The Ancient philosophy of Stoicism, as the ultimate life hack, has taken the world by storm. It seems particularly suited to providing pithy quotes for Silicon Valley desktops, doors of CrossFit gyms, and the bedroom walls of disenfranchised youths. On the face of it, there is nothing wrong with that. But then again, didn’t the famous Stoic slave Epictetus warn us all about learning just a “little philosophy”?
The PEL Players return to perform a “cold read” of Aristophanes’s play about using a sex strike to end war, first performed in 411 BCE. Jeffrey Henderson’s translation makes this very accessible, and it’s still really damn funny. Your hosts are joined by five real actors from TV, film, and Broadway. We will be following this up in ep. 188 with a full discussion of the play and the issues it raises.
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Aaron was born into show business, staring young in L.A. in the early ’00s with All Hours, then went solo, moved to New York, became an actor, and has now released his first album in seven years, Wry Observer.
We discuss the title track from that album plus “Brooklyn at Dawn” (the intro music is from that too: “The Last to Die in Battle”). Then we look back to “Box Office Stud” by All Hours (2004) and finish by listening to “Bright Lights” from the album Aaron David Gleason (2010). Learn more at aarondavidgleason.com.
Three substantial chunks of a follow-up conversation to our free speech episode. Mark and Wes discuss Jordan Peterson on speech, organizations promoting certain speech (as opposed to restricting), insults vs. arguments, offense vs. harm, “incoherence” arguments like Fish’s, fundamental principles in ethics, and more.
In the last article, we saw how the Protestant Reformation challenged the premodern conception of reality, and began to put in place some of the elements we can recognize today in modern, Western-style secularism. In particular, there was a “flattening effect” when it came to time, space, and devotion. More and more, secular, ordinary time came to the forefront. The Continue Reading …
Continuing our free-form discussion, trying to make sense of Stanley Fish’s “There’s No Such Thing as Free Speech, and It’s a Good Thing, Too” (1994) and other potential rationales for prohibiting hate speech. How might the same sentence or idea be used in different speech acts, some of which might be legitimately censured but others not?
Amy has recorded nine albums of emotionally stark but often artistically decorated original folk music, punctuated by cover tunes like the opening music here, Townes Van Zandt’s “Buckskin Stallion Blues,” which appeared in the film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
We discuss “Mouth to Mouth” from The Autopilot Knows You Best (2000), “The Nightjar’s Blues” from The Cimarron Banks (2010), and “Natural Arc” from Songs for Creeps (2006), which also contains our closer, “I’m A-Gone Down to the Greenfields.” Visit amyannelle.bandcamp.com.
In previous articles, we’ve taken some first steps toward answering the underlying question of Charles Taylor’s book, A Secular Age. He asks us to look at Europe around the year 1500, and observe that belief in God had an unproblematic, normative, even a central, character for those societies. But when we look around today, we find a very different climate. Continue Reading …
Why do diamonds cost more than water, when water is essential to life? The answer eluded both Smith and Marx before its resolution arrived in the form of the Marginal Revolution.
A free-form discussion drawing on Stanley Fish’s “There’s No Such Thing as Free Speech, and It’s a Good Thing, Too” (1994), Joel Feinberg’s “Limits to the Free Expression of Opinion” (1975), and other sources.
What are the legitimate limits on free speech? Feinberg delves into the harm and offense principles. Fish argues that every claim to free speech has ideological assumptions actually favoring some types of speech baked into it. A lively back and forth ensues!
Don’t wait for part two! Get the full, unbroken Citizen Edition now! Please support PEL! We’ll also be soon releasing a full-length follow-up discussion to this one between Mark and Wes, just for supporters.
In our previous articles, we began to explore what Charles Taylor calls the “bulwarks of belief.” These are the aspects of psychology and society that made belief nearly irresistible for most Europeans around the year 1500. Taylor postulates these bulwarks thus: that purpose and design were evident in nature and history; that God was implicated in the very existence of Continue Reading …
http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/partiallyexaminedlife/NEM_ep_069_2-1-18.mp3Podcast (nakedly-examined-music-podcast): Play in new window | Download (Duration: 36:51 — 33.9MB)On NEM#15, Craig introduced us to his songwriting style: How a hardcore aesthetic informs even his most syntho creations, and how whimsicality and beauty can coexist harmoniously. Craig has since then released the Adult Desire album, and returns to talk to us about the song “Safe Home/Fadeland” and about Continue Reading …
Join us as we delve into Coetzee’s rich, complex exploration of story and authorship in this novel that presents an origin story of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. Coetzee writes about Susan Barton, a castaway at sea who discovers an island inhabited by two men, Robinson Crusoe and Friday. Once rescued, she seeks the renowned author Daniel Defoe to help tell her story, but struggles to communicate her experiences.
Hear more Phi Fic discussions at PhiFicPodcast.com.
Continuing on How to Do Things with Words (lectures from 1955), covering lectures 5–9.
Austin tries and fails to come up with a way to grammatically distinguish performatives from other utterances, and so turns to his more complicated system of aspects of a single act: locutionary, illocutionary, perlocutionary. In doing so, he perlocutionarily blows our minds.
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In the previous article, we explored the “Bulwarks of Belief”—those features of the premodern, European mindset that, according to Charles Taylor, made belief in transcendent realities nearly inescapable. There were basically three of them: God’s purposes were evident in the design of nature, and in particular incidents (often construed as this-worldly dispensations of divine justice); God was implicated in the Continue Reading …
Billy now does press for many of his idols, but began as a drummer in music school and started Ant-Bee in the late ’80s, as a Zappa-esque improv live act and as a Beach Boys–psychedelic solo recording effort. He’s released four albums, increasingly featuring his clients.
We discuss two tracks from Electronic Church Muzik (2011): “Flutter-Bye, Butter-Flye” (feat. Michael Bruce) and “The Language of the Body” (feat. poetry by Gong’s Daevid Allen and layering on parts by Zappa alums). We then look back to two tracks from With My Favorite “Vegetables” & Other Bizarre Muzik (1994): “The Girl with the Stars in Her Hair” and a Beach Boys cover, “Do You Like Worms?” Opening/closing music: “Eating Chocolate Cake (In the Bath)” from Pure Electric Honey (1990). For more info, see ant-bee.com and glassonyonpr.com.
On How to Do Things with Words (lectures from 1955).
What’s the relationship between language and the world? Austin says it’s not all about descriptive true-or-false statements, but also includes “performatives” like “I promise…” and “I do” (spoken in a wedding) that are actions unto themselves. They can’t be true or false, but they can be “unhappy” if social conventions aren’t fulfilled (e.g., you try to marry a pig). Austin thinks performatives will change your whole view of language and of linguistically expressed philosophical problems!
What do the epistemological limitations of economic reasoning tell us about popular political discourse?