[Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a listener submission by Adam Arnold, graduate student at the University of Warwick. You too can be a guest blogger.] During the Buddhism Naturalized episode, the guest Owen Flanagan (as well as Mark, not unusually for him) may have dropped more names than in any other podcast. I have this […]
Stony Brook University’s Templeton Research Lectures series features several lectures from early 2007 by David Burrell, an Emeritus Professor in philosophy and theology from Notre Dame University, as well as a Catholic Priest. His specialty appears to be Medieval Studies, focusing on the ties between the various Abrahamic religions, and the lectures on Maimonides and […]
Andrew Delbanco, author of his own book on what ails today’s university, gives the thumbs down to another critique that tilts at feminists and queer theorists: The Victims’ Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind. Delbanco is sympathetic to the notion that identity politics has taken its toll on […]
I’ve been told that a common fan reaction to PEL is to join in. Typing on our blog or Facebook group isn’t the same. Maybe you don’t feel confident enough to be a guest (or you do and we haven’t let you on). We are pleased to announce a new offering: PEL Discussion Sections. You […]
This Personal Philosophy was commissioned by a Ms. Jennifer Dorsey for her friend Michael S. for his birthday. Apparently, he likes Nietzsche and Belgian Beer. You can have one too if you’re into that kind of thing. A Personal Philosophy for Michael the Belgian Beer Connoisseur* Did you know that according to Herodotus, the ancient […]
For another take on Nietzsche’s theory of truth, here’s a lecture from Prof. Robert Solomon, one of the stars of The Great Courses series. Solomon describes Nietzsche’s concept of truth as perspectivist rather than relativist. (Though, unlike Rick Roderick, Solomon is willing to concede that other Nietzsche interpreters have — rightly or wrongly — gone farther.) […]
Jessica in our Nietzsche on truth episode did a good job making Nietzsche sound nice and sane. On this episode of the Dead Authors Podcast (a Paul F. Tompkins vehicle performed live on stage), comedian/impressionist James Adomian portrays him as certifiably insane. It appears that some research went into this faux interview (which also features […]
Following the path of reading novels (which we don’t necessarily intend to make a habit of) begun with #62, we have now recorded our discussion of No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy. We had as a guest one of Dylan’s teachers from undergrad, Eric Petrie, Professor at James Madison College at Michigan State […]
Contemporary neuroscience is not a challenge to free will, according to Eddy Nahmias: Most scientists who discuss free will say the story has an unhappy ending—that neuroscience shows free will to be an illusion. I call these scientists “willusionists.” … Willusionists say that neuroscience demonstrates that we are not the authors of our own stories […]
As usual, Rick Roderick proves to be a great go-to guy on Nietzsche. In this series of videos (one lecture put together by Daniel Horne), he takes on the accusation that Nietzsche is taking a relativist stance towards truth, or as it can be labeled, a ‘perspectivist’ stance. Roderick does an (as usual excellent) exposition […]
We get this question often enough that I thought a general announcement that I could refer back to in the future might be in order. What’s said here is my take and shouldn’t be taken to speak for Wes, Seth, or Dylan. I recognize the cultural influence of Ayn Rand and that it would be […]
[From David Buchanan, frequent blog and Facebook contributor and participant in our ZAMM episode. See if that doesn’t make sense after reading this.] Richard Rorty opened one of his talks by pointing out that as Europeans see it, Pragmatism is just what the Americans could get out of Nietzsche. This joke suggests that there are […]
Not long after I wrote this post linking to Isaac Chotiner’s negative review of Johah Lehrer’s Imagine and its “fetishization of brain science,” Lehrer was forced to resign from The New Yorker for fabricating Bob Dylan quotes. A lot has been written about the meaning of Lehrer’s transgression; but I was bothered less by the distortion of relatively […]
On Friedrich Nietzsche’s “On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense” (1873). WIth guest Jessica Berry.
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On Friedrich Nietzsche’s “On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense” (1873). What is truth? This essay, written early in Nietzsche’s career, is taken by many to make the extreme claim that there is no truth, that all of the “truths” we tell each other are just agreements by social convention. WIth guest Jessica Berry, who argues that that Nietzsche is a skeptic: our “truths” don’t correspond with the world beyond our human conceptions; all knowledge is laden with human interests. Learn more.
End song: “Stupidly Normal,” from Mark Lint & the Fake Johnson Trio (1998).
Benjamin Hale sum up why it is Americans end up voting for policies that actually thwart their interests: they make decisions about justice according to a “veil of opulence,” the opposite of the “veil of ignorance” advocated by Rawls: Those who don the veil of opulence may imagine themselves to be fantastically wealthy movie stars or […]
Every August for the past ten years my family and I have spent a couple of weeks on a smallish lake in northwest Michigan. I say small, but it’s about 1800 acres, plenty big for most purposes, if tiny compared to the big water of Lake Michigan just five miles away. Most every afternoon the […]
In light of our recent recording on Voltaire’s Candide (to be published in a few weeks), I’ve been thinking lately about the role of optimism in contemporary American culture (Candide critiques a kind of optimism in vogue at Voltaire’s time that he associated with Leibniz’ “best of all possible worlds” theory). A recent piece by Oliver Burkeman defends negative […]
A Brief Guide to Nietzsche’s On Truth and Lie in the Extra- Moral Sense For our episode on Nietzsche’s On Truth and Lie in the Extra-Moral Sense, I’ve created a guide that you’ll find here. Here’s an excerpt from the Introduction: Introduction Nietzsche’s question in On Truth and Lie in the Extra-Moral Sense is how a drive […]
In connection with Episode 61, I submit the following discussion by The Big Ideas podcast concerning Nietsche’s famous but often misunderstood claim that “God is dead.” The several participants in the discussion each address Nietzsche’s pronouncement from different angles. Giles Fraser argues that the “God is dead” revelation is that humanity can only become free […]
Listen on YouTube. Like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate. Even so, Bertrand Russell’s prose is entertaining enough to make this audio chapter on Aristotle’s Politics a worthwhile supplement to PEL’s Politics episode. -Daniel Horne
This here Personal Philosophy was commissioned by a Mr. John Williamson for his brother Kevin on the occasion of his birthday. You too can order one for yourself, a friend, a loved one, enemy, celebrity, co-worker, someone you want to do, and/or your pet. Why would you delay in doing this? I can imagine no […]
In 1979, John Cleese and Michael Palin had a debate about Monty Python’s film The Life of Brian with two defenders of the Christian faith — one an English bishop. The question is whether the film’s parody of institutionalized religion and religious hypocrisy amounts to ridiculing the personage of Jesus and Christianity in general.
[From Chris Mullen, frequent blog and Facebook contributor] A few days ago I was reading an interview in 3 A.M. Magazine with the philosopher Elizabeth Anderson. The second question of the interview turned to the “..the treatment of women in professional philosophy.” 3:AM: Why is academic philosophy seemingly a worse place for women than in […]
[From Douglas Lain – see biographical note below for more details about Doug!] In Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit there is a procedure to which Hegel subjects every positive proposition called dissolution. This process or procedure of dissolution doesn’t belong to Hegel alone. In fact, the Phenomenology seems to be Hegel’s attempt to demonstrate how all the […]
Adam Gopnik reviews yet another attempt to apply evolutionary psychology to the humanities — Jonathan Gottschall’s The Storytelling Animal — and finds it wanting: It is one thing to think that psychology may solve problems that baffle philosophy or criticism; it well may. But to think that the invocation of empirical studies on a subject frees […]
Every now and then you find something that is, on the one hand, unexpected. The thought of it hadn’t occurred to you, neither as a fact found through the memes of popular culture nor as an extrapolation from your current knowledge. On the other hand, the discovery isn’t so much a surprise as simply new […]
In preparation for our Aristotle Politics episode, I checked out a new semi-philosophy podcast called the Mile High Sanity Project, as they had an episode on Aristotle’s ethics. I say “semi-philosophy,” because the podcast is made up of three guys in different disciplines. They trade off being the lead guy on episodes, so the philosophy […]