The premise of the show is to take two stand-up comedians as hosts, and let them chat with philosophers and other intellectuals about a philosophical topic. This is a good idea. Philosophers spend years – decades, even – on a single thought; comedians are quick, sharp, and keen to learn. When it works well, a good comedian can process and summarize philosophical arguments into crystals of intelligence that make for perfect podcast material.
Evelyn Fox Keller is a leader among a generation of feminist scholars interested in questions of gender and science. Although feminist philosophy of science is a complex and controversial field, and these scholars frequently disagree among themselves as to what changes are desirable or realistically attainable, they share a commitment to broadening the scope of science so that it does not devalue feminine perspectives as a kind of structural principle.
Whereas Kuhn had suggested that science might not be an entirely rational activity, and Feyerabend had drawn certain philosophical and political conclusions from a rather more strident belief, David Bloor argued for an approach that ignores the truth status of scientific theories and instead concentrates on their social context of production. Needless to say, the idea that truth claims arising out of science can be ignored at all, let alone as a systematic methodological principle, was and is controversial.
How could a contrast between Real and Unreal ever even be formulated? The question ‘could everything be a mirage?’ can be immediately answered: no. A mirage is something which is set in contrast to something that isn’t a mirage. Thus there is something deeply suspect when we’re asked to transpose these conditions into metaphysical divisions or dualism.
Does our public discourse have the capacity for many negative assessments of one another’s intellectual character? How long can we go before our conversations become fit for cable news rather than reasoned discussion?
There are two traditions within phenomenology: realist phenomenology and idealist phenomenology. The distinguishing feature is how they treat their ‘pre-bracketed’ and ‘post-bracketed’ states. In the realist case when we interpret (describe) the world we can bracket the truth of the claims epistemologically; in the idealist case we can metaphysically bracket claims.
Unlike Thomas Kuhn, who held that a single paradigm dominates all science at once, Lakatos argued that multiple programs compete within or across fields simultaneously.
A video of a classic Pre-Pythonic dialogue.
William James said of philosophy, “It sees the familiar as if it were strange, and the strange as if it were familiar.” The comedian evokes laughter by making the familiar seem strange, but the philosopher’s way of unsettling us can please in a similar way.
According to the Vienna Circle, the proper domain of philosophy is logic and language as applied to observation and scientific theory. Philosophers should accept the reduction of their field to an auxiliary discipline of science.
A couple of video games for your phone will not only keep you busy on the subway, but allow you to contemplate issues of personhood and ethics at the same time.
We all need to talk about death especially our own. “I’m talking about something that everyone NEEDS to start talking about, which is death. That is my work as a comedian now, fortunately or unfortunately,” says T. J. Miller. This Nietzschean comedian is starting to put fairly serious philosophy into his stand-up act
Philosopher Peter Railton, who recently gave the John Dewey Lecture at a meeting of the American Philosophical Association, is being widely praised for his courage because of one of the topics he addressed: his own struggles with depression, and how that’s connected with his philosophical activity.