Brian interviews St. John’s College alum and US Navy veteran Anne Kniggendorf. They have an engaging discussion about the relationship between liberal arts and the military.
In our last article, we began to explore the philosophy of secularism, through Charles Taylor’s book, A Secular Age. We saw how Taylor’s three senses of the word describe a progressive development: first, a retreat of religion (itself a problematic term) from the public to the private sphere; then, a decline of religiosity in the private sphere; and finally, the Continue Reading …
Continuing with Emily Wilson on her translation of the Greek epic poem. We discuss the oikos, or estate, built on violence, and its connection to xenia, or hospitality, which serves to forge military alliances. Also: status distinctions and the role of the gods in the text.
End song: “Tiny Broken Boats” by Arrica Rose, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #66.
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Why do hippies seek transformation in tepees? Try as they might, they’re very much within the “mainstream” of Western art and ideology.
Of the three elements in our series—science, religion, and secularism—science has probably received the most philosophical attention, at least in the contemporary context. Indeed, the constitution of a category, “philosophy of religion,” presumes a sectioning-off of certain topics that have, historically, been integral to philosophy. It presumes, in other words, a growing distance between religion and philosophy. This in turn Continue Reading …
On the classic Greek epic poem, written ca. 750 BC and translated by our guest Emily Wilson in 2018.
Does this story of “heroes” have anything to teach us about ethics? Wilson wrote an 80-page introduction to her new translation laying out the issues, including “hospitality” as a political tool, the value for status and identity of one’s home (including your family and slaves), and the tension between strangeness and familiarity. Can time and change really be undone?
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RHEMA as a six-piece band produced an album called Voyage of the Rock Aliens that accompanied their appearance in the film of that name. The band then broke up, but songwriters Marc and Jeffrey continued to work together on various projects, and have finally now produced a proper album as RHEMA called Shine, drawing on their ’80s roots but incorporating modern electronic music textures.
We discuss “Rebel Flame” and “The World Is So Small” and listen to “Life in Front of You” from that new album, and discuss one old song, “Combine Man,” specifically a 2009 Marc Jackson remix. Intro: “21st Century.” For more information, see rhemaband.com.
Jordan Peterson, professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, became arguably the most impactful public intellectual in the present-day online media sphere after speaking out against impediments to free speech in the fall of 2016. While the “father figure” of the YouTube world is revered as a conservative warrior against “social justice”—and for inveighing against activists, postmodernists, neo-Marxists and those he labels “radical leftists”—closer inspection of his ideas suggests that, significant shortcomings aside, there are lessons even those of us who disagree politically and philosophically with Peterson can still learn from his public pedagogy.
Continuing on Pascal’s Pensées.
More on our human desire and how God is supposed to address that, plus Pascal’s views on political philosophy, the relation between faith, reason, and custom… and finally, the wager! Why not just be a skeptic? Is Pascal right that people suck?
End song: “44 Days” by Dutch Henry, written and sung by Todd Long, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #34.
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In my last essay, I argued that it was important to distinguish science from non-science, and that a first step toward doing so was to distinguish between nomothetic (law-seeking) sciences like physics and chemistry, and idiographic (particularizing) sciences like biology and geography. I tried to show that science doesn’t have to copy methods characteristic of physics in order to count Continue Reading …
A burning question: are the aesthetics of the Trump regime more “kitsch” or “camp”?
On Blaise Pascal’s Pensées (1670).
Is it rational to have religious faith? You’re likely familiar with “Pascal’s Wager,” but our wretchedness is such that we can’t simply choose to believe and won’t be argued into it. Pascal thinks Christianity is the only religion to accurately describe the human condition.
Arrica has released five albums and three EPs of floaty, poetic, California rock since 2006.
We discuss “Whole Lotta Lows” and “X-Ray Eyes” from Low as the Moon (2017) and “When the Clouds Hang This Low” from Let Alone Sea (2011). We conclude by listening to “On and On” by Dear County from Low Country (2016). Intro music: “Sail Away” from Antebellum (2010). For more, visit arricarose.com.
The claim to be doing science is a claim to prestige and authority. For this reason, it’s important to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate claims to that term, and in order to do that we need to have a clear idea of what science really is.
Continuing on John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty. We discuss “partial truths,” whether “truth will out,” whether we can discard some “experiments in living” as established failures, education, “barbarians,” how Mill compares to Nietzsche, and more.
End song: “Flavor” by Tori Amos with strings by John Philip Shenale, interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #12.
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Discussing John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty (1859).
If we disapprove of certain behaviors, when is it okay to prohibit them legally? What about just shaming people? Mill’s “harm principle” says that we should permit anything (legally and socially) unless it harms other people. But what constitutes “harm”? And how can we discourage someone from, e.g., just being drunk all the time?
Mark, Wes, and Dylan bring this debate to current issues and explore some of the weirder aspects of Mill’s view.
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It is my belief no man ever understands quite his own artful dodges to escape from the grim shadow of self-knowledge. –Lord Jim
Listen along as we discuss this richly complex novel of responsibility, guilt, shame, and redemption.
Hear more Phi Fic discussions at PhiFicPodcast.
The PEL guys get personal and political and tell you in brief about things like Planet of the Apes, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and Vine Deloria Jr. in the second half of our year-in-review discussion. Here you get a taste. You can only hear the meat with the full, ad-free episode, posted for PEL Citizens (see partiallyexaminedlife.com/support!) or at patreon.com/partiallyexaminedlife.
The recent boom of interest in alternative currencies has generated a dizzying amount of economic speculation, with a corresponding amount of confusion. The question that economists are asking right now is: what is the value of these currencies? Mainstream economics points to scarcity and utility as the primary sources of value, but these explanations don’t always yield satisfactory answers. The labor theory of value provides an alternative perspective on alternative currencies, one that might show us something of real worth in the emerging digital economy.