Brian Wilson’s Not School Intro Readings in Philosophy Group discussed Plato on why you should obey the state and other musings from a condemned Socrates.
You can also see them organized by topic. For episodes marked "Preview," you can access the full episode at our store, or you could become a PEL Citizen and get them from our Free Stuff for Citizens page.
On Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism (1981) and Black Looks: Race and Representation (1992, Intro, Ch. 3, 11).
How do these pernicious forces interact? hooks describes black women as having been excluded from both mainstream historical feminism (led by white women) and black civil rights struggles (permeated with patriarchy), and this “silencing” creates challenges for self-actualization and social justice. The solution: media critique of stereotyped images and personally connecting to a historical narrative of liberation. With guest Myisha Cherry, host of the UnMute Podcast.
We interview John about Seeing Things As They Are (2015). What is perception? Searle says that it’s not a matter of seeing a representation, which is then related to things in the real world. We see the actual objects, with no mediation. But then how can there be illusions? Well, it’s complicated, but not too complicated, just some funny terminology that this episode will teach you.
Searle lays out his theory for us and amusingly dismisses much of the history of philosophy in the first half, and then Mark, Wes, and Dylan continue the discussion to make sure we understood what was just said and chase down some threads of the conversation.
End song: “Flesh and Blood” from The MayTricks’ Happy Songs Will Bring You Down (1994).
On Pierre Bourdieu’s Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste (1979), introduction, ch 1 through p. 63, conclusion, and postscript.
How do our tastes in music, art, and everything else reflect our social position? This philosophically trained sociologist administered a few detailed questionnaires in 1960s France and used the resulting differences in what people in different classes preferred and how they talked about these preferences to theorize about the role that taste plays in our social games.
End song: “When She Took Off Her Shirt” from Tim’s band Wonderlick’s Topless At The Arco Arena (2005).
On Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer’s “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception” from Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944), plus Adorno’s “Culture Industry Reconsidered” (1963).
How does the entertainment industry affect us? Adorno (armed with Marx and Freud) thinks that our “mass culture” is imposed from the top down to lull us into being submissive workers.
End song: “All Too Familiar,” from around 1992 with all instruments by Mark Linsenmayer, released on The MayTricks..
A whole second discussion on G.F.W. Hegel’s Encyclopedia Logic, hitting sections 78–99 on the dialectic and Understanding vs. Reason. Hegel thinks we can use Reason to objectively come up with basic metaphysical categories, but can we really? With guest Amogh Sahu.
End song: “Flow” by Gary Lucas and Mark Lint. Listen to Gary interviewed about this instrumental on Nakedly Examined Music #7.
On G.F.W. Hegel’s The Science of Logic (1812–1816), §1–§129 and The Encyclopaedia Logic (1817) §1–§25. “Logic” for Hegel isn’t about symbolic logic; it’s about how thought interacts with the world. Our thoughts about fundamental metaphysical categories bear the same relations to each other as the the categories themselves do. Just take Hegel’s many, many words for it! With guest Amogh Sahu.
Welcome to Nakedly Examined Music, our first spin-off of PEL. Hear more at nakedlyexaminedmusic.com or find it via iTunes. Mark interviews songwriters about why and how they do what they do. Think of it as applied philosophy.
Four episodes are now posted; this cross-post of our pilot features David Lowery of Camper van Beethoven and Cracker talking through three of his songs. He’s as well-spoken and full of ideas as many a decent philosopher, so sit back and turn on your active listening function!
On Fromm’s The Art of Loving (1956). What is love, really? This psychoanalyst of the Frankfurt school thinks that real love is not something one “falls” into, but is an art, an activity, and doing it well requires a disciplined openness and psychological health.
End songs: “Kimmy” (1995) and “Kimmy 2002” by Mark Lint.
On selected “moral epistles” (from around 65 CE) by Lucius Annaeus Seneca: 4. On the Terrors of Death, 12. On Old Age, 49. On the Shortness of Life, 59. On Pleasure and Joy, 62. On Good Company, 92. On the Happy Life, 96. On Facing Hardship, and 116. On Self Control. We’re joined by Massimo Pigliucci of the How to Be a Stoic blog. How can one most profitably interpret weird-sounding Stoic recommendations about the emotions and about following nature?
End song: “I Lose Control” by The MayTricks from So Chewy! (1993).
Our second discussion of De Anima or On the Soul (350 BCE), this time on book 3. What is the intellect? We talk about its highest part/function: nous, which is a “form of forms,” literally nothing until it thinks, survives death and is not actually yours or mine, but just the universal mind!
End song: “Wonderful You” (live 2001) by Mark Lint.
On De Anima or On the Soul (350 BCE), books 1 and 2, after some listener mail. What can this ancient text tell us about biological life? What counts as a scientific explanation? A. describes life as “the first actuality of a natural body which has organs,” so bodies express their nature only when they’re growing and reproducing and all that stuff that bodies do. The body is potential, and life is its actuality. So what the heck kind of explanation is that, and how does it tie into Aristotle’s convoluted metaphysics?
End song: “Intermission Song” by Mark Lint from Spanish Armada: Songs of Love and Related Neuroses (1993).
Nathan Gilmour (Christian Humanist podcast) and Rob Dyer (God Complex Radio) join Mark and Wes for to discuss the reasonableness of religious belief reading Antony Flew’s “The Presumption of Atheism,” Norwood Russell Hanson’s “The Agnostic’s Dilemma,” Steven Cahn’s “The Irrelevance of Proof to Religion,” Alvin Plantinga’s “Is Belief in God Properly Basic?” Merold Westphal’s “Sin and Reason,” Basil Mitchell’s “Faith and Criticism,” Peter van Inwagen’s “Clifford’s Principle,” William Alston’s “Experience in Religious Belief,” Richard Swinburne’s “The Voluntariness of Faith” and “The World and Its Order,” and Paul Helm’s “Faith and Merit.”
End song: “Let Us Meet” by Mark Lint, setting an old poem by Kim Casey Linsenmayer.
On “The Meaning of Meaning” (1975). If meaning is not a matter of having a description in your head, then what is it? Hilary Putnam reformulates Kripke’s insight (from #126) in terms of Twin Earths: Earthers with H20 and Twin Earthers with a substance that seems like water but is different have the same mental contents but are referring to different stuff with “water,” so that word is speaker-relative in a certain way. With guest Matt Teichman.
End song: “In the Boatyard” by Mark Lint & the Madison Lint Ensemble (2004, finished now).
On Experience and Nature (1925), through ch. 4. What’s the relationship between our experience and the world that science investigates? Dewey thinks that these are one and the same, and philosophies that call some part of it (like atoms or Platonic forms) the real part while the experienced world is a distortion are unjustified.
End song: “Uncontrollable Fear” by The MayTricks So Chewy! (1993).
On Naming and Necessity (1980). What’s the relationship between language and the world? Specifically, what makes a name or a class term pick out the person or things that it does? Saul Kripke wanted to correct the dominant view of his time (which involved a description in the speaker’s mind), and used talk of “possible worlds” to do it! With guest Matt Teichman.
End song: “Reason Enough” by Mark Lint.
On Isaac Asimov’s “The Last Question,” Albert Camus’s “The Fall,” Karl Jaspers’s “Truth and Symbol,” C.S. Peirce’s “The Fixation of Belief,” Bertold Brecht’s “Theatre for Pleasure or Theatre for Instruction,” and Thomas Sheehan’s Stanford lectures on the Historical Jesus.
These are snippets covering topics we haven’t had time to cover on the podcast proper. Brief yourself via these 10–15 minute bursts, or become a PEL Citizen to listen to the full discussions.
On The Human Condition (1958), Prologue and Sections 1 and 2. How has our distinction between the private and public evolved over time? Arendt uses this history, and chiefly the differences between our time and ancient Athens, to launch a critique of modern society. The fab four conducted this podcast live at the Pittsburgh Continental Philosophy Conference.
End song: “Space” by Mark Lint. Read about it.
What is it like to do philosophy in public? As prelude to our ep. 125 appearance at the Pittsburgh Continental Philosophy Network Conference on theory and public space, Mark, Seth, Wes, and Dylan sat down for questions by moderator Erica Freeman, conference host Justin Pearl, and numerous attendees.