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.
Note that the first time you post (or if you post from a different IP than your usual, I think; this shouldn't be an issue of you're a Citizen logged into your account), it goes into moderation, i.e. we have to approve it, so you won't see your comment immediately, but we're pretty quick about approving things. It should go without saying that if you get very nasty and belligerent, we reserve the right to remove any post and ban you (though that's only happened maybe twice in three years of doing this). Think "with this comment I am elevating the level of the discussion" and you'll be OK.
- Apr 18, 3:40 pm - Episode 32: Heidegger: What is "Being?" (Citizens Only)
Awesome, thanks Seth!
- Apr 18, 3:16 pm - "Privilege" Is Not a Causal Claim
Dan, I am somewhat puzzled by your comment. The title of this piece is called, "'Privilege' Is Not a Causal Claim." Mark was very careful to draw a distinction between the causal role of privilege and it's use as a rhetorical device. Hence, I fail to see how paying attention to race - especially from within the context of a more comprehensive understanding of "privilege," necessarily "promotes the belief that one’s place in society is determined almost exclusively by skin color." Mark explicitly makes this point at several instances in the essay and in the comment section. For example, he says: "The notion that 'white privilege' causes police to treat whites differently than blacks or causes any number of other disparities is literally nonsense. Saying this does not mean that I’m denying that the disparities exist, or that race is not causally involved, but neither systematically racist policing procedures or the racism of individual police officers is well described by their literal recognition of a privilege (which might require that they think in terms of privilege, instead of this being a designation applied by anti-racists after the fact) and changing their behavior as a result of this recognition. But as...
- Apr 18, 10:28 am - Life-Hack Stoicism—Is It Worth It?
Elijah, what an excellent comment! I only wish I had thought of your ideas re: email sign-ups,! You picked the perfect example my dear Stoic brother 🙂 I have noted it down for the next article 🙂 Kai
- Apr 17, 9:57 pm - Life-Hack Stoicism—Is It Worth It?
Good article. I take a dim view of so-called 'life-hack-stoicism' myself. Not that there's anything wrong with popularizing philosophy of course, but whenever something gets a little bit of cache in the public consciousness, out come the scammers. "Get an edge on the competition by learning THIS ONE WEIRD TRICK from ancient philosophy. Leave your email below to get on our mailing list..." What I find particularly irksome about the misappropriation and repackaging of stoicism for the silicon valley crowd is that it plays on this popular strain of anti-intellectualism that's out there now. Stoicism, they say, is not like those other useless academic philosophies practiced by the elites that you have to waste time reading books to understand. It's more like going to a yoga class. It'll fit right into your busy schedule, just 10 minutes a day. After all, if you can't learn a concept by reading a pithy quote or a quick article, it's not worth knowing anyways. And then you get a lot of people going about calling themselves stoics who have an incredibly shallow or half-baked conception of what the philosophy entails. And any attempt to point out that using the 'technique' of equanimity to...
- Apr 17, 3:20 pm - "Privilege" Is Not a Causal Claim
I have found the concept of white privilege to be misleading, unsound and loaded with logical fallacies for many reasons. I hope to write a more complete response at some point, but I can summarize by observing that each individual possessing a unique set of characteristics which may be advantageous, disadvantageous or neutral in different situations. I don't question that being black is a disadvantage in some situations (for example, driving a car when many police officers see black men as potential criminals). But there are many non-racial characteristics that convey advantages or disadvantages:, intelligence level, economic background, social skills, level of attractiveness, having been raised in an emotionally heathy family vs. a dysfunctional family etc. Placing so much attention on race promotes the belief that one's place in society is determined almost exclusively by skin color. In the real world, there are too many black people with happy productive lives and white people with miserable lives to conclude that race is the main determining factor.
- Apr 17, 11:47 am - "Lysistrata" w/ Lucy Lawless, Emily Perkins, Erica Spyres, Bill Youmans & Aaron David Gleason
This was wonderful and SO fun to listen to!! Now I have to go back and find some prior performances to enjoy!!
- Apr 17, 11:31 am - Life-Hack Stoicism—Is It Worth It?
Thanks Jen. It is really important to USE the life hacks... but not, as you say, over rely on them or view them as the be all and end all of what Stoicism has to offer :). Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on our article. Kai
- Apr 17, 9:36 am - Life-Hack Stoicism—Is It Worth It?
I think it’s important to USE the stoic life hacks and apply them to daily life. Utilizing them to create positive change and advancement is definitely more appropriate than only relying on them when trouble presents itself. Excellent read.
- Apr 16, 5:04 pm - "Lysistrata" w/ Lucy Lawless, Emily Perkins, Erica Spyres, Bill Youmans & Aaron David Gleason
Thank you Sung Lee!
- Apr 16, 1:43 pm - Episode 173: Relating to American Indian Philosophy (Part One)
Overall I'm glad you folks took this kind of scholarship seriously. You admitted that you may treat subjects with irreverence, as you often do with established, credible philosophical traditions and authors. However, I find the hosts' frequent dismissals of what they call "crazy" stories of animals (especially one of your remarks on the Coyote-penis in Part II--for the record the phallus, as in ancient Phonoecian and Mesopotamian culture was a necessary referent for fertility--to be patently disrespectful and offensive to this Indigenous listener. Please remember that there are people who have been told their whole lives, usually through religious and state sponsored boarding schools, that their ancestors were superstitious, simple-minded dirt worshippers and that they must be "enlightened" by Western culture. I fail to recognize the distinction between the attitudes of the hosts and the latent colonial assumptions about what kinds of ideas are worth taking seriously. Don't worry, you still have a faithful listener; but keep in mind that I come to your site for thoughtful commentary on philosophy, and my hesitations to your readings were confirmed. Perhaps you are already aware of these biases. I had only hoped for more.
- Apr 16, 12:37 pm - "Lysistrata" w/ Lucy Lawless, Emily Perkins, Erica Spyres, Bill Youmans & Aaron David Gleason
I've been listening to your podcasts a while now through apple podcasts, but this play you're doing sounds so much fun that I had to join as a citizen. Keep up the good work.
- Apr 16, 9:02 am - Episode 187 Follow-Up: The Limits of Free Speech (Citizens Only)
"cup cake Johnson", best moment!
- Apr 16, 8:28 am - Episode 187 Follow-Up: The Limits of Free Speech (Citizens Only)
We just recorded another for ep 189!
- Apr 15, 5:47 pm - Episode 187 Follow-Up: The Limits of Free Speech (Citizens Only)
I vote for you guys doing more of these as well.
- Apr 15, 12:57 pm - TEASER-Episode 169: Analyzing Hitchcock's "Vertigo" (Part Two)
This really comes into play after the Judy revelation. But we see it with Marge too. Marge and Scottie had a previous relationship, and it is implied that Marge is the one that "called off the engagement." But the subtext, in combination with the camera shot on Marge, one where the angle is looking down on her, creates a sense of unease, pressure, and invasive-ness. This is juxtaposed with Scottie sort of carefree, joking almost, at ease, as if he is removed emotionally and responsibly from the situation. One can gather that, especially throughout the film, Marge has a willingness to change for Scottie, in exchange to be desired by him (this is represented through the scene where she paints her face on Carlotta's portrait). Her willingness, in combination with the assumed idea that Scottie has known Marge, and come to know her subjectivity, or rather, has known her long enough to where her actually being, her trancieny makes it harder for him to manipulate her (in his mind) into a series of constructs. Whereas with Madeline, and Judy, we see that not being aware or recognizing someones subjectivity makes for fertile soil to compose of them what one wishes...
- Apr 15, 12:36 pm - TEASER-Episode 169: Analyzing Hitchcock's "Vertigo" (Part Two)
Jennifer, I think you hit on some stellar points, and I also see a lot of what you are saying. I think it is interesting you noted about Scottie and having his main anchor of meaning/structure (his job) being ripped from him and leaving him in a place of despair, and that his falling in love with Madeline was a sort of knee jerk reaction to establish structure by using her as an anchor for a sense of identity and meaning. I never dug that deep, or rather, over looked that bit, but it seems probable that it be the source of all this, or the initial catalyst, a man no longer in control of his life, unable to do his job (sense of self) because of this "weakness" or illness. He has removed from him his level of control via leaving the force. Suspended in this "meaninglessness" he seeks to allocate that "control" through love, through Madeline. There are all these interesting lines from Stewart's character, particularly when Madeline is about to run up the tower. He says "No one is possessing you." "You are safe with me." and "I am not gonna lose you." Here we see how...
- Apr 14, 10:02 pm - Primitivism and the Counterculture
That said, Rainbow Serpent is a quality doof, so it's not like Aboriginal imagery has no place in modern hippy festivals here.
- Apr 13, 11:59 am - Episode 32: Heidegger: What is "Being?" (Citizens Only)
Hi Nick The professor was Robert Mugerauer. Some publications: https://www.amazon.com/Heideggers-Language-Thinking-Robert-Mugerauer/dp/039103667X/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 https://www.amazon.com/Interpretations-Behalf-Place-Environmental-Displacements/dp/0791419444/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 Seth
- Apr 13, 11:56 am - Episode 32: Heidegger: What is "Being?" (Citizens Only)
Nevermind, I listened 4 minutes further and realized you stated his name haha. Different guy.
- Apr 13, 11:47 am - Episode 32: Heidegger: What is "Being?" (Citizens Only)
Random question for Wes, but who did you write your thesis with from the Architecture department at UT? Very loose connection, but a professor of mine at University of Florida school of architecture studied at UT and also has a keen interest in Heidegger.
- Apr 13, 12:50 am - Dave Chappelle
How many of the impoverished whites make it? It’s obviously an easier mountain to climb for white folk, but it’s a mountain nonetheless. A middle class launch point seems to be the critical factor. And the middle class is slipping away... for all races. Not proposing a communist agenda, but the current trend favors excess wealth bolstered by the excessive poor.
- Apr 12, 12:07 pm - PREVIEW-Episode 32: Heidegger: What is "Being?"
1. Intellectualizing about why one shouldn't intellectualize is a ridiculous task in itself. 2. When I use a hammer I know how to use it because a) someone has already explained to me its concept b) I already have the concept of a similar object. Otherwise, if it's an unrecognized object I would have to step back and conceptualize it before even attempting to use it. The whole point of philosophy is to help that very process. 3. Turning your back on someone who got you to where you're at intellectually (a person that you even dedicated your most renowned work to) simply because they weren't in with the "in" crowd is the definition of an inauthentic person. 4. It's good to study the roots, but if you miss the newly developed fruits because you're intellectually close-minded, you're simply an old fashioned fool. Not even academics of this man seem to be able to state a single profound thought he posited. Perhaps he would have made for a better critic than philosopher.
- Apr 12, 8:15 am - Episode 187: The Limits of Free Speech (Part Two)
I have been reading a little Fish. He appears to be arguing that, if the purposes of two groups contradict then all that remains is for them to have a fight. Since the objective of fighting is always to win, speech (i.e., your opponent's common sense) is inevitably a weapon which, therefore, must be neutralized. Hence, he believes that "speech is never a value in and of itself but is always produced within the precincts of some assumed conception of the good to which it must yield in the event of conflict." He is, consequently, some kind of constructivist; that is, he believes that the current state of the universe is contingent. In other words, he's been reading too much Darwin. I suggest, as a first step towards his redemption, that he (re-)watch "Twelve Angry Men." 😉 Personally, I prefer a Kantian analysis in which the proper use of coercion is as a hindrance to the hindrance of freedom generally. Obviously, as long as you are hurling epithets, it is not possible to talk to you.
- Apr 12, 4:11 am - Episode 187 Follow-Up: The Limits of Free Speech (Citizens Only)
I'm not sure I understood Wes right.HE said something offhand like, 'we know why people are intelligent, they grew up with books'. I don' think that is actually the case, maybe it is the case for IQ. The biggest challenges for intelligence I would think are getting from infancy to toddlerhood...you actually have to build language and awareness and consciousness from scratch, everything after is laughably easy. (sort of). In any event I agree with what I think the thrust of the point is: We just are not able to measure intelligence well right now.
- Apr 11, 5:05 pm - Episode 187: The Limits of Free Speech (Citizen Edition)
No, I think that's right, and it's the way I should have explained it to Wes at the time. Still, with that understood, it's hard to see exactly how to apply it to "free speech." So in a university, there's the "how to talk to students" language game, and the "publishing academic papers" game, and both of those have restrictions on them such that going off on a jag about how the Holocaust was a myth breaks the rules of both. But what particular "game" are we playing just by existing in a society? Again, I think Fish's argument has to be something like the social contract, but the idea of giving up certain rights (the right to violence against others) does place restrictions, but not in the manner of a game with certain duties (e.g. make the moves in chess you need to try to win). I mean, our lives necessarily involve lots of different activities, and the idea that the state can tie us to a particular language game sounds Orwellian.