Have you gotten lost in our 200+ episodes? Don’t quite know where to dive into our back catalog? Due to several people nagging me over email in recent years, I’ve finally updated our Episodes by Topic page to carry us through the present day. This includes new tabs dedicated to the philosophy of language and to psychology, which we’ve now Continue Reading …
Continuing with Simon on his book On Truth (2018).
We move to part two of the book, where we get down to the procedures used to obtain truth in art, ethics, and science. Yes, truth is objective, but it’s not best described as correspondence, and in fact this elaboration of how truth is actually obtained is more enlightening than any abstract definition meant to cover all the different types of truth-seeking.
Listen to part one first, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition, and also Wes’s bonus conversation on Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five. Please support PEL!
End song: “with you/for you” from the new cold/mess EP by Prateek Kuhad, interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #79.
Jeff, Lise, and Brian roll up their sleeves and dig in to Aristotle’s Politics.
How are this and other “Great Books” relevant to how we live our lives? What is good political rule? What does it mean to be “just” within a political system? The team tackles those questions and much more in this episode.
Get more C&C on the PEL site or at combatandclassics.org.
John Woo is synonymous with Hollywood blockbuster action films, but his films are actually more about ethics than explosions. His 1989 masterpiece The Killer is a Confucian action film.
The Cambridge/etc. prof joins Mark, Wes, and Dylan to discuss his book On Truth (2018).
What is truth? Simon’s view synthesizes deflationism and pragmatism to avoid relativism by fixing on the domain-specific procedures we actually engage in to establish the truth of a claim, whether in ethics, science, art, or whatever. A gift of clarity after two episodes threshing through the jungles of analytic philosophy!
Don’t wait for part 2! Get the full, unbroken Citizen Edition now, as well as Wes’s discussion on Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five.
Prateek was named artist of the year for 2016 by MTV India, and has been releasing tasteful, lyrics-focused songs about relationships in English and Hindi since 2011.
We focus on his 2015 album Tokens and Charms: “Go,” “Oh Love,” and “Flames,” plus the 2017 single “Tum Jab Pas,” and the title track from his brand new EP cold/mess. Intro/outro: “Raat Raazi” (2013). For more, visit prateekkuhad.com.
“Faith is not to be contrasted with knowledge: faith (at least in paradigmatic instances) is knowledge, knowledge of a certain special kind.” —Alvin Plantinga
Continuing on “Truth” by J.L. Austin and “Truth” by P.F. Strawson, both from 1950. We proceed to the Strawson article, which critiques the notion of a “fact” as explaining why a sentence might be true. A “fact” is not a thing in the world! So what do we add when we change “The cat is on the mat” to “‘The cat is on the mat’ is true”?
End song: “Troof” by Shawn Phillips, as interviewed for Nakedly Examined Music #77.
On two articles in the “ordinary language” tradition of philosophy called “Truth” from 1950 by J.L. Austin and P.F. Strawson.
Is truth a property of particular speech acts, or of the propositions expressed through speech acts? Does truth mean correspondence with the facts, or does the word “fact” make this definition totally uninformative? Does saying “is true” add any information content to a sentence over and above just stating that sentence?
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Wes Alwan and Bill Youmans discuss the 1611 play about revenge, forgiveness, and authorship. Or maybe it’s about exploitation, or how we react to changes in status, or perhaps how a liberal education can give you magical powers!
Tara has long been building her heavy metal guitar skills, but has only recently gone public, building a huge social media following and now releasing Evil Enough, an album featuring musicians who’ve played with Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Yngwie Malmsteen, etc.
“To preach skepticism to us as a duty until ‘sufficient evidence’ for religion be found, is tantamount therefore to telling us, when in presence of the religious hypothesis, that to yield to our fear of its being error is wiser and better than to yield to our hope that it may be true. It is not intellect against all passions, then; it is only intellect with one passion laying down its law.” —William James
Continuing on Tarski’s “The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundations of Semantics” (1944), Hartry Field’s “Tarski’s Theory of Truth” (1972), and Donald Davidson’s “The Folly of Trying to Define Truth” (1977).
What was Tarski really doing? What are the implications of his project? Does it even make sense to define “truth,” and what should a definition look like?
End song: “In Vino Vertias” by Sunspot; Mark interviewed Mike Huberty on Nakedly Examined Music #64.
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On Tarski’s “The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundations of Semantics” (1944), Hartry Field’s “Tarski’s Theory of Truth” (1972), and Donald Davidson’s “The Folly of Trying to Define Truth” (1977).
What is truth? Tarski gives a technical, metaphysically neutral definition for truth within a particular, well-defined language. So how does that apply to real languages? He thought he was defining truth (a semantic concept) in terms of more primitive (physical?) concepts, but Field and Davidson think that actually, truth as a general concept is indefinable, even though it’s still helpful for Tarski to have laid out the relations among various semantic concepts.
Help us keep more episodes ad-free by supporting us! You can get the Citizen Edition of this episode and not have to wait for part 2, and also soon listen to Wes’s discussion of Shakespeare’s Tempest!
Shawn started as a ’60s folk singer, went to England to cavort with the greats of classic rock, and emerged in the ’70s with ten albums of eclectic, progressive music with shamanic lyrics delivered with a twang.
We discuss “Woman” from Second Contribution (1971), “A Christmas Song” from Faces (1972) and “Mr. President” from Furthermore (1974), then play two songs from his new album, Continuance: “C’mon Round” and “Bach to the Fusion.” Opening music: “I’m a Loner (I’m a Drifter)” from I’m a Loner (1964). For more, see shawnphillips.com.
Hear highlights from two supporter-only discussions: Allan Bloom on Nietzsche/Freud/etc. and Leo Strauss vs. Richard Rorty on liberal education and democracy.
Imagine a ship owner who sells tickets for transatlantic voyages. He is at the dock one day, bidding his ship farewell, when he remembers a warning he had received from his mechanics the week before, that the integrity of the ship’s hull was questionable and that it might not be seaworthy. But on some plausible grounds or other he forms Continue Reading …
Continuing with the current St. John’s College president on articles on liberal education by Jacob Klein, Sidney Hook, and Martha Nussbaum.
What’s the practical application of a liberal education? Is it really liberating or indoctrinating? We continue discussion of the Great Books model.
End song: “Preservation Hill” by The Bevis Frond; Mark interviewed Nick Saloman on Nakedly Examined Music #75.
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“If it is to be established that there is a God, then we have to have good grounds for believing that this is indeed so. Until and unless some such grounds are produced we have literally no reason at all for believing; and in that situation the only reasonable posture must be that of either the negative atheist or the agnostic.”