Not School Report

Apr 112014
 
Conversation on "Wittgenstein's Nephew" by Thomas Bernhard

Two old friends find themselves at the same hospital, one diagnosed with pulmonary disease and the other madness, and while they long to be near each other both confront their separate mortality. Though that Wittgenstein is mentioned, this story is about another Wittgenstein, one of several “geniuses” from the Austrian family.  I want to see him Read more…

Apr 082014
 
Theater and Ritual: Discussing Richard Schechner and "Dionysus in '69" in Not School

Moving away from just reading plays and more toward theory, the Not School Theater group in March had a look at the work of theater director and performance theorist Richard Schechner. Daniel Cole, Philip Cherny and I discussed a video of The Performance Group’s Dionysus in ’69 (you can buy the text here, a very Read more…

Mar 212014
 
Discussing Ulysses by James Joyce

Our Philosophical Fiction Group began reading Ulysses in December, continued through January, then February, and at the beginning of March only a few had made it through James Joyce’s epic. The novel is large, but what’s stunning- to me as a non-finisher- is the richness and depth of Joyce’s expanding story of the phenomena of a single Read more…

Mar 172014
 
Not School Discussion of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

Last weekend the Philosophy and Theater Group had our monthly discussion, and this time Phillip Cherny and myself talked about Tom Stoppard‘s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, a tremendously clever, meta-fictional play which fills offstage moments of Hamlet with absurdist hi-jinks.  For the philosophically inclined, this play has fireworks from beginning to end, and Stoppard Read more…

Mar 102014
 
Bonus Discussion of Anscombe's "Intention" Now Posted for Citizens

As I read the whole of Intention for our Anscombe episode and didn’t want to promptly forget the whole thing, I ran a small Not School group last month that just had its discussion this last weekend; you can hear it on the Free Stuff for Citizens page (provided that you go become a Citizen, Read more…

Mar 042014
 
Topic for #92 (and a Not School Group): Henri Bergson

Listen to Matt Teichman’s introduction to the reading. Henri Bergson is an early 20th century French philosopher that PEL listeners may recall from our philosophy of humor episode, and we’ll be tackling his philosophy proper via the entrance drug “An Introduction to Metaphysics,” a short essay from 1903 (freely available online) that is essentially pheonomenology Read more…

Mar 032014
 
Not School Group Proposal: Zizek!

For March I’m proposing a Not School reading group on Zizek. The group will read a 25-page transcript of a talk he gave at the International Journal of Zizek Studies 2012 conference. It is, I think, a very nice summary of some of his key philosophical positions and where his current theoretical interests lie. The Read more…

Mar 022014
 

A fantastically accomplished writer and philosopher, Umberto Eco tends to write pieces that are layered and accessible. The common thread is epistemological in nature; he has written everything from treatises on the theory of semiotics to an exploration of the patterns of thought of a game show host. Unflinchingly- perhaps even harshly- realistic, Umberto’s works nonetheless retains Read more…

Feb 282014
 
Not School Digest #4: Sartre, Heidegger, Zizek, Marx, and Theater

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:09:26 — 63.7MB) Excerpts from PEL podcaster & listener discussions on Sartre’s Nausea, Heidegger’s “The Question Concerning Technology,” Slavoj Zizek’s Year of Dreaming Dangerously, Marx and Engels’s “Communist Manifesto,” Peter Schaffer’s play Equus, and Cormac McCarthy’s The Sunset Limited: A Novel in Dramatic Form. Plus an interview Read more…

Feb 192014
 
Not School Discussion of McCarthy's "The Sunset Limited"

At the beginning of this month, Carlos Franke, Phillip C., and myself spoke about Cormac McCarthy’s The Sunset Limited on a Skype call.  The call will be posted on the Free Stuff for Citizens page, which you can access as soon as youjoin up to become a PEL citizen.  PEL tackled McCarthy’s No Country For Old Read more…

Feb 012014
 
Give me Liberty in the month of February!

This month’s Intro Group reading will be On Liberty by the nineteenth century British philosopher John Stuart Mill. There couldn’t be a topic more relevant  to our politics today. Consider the fact that in our national discussions communities that make life difficult for individuals (who don’t fit for one reason or another) are presumed to be oppressive and Read more…

Jan 302014
 
Sartre's "Nausea" Discussion Now Posted For Citizens

On Sunday I had a discussion with Sean Webb, Stan Martin, and Yannick Kilberger about Sartre’s novel Nausea (1938), which you can download from the Citizen Free Stuff page. If you’re not yet a Citizen, sign up to get access to this file and more than a dozen other discussions. Moreso than Sartre’s philosophical work, Read more…

Jan 072014
 
Philosophy of Law Not-School Report: Aquinas, MLK, and Equality

[From new-to-us blogger and PEL Citizen Dan Johnson] Natural law seems like a relic, remembered only by Catholics who use it as thin grounds for odd sexual theories: the evil of condoms, the intrinsic disorder of homosexuals.   Undeterred, our  Not School Philosophy of Law group decided to take a look at this relic, including selections Read more…

Jan 072014
 
Philosophy and Theater Not School Report: Equus

During December, the Philosophy and Theater Group read Equus by Peter Schaffer, and last Saturday group members Phillip C., Theo Monk, Jesse R., Carlos Franke and myself discussed the play over a recorded Skype call which has been posted PEL Citizens on the Free Stuff page. Equus is a fictional account of a real-life incident Read more…

Jan 012014
 
January Not School Intro Group Reading: On Bullshit

The Intro Reading Group for January is getting started in Not School, and we’re looking for a couple or a few more takers. Hillary Szydlowski, the historical leader and organizer of the Intro group, is taking a much deserved break, and I’m excited to fill in as we’re reading Harry Frankfurt’s essay “On Bullshit” – Read more…

Dec 082013
 
Dec. Not School: Sartre, Joyce, Nietzsche, Theater, Natural Law

For this post, I give you some theme music by a very talented musician named Sumner McKane. I chose this nice little tune not for the music itself (deserving though it may be), but for its title: “The Winter I Got Louder than Bombs and Standing on a Beach.” I’m going to assume this title Read more…

Dec 032013
 
Neitzsche does an Encore

It’s that time of the month again, and the Not School Introductory Readings in Philosophy group will be tackling Beyond Good and Evil for December. In Genealogy of Morals, we examined Nietzsche’s explanation of how the term “good” originated with the blonde beasts of the nobility and was stolen and twisted by the creative resentment Read more…

Nov 212013
 
Nick Mount on Samuel Beckett and Existentialist Drama

As our Philosophy in Fiction Not School group has begun to dig into Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting For Godot” this month, questions about how to interpret the play have started to crop up. Who or what is Godot, and why are these guys waiting for him? What do we make of the seemingly aimless and repetitive Read more…

Nov 092013
 
DeLanda's Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy Not School Group

[Editor's Note: Thanks to Wayne for this plug for a new Not School group for November that's it's not too late for YOU to go join. Sign up for Not School and get in it.] Manuel De Landa is one of the most prominent and clear interpreters of Giles Deleuze, and we’re exploring DeLanda’s book Read more…

Nov 052013
 
November Not School Groups

Here are the Not School group activities for the month of November for PEL Citizens. Intro Readings in Philosophy: Finally!  We have a Nietzsche discussion in Not School.  They will be reading the On the Genealogy of Morals.  Join up and reduce to sour grapes all of your precious finger wagging. See Hillary Szydlowski’s plug Read more…