Something for the Ubermensch in all of us: Hobbes, Nietszche, Dennett, some Intro to Philosophy readings starting with Plato, and don’t forget the Aftershow on Hegel! Get in on Not School’s offerings for March!
Seminars are now scheduled for Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and Montaigne, free with your PEL Citizenship You can sign up for all four, and help us develop an Intro readings drinking game.
Philosophical artists and artistic philosophers, however they diverge respecting doctrinal matters, often bond beneath the surface in striving to render an ideal image of the sage. Plato, Melville, and Nietzsche were like this, each of them expressing his conception of wisdom through the mask of creative philosophy. Nietzsche insisted that “Every profound spirit needs a mask.” His own uncanny literary persona was his mask, as Socrates was Plato’s, and Ishmael Melville’s. Not Ahab, but the narrator Ishmael is the authentically Nietzschean Yes-sayer of Moby-Dick. Ahab is vanquished by the God he hates, but Ishmael survives the catastrophe to become the man who narrates Ahab’s dark fate with such sparkling insight and wit.
An extended excerpt from Mark Anderson’s book—a study of Plato, Melville, and Nietzsche, framed as a philosophical commentary on Moby-Dick.
Sign up for Not School this month to join reading groups on the subjects of Greek philosophy, Marxism, ritual, Heidegger, computation, economics, and a novel by Umberto Eco.
Our big live episode (also on video) about love, sex, self-improvement, and ancient Greek pederasty! Featuring a set by Mark Lint, plus Philosophy Bro on Plato’s “Apology.”
Ep 97 and 98: Michael J. Sandel, Ep 99: What Have We Learned, Ep 100: Plato’s Symposium
“A bad work of art is an oxymoron,” Patrick Doorly says, “like bad skill.” He thinks there’s no such thing as bad art because the term does not refer to a class of objects or a category of activity. Art simply refers to excellence or to any “high-quality endeavor,” a phrase he borrows from Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art Continue Reading …
On Plato’s Dialogue, “Gorgias” (380 BCE or so). Why philosophize? Isn’t it better to know how to persuade people in practical matters, like a successful lawyer or business leader? Plato (via Socrates) thinks that the “art” of rhetoric isn’t an art at all, in the sense of requiring an understanding of one’s subject matter, but merely a talent for saying what people want to hear.
On Plato’s Dialogue, “Gorgias” (380 BCE or so). Why philosophize? Isn’t it better to know how to persuade people in practical matters, like a successful lawyer or business leader? Plato (via Socrates) thinks that the “art” of rhetoric isn’t an art at all, in the sense of requiring an understanding of one’s subject matter, but merely a talent for saying what people want to hear. Learn more.
Three podcasters and two listeners join to read Plato’s fabulous dialogue.
Continuing our reading of the Platonic dialogue, Socrates (Mark) and Callicles (Dylan) duke it out.
Three podcasters and two listeners join to read Plato’s fabulous dialogue. Socrates (Mark) and his pal Chaerephon (Eileen), at the behest of Callicles (Dylan), call on the famous orator/teacher Gorgias (Seth) to ask him what this oratory crap is all about.
After first trouncing Gorgias’s student Polus (Evan), Socrates then eviscerates Gorgias himself, arguing that oratory is just a worthless form of flattery, like pastry baking (?!?!), feeding people what they want to hear while doing nothing to improve them. As part one concludes, Callicles steps up and gives Socrates a smackdown, arguing that orators, who argue the affairs of the state, have power, and hence happiness, and even though we may give lip service to the idea that exerting power unjustly is shameful, the law of nature says that more power is always better, and screw justice. And screw philosophy too!
Listen to the episode. Back in ancient Athens, the big-name intellectuals were not the philosophers and proto-scientists we remember today, but the sophists, who taught people how to argue and make speeches in front of courts of law and groups of people. Plato (speaking as usual through his teacher Socrates) thought this to be a vastly overrated skill, because it’s Continue Reading …
If you believe Plato, then the answer is “yes”. If all of philosophy is a footnote to Plato, then the artists have been subordinated to the philosophers for about 25 centuries. According to Plato’s Republic, especially the last section, the artists present a danger to society and to your soul. Two of my favorite thinkers disagree with Plato and Socrates Continue Reading …
In his new book The Origins of Political Order,Francis Fukuyama tackles the history of the idea and its reality “from prehuman times to the French Revolution.” Fukuyama works under the contemporary name of political science, but he is really one of the few people we have today intellectually able to go beyond the narrow confines of academic specialization and to Continue Reading …
Why is oldness found so repulsive in our culture today? Why do old people feel so compelled to make themselves look like worse versions of young people through plastic surgery? The easy answer is ‘it’s natural’, i.e., youth gives a competitive Darwinian advantage, so if we have the bio-technology available to keep ourselves younger we gotta go for it! However, Continue Reading …
Here’s a response to our recent episode from C Derick Varn, aka Skepoet: Read his “partially informed review.” So, yes, other blogs that take the time to talk about us coherently will probably get a link-back, if you’ve not noticed that before. You may have to send the link directly to me, though, as my narcissistic Googling of our own Continue Reading …
Discussing Plato’s Euthyphro. Does morality have to be based on religion? Are good things good just because God says so, or (if there is a God) does God choose to approve of the things He does because he recognizes those things to be already good? Plato thinks the latter: if morality is to be truly non-arbitrary, then, like the laws of logic, it can’t just be a contingent matter of what the gods happen to approve of (i.e. what some particular religious text happens to say). With guest Matt Evans. Learn more.