Closereads: Reason in Hobbes’ “Leviathan” (Part One)

Sign up for Closereads at patreon.com/closereadsphilosophy to get parts 2 and 3 of this reading, as well as our previous and future installments of this new podcast. We've covered a lot of rationalists (I'm including the Romantics in this, strangely enough) and wanted to turn back to one of the original Enlightenment empiricists, Thomas Hobbes. His Leviathan (1651) is best  Continue Reading …

Ep. 309: Wittgenstein On Certainty (Part Two for Supporters)

Continuing our discussion from part one of On Certainty (1951), we do some close reading of the text. How does he actually respond to Moore's argument about his hand? How does he extend his account to talk about mathematical and scientific statements? Is Wittgenstein a pragmatist? You may want to review our episode on William James' pragmatist definition of truth. We  Continue Reading …

Ep. 309: Wittgenstein On Certainty (Part One for Supporters)

Discussing the notes Ludwig Wittgenstein made at the end of his life in 1951 that were published as On Certainty in 1969, featuring Mark, Wes, Dylan, and Seth. These were in direct response to the essays by G.E. Moore that we discussed in episodes 307 and 308, so we talk about the status of so-called "Moorean propositions" like "physical objects exist," "the world is more  Continue Reading …

Ep. 308: Moore’s Proof of Mind-Independent Reality (Part Two)

Subscribe to get both parts of this episode ad free and tons of bonus content. Continuing from part one, we quickly complete our treatment of G.E. Moore’s "Proof of the External World" (1939) and move on to consider "Certainty" (1941). In the latter paper, Moore considers various "obvious" statements about his current situation (in my case now: I am writing this, I am  Continue Reading …

Ep. 308: Moore’s Proof of Mind-Independent Reality (Part One)

Subscribe to get parts 1 and 2 of this now, ad-free. On G.E. Moore’s "Proof of the External World" (1939) and "Certainty" (1941), featuring Mark, Wes, Dylan, and Seth. Similar to the essay we covered in our last episode, Moore is defending common sense realism against idealists who claim that the external world is not mind-independent but is instead made up of ideas,  Continue Reading …

Ep. 308: Moore’s Proof of Mind-Independent Reality (Part Two for Supporters)

Continuing from part one, we quickly complete our treatment of G.E. Moore’s "Proof of the External World" (1939) and move on to consider "Certainty" (1941). In the latter paper, Moore considers various "obvious" statements about his current situation (in my case now: I am writing this, I am sitting down, I have fingers, I am in my house on earth, etc.). These are all  Continue Reading …

Ep. 308: Moore’s Proof of Mind-Independent Reality (Part One for Supporters)

On G.E. Moore’s "Proof of the External World" (1939) and "Certainty" (1941), featuring Mark, Wes, Dylan, and Seth. Similar to the essay we covered in our last episode, Moore is defending common sense realism against idealists who claim that the external world is not mind-independent but is instead made up of ideas, and also skeptics who claim that we can't know (or know with  Continue Reading …

Ep. 307: G.E. Moore Defends Common Sense (Part Two)

Subscribe to get both parts of this episode ad free, plus a supporter exclusive PEL Nightcap discussion. Continuing from part one on "A Defense of Common Sense" (1925), now down to Mark, Wes, and Dylan. We get into the nitty gritty of Moore's argument: Against idealism, Moore argues that physical facts are in now way dependent on mental facts; for instance, the  Continue Reading …

Ep. 307: G.E. Moore Defends Common Sense (Part One)

Subscribe to get parts 1 and 2 of this now, ad-free. On "A Defense of Common Sense" (1925), featuring Mark, Wes, Seth, and Dylan. Various philosophers will tell you that the only thing you experience is your own ideas, and hence the world outside of your mind is something wholly unknowable, or if it is knowable, it must be because those supposedly physical objects are  Continue Reading …

Ep. 298: Marsilio Ficino on Love (Part Two)

Subscribe to get Parts 1 and 2 ad-free, plus a supporter exclusive Nightcap featuring more Ficino discussion, which you can preview. Continuing from part one on Commentary on Plato's Symposium on Love (1475), with guest Peter Adamson. Peter gives us some context in terms of other Renaissance theories of love, and then we're back to the text, considering the role of beauty  Continue Reading …

Ep. 298: Marsilio Ficino on Love (Part Two for Supporters)

Continuing from part one on Commentary on Plato's Symposium on Love (1475), with guest Peter Adamson. Peter gives us some context in terms of other Renaissance theories of love, and then we're back to the text, considering the role of beauty in the theory and how this connects to our recent coverage of various thinkers on aesthetics. We also fill out Ficino's neo-Platonic  Continue Reading …

Ep. 294: Quine on Science vs. Epistemology (Part Two for Supporters)

Continuing from part one on "Epistemology Naturalized" (1969), we work further through the text, getting into what this new psychology-rooted epistemology might look like. Quine remains an empiricist in that he agrees that whatever evidence there is for science must be sensory, and that we learn language through the medium of our senses (i.e. no innate knowledge). However, this  Continue Reading …

Ep. 286: Malebranche on Causality and Theology (Part Two for Supporters)

Continuing from part one on Dialogues on Metaphysics and Religion (1688), dialogue 7 where he gets into his occasionalist theory of causality. We talk about how this theory relates to mind-body interaction and the student character Aristes argues that there's nothing more intimate than the relation of mind to body and how the teacher character Theodore smacks that claim  Continue Reading …

Ep. 286: Malebranche on Causality and Theology (Part One for Supporters)

On Dialogues on Metaphysics and Religion (1688), dialogues 5-7, featuring Mark, Wes, Dylan, and Seth. Continuing from ep. 285, we've gathered more of the pieces of Malebranche's picture of epistemology, metaphysics, and science to explain his most famous view: Occasionalism, which is a theory of causality that says that God jumps in at every moment of causality. Is this view  Continue Reading …