, monarchy, and aristocracy), and analyze the pros and cons of each structure."]

---. "Rousseau pt. 3 - The General Will." Philosophize This! #47 (January 9, 2015) ["On this episode of the podcast, we continue our desert island thought experiment, this time focusing on the general will of the people. First, we examine several interpretations of what "the general will of the people" actually means. Next, we take an in-depth look at Rousseau's interpretation, and discuss the difference between democratic and transcendental will. Finally, we explore the multitude of complications that arise when a government tries to enact the general will after it's (somewhat) agreed upon."]

---. "Should we overthrow the government tomorrow? - Anarchism pt. 1 (Chomsky, Malatesta)." Philosophize This #192 (December 27, 2023) ["Today we talk about some common misconceptions about Anarchism, the weaknesses of traditional government structures, a possible alternative way of cooperating and whether or not the government is the hierarchy we should be focusing on."]

---. "Should we prepare for an AI revolution?" Philosophize This! #185 (August 10, 2022) ["Today we talk about the revolutionary potential of generative AI. For better or worse."]

---. "Simone Weil - Attention." Philosophize This! #172 (November 21, 2022) ["If you’re Simone Weil around this time in her life we’ve been talking about…and you’re LOOKING at the world around you and trying to diagnose what the problems are that maybe we can improve upon…this psychological and spiritual CRISIS that she calls Affliction… this is going to be at the top of her list. This dehumanized state of learned helplessness, has infected millions and millions of people around the globe…which is ALSO to say…that you don’t just FIND Affliction in FACTORY workers that are being treated like a means to some ECONOMIC end. Or in soldiers on the front line being treated as a means to a POLITICAL end. You will find affliction, Simone Weil says, where ever you find people being transformed from human beings into things…and then those THINGS being grouped into COLLECTIVES that are easier to control…and then through VARIOUS different strategies those people are rendered INCAPABLE of THINKING their way out of the stuck place that they EXIST in. And ALL of this… mediated… by a sort of organizing principle of human POLITICAL movement, that Simone Weil is going to refer to throughout her writing as Force."]

---. "Simone Weil - The Mathematician." Philosophize This! #174 (February 2, 2023) ["So in one of her earlier journals Simone Weil writes about a moral dilemma that ends up being a metaphor, for a situation that a lot of people might find themselves in while living in the modern world. She says to imagine a man…who lives in a society…where he is forced to solve complex math problems all day long…but the catch is that when he solves one of these math problems…any time he arrives at an answer, and that answer is an even number…he gets beaten with a stick…by the powers that be. They tell em we don’t take too kindly to even numbers round here son. Now go on…solve another one of them math problems, as he twirls the stick smiling with his dirty hands. The moral dilemma for Simone Weil was this: what should the mathematician do when he finds himself in this situation? Should he resist and fight back? Should he just refuse to solve any more of their math problems? Should he make a sign and protest about how upset he is? By the end of these two episodes released here today we’ll understand why Simone Weil came up with the particular solution that she did to this moral dilemma…and also why as the years went on…she grew in her thinking enough to realize that the answer…. might not be as simple as the one she originally came up with."]

---. "Simone Weil - Vessels of God." Philosophize This! #175 (February 2, 2023) ["Courage and moderation. Maybe the two virtues that most closely resemble moral obligation and thinking clearly. Two things I don’t know if I’ve ever seen another philosopher more committed to than Simone Weil."]

---. "Socrates and the Sophists." Philosophize This! #3 (June 23, 2013) ["This week we talk about the prosperity of Athens and how it led to the rise and ideas of a group of philosopher teachers called the Sophists, we tied up some loose ends and helped put all that we've learned in the last two episodes into context with a graph of the Presocratics, and we ended by talking about a man named Socrates."]

---. "Structuralism and Context." Philosophize This (January 28, 2018) ["On this episode, we talk about the origins of Structuralism. Included is a discussion on the work of Ferdinand de Saussure, (born Nov. 26, 1857, Geneva, Switz.—died Feb. 22, 1913, Vufflens-le-Château), Swiss linguist whose ideas on structure in language laid the foundation for much of the approach to and progress of the linguistic sciences in the 20th century."]

---. "Structuralism and Mythology (Part 1)." Philosophize This! (March 18, 2018) ["On this episode, we talk about the mythology that underlies the media we consume and how it serves as an access point to the structures of culture."]

---. "Structuralism and Mythology (Part 2)." Philosophize This! (March 18, 2018)

---. "Susan Sontag - Do you criticize yourself the way you criticize a movie?" Philosophy This! (March 1, 2023) [A discussion of Susan Sontag's "Against Interpretation." "This is the basis of what made her start to think that every truth needs to have a martyr associated with it. Because in a world where critics are always trying to moderate and understand and link everything to some normative theory … critics are not people indulging in the margins of society. These are people that take the margins of society, and spend their career trying to silence the margins for fear that they might call into question the normative, reasonable middle… of the way things are for most people. These are people…that generally speaking that have never had to sacrifice anything to be able to get to what they call the truth. But to Susan Sontag…if we’re truly committed to progess as a society…then the voices we need to hear the most, are the ones that have been marginalized. She says Simone Weil … to be one of these voices…if you think about it…simply… marginalized herself to try to access these perspectives. She’d say: In a world dominated by people that claim to bring a voice of reason to public discourse…what we need, are the voices that at first might seem, a little unreasonable. Because there’s nothing more boring to Susan Sontag…nothing more committed to keeping things exactly how they are…than the type of non-critical critics that hide behind what she calls the impersonal tones of sanity. And to tie this back to her thoughts on art…i’ll leave you with one of my favorite lines from her. She says: “I never trust novels which fully satisfy my passion to understand.”"]

---. "Susan Sontag - Do You Speak the Language of Images and Videos." Philosophize This! #177 (March 22, 2023) ["Fact is: pictures and videos don't have to come with a disclaimer on them that says everything we’ve already said in this episode…as Susan Sontag says a picture doesn't need to come with a caption on it that says: This is the truth. The people looking at the picture or the video just assume that it’s the truth, on a level they never did with paintings or the written word. And if you say back to this well… not me. Not me, I’m not one of these morons that just accepts things as the truth. Well, to use one of Sontag’s own rebuttals to this kind of person…she’d probably say back to them: hey, so…when you watch a video or see a picture of something that you think is really cool…and then afterwards you find out that it was completely fake or staged. Are you disappointed when you hear that? Little bit? Well why are you disappointed? If you’re not bringing to the image a stamp of legitimacy that it probably doesn’t deserve yet. I mean knowing as much as we do in 2023 about how images are used to get you to feel a certain way…why would everyone not be taking every image they see with a grain of salt at first? And that’s part of her larger point here. You know, if any portion of this episode so far has come off like its obvious to you, of course images always have an agenda behind them…then why do so many intelligent people continue living their lives, consuming content every day, giving images a free pass on any level? When you’re shopping for a car and a used car salesman comes up to you and starts telling you about how the car you’re looking at is perfect for you…you’re thinking oh really? Is that what the car is? The car is perfect for me huh…hmm you’re always looking for what his angle is…and rightfully so be cause he’s trying to sell you something. When an advertisement comes on you’re thinking what are they trying to sell me and how are they trying to sell it? This is a healthy way of thinking about these interactions. Well, whenever a picture or a video is presented to you…to Susan Sontag you should be putting those images through a similar type of critical analysis. The default orientation towards anything that’s claiming to represent complex reality in the two dimensional image form, should BE one where you’re asking follow up questions…you should at least be asking: who is giving me this image? why are they giving me this image? What do they want me to feel having seen this image? How is this image being presented? How is it edited? Knowing that a picture is always obscuring something…what might be obscured about reality if I took this picture to be the gospel truth? Human beings… have learned to adapt and survive in a lot of different environments over the course of history…we’ve learned to survive from the Serengeti all the way to the arctic tundra. Well the environment you have to survive in now is one where you are saturated by images that are trying to get you to feel a certain way. And if you don’t develop and practice this critical thinking about the images that you’re consuming, and then bring those skills to every moment…you’re going to always be at the mercy of the person that’s giving you your images."]

---. "The truth is in the process. Zizek Pt. 3 (Ideology, Dialectics)." Philosophize This! #198 (March 25, 2024) ["Key Takeaways:
Ideology's Function and Risks: Ideology simplifies complex realities, aiding decision-making and action, but its uncritical acceptance can perpetuate systemic flaws.
Žižek's Critique of Ideological Frameworks: Žižek examines how ideologies, especially within global capitalism, shape societal norms and individual actions, often obscuring deeper systemic issues. Dialectical Understanding of Reality: The dialectical method reveals the continuous and dynamic process of change and contradiction in societal and ideological structures.
Necessity of Ideology in Human Experience: Ideology is essential for making sense of the complex world, serving as both a simplifying tool and a psychological coping mechanism.
Recommended Reading: The Sublime Object of Ideology by Slavoj Žižek: In this foundational work, Žižek explores the mechanisms of ideology, offering a complex analysis of how individuals interact with and are influenced by their ideological constructs. Living in the End Times by Slavoj Žižek: Žižek examines the global capitalist system and its crises, arguing that we are living in the end times of capitalism and facing an urgent need for radical change."]

Wolters, Eugene. "Who the Fuck is Jacques Ranciere?" Critical Theory (March 28, 2013)

Yoshioka, Maximilian. "History or Humanity? On Lu Chuan's City of Life and Death A Nietzschean Perspective on Nanjing." Bright Lights Film Journal #76 (May 2012)

---. "Technocratic Totalitarianism: One-Dimensional Thought in Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville." Bright Lights Film Journal #78 (November 2012)

Zaroff, Larry. "Medicine and the Human Condition." Entitled Opinions (November 23, 2011)

Zizek, Slavoj. "First as Tragedy, Then as Farce." RSAnimate (July 28, 2010) ["In this RSA Animate, renowned philosopher Slavoj Zizek investigates the surprising ethical implications of charitable giving. "]


     For Kant in particular, the human limits on abstract reason should be on of the chief subjects of philosophers, ethicists, and students of the natural world. We may live in a law-governed universe, Kant believed. All of creation may fit a divine plan of order and perfection.  It's deepest secrets, however, are always obscured by the frailty of our own minds. Our ideas of reality come to us through our senses, which should be treated as unreliable informants. Yet rather than being skeptical about everything we claim to perceive, the surest rout to true knowledge was to turn our attention toward our perceptions themselves.
     After all, while there are plenty of ways we might have wrong ideas about something we claim to see--a mirage, for example, or someone on the street who we mistake for an old friend--we can't be wrong about our own sense of reality. We are all, by definition, experts in our own experience. The job of philosophers should be to study the space between the sense-perceptions that bombard us and the mental pictures we fashion of things as we believe them to be. The way to understand something about the world was to steer a course between the belief in the universal power of reason and an unbending skepticism about our ability to know anything at all. One of Kant's students, Johann Gotffried von Herder, even suggested that entire peoples could have their own unique frameworks for sense-making--a "genius" that was peculiar to the specific Kultur that gave rise to it. Human civilization was a jigsaw puzzle of these distinct ways of being, each adding its own piece, some more rough-edged than others, to the grand picture of human achievement (18-19).

In arguing against a position you should not rely on attacking the integrity, competence, personal morality or sanity of the holders of that position; nor should you argue against the weakest, most flawed version of the position that you can find. You should argue against the strongest version you can find. You should even try to help your opponents to formulate an even better version of their argument and then argue against it. This way, if you win the argument anyway, your victory will be all the more glorious. And if you end up being convinced by the argument that you were opposing; well that is good too. -- Rick Lewis - "Into the Cauldron!" Philosophy Now #135 (January 2020)
People who think philosophy is useless also tend to think that society does not need to change. If you want to maintain the status quo, teaching people to question everything is a pretty stupid thing to do. (Existential Comics, March 21, 2018)

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