Corey Anton on the Phenomenology of the Senses

There’s a guy on youtube named Corey Anton, who is a Professor of Communication Studies at Grand Valley State University.  He’s posted a ton of videos on a broad range of subjects, many philosophical.  He’s one of those that comes up when you search on the usual suspect terms and I’ve had occasion to watch […]

Topic for #53/#54: Buddhism and Science with Guest Owen Flanagan

In episode 53, the full four-man PEL crew spoke with Duke University’s Owen Flanagan, mostly about his book The Bodhisattva’s Brain: Buddhism Naturalized, which has a number of aims: -To argue that supernatural beliefs can be removed (or “tamed”) from Buddhism and still leave an elaborate enterprise relevant to modern life. -To put Buddhist conceptions […]

Now Taking Questions for Owen Flanagan on Buddhism and Science

We are currently scheduled to talk with Owen Flanagan about his book The Bodhisattva’s Brain: Buddhism Naturalized. I’ll put up the formal “topic announcement” when I have a better idea what the discussion will focus on (i.e. after we actually interview him). For now, anyone who is already familiar with the book, or his work, […]

The True Spirit of Christmas – in Song


It’s Christmas – Jesus Christ’s birthday or, if you so choose, appropriated Yule, Saturnalia or the birthday of Mithra.  Whatever you may believe, most of you will be celebrating something with someone while bloggers around the world bemoan either the audacity of Christianity or forgetfulness thereof via commercialism.  I’m not a Jew for Jesus (just […]

Brian Leiter’s New Philosophical Categories

A really good interview with Nietzsche scholar and opinionator Brian Leiter appears in 3:AM Magazine, where he drops pithy quotes on Obama, Nietzsche, Marx, and Foucault. But he also appears to have a new argument to sell. Leiter advocates a new way to divide the philosophical canon, not into “contintentals” or “analytics,” but rather into “naturalists” […]

Three Types of “Reduction” in Phenomenology

John Townsend (who does video blogs about Merleau-Ponty) reminded me (here) that there’s more than one kind of “reduction” in phenomenology. Since pretty much none of these were covered in our Husserl episode as far as I recall, I thought this was worth my time to do some quick Wikipedia research and report back. The […]

Ed Creeley on Phenomenology and Theater Performance

It’s a strange but established fact that a number of strains in continental philosophy are most readily found in university departments other than philosophy: post-modernism, critical theory, semiotics, structuralism, post-structuralism, etc. I’d not previously thought, though, that this extended to phenomenology. Here is at least one example of this happening: It’s a podcast (not sure […]

Dreyfus on Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Artificial Intelligence

[Brad is a frequent contributor to our Facebook page, so we invited him to post on the blog – welcome him!] I found this to be an interesting video which relates to both the Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty episodes. In the video, Hubert Dreyfus discusses Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and the philosophical implications for artificial intelligence. Dreyfus has […]

In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens

Watch on YouTube. Christopher Hitchens died on Thursday after a punishing bout with cancer, and I’d like to take the liberty of inserting a brief memoriam. I do this in a philosophy blog partially because PEL recently discussed one of his books. But mostly I do it because I would hate to think anyone remembers Hitchens as […]

Memory, Body, and Truth

Memory Pillow

Both the Sartre and the Merleau-Ponty episodes have me thinking about memory, body, and truth lately. Our memories are indispensable for forming our identities and are the causal path for experience itself and its effect on our identities. So, there’s a piece to this that we can get to by thinking about memory (and the […]

Topic for #49: Foucault on Power and Punishment

We don’t live in a totalitarian state, we’re not slaves, and most of us are not so desperately poor that our power of choice has been effectively snuffed out, so we’re free, right? Michel Foucault says no. In his book, Discipline and Punish, he tells a story reminiscent in style of Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals […]

Sartre’s Legacy

Our Sartre episode focused on one single, apparently not widely discussed text:The Transcendence of the Ego: An Existentialist Theory of Consciousness. I say not very widely discussed because you would expect Sartre and consciousness to have a ton of videos on youtube and lots of scholarly papers when Googled. Instead, most of the things that […]

How Did We Get Here?: Fukuyama on The Origins of Political Order

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 […]

Bob Solomon on Existentialism and Being and Nothingness


We’ve often name-dropped our former U. of Texas professor Bob Solomon, perhaps best known for his great original work The Passions or his appearance in the Richard Linklater film, Waking Life. For our Hegel episode, I was clutching tightly to his work explaining it: In the Spirit of Hegel. One of his central philosophical concerns […]

Daniel Coffeen on Bergson’s Matter and Memory

One of the name-drops on the Sartre episode is Henri Bergson, a philosopher who was in vogue in France at the time Sartre wrote, famous among other things for promoting and anti-atomic epistemology. Kant, for instance, thought that we get our idea of number out of time, meaning that time is essentially something we can […]

Quassim Cassam (via Elucidations) on Skepticism


I’ve been listening of late to more Elucidations (which we’ve written about before), which features Matt Teichman from our Frege episode. Their episode 23, “Quassim Cassam discusses transcendental arguments,” serves as a nice point of re-engagement with epistemology in light of our touching on that in our Sartre episode (and moreso in my Close Reading). […]

Some additional thoughts on Sartre

When we were recording the episode, we were all aware that we got hung up on unreflected consciousness and how consciousness of consciousness was not reflected consciousness or self-consciousness.  As a result, I thought we gave short shrift to the latter half of the essay.  If that sounds convoluted, listen to the episode.  There’s nothing […]