Here are the most recent comments on our blog posts, i.e. the active discussions at this time. Jump into a thread and say your peace! If you want to start a conversation yourself, join our Facebook Group and/or our subreddit, and go right ahead. Also, if you're a Partially Examined Life Citizen, you can initiate discussions at the Citizens' Forum; this is especially useful if you'd like to use that to initiate an ongoing reading/discussion group with other members, which can have its own dedicated forum. This is called a Not School group.
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- Apr 23, 8:41 pm - Episode 161: White Privilege (Peggy McIntosh, Charles Mills, et al) (Part One)
- Apr 23, 8:36 pm - Episode 161: White Privilege (Peggy McIntosh, Charles Mills, et al) (Part One)
He literally says - we will have intelligence figured out by 2025. How can this NOT make one turn and run. What's SO puzzling to me is that Sam Harris Has a PhD in neuroscientist. I cannot understand how he doesn't see though this. How does he have a platform? How is it that he seems so intelligent yet falls for this kind of thing. I'm baffled.
- Apr 23, 8:19 pm - Episode 161: White Privilege (Peggy McIntosh, Charles Mills, et al) (Part One)
- Apr 23, 8:12 pm - Episode 161: White Privilege (Peggy McIntosh, Charles Mills, et al) (Part One)
I am listening to this podcast. It's painful. PAINFUL. Sam Harris has THE worst habit of presenting "science" in highly skewed terms and forcing us to swallow it whole as "fact". He did this in Free Will and it was equally as painful. If the science were as clear cut as he intimates right out of the gate it would be different. This is not compelling.
- Apr 23, 4:51 pm - Episode 161: White Privilege (Peggy McIntosh, Charles Mills, et al) (Part One)
Interesting discussion between Sam Harris and Charles Murray, germane to the IQ issue: https://www.samharris.org/podcast/item/forbidden-knowledge
- Apr 23, 12:13 pm - Episode 13: What Are the Metaphysical Implications of Quantum Physics?
I'd also like to think both that we've gotten more aware of the existence of a substantial audience and the responsibility that goes with that, and also that standards of admissible speech in this area have tightened up since 2010, so don't go busting the balls of a then-fledgling podcast. Maybe stick to our newer episodes.
- Apr 23, 8:14 am - Episode 13: What Are the Metaphysical Implications of Quantum Physics?
Huh. I thought it was more about poking fun at how Anglos mispronounce everything. It's a bit of a stretch to call it racism. Have you listened to any of their other podcasts? 1 - political correctness is not their thing. Easily offended folk need not listen. 2 - have you listened to any of their podcasts on race? They're really good and it might be helpful to listen to them to get a better picture of who they are. I highly recommend episodes 52, 62, and 139!
- Apr 22, 6:18 pm - Episode 13: What Are the Metaphysical Implications of Quantum Physics?
Sarcastically exaggerated pronunciation of a Chinese name and then "let's call him Wango" ?? (1:27:40) Middle school level throwaway racism in the middle of your podcast makes one question your credibility.
- Apr 21, 3:18 pm - Episode 161: White Privilege (Peggy McIntosh, Charles Mills, et al) (Part Two)
Athena Sophia, For a brief shining moment, I thought we were proceeding to a place of mutual respect that could serve as an model for how to express strong ideological disagreement without engaging in mudslinging. But then I got to your characterization of mine as a "debased and intellectually bankrupt perspective". 🙁
- Apr 21, 2:20 pm - Episode 161: White Privilege (Peggy McIntosh, Charles Mills, et al) (Part Two)
Alan, This is in response to your comment that begins: "I think it’s helpful to start off with the definition of 'privilege.' First, thank you for being so thoughtful. You raised many good points. I did my best to follow your lead, though I fear I may have gotten carried away here and there. My apologies in that regard, I tried to do my best...I implore you to look past those failings to the best extent possible. Again, thank you for the civil and measured responses! You said: "I didn’t see you address the point s/he made that it is easier to assign collective responsibility for failure to feed the hungry than to individual cases of police brutality." You are right. I didn't address the omission/commission distinction. I felt like I had already wasted too much "ink" on everything else and that I wasn't really prepared to respond to that distinction in any meaningful way. If I were pressed, my initial response is that I don't see a huge difference in those two examples. It seems like failing to feed the hungry could be just as much an individual failure as the failure to treat all individuals in an equal...
- Apr 21, 10:47 am - Episode 161: White Privilege (Peggy McIntosh, Charles Mills, et al) (Part Two)
Mark, Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This is terrific! Thank you for taking the time to seriously address questions and concerns raised by your listeners and for consistently and compassionately elevating general expectations and levels of discourse!!! (and — speaking for myself only — thank you for allowing those of us who are philosophical dilettantes — at best — to endlessly babble and blather on in our barbaric pseudo-philosophical patter!)
- Apr 20, 3:04 pm - Episode 161: White Privilege (Peggy McIntosh, Charles Mills, et al) (Part Two)
Mark, as a side note, here's a book I recently read on the topic of intelligence that's worth looking into: https://www.amazon.com/Rationality-Reflective-Mind-Keith-Stanovich/dp/0195341147
- Apr 20, 9:15 am - Episode 93: Freedom and Responsibility (Strawson vs. Strawson)
I hope you guys do another episode on free will. I cannot seem to make the mental leap that - if you believe that there is causality that you have to be a determinist and somehow not hold people morally responsible for things. Why so black and white? Why not say that we don't know the extent to which causality effects our will and so we will behave as such. Our prisons will be about reform and not punishment. Etc. Why can't we give some credence to the notion that causality isn't ALL there is? I never understand that in these discussions which probably means I need to read/learn more - but it seems the obvious first question IMO. Loved this one guys!
- Apr 20, 8:36 am - Episode 161: White Privilege (Peggy McIntosh, Charles Mills, et al) (Part Two)
Hello! Mostly this is to Mark. I am currently listening to the Strawson episode about free will and moral responsibility. It. Is. So. Good. Thanks for leading me to someone besides Sam Harris for help regarding this topic. His book was not helpful at all. Dave's list helped me to see how many of the pressing questions I have had for my whole life have been answered by listening to your podcast. I know, I know - that's a bold statement. It isn't that you all have sorted out my moral dilemmas and questions. It's that you've provided the framework for me to explore them and have helped put language and a sort of common humanity around things I formerly felt so alone in. So while I don't know if I fall into the optimist/pessimest/determinist/libertarian camp and I still don't know if there are only ideas or if there is a thing in itself or whatever....I know how to think about it a little better. I've read only about ten of the readings for all of the ~100 episodes I've listened to so I would never say I have a particular understanding of anyone you've discussed. Yet somehow there is...
- Apr 20, 2:39 am - Eddie Murphy Weighs in on White Privilege
Ha, that's what the black family said. I took it at the time to be a black/white thing (I'm white), but a little Googling suggests it's the, well, minority (numerically) who does it. The Houston Press did a piece about it, and with over 1400 votes (in an online and obviously not scientific poll), 31% said they do it that way. 11% responded the way you did: "I've never even heard of this. Who are you people?" http://www.houstonpress.com/restaurants/putting-broken-eggshells-back-in-the-carton-great-or-gross-6424468 This Reddit thread also indicates that it's quite common, but also fairly common for people to be like you and be horrified by the practice: https://www.reddit.com/r/mildlyinfuriating/comments/27eojw/my_brother_putting_broken_egg_shells_back_in_the/ (Incidentally, due to that thread, TIL that many people do not stand up to wipe after using the toilet, and they think it's weird that others do stand up.)
- Apr 19, 11:42 pm - Episode 161: White Privilege (Peggy McIntosh, Charles Mills, et al) (Part Two)
Thanks, Dave. As with all our episodes, we choose some readings and try to discuss them. I did, e.g. drop the issue of whether moral responsibility actually exists, but since it wasn't particularly relevant to the readings in question, I was fine letting it go. (We've had plenty of episodes on meta-ethics that cover this, and yet don't have a problem doing episodes on ethics that sidestep this: However thin or thick our moral ontology may be, you can still usefully discuss what tenets it supports, to the extent that it supports any of them.) So feel free to suggest some actual readings for future episodes. Here's my take on your list: 1. All people are equal and/or should be treated equally. We've discussed this in various contexts, e.g. Nietzsche and Rawls. I argued early on that this whole idea of one person being "better" than another is confused: Of course there are plenty of actual differences in abilities, and (per Nietzsche) these are incommensurate enough that they do not amount to an overall "value" or "virtue level" of a person. We've discussed as recently as the Singer interview whether equality of treatment should be a fundamental moral assumption. If...
- Apr 19, 7:32 pm - Episode 161: White Privilege (Peggy McIntosh, Charles Mills, et al) (Part Two)
Athena Sophia, Hi there! I think it's helpful to start off with the definition of "privilege". This is from my American Heritage Dictionary, 5th ed. (the greatest dictiionary ever published): "A special advantage, immunity, permission, right, or benefit granted to or enjoyed by an individual, class, or caste." The "immunity" option would seem closest to the most controversial issue (whether a "spared injustice" is a "privilege". But is that a "special" immunity? Many would say no. "So yes, the statement 'check your privilege' is meant to 'attribute this privilege at the individual level.' But, I think that it is meant in a way that is different from the way that you are hearing it." I didn't see you address the point s/he made that it is easier to assign collective responsibility for failure to feed the hungry than to individual cases of police brutality. Although I can buy it if someone does not speak up or at least vote for candidates who are leaning more toward criminal justice reform, citizen review panels, etc. "[W]omen have historically been underrepresented in STEM jobs, but this doesn’t mean that they are naturally and inherently bad at STEM…it just means that there are non-essentializing...
- Apr 19, 5:47 pm - Eddie Murphy Weighs in on White Privilege
Eggshells back in the carton? Eww - nasty! Why would you do that?
- Apr 19, 4:15 pm - Episode 161: White Privilege (Peggy McIntosh, Charles Mills, et al) (Part Two)
ehead, This is in response to your comment on April 10th that begins — "First let me say that..." I understand that this thread might be in some sense "dead" at this point. So, should you not respond, I completely understand. First, thank you for your thoughtful reply. You made many great points that have left me thinking and struggling. I went back and read some of your previous comments and have a better appreciation of where you're coming from and the point that you're trying to make. I also see that much of my comments are a digression from the validity of your central point — that discussions of privilege bear the fruits of very unintuitive truths and hence fail to galvanize political solidarity. With that in mind, I sense that we might both just disagree on the general value of discourses on privilege — I feel that they are fraught, but well worth having; while I sense that you seem to feel that discourses on privilege cause more trouble than they are worth and can be supplanted with discourses on discrimination for the sake of political expediency. In that sense, perhaps we will just have to agree to...
- Apr 19, 1:56 am - Episode 161: White Privilege (Peggy McIntosh, Charles Mills, et al) (Part Two)
Yes oh yes. I'd listen the heck out of that podcast. The reason I've found this latest series of podcasts so uninteresting is precisely because they take so much for granted that the discussion can't help but be superficial. Actual philosophical questions, like the ones you pose in your list, are lurking just beneath the surface, and even the slightest attempt at rigour ought to expose them for examination. That the discussion just glides blithely above such questions is, I think, a testament to the powerful chilling effect that the ideological/authoritarian left has had on such discussions; these questions are deemed off limits not because they have been examined and resolved to anyone's satisfaction, but because they are firewalled off from reasoned discussion by ideological violence.
- Apr 17, 10:53 pm - Episode 162: James Baldwin on Race in America (Part One)
There is nothing more revolting than a "guilty white liberal"
- Apr 16, 9:36 pm - Episode 162: James Baldwin on Race in America (Citizen Edition)
All, This was a beautiful episode. I had, coincidentally, very recently read The Fire Next Time, and found the discussion in the podcast of many of the same parts I discussed with myself especially rewarding. Regards, John
- Apr 16, 4:13 am - Episode 162: James Baldwin on Race in America (Citizen Edition)
That's it; thanks for recovering!
- Apr 15, 7:11 pm - Episode 162: James Baldwin on Race in America (Citizen Edition)
Hey Luke! Is this the reply? "Yeah, agreed Jennifer. I guess one would have to do more research on Stowe herself to try to run down convincing answers to some of those follow-on questions you ask. But certainly looking at a cultural artifact iteratively (e.g.. taking stock of Uncle Tom’s Cabin as it was received when originally released, and then taking stock subsequently at various future points in American cultural history) is a very common practice and demonstrates a work’s enduring quality and capacity to harbor multiple angles of analysis. In this sense, I submit to you that Baldwin is bequeathing us a gem, bringing his own take on the novel to us for further reflection. I wanted to return real quick to some of the other points you raised earlier on in the thread. Regarding the sudden realization or epiphany, when being outside of one’s regular cultural environment, of possessing a distinctly “American,” or “Southern,” or “white,” or whatever else identity – I’ve personally seen enough anecdotal evidence of this now (including my own) to agree that it is most definitely real and true. And, whatever genre of philosophical thought this most neatly falls under – be it Social...
- Apr 15, 4:14 pm - Episode 162: James Baldwin on Race in America (Citizen Edition)
Well, regrettably, my longer reply did not come back. If you are so inclined, would like to hear you elaborate on this: "What I get from reading him now may be wrong but it’s less about understanding race and more about understanding myself. I walk away thinking so much about how my sense of self is propped up on conditions. It’s based on me being who I am and everyone else being who they are. It’s a house of cards based on fixed points of comparison to the one dimensional characters in my play. The looking at that causes all the cards to fall. But maybe that’s a reach. Maybe I’m just reading into him. I kept thinking of Nietzsche and Very Free Spirits while reading him. I wonder if he read Nietzsche."