On Alexander Hamilton/James Madison’s Federalist Papers (1, 10-12, 14-17, 39, 47-51), plus Letters III and IV from Brutus, an Anti-Federalist.
On Fame: What the Classics Tell Us About Our Cult of Celebrity by Tom Payne (2010).
On philosophical issues in McCarthy’s 2005 novel about guys running around with drug money and shooting each other, and about fiction as a form for exploring philosophical ideas. With guest Eric Petrie.
On Candide: or, Optimism, the novel by Voltaire (1759).
On Friedrich Nietzsche’s “On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense” (1873). WIth guest Jessica Berry.
On Aristotle’s Politics (350 BCE), books 1 (ch 1-2), 3, 4 (ch 1-3), 5 (ch 1-2), 6 (ch 1-6), and 7 (ch. 1-3, 13-15).
On Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory (1981), mostly ch. 3-7 and 14-17.
On G.E. Moore’s Principia Ethica, ch. 1 (1903); Charles Leslie Stevenson’s “The Emotive Meaning of Ethical Terms” (1937), and Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue, ch. 1-2.
On Bergson’s Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic (1900). With guest Jennifer Dziura.
Continuing discussion of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, Part I, sections 1-33 and 191-360. With guest Philosophy Bro.
On Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, Part I, sections 1-33 and 191-360 (written around 1946). With guest Philosophy Bro.
Continuing our discussion of Owen Flanagan’s The Bodhisattva’s Brain: Buddhism Naturalized (2011).
Discussing The Bodhisattva’s Brain: Buddhism Naturalized (2011) with Owen Flanagan. What philosophical insights can we modern folks with our science and naturalism (i.e. inclination against super-natural explanations) glean from Buddhisim? Flanagan says plenty: We can profitably put Buddhist ethics in dialogue with familiar types of virtue ethics. However, we need to be skeptical of any claims to scientific support the superior happiness of Buddhists.
On W.E.B. DuBois’s “Of Our Spiritual Strivings” (1903), Cornel West’s “A Genealogy of Modern Racism” (1982), and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (1963) and “The Black Power Defined” (1967), plus Malcolm X’s “The Black Revolution” (1963). With guest Lawrence Ware.
On Ferdinand de Saussure’s Course in General Linguistics (1916) (Part I and Part II, Ch. 4), Claude Levi-Strauss’s “The Structural Study of Myth” (1955), and Jacques Derrida’s “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences” (1966). WIth guest C. Derick Varn.
On Robert M. Pirsig’s philosophical, autobiographical novel from 1974. With guest David Buchanan.
Discussing Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish (1975), parts 1, 2 and section 3 of part 3. Are we really free? Kings no longer exert absolute and arbitrary power over us, but Foucault’s picture of the evolution from torture and public executions to rehabilitative, medical-style incarceration is not so much a triumph of liberty but a shift to more subtle but more pervasive exertions of power. Learn more.
End songs: “The Zoo Song” and “Solitary Drama,” both from 1991, released on the Mark Lint album Black Jelly Beans & Smokes.
Discussing Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish (1975), parts 1, 2 and section 3 of part 3. With guest Katie McIntyre.
Discussing Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s “Primacy of Perception” (1946) and The World of Perception (1948). What is the relation of perception to knowledge? In M-P’s phenomenology, perception is primary: even our knowledge of mathematical truths is in some way conditioned by and dependent on the fact that we are creatures with bodies and senses that work the way they do. Science is great, but it doesn’t discover the truth of things hiding behind perception: it is an abstraction from certain kinds of perceptions. Other modes of approaching things, e.g. art, can equally well give us knowledge, though of a different kind. Learn more.
Discussing Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s “Primacy of Perception” (1946) and The World of Perception (1948).