No Self, but a Subject?

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), […]

Racism Among Historic Philosophers

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: […]

Flanagan on Buddhist Eudaimonia

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 […]

Is It Really Philosophy? (Are You an Ass for Asking?)

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 […]

Stokely Carmichael’s Sartrean Influences

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.

Elizabeth Brake on Minimizing Marriage

[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 […]

More Things to Read Regarding Race and Philosophy

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 […]

Spirituality Without Religion? (James and Flanagan)

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 […]

PEL Mentions in the Onion and Elsewhere

Yes, we have a Google alert on ourselves. Go write about us and we will try to give you a linkback or even go read/listen to you, etc. (When Colin Marshall did this, I hooked him up with a gig writing for openculture, where one of his posts just got picked up by The New […]

Owen Flanagan Interview on Buddhism Revived

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 […]

On What Matters–A Recommendation

[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 […]

Beauty and Science (Or Fighting Over the Love)

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 […]

Structuralism Summarized in 30 Minutes

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 […]

Dear Philosophers, Please Get Over your Science Envy Now

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.

Zizek and Adorno: The Function of the Popular?

[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 […]

Thumos, Dogs, and Authority

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 […]

Got Sound Editing Experience and Time on Your Hands?

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 […]