What is it like to do philosophy in public? As prelude to our ep. 125 appearance at the Pittsburgh Continental Philosophy Network Conference on theory and public space, Mark, Seth, Wes, and Dylan sat down for questions by moderator Erica Freeman, conference host Justin Pearl, and numerous attendees.
On the Manual of Epictetus, aka The Enchiridion (135 CE). What’s a wise strategy for life? Stoicism says that the secret is mastering yourself. If you let yourself be perturbed by things that happen to you, then you’re a slave to those external things. Your good lies only in the things you can (with practice) control, i.e., your own attitudes, judgments, and opinions. Even a slave can be free, according to this strategy: Nothing external can break your spirit unless you let it. So, how weird and misguided is that advice? With guest Alex Fossella. Learn more.
End song: “But I Won’t” by Mark Lint from Spanish Armada: Songs of Love and Related Neuroses (1993).
On F.A. Hayek’s “The Use of Knowledge in Society” (1945) and Amartya Sen’s On Ethics and Economics (1987). Is economics a pseudoscience? Are its assumptions by necessity too over-simplifying? Hayek objects to the idea of planning an economy, because the planners aren’t in a position to know enough, while Sen argues for more nuance and philosophical ethics to enter a rich picture of human economic behavior and the society we want to shape. With guest Seth Benzell. Learn more.
See us live in Pittsburgh on 9/26 or watch the simulcast: partiallyexaminedlife.com/PEL-Live.
End song: “People Who Throw Away Love” by Mark Lint
Guest Seth Benzell outlines Hayek’s “The Use of Knowledge in Society” (1945) and Sen’s On Ethics and Economics (1987).
A second discussion on The Confessions (400 CE), this time on books 10–13. What is memory and how does it relate to time and being? We also discuss discuss language, knowledge, hermeneutics, creation, and more on will and keeping God-oriented.
On The Confessions (400 CE), books 1–9.
The question is not “What is virtue?” because knowing what virtue is isn’t enough. The problem, for Aurelius Augustinus, aka St. Augustine of Hippo, is doing what you know to be right.
We discuss Un-Willing: An Inquiry into the Rise of Will’s Power and an Attempt to Undo It (2014) with the author, covering Socrates, Augustine, Aquinas, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Sartre, compatibilism, the neurologists’ critque of free will, and more.
End song: “I Insist” by Mark Lint
On Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy (1872), which was his first book. Nietzsche thought that you could tell how vital or decadent a civilization was by its art, and said that ancient Greek tragedy was so great because it was a perfect synthesis of something highly formal/orderly/beautiful with the intuitive/unconscious/chaotic. But then Socrates ruined everything, and it remains ruined! Can we recapture the magic? Probably not. With guest John Castro.
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End song: “Some Act” by Mark Lint and the Fake from “So Whaddaya Think?” (2000)
Mark and Wes are joined by Victor Krummenacher and Jonathan Segel to discuss songwriting and authenticity in the age of Internet consumerism. Extended for Citizens consumption.
End song: “The Bastards Never Show Themselves” by the Monks of Doom
What can philosophy wrench from the ancient Greek tragedy (BCE 451)? A party, for one! Mark, Wes, and Dylan are rejoined by drama guy John Castro, who played Haimon in our performance.
End song: “Woe Is Me,” live 2002 on WORT by Madison Lint.
An unrehearsed read-through of the Greek Tragedy from 441 BCE by the PEL Players featuring Lucy Lawless and Paul Provenza, plus some cast discussion of Greek drama and our selected translation, as well as Citizen-exclusive outtakes.
End song: “Antigone” by Mark Lint (2015)
On Sigmund Freud’s On Dreams (1902), a bit of The Interpretation of Dreams (1899), and the lecture, “Revision of the Theory of Dreams” (1933).
Are dreams just a bunch of random crap? Freud says, no, they’re actually the first and best way to figure out the structure of the mind, which (surprise) involves the unconscious and how repressed, anti-social desires get (sort of) revealed to us, albeit smashed together through chains of association with what seems like random crap. How can Freud support such a view? Is it science? What are its implications for our capacity to philosophize?
End song: “Sleep” by Mark Lint.
The Camper Van Beethoven violinist/composer/multi-instrumentalist joins us to discuss The World as Will and Representation, book 3 selections.
End song: “(Ever and) Always” by Jonathan Segel from All Attractions (2012).
On The World As Will and Representation (1818), book 2. The world is a blind, striving force!
End song: “Sinking” from Mark Lint & the Simulacra
Interpreting the Parables using texts from Paul Ricoeur, John Dominic Crossan, Paul Tillich, et al, with guest Law Ware.
End song: “Jesus Noise” by Mark Lint
On Paul Ricoeur’s “The Critique of Religion” and “The Language of Faith” (1973), with guest Law Ware. How can we apply hermeneutics to the Bible?
End song: A live 1998 cover of Elvis’s “Suspicious Minds” by Mark Lint and the Fake.
On Hans-Georg Gadamer’s Truth and Method (1960, ch. 4), “Aesthetics and Hermeneutics” (1964), “The Universality of the Hermeneutical Problem” (1966), and “Hermeneutics as Practical Philosophy” (1972). What’s the best way to interpret a text, or anything else? With guest Law Ware.
End song: “The Default Relation,” by Mark Lint (2015).
On The Concept of Nature (1920). Nature, i.e. the object of our experience, is events, not things, ya dig?
End song: “Run Away,” by Mark Lint
Mark Linsenmayer outlines Alfred North Whitehead’s book The Concept of Nature (1920)
On Karl Jaspers’s “On My Philosophy” (1941), featuring comedian/actor/director/author Paul Provenza. What’s the relationship between science and philosophy? What about religion? Jaspers thinks that science gives you facts, but for an overarching world-view, you need philosophy. Living such a world-view requires Existenz, or a leap towards transcendence, which is of course religion’s stock and trade, though Jaspers is not a fan of dogmatism.