At one time in Savatthi, the venerable Radha seated himself and asked of the Blessed Lord Buddha: “Anatta, anatta I hear said, Venerable. What, pray tell, does Anatta mean?” “Just this, Radha, form is not the self (anatta), sensations are not the self (anatta), perceptions are not the self (anatta), assemblages are not the self (anatta), […]
As mentioned on the race episode, I thumbed through a book edited by Andrew Valls called Race and Racism in Modern Philosophy,which includes essays on Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Mill, Marx, and Nietzsche. To give Valls’s words on the last of these, since I mentioned it in the discussion: […]
So just what is the good life, according to Buddhism, according to Flanagan, according to this post I’m writing right now? (…According to the inner, private language that my attempts to write are meant to reflect, according to the reality as perceived which my inner words are attempting to express, according to the reality itself […]
In this post brought to my attention by our commenter DMF in light of our race episode, Kristie Dotson of Michigan State University attacks the question that one might ask when reading DuBois, for instance: Is this really philosophy? The question, how is this paper philosophy, is a poorly formulated question. At best, when asked […]
Discussing The Bodhisattva’s Brain: Buddhism Naturalized (2011) with Owen Flanagan. What philosophical insights can we modern folks with our science and naturalism (i.e. inclination against super-natural explanations) glean from Buddhisim? Flanagan says plenty: We can profitably put Buddhist ethics in dialogue with familiar types of virtue ethics. However, we need to be skeptical of any claims to scientific support the superior happiness of Buddhists.
For those of you who didn’t get a chance to do the reading for our recent discussion with Owen Flanagan about his book The Bodhisattva’s Brain (and our soon-to-be posted follow up conversation without Owen), you can download my summary of the main points of the book here. — Wes Alwan
One of the names dropped during the Race and Philosophy episode was that of Stokely Carmichael. Below is a famous recording of one Carmichael’s “Black Power” speeches, given after Carmichael was appointed Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC: Watch on YouTube.
Discussing The Bodhisattva’s Brain: Buddhism Naturalized (2011) with Owen Flanagan. What philosophical insights can we modern folks with our science and naturalism (i.e. inclination against super-natural explanations) glean from Buddhisim? Flanagan says plenty: We can profitably put Buddhist ethics in dialogue with familiar types of virtue ethics. However, we need to be skeptical of any claims to scientific support the superior happiness of Buddhists. Learn more.
End song: “A Few Gone Down” from Mark Lint & the Fake Johnson Trio (1998).
[Note: This post was requested by Laura, one of our big-spendin’ financial supporters. While making a donation through this site will not guarantee that we’ll read/write about something you request, greasin’ the wheels won’t hurt.] I’ve used the gay marriage issue as an example of a prototypical example of progressive morality: something that we should […]
So I’m the kind of guy that pays attention to the words of songs and a large part of my enjoyment of music is knowing lyrics and singing. So much so that I am practically always on call for Karaoke, particularly when it’s Karaoke Apocalypse (greatest thing since the Redskins won the Super Bowl – […]
I’ve updated my topic description post to give an outline of what we actually talked about, both in the actual interview (episode #53) and in the further discussion we had on the topic without him a few days later (episode #54). -Mark Linsenmayer
Political philosophy through the prism of Black-American thinkers: Tommie Shelby is a distinguished professor of philosophy at Harvard university. In this text, he examines the political thought of black thinkers to arrive at a philosophical articulation of black solidarity. This is a great text to examine if one is interested in understanding black philosophical thinking […]
In this text, Charles W. Mills argues that social contract theory has racist underpinnings. While his argument is not completely persuasive, this is an intriguing take on the theory. -Law
Here’s that Stanford African-American Freedom Struggle course I referred to several times during the episode by Clayborne Carson. iTunes U link. It’s really an excellent course, with maybe 2 and a half lectures on DuBois covering his (long) life, starting with this one: Watch the introductory DuBois lecture on youtube. Carson’s lecture on MLK is […]
In this text, James Cone (the father of Black Liberation Theology) examines the life and the ideas of Malcolm X and MLK. In doing so, he also explicates the difference between the Black Nationalist and Black Integrationist movements. Well worth reading. -Law
Go check out the album. I’ve posted several times before about my college band, The MayTricks, which was active from maybe early 1991 through the summer of 1994, after which I left Ann Arbor for graduate school in Madison. It was a pretty weird group of guys with a lot of ideas and enthusiasm. Since […]
On W.E.B. DuBois’s “Of Our Spiritual Strivings” (1903), Cornel West’s “A Genealogy of Modern Racism” (1982), and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (1963) and “The Black Power Defined” (1967), plus Malcolm X’s “The Black Revolution” (1963). With guest Lawrence Ware. Learn more.
End song: “Bankrupt” by The MayTricks, from Happy Songs Will Bring You Down (1994)
In the same way that Owen Flanagan wants to naturalize Buddhism by stripping its hocus-pocus, William James focused his attention on personal religious experience rather than the “smells and bells” of traditional institutions. As biographer Robert Richardson puts it, “much of what one usually thinks of as religion James rejects at the start”. James says […]
We spent our winter holidays reading about Buddhism in preparation for a January interview with Owen Flanagan, which he then had to reschedule. It’s back on, scheduled to happen a mere two days from now. If you have questions or comments to throw out to inspire our discussion, post them here, where I’ve also updated […]
[Editor’s Note: Lawrence Ware is the guest on our episode on philosophy and race, and we’re happy to have him come blog for us.] Derek Parfit is one of the most important ethicists of our time. I’m sure that his Reasons and Personswill soon challenge Kripke’s Naming and Necessityin the number of philosophy dissertations it […]
I subscribe to a number of thick writing journals filled with short stories, essays, and poetry. I am generally behind in reading them, though once I sit down and do so I never regret it. Tin House’s recent 50th anniversary issue devoted to “Beauty” falls in this category and is apropos of Wes’ recent comments […]
Watch on YouTube. Here is a surprisingly edifying and entertaining synopsis of structuralism. I particularly like how Prof. Louis Markos connects Saussure’s work to the “proto-structuralism” of Freud and Marx. Also enjoyable is Markos’ mini-rant, in light of Wes’s recent post: Structures are found in all areas of thought and study, from history to linguistics, psychology […]
But consider the possibility that the arts and humanities are simply worthwhile pursuits, despite the fact that they are not going to produce the next iPad or a cure for cancer. And consider the possibility that the United States needs a counterweight to its philistinism — to its pseudo-pragmatist values and their devaluing of the arts and humanities — not the grotesque surrender to it that “ontics” represents. Their are enough politicians telling children to study math and science and cutting the funding that would allow them to study anything else. They do not require your assistance, and your collaborationism is not going to win you greater respect — from anyone.
[Editor’s Note: We welcome Derick from our semiotics episode You can read more of him on his blog.] Watch on YouTube. With Slavoj Zizek’s Lacanized form of Hegelian Marxism being all the rage these days, it is interesting to look at the Frankfurt School’s earlier Freudian version of the Hegelian Marxism. One can wonder […]
Socrates famously calls dogs “philosophical animals” in Plato’s Republic. In this vein, a friend of mine, Gary Borjesson, has a book coming out that’s in large part a philosophical meditation on our relationship with dogs and the nature of friendship. I’ll get to posting about the book itself this summer, but he had a nice […]
Watch on YouTube.
For anyone still trying to sort Derrida out, here’s a hopefully helpful attempt at explication from Rick Roderick. I liked Roderick’s approach in directly opposing Derrida’s theory to the “Theory of Reference.” This is an allusion to Gottlob Frege, who was discussed in an earlier PEL episode.
Openculture.com has expanded its listing of philosophy courses. If you listen through one of them, I’d be happy to pass on your review of it through this blog. -Mark Linsenmayer
We’re trying to speed up the process by which episodes get delivered to you, so I’m looking into the prospect of using eager fan-types who have some experience recording or editing on their computers who might be up for volunteering some time and energy to this podcasting thing we do. If you’re interested, email me […]