In my last essay, I argued that it was important to distinguish science from non-science, and that a first step toward doing so was to distinguish between nomothetic (law-seeking) sciences like physics and chemistry, and idiographic (particularizing) sciences like biology and geography. I tried to show that science doesn’t have to copy methods characteristic of physics in order to count Continue Reading …
A burning question: are the aesthetics of the Trump regime more “kitsch” or “camp”?
On Blaise Pascal’s Pensées (1670).
Is it rational to have religious faith? You’re likely familiar with “Pascal’s Wager,” but our wretchedness is such that we can’t simply choose to believe and won’t be argued into it. Pascal thinks Christianity is the only religion to accurately describe the human condition.
Arrica has released five albums and three EPs of floaty, poetic, California rock since 2006.
We discuss “Whole Lotta Lows” and “X-Ray Eyes” from Low as the Moon (2017) and “When the Clouds Hang This Low” from Let Alone Sea (2011). We conclude by listening to “On and On” by Dear County from Low Country (2016). Intro music: “Sail Away” from Antebellum (2010). For more, visit arricarose.com.
The claim to be doing science is a claim to prestige and authority. For this reason, it’s important to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate claims to that term, and in order to do that we need to have a clear idea of what science really is.
Continuing on John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty. We discuss “partial truths,” whether “truth will out,” whether we can discard some “experiments in living” as established failures, education, “barbarians,” how Mill compares to Nietzsche, and more.
End song: “Flavor” by Tori Amos with strings by John Philip Shenale, interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #12.
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Discussing John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty (1859).
If we disapprove of certain behaviors, when is it okay to prohibit them legally? What about just shaming people? Mill’s “harm principle” says that we should permit anything (legally and socially) unless it harms other people. But what constitutes “harm”? And how can we discourage someone from, e.g., just being drunk all the time?
Mark, Wes, and Dylan bring this debate to current issues and explore some of the weirder aspects of Mill’s view.
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It is my belief no man ever understands quite his own artful dodges to escape from the grim shadow of self-knowledge. –Lord Jim
Listen along as we discuss this richly complex novel of responsibility, guilt, shame, and redemption.
Hear more Phi Fic discussions at PhiFicPodcast.
The PEL guys get personal and political and tell you in brief about things like Planet of the Apes, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and Vine Deloria Jr. in the second half of our year-in-review discussion. Here you get a taste. You can only hear the meat with the full, ad-free episode, posted for PEL Citizens (see partiallyexaminedlife.com/support!) or at patreon.com/partiallyexaminedlife.
The recent boom of interest in alternative currencies has generated a dizzying amount of economic speculation, with a corresponding amount of confusion. The question that economists are asking right now is: what is the value of these currencies? Mainstream economics points to scarcity and utility as the primary sources of value, but these explanations don’t always yield satisfactory answers. The labor theory of value provides an alternative perspective on alternative currencies, one that might show us something of real worth in the emerging digital economy.
To what extent has our podcast changed in reaction to current politics? Mark, Seth, Wes, and Dylan reflect back on our year, discuss how we select texts, and give some thumbnail sketches of potential topics. Also, does authorial intent matter, and how to talk philosophically about works that aren’t philosophical texts.
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Jherek started off as bassist in the late ’90s for the Seattle art rock bands The Dead Science and Parenthetical Girls, and has released about five solo albums (and other things) since 2006, the last two being full-on orchestral works.
We discuss the title track from Cistern (2016), “The Nest” featuring Mirah from Composed (2012), and “Blackstar,” featuring Anna Calvi, from a David Bowie tribute with Amanda Palmer called Strung Out in Heaven (2016). We conclude by listening to “Eyes” feat. David Byrne, also from Composed. Opening/closing music: “Automatism” from Cistern. For more info, see jherekbischoff.com.
Continuing on Eichmann in Jerusalem, on how ordinary people can do—or acquiesce to—horrific things. How do people rationalize this? What can we apply from this to ourselves? Also, how was genocide a new type of crime, and what’s the best rationale for punishing it? We talk justice, revenge, and ways that we too might be morally mass-confused.
End song: “Hiding from the Face of God”; hear Mark talk to singer/songwriter Jeff Heiskell on Nakedly Examined Music eps. 5 and 63.
The monster represents the return of a devitalized creator, where the loss of vitality represents a failure of creativity—driven by an inability to tolerate the imperfection of the creative process. The solution involves reconciling the fact of being a creature with that of being a creator.
Perfect childhoods are deadly traps, but neglecting one’s family—in favor of one’s creative ambitions—is no escape.
In a previous article, we finished our exploration of Michael Allen Gillespie’s Theological Origins of Modernity. One of the things I tried to show, on the basis of Gillespie’s argument, was that modern intellectual history can be mapped, more or less exhaustively, according to a three-part diagram, where the axes are defined by the place where explanation stops. The medieval Continue Reading …
Creative commitment and perfectionism do not mix: There is nothing like a perfect childhood to produce the perfect monster.
In their “workshop of filthy creation”—in which their endeavors are monstrously incomplete—how do artists remain committed?
In a competition with already-famous poets, one of whom was her future husband, an 18-year-old Mary Shelley was asked to create a ghost story. Instead, she created a story of the perils of creative ambition, and the possibility that it might lead to a ghosting of the self.