Continuing on the Introduction, we get into more detail on Hegel’s goal and his tricky terminology.
On G.W.F. Hegel’s 1807 opus: A series of treatments of various theories in epistemology (among other things), seeing how they’re internally incoherent, which then moves us to more sophisticated theories.
On Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling’s System of Transcendental Idealism (1800), Parts 1 and 2.
What is self-consciousness, and how did Schelling think that it grounds all of knowledge?
On Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling’s System of Transcendental Idealism (1800).
What’s the relationship between mind and world? Schelling thought that our minds produce the world, but also that the perceiver-world dichotomy comes to us as a single piece. “Transcendental philosophy” is an exploration of the internal logic of that revelation.
Our second full discussion on The Vocation of Man (1799).
What are the ethical implications of believing that the world is all in our minds? You could be a solipsistic nihilist, but Fichte thinks the path of faith is unavoidable for a reasonable person: faith that the world is real and matters, that other people have moral status, and yes, he’s going to argue for God and heaven, though unconventionally.
On The Vocation of Man (1799), Books I and II. What is reality? Fichte’s armchair journey starts him considering nature and thus himself as determined, but then he backtracks to say that actually, experience doesn’t tell us whether we’re determined or free. In Book II, he argues that since our experience is always of something going on in ourselves, then all of our concepts like causality, the external world, and the self must be really just our own mental creations. So we’re free after all, yet everything is drained of significance! Tune into ep. 272 for the resolution of this drama!
On God and the World’s Arrangement: Readings from Vedanta and Nyaya Philosophy of Religion with one of its translators, Stephen Phillips.
Does nature require an intelligent designer? Śaṅkara (710 CE) and Vācaspati Miśra (960 CE), commenting on the Brahma-sūtra (ca. 200 CE) and Nyāya-sūtra (ca. 200 BCE), argue that it does against atheistic Buddhists, Sāṃkhya believers in a primordial matter that acts on its own, and the Mīmāṃsā conservatives who so venerated scripture that they ruled out a God who created it. But if we’re all Brahman (God), just trying to discover that we are and so escape the cycle of rebirth, then where is there room for a particular deity who created us?
On Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (1985) with guest Brian Hirt.
How does the form in which we receive media affect how we think? Education theorist Postman (building on Marshall McLuhan’s “the medium is the message”) claimed that the advent of television has eroded our capacity to reason and given us the expectation that everything in the world must entertain. Is this a viable piece of social construction theory? How does the critique apply to the Internet age?