A discussion of the classic film by the Philosophy in Film Not School Group featuring PEL Citizens Mike Murray, Justin Modra, and Ray Black, recorded 10/25/17.
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 guests, 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.
End song: “The Evening Standard” (from 1992 or so) from Mark Lint’s Black Jelly Beans & Smokes.
On Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (1963).
Are we still morally culpable if our entire society is corrupt? Arendt definitely thinks so, but has a number of criticisms of the handling of the 1961 trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. The Israelis were committed to the view that Eichmann was a monster, when the reality, says Arendt, is more frightening.
End song: “Hiding from the Face of God” from Judybats 2000; listen to me interview singer/songwriter Jeff Heiskell on Nakedly Examined Music eps. 5 and 63.
Another 23 minutes of catch-up talk with my ep 63 guests: Bradley works new members into the band, Jeff records a video for his new song “I Want More Life,” Steve has been doing backing instruments for his saxophone teacher (with a full song from that new project at the end of this recording), plus hear about guests I’ve been chasing around but haven’t gotten on the show yet, and more.
On Psychology, the Briefer Course (1892), chapters on “The Self,” “Will,” and “Emotions.”
Continuing from ep. 179, we talk about the “Me” (the part of me that I know) vs. the “I” (the part of me that knows), including personal identity. James thinks that emotions are just our experience of our own physiology. Finally, we tackle will, veering into ethics, free will, and more.
End song: “Join the Zoo/Live Again” by Craig Wedren, heard on Nakedly Examined Music #15.
On The Principles of Psychology (1890) chapters 1 & 7, and Psychology, the Briefer Course (1892), the chapters on “The Stream of Thought,” “Habit,” and some of “The Self.”
Can we talk about the mind in a way that is both scientific and also does justice to our everyday experiences? James thought his method, which involved both introspection and physiology, yielded more accurate descriptions of the mind than associationism (the mind is made up of ideas) or spiritualism (the mind is a faculty of the soul). Consciousness is a stream, not a concatenation of ideas!
End song: “Drowning Mind (feedback overload)” by AMP, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #57.
On Friedrich Nietzsche’s 1888 book summarizing his thought and critiquing the founding myths of his society. He defends “spiritualized” instinct and frenzied creativity, but also Napoleon and war. We try to figure out what kind of social critic he’d be today. Would we actually like him?
End song: “Oblivion” by Tyler Hislop, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #24.
End song: “Needle Exchange” by Punchy; listen to singer/songwriter Fritz Beer interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #2.
On Stanley Milgram’s “Behavioral Study of Obedience” (1963), Philip Zimbardo’s “Interpersonal Dynamics in a Simulated Prison” (1973), and John Doris’s “Persons, Situations, and Virtue Ethics” (1998).
Do difficult situations make good people act badly? Are there really “good” and “bad” people, or are we all about the same, but put in different situations?
End song: “Doing the Wrong Thing – Live” by Kaki King; listen to her on Nakedly Examined Music #54.
On Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1967) and the films Blade Runner 2049 (2007) and Blade Runner (1982).
What makes us human? Dick’s story about androids emphasized their lack of empathy, while the movie adaptations portrayed the “replicants” as plenty capable of emotion, but unjustly treated as servants or targets.
End song: “Wounds and Nihilism (Quantum Androids),” written for this episode by Tyler Hislop (feat. Mark Lint). Listen to Tyler on Nakedly Examined Music #24.
On the foundational, 1776 text of modern economics. How does the division of labor and our instinct to exchange lead to the growth of wealth? Is the economy sufficiently machine-like to enable us to manipulate its output, or at least to tell us how not to screw it up?
End song: “With My Looks and Your Brains” by The Mr. T Experience. Hear about the singer/songwriter on Nakedly Examined Music #56.
PEL Citizens Justin Modra, Alexander Roth, and Brian Wise discuss free will as expressed by the question, “Could I have done otherwise?” The book selected is The Free Will Delusion: How We Settled for the Illusion of Morality (2015).
What is wisdom? We discuss articles by Brian Burkhart, Gregory Cajete, and Anne Waters, plus Black Elk Speaks by John Neihardt (1932) and some traditional stories. With guest Jim Marunich; we read his master’s thesis, “Process Metaphysics in the Far West: American Indian Ontologies.”
End song: “Circle’s Gotta Go” by Kim Rancourt, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #52.
After listening to Nakedly Examined Music ep. 55, feast on this conversation about whether music progresses and where it might be progressing to now, among other topics. Includes about 15 minutes of talking plus songs: “Peaches En Regalia Live” by the Grandmothers from Eating the Astoria (2000), “Inner Blues (Not a Blues)” by the Don Preston Trio from Transformation (2001), and “Loki” from Io Landscapes (2004).
Radio legend Dr. Drew Pinsky talks with us about “Attachment and reflective function: their role in self-organization” by Peter Fonagy and two articles by Allan Schore.
The focus is “theory of mind”; how do we develop the ability to impute thoughts and intentions to others? What in our upbringing can interfere with this development? We relate this back to previous episodes (Hegel, Buber, etc.) on recognition by others of the self.
End song: “Anything but Love” by Steve Hackett, as featured on Nakedly Examined Music #45.
Bob joins the PEL four to discuss his new book Why Buddhism Is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment. Bob applies his expertise in evolutionary psychology to corroborate Buddhism’s claims that we are deluded: about our desires, emotions, the unity of our selves, and the “essences” we project on things and people. And he thinks meditation can instill in the diligent the ability to see things more clearly. But does it really?
End song: “Alphalpha Bhang” by Anton Barbeau; see Nakedly Examined Music #50.
What is culture? In modern capitalism, Debord’s 1967 book describes it as all about the economy. It’s not just our jobs that keep us trapped, but our life outside of working hours is also demanded by “the system” via our activity as consumers, and this commoditization infiltrates every corner of our lives. Debord wants us to WAKE UP, break our chains, and live lives of immediacy, vitality, and authenticity.
End song: “Millionaire” by The Mekons (1993), one of whom, Jon Langford, Mark interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #22.
On the 1958 film and articles including Laura Mulvey’s “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” (1975) and Robin Wood’s “Vertigo” (1965). What’s the nature of love/lust? Are we really just loving an image we’ve built while remaining fundamentally isolated? And is it just an illusionary social construct that keeps us all from feeling fundamental vertigo? Lacan, existentialism, and more!
End song: “Wrong Pill” by Sacrifice (aka Tyler Hislop). Hear him on Nakedly Examined Music #24.
On Charles Darwin’s 1859 book, ch. 1–4, 6, and 14. What are the philosophical ramifications of Darwin’s theory of evolution? We go through Darwin’s arguments, compare his views to other theories of evolution like Lamarck’s, and talk about how an evolutionary way of looking at things has influenced philosophers.
End song: “I Live” by Jason Falkner, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #47.