Web Detritus

Apr 092014
 
Please Stop Contributing to the Publish-or-Perish Landfill

<br /> Bernard Williams was the rare academic who was also a great writer. In his review of Williams’ Essays and Reviews: 1959-2002, Paul Sagar lets academia have it: We can now see that Williams was not lazy: he spent an immense amount of time reading and thinking, and knew much beyond his own academic Read more…

Apr 072014
 
Apoplectic About Outsourcing Apps

When the Partially Examined Life discussion of human enhancement (Episode 91) turned to the topic of digital technology, the philosophical oxygen was sucked out of the room. Sure, folks conceded that philosopher of mind Andy Clark (not mentioned by name, but implicitly referenced) has interesting things to say about how technology upgrades our cognitive abilities Read more…

Apr 042014
 
Philosophy Bro on Transhumanism

Our main man Philosophy Bro was way futurist compared to us, and covered transhumanism way back in 2011. Go check it out. I quote: So, broadly transhumanism is a movement that seeks to move past our human limitations by using technology. Think of all the cool shit we can do – we are already giving Read more…

Mar 302014
 
A Heap of David Brin Links

If you wanted to hear or read more from David, the place to start is his blog Contrary Brin. Here also is a collection of articles, nicely categorized, which in turn links to this collection of interviews. A couple of the topics he touched on with us include the “disputation arenas” and self-righteousness as an Read more…

Jan 312014
 

About half way through the BBC’s 1962 production of No Exit, I started rewriting it in my head. The reason? I got tired of watching the same four white-washed walls, the same three benches, and the same half-dozen paintings which make up the film’s only set. Yes, I know, it’s based on a play, but Read more…

Nov 042013
 
The Wisdom of the 'Ignorant Schoolmaster'

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” ― Socrates [From Sotiris Triantis] An intellectual adventure Joseph Jacotot (born in 1770) was a French teacher who discovered something remarkable in the education Read more…

Oct 272013
 
You Can’t Talk About Zen: A Discussion of Zen

[A post from Jason Durso] The popular understanding of Zen philosophy is that it is painfully frustrating, contrived and lies outside the realm of rational discourse. Rather than offering some sort of platform for discussion or some set of assertions which can be systematically analyzed and negotiated into a personal system of meaning the proponents Read more…

Sep 282013
 
The Jung and the Restless

…I cannot outline the spiritual problems of modern man without giving emphasis to the yearning for rest that arises in a period of unrest… It is from need and distress that new forms of life take their rise, and not from mere wishes or from the requirements of our ideals.” When Carl Jung’s Modern Man Read more…

Sep 242013
 
The Digitization of the Real

“Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action comes, stop thinking and go in.” ― Napoleon Bonaparte   [From Sotiris Triantis]   In a previous article here on the PEL blog ‘Don’t Act. Just Think’: A Short Comment on Slavoj Zizek’s Critique of Activism, I argued that thinking is not enough in order to Read more…

Sep 202013
 
Bergmann as Philosopher (Before All that "New Work" Stuff)

We’re barely more than a day away right now from our interview with Frithjof, which he says he’s “thrilled” about, and I’m certainly looking forward to as well, though I can picture any number of things going less than ideally as I introduce these two known elements (Frithjof on the one hand and Seth/Wes/Dylan on Read more…

Aug 262013
 
‘Don’t Act. Just Think’: A short comment on Slavoj Zizek’s critique of Activism

[From Sotiris Triantis]   Slavoj Zizek – in a video titled ‘Don’t Act. Just Think’ – suggests that in the social and political realm we should not act but think. It’s an odd, somewhat counter-revolutionary thesis.  Historical change has always been brought about by collective action. A more useful model might be: ‘First Think, Then Read more…

Aug 112013
 

One of the resources raised in our Not School Bergmann discussion was Bertrand Russell’s 1932 article “In Praise of Idleness,” which you can read here. Here’s his snarky definition of work: Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near the earth’s surface relatively to other such matter; second, telling Read more…

Aug 092013
 
How Examined is the "Examined" Life? Truly.

Editor’s Note: Thanks for this submission from listener and long-time supporter Laura Davis, covering a story that we likely wouldn’t have gotten around to writing about here ourselves. I expect most have you have seen this article or some other about the renown philosopher Colin McGinn and his recent resignation from the University of Miami. The Read more…

Aug 032013
 

3:AM magazine has a nice interview of the physicist Sean Carroll by Richard Marshall that’s part of an ongoing series interviews, generally of philosophers, being done by the magazine. Carroll is an theoretical astrophysicist who has managed to avoid the pratfalls of physicists like Stephen Hawking who recently declared the death of philosophy. Carroll considers Read more…

Jul 302013
 
Chomsky vs. Zizek

Editor’s Note: We feel the need to provide some coverage of one of the few big news stories in philosophy, which is the ongoing hostile exchange between two giants of the philosophical left, Noam Chomsky and Slavoj Žižek. Since none of us podcasters has read much by either fellow or has much patience for following Read more…

Jul 132013
 
Impersonating Ayn Rand

Editor’s Note: Thanks to Rachael Wolanski, who has for the last year helped us with editing episodes, for finding this and writing it up. Seth confirmed that it’s hilarious. Mark’s comments in his previous post on the unhelpfulness of caricaturizing Ayn Rand bring to mind the most recent episode of another of my favorite podcasts, Read more…

Jun 122013
 

Wikipedia tells us that Experimental Philosophy (X-Phi) is: an emerging field of philosophical inquiry that makes use of empirical data—often gathered through surveys which probe the intuitions of ordinary people—in order to inform research on philosophical questions. This use of empirical data is widely seen as opposed to a philosophical methodology that relies mainly on Read more…

May 212013
 
Virtual Insanity: Social Media with Jacques Lacan

[A post from Peter Hardy, longtime fan and contributor] For a couple of years I have been lurking on PEL’s Facebook group, biding my time for the perfect moment to pounce on this blog.  Recently I got to thinking about the philosophical ramifications of social media. Especially as we’ve just been looking at Jacques Lacan, Read more…

May 172013
 
On Daniel Coffeen, Rhetoric, Deleuze and Such

[editors note:  Daniel was our guest on the Deleuze episode recently and will be posting a bit in our blog over the next couple of weeks] Since I discovered Deleuze in grad school, he has pervaded in various ways my teaching, writing and thinking. My dissertation proffered a model of rhetoric and specifically the trope; Read more…