Episode 122: Augustine on Mind and Metaphysics (Part Two)


Concluding on The Confessions (400 CE), books 10–13. More on memory and how it relates to Plato’s “recollection,” Augustine’s take on will (Do we pursue something we take to be the good per Plato or do we intentionally pursue evil?), what it meeans to live as hooked up with God, and the kinds of answers Augustine gives to tricky questions like the origin of the universe and the nature of time.

Catch the Augustine Aftershow Sunday 9/6 at 3pm Eastern time! You can watch it happening live on YouTube or join its Not School group to attend.

Listen to part one first, and ep. 121 before that.

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Parables as a Guide to Jesus the Philosopher, Part 6: Judgment

06 Judgment (Detail from Christ As Judge by Hans Memler)

The philosopher Don Cupitt highlights that in the parables, “Jesus sharply criticizes and even ridicules ordinary people’s ideas of justice and equity.” Part of this radicalism, the Catholic Church teaches, is that “Jesus identifies with the poor of every kind and makes active love towards them the condition for entering the kingdom.” Another part is the irreverence which he displayed toward the claims over morality made by religious authorities, which has been characterized in the joke on the Good Samaritan parable: “You know why the priest didn’t cross the road to the wounded traveler? He could see that he had already been robbed.”

Episode 122: Augustine on Mind and Metaphysics (Part One)


Yet more on The Confessions, now on books 10–13.

What is memory and how does it relate to time and being? Augustine thinks that memory is a storehouse, but it contains not just the sensations we put in it, but also (à la Plato’s theory of recollection) all legitimate knowledge. It’s our route to God, to real Being. Mark, Wes, and Dylan also discuss time, language, knowledge, the existence of evil, and more.

Attend the Aftershow on Sun., 9/6 at 3pm!

Don’t wait for part two: Get the Citizen Edition now.

Sponsors: St. John’s College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi and casper.com/pel (enter promo code PEL for $50 off your mattress).

Descartes’s Horror?


Examining Descartes’s Cogito, one can find that rather than philosophy and reason being a shield from horror and madness, the truth might be the opposite.

What Does Aldous Huxley’s “Island” Tell Us About the Essence of Humanity?


In his final novel, Island, Aldous Huxley created a vision of utopia where the Pacific island of Pala is an “oasis of happiness and freedom,” free from the trappings of capitalism, consumerism, and technology. Some say that the Island is an example of humanity at its sanest and most admirable. Yet it ends, predictably, in sorrow, “the work of a hundred years destroyed in a single night.” So, what was Huxley’s point in creating then destroying a vision of paradise?

Philosophy of History, Part V: Condorcet


“The time will come when the sun will shine only upon free men who know no other master but their reason; when tyrants and slaves, priests and their stupid or hypocritical instruments will exist only in works of history and on the stage; and when we shall think of them only to pity their victims and their dupes.” –Condorcet

Episode 121: Augustine on Being Good (Part One)


On The Confessions (400 CE), books 1–9. The question is not “What is virtue?” because knowing what virtue is isn’t enough. The problem, for Aurelius Augustinus, aka St. Augustine of Hippo, is doing what you know to be right.

Plus your weekly Not School update with Nathan Hanks.

Don’t wait for part two; get the Citizen edition.

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