Recorded 3/16, with a little genetic testing talk, then teaching/audience interaction things we have considered doing. We look forward to Avicenna and an Indian philosophy episode, consider Emily Dickenson, and talk more about our parameters re. what to cover in light of the fun we had with Lear, which was both a secondary source (bad) and basically a third Plato episode in a row (also bad).
Recorded on March 2 after the Phaedo and before recording on Jonathan Lear’s Open Minded. We talk death, arrogance, and answer letters: one from Cambodia and one asking “IS PEL OVER?” It is not.
First the weather: Seth’s stories of the blizzard in Austin that made him miss Timaeus. We look back at that, then forward at Phaedo, Avicenna, and some other possible topics.
We do some post-gaming on ep. 263: How did you like us covering a secondary source and having two guests sitting in for two hosts? We think about an Badiou episode; should we invite a guest for that? Should we ever cover secondary literature again? Finally, we anticipate Plato’s Timaeus.
The Partially Examined Life (Citizens): (Protected Content)Recorded on Jan. 28, we first consider the question “what are the dumbest ideas in philosophy?” The particular Philosophers’ Zone episode that our questioner pointed us to was this one on “The Worst Argument in the World.” We consider again the Angela Davis episode idea as a way of getting into a discussion of Continue Reading …
Recorded on Jan. 14, we give some off-the-cuff updates to our take on the pandemic and our coping strategies. Plus, updates on PEL book, transcripts, and a potential black history month episode (Angela Davis?).
An extra-long Nightcap looking forward to PEL coverage in 2021, with some political dialogue on the state of the country and what we might want to do about it. Plus, we respond to listener emails: Will doing philosophy put a crimp in your science career (or other prep for your legit day job)?
Join the office party, where Mark holds mini conversations on philosophy, art, and life with all PEL and PMP co-hosts, plus Ken Stringfellow, Jenny Hansen, and the members of Mark Lint’s Dry Folk, whose 12 tunes are presented in succession with nary a partridge in sight. Will these 12 spirits turn you (or Mark) from errant ways? BYOB!
Some post-election hot takes, more on Locke’s project and responding to listeners about Kropotkin, philosophical journaling, and more.
The Norwegian philosopher Peter Zapffe is little-known to most Anglophone readers. “The Last Messiah” is a 1933 essay that stands out as an important work in the sphere of philosophical pessimism. The views expressed are a kind of evolutionary existentialism. For Zapffe, angst, despair, and depression are due to our overly evolved intellect: we have an overabundance of consciousness. We think too much for our own good.
The Romanian philosopher Emil Cioran long struggled with insomnia, although he did not exclusively view it as a curse. He actually found insomnia to be an insightful condition, casting it as something distinctly human, as well as a state that could be highly productive for the philosopher.
The confusion caused by categorical reasoning in the cancel culture debate.
The passing of nature seems to provide an immediate therapy, “a self-forgetful pleasure in the sheer alien pointless independent existence of animals, birds, stones and trees.” I’ve found this to be true during my attempts to wade through high grass near my house. The fact that the birds have no idea what’s going on in my mind has been reassuring; their indifference to our condition provides what Murdoch describes as “unselfing,” as I reposition my concerns in the wider world.
In this final post in a series on the history of Satan, Vincent Czyz shows us how in the early centuries of the Christian era, the serpent in the Garden of Eden came to be identified with the Prince of Darkness, and the details of the story of the Fall From Heaven, familiar to readers from Paradise lost, were filled in.
In the intertestamental literature, written between the Old and the New Testaments, Satan continues his dual evolution into both the personification of Hate and God’s opponent. The New Testament exhibits completely contradictory versions of Satan: Sometimes he is the Tester, as in Mark, Matthew, and Luke; but in other places, as in Revelations, Persian dualism seems to hold sway.
In the Hebrew Bible, satan originally not a name but an office; he is a messenger from God, sent as an accuser and tester. There’s only a single reference to an independent spiritual force named “Satan.” This is the moment when the concept of the Devil as the West has come to understand it was born, and it may be a borrowing from Zoroastrian dualism.
Lucifer and Satan are not different names for the same supernatural being; they’re not even related, and the Hollywoodesque plot about a rebellious archangel is nowhere to be found in the entire Bible. Instead, the evolution of Lucifer and his conflation with Satan involves misinterpretation, misinformation, and flat-out fabrication on the part of church fathers, saints, and poets.
The modern concept of forgiveness is fundamentally flawed. Instead of learning to forgive, we should learn to resent rightly, and, in some cases, to pardon.
Why has this film done so well? It offers no spectacle, and good doesn’t triumph. It is psychologically true and expertly performed. The audience can enjoy tragedy and identify deeply with a social outcast and villain. The film successfully exploits the relationship between humor and violence, and comedy and tragedy.
As late as the eighteenth century, plagues were believed to be caused by polluted air and mediated by creatures of putrefaction such as rodents and witches. Public health specialists agree that the sanitary efforts brought about under the miasmic paradigm were effective. If we think that current views of epidemics and pollution are devoid of the mythical thinking of our predecessors, we might humbly want to reassess our position. The mythical is still embedded in scientific inquiry today.