Atheism in the Face of Death

Christopher Hitchens, as you’ve likely heard, has cancer. He’s one of the “new atheists,” and of course people asked “now that he’s going to die, will he find God?” to which he replied in the negative. In this article, he discusses his “fan” reactions (i.e. people praying for him to get better in spite of […]

Robert C. Solomon on Husserl’s Phenomenology

I couldn’t find any Solomon lectures on Hegel, but here’s one introducing Edmund Husserl, which I think is apt now that we’ve covered Hegel’s “phenomenology,” so you can reflect on the difference: Listen on youtube. Maybe the only reference to Hegel here is the discussion of Husserl’s rejection of historicism, though I think it should […]

Robert C. Solomon on Husserl’s Phenomenology

I couldn’t find any Solomon lectures on Hegel, but here’s one introducing Edmund Husserl, which I think is apt now that we’ve covered Hegel’s “phenomenology,” so you can reflect on the difference: Listen on youtube. Maybe the only reference to Hegel here is the discussion of Husserl’s rejection of historicism, though I think it should […]

Greeks vs. Germans

And now for something completely different: SPOILER ALERT: The Germans are disputing it! Hegel is arguing that the reality is merely an a priori adjunct of non-analytic ethics, Kant via the categorical imperative is holding that ontologically it exists only in the imagination, and Marx is claiming that it was offside. But Confucius has answered […]

Wine and Philosophy

I’m reading A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage.  It’s  a view of the role that 6 beverages – beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and cola – have played in world history.  I’m currently in the ‘spirits’ section, but I thought it worthwhile to comment on the role of wine (per […]

Hattiangadi on Meaning in Language

Oughts and Thoughts: Scepticism and the Normativity of Meaningis a 2007 book by Oxford philosophy professor Anandi Hattiangadi that develops a response to Saul Kripke’s skepticism about whether there is a fact of meaning in a person’s use of language. In Kripke’s 1984 book Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language,he argued, via a controversial interpretation […]

The Personal Philosophy of (i.e. for) That Depressed Guy

This is for that guy… the one who’s depressed. Maybe it’s you. The Personal Philosophy of That Depressed Guy* I don’t know. Maybe none of this is worth it. Maybe I should just… no, that isn’t worth it either. It’s just that I’m… well… you know. It’s like the world is a metaphor and I’m […]

Rick Roderick on Hegel on History

Just to remind you, the recent Hegel episodes are not our first: we covered Hegel on history (the later, in some ways less radical Hegel) last year, shortly before I started posting videos related to our episodes. So here’s a video addressing that aspect of him. Watch on youtube. Rick Roderick, talking in 1990, stresses […]

Topic for #38: Russell on Math and Logic

What is a number? Is it some Platonic entity floating outside of space and time that we somehow come into communion with? We’ll be following up our foray into analytical philosophy with Frege with some Bertrand Russell: specifically his Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy (1919), which is the much shortened, non-technical version of his famous Principia […]

Hegel vs. Eliminative Materialism in Neuroscience

Paul and Patricia Churchland are researchers and advocates of eliminative materialism in neuroscience and philosophy of mind. Eliminative materialism claims that everyday concepts such as the beliefs, feelings, and desires we attribute to each other are illusions of what we should refer to as “folk psychology.” They believe not only that these concepts are destined […]

Lawrence Cahoone on Rorty: Bridging Analytic and Continental Philosophy

Richard Rorty: A friend of Dan Dennett (and his dreaded scientism : ). A neo-pragmatist. An analytic philosopher who began teaching around the mid-20th-century, he eventually turned against its scientism. Rorty felt that 20th-century analytic thought was going down the wrong track by taking up the same sort of epistemological foundationalist project as Descartes. Rorty […]

Peter Singer on Hegel & Marx

In this series of videos of Bryan Magee interviewing a young Peter Singer, Singer provides an explication of Hegel’s overall philosophical enterprise.  We’ve linked to Magee’s show in other places (like here, here and here) and in this interview we get to see Peter Singer actually doing traditional philosopher-type stuff.  He has an outstanding ‘stach […]

Kojève on Hegel: “The Concept” is Time itself

Having read many commentaries on and interpretations of Hegel’s Phenomenology, I’ve found Alexandre Kojève’s Introduction to the Reading of Hegel: Lectures on the Phenomenology of Spiritto be the best written and most helpful. The language is terse, direct, powerful, fresh, and compelling. It’s always struck me as an example of how philosophy ought to be […]

Žižek on Hegel on Identity

One public intellectual who has made much hay of Hegel’s continued relevance is Slavoj Žižek, who begins one of his jazz-session-like lectures on Hegel’s concept of identity here: Watch on youtube. It’s not clear to me whether Žižek is properly interpreting Hegel, mostly because I find both Žižek and early Hegel incomprehensible. Z’s been accused […]

The Pernicious Influence of Scientism

Alright, Mark has successfully baited me into a response on the issue of scientism. I should begin by saying that Mark has an interesting reading of Dennet that makes him out not to be a reductionist (as I and many others interpret him). I won’t address that here; I’m more interested in the general question […]

Lawrence Cahoone on Hegel’s Phenomenology

Here’s an audio-only lecture by Lawrence Cahoone: Listen on youtube. Cahoone here emphasizes very different themes than we talked about on the episode, specifically the theistic themes (he characterizes “Spirit” as “pantheistic” or “panentheistic,” both of which have been used to describe Spinoza; the former means everything is God, while the latter means everything is […]

Hegel and the Negativity of the Modern Spirit

[Editor’s Note: Tom McDonald, guest podcaster on our Hegel episodes, has eagerly agreed to join us on the blog to share more of what he’s picked up about Hegel. You can read more by Tom at zuhanden.com -ML] It’s hard to overestimate how important for Hegel is Kant’s critical philosophy following the Enlightenment. Kant’s elaboration […]

Correction re. Episode 34’s Account of Russell on Denoting

At one point in Episode 34 (around 79:10), I made a mistake.  Oops. Might as well set it right on the blog! We were talking about Bertrand Russell’s classic 1905 article, ‘On Denoting.’  Russell is trying to do many different things in that article.  But for now, we only need to concern ourselves with one in […]