Imagine a world where English Literature students were placed in charge of political revolution. Marshalling the full resources of their limited literary perspectives, what might we expect?
The standard story has it that philosophy developed in contrast to, and reaction against, the supernaturalist-religious view of the world. The early Greeks believed in the Olympian gods, sacrificed and prayed to them, and held regular festivals in their honor. Greek philosophy, it is often claimed, appeared as a light of understanding in the midst of this dark ignorance.
We were rejoined by Matt Teichman to continue our Kripke thread, discussing primarily Putnam’s essay “The Meaning of Meaning” (1971) about water here vs. water on “Twin Earth” where that stuff that runs in rivers and streams has a different chemical composition. Putnam puts forth a positive theory of meaning that involves holding a stereotype of a term (e.g., that water is wet) but also where your meaning is determined by extension, i.e., what your term in the real world actually refers to, so that we and the Twin Earthers mean something different even though we seem to have the same psychological state when talking about water.
Continuing on Experience and Nature (1925), through ch. 4. We focus here on how philosophy supposedly gets warped by fear and desire in human nature, how we pretend that abstractions we’ve created are metaphysically real and basic. So how do the objects of our experience, then, relate to those of science? And can we talk about “ends” (teleology) when doing science? Learn more.
Please visit Zevia.com/podcast to maybe win a free 6-pack of zero calorie, naturally sweetened soda.
I got a chance to sit down and chat with my old bandmate Dave Hamilton to talk about my musical “career.” Listen to the episode. Also some news about my new album and a request for you to help me come up with artists that my stuff sounds like.
“The study of the past with one eye, so to speak, upon the present is the source of all sins and sophistries in history.” –Herbert Butterfield
An extended excerpt from Mark Anderson’s book—a study of Plato, Melville, and Nietzsche, framed as a philosophical commentary on Moby-Dick.
On Experience and Nature (1925), through ch. 4. What’s the relationship between our experience and the world that science investigates? Dewey thinks that these are one and the same, and philosophies that call some part of it (like atoms or Platonic forms) the real part while the experienced world is a distortion are unjusified. Learn more.
Don’t wait for part two; get the Citizen Edition now.
For info on Wes’s Boston appearance on 12/1, go to partiallyexaminedlife.com/exmachina.
Why doesn’t public policy reflect more the preferences of ordinary citizens? The answer is institutional.
We discussed “Experience and Nature” (1925) about how philosophy tends to illicitly separate experience from nature, mind from the world, claiming that the world of appearance is somehow divorced from underlying reality. No, Dewey counters: what we start with is concrete, gross experience, which is not experience of “sense data” or any other theoretical entity, but which is experience of tables, people, feelings, values, etc.
“One day the last portrait of Rembrandt and the last bar of Mozart will have ceased to be—though possibly a colored canvas and a sheet of notes will remain—because the last eye and the last ear accessible to their message will have gone.” –Oswald Spengler
The Stoics regarded each person as a microcosmos in whom the macrocosmos of the universal Logos is reflected.
Continuing on Naming and Necessity (1980). What’s the relationship between language and the world? We try on Kripke’s ideas and see what this makes us think about natural kind terms (like “tiger”), about physical objects, about substances identified by science, about heat vs. the feeling of heat, and about pain.
End song: “Reason Enough” by Mark Lint. Read about it.
Some early Stoics argued for disrespecting private property, fornicating in temples, and eating one’s parents when they died.
With the parable of the Rich Fool, Jesus commends the practice of memento mori as a release from anxiety about one’s life.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever. –George Orwell
There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. –Elie Wiesel
On Naming and Necessity (1980). What’s the relationship between language and the world? Specifically, what makes a name or a class term (like “tiger”) pick out the person or things that it does? Saul Kripke wanted to correct the dominant view of his time (which involved a description in the speaker’s mind), and used talk of “possible worlds” to do it! Crazy! With guest Matt Teichman.
Hey, folks. I don’t talk much about my involvement in local organizations here in Austin because our audience is global and everyone has issues, causes, and groups they support in their own communities. I want to make a personal appeal today, however, for your help with The African Leadership Bridge (ALB) on whose Advisory Board I sit.
A peppy, pretty Mark Lint song about how you shouldn’t kill yourself even if you’re basically a waste of space. About its cursed origins, and a quick very premature semi-announcement about a possible new PEL spinoff podcast about songwriting.
Two diametrically opposed factions in the Republican Id: Sleepy McSleepums (a.k.a. Ben Carson), who is like a shot of morphine straight into the cerebellum. And Donald Trump, who needs no alias because he is the most stimulating form of political snuff available without a prescription.