The Truth (and some lies) About Art

“A bad work of art is an oxymoron,” Patrick Doorly says, “like bad skill.” He thinks there’s no such thing as bad art because the term does not refer to a class of objects or a category of activity. Art simply refers to excellence or to any “high-quality endeavor,” a phrase he borrows from Robert […]

Topic for #70: Karl Marx’s “German Ideology”

On 1/13 we recorded a discussion of an early work of Karl Marx, from about 20 years before the publication of his famous Das Capital, The German Ideology. Listen to the episode. We read just part 1 of the work, which was written in 1845-6 but not published until 1932 (with some portions of it […]

The Negation of the Negation or Detecting the Truth

Columbo from the Ultimate Columbo site

[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 […]

How Did We Get Here?: Fukuyama on The Origins of Political Order

In his new book The Origins of Political Order,Francis Fukuyama tackles the history of the idea and its reality “from prehuman times to the French Revolution.” Fukuyama works under the contemporary name of political science, but he is really one of the few people we have today intellectually able to go beyond the narrow confines […]

More Analytic vs. Continental: What is the “Situation of Reason”?

Reshaping Reason by John McCumber

The disciplinary identity of philosophy is in question. So says John McCumber in “Reshaping Reason”, where he makes a serious argument with evidence of trends pointing toward a sort of Hegelian synthesis in American philosophy to overcome the “Fantasy Island” of analytic thought and the “Subversive Struggle” of continental thought. “Fantasy Island” and “Subversive Struggle” […]

Robert C. Solomon on Husserl’s Phenomenology

I couldn’t find any Solomon lectures on Hegel, but here’s one introducing Edmund Husserl, which I think is apt now that we’ve covered Hegel’s “phenomenology,” so you can reflect on the difference: Listen on youtube. Maybe the only reference to Hegel here is the discussion of Husserl’s rejection of historicism, though I think it should […]

Robert C. Solomon on Husserl’s Phenomenology

I couldn’t find any Solomon lectures on Hegel, but here’s one introducing Edmund Husserl, which I think is apt now that we’ve covered Hegel’s “phenomenology,” so you can reflect on the difference: Listen on youtube. Maybe the only reference to Hegel here is the discussion of Husserl’s rejection of historicism, though I think it should […]

Rick Roderick on Hegel on History

Just to remind you, the recent Hegel episodes are not our first: we covered Hegel on history (the later, in some ways less radical Hegel) last year, shortly before I started posting videos related to our episodes. So here’s a video addressing that aspect of him. Watch on youtube. Rick Roderick, talking in 1990, stresses […]

Hegel vs. Eliminative Materialism in Neuroscience

Paul and Patricia Churchland are researchers and advocates of eliminative materialism in neuroscience and philosophy of mind. Eliminative materialism claims that everyday concepts such as the beliefs, feelings, and desires we attribute to each other are illusions of what we should refer to as “folk psychology.” They believe not only that these concepts are destined […]

Kojève on Hegel: “The Concept” is Time itself

Having read many commentaries on and interpretations of Hegel’s Phenomenology, I’ve found Alexandre Kojève’s Introduction to the Reading of Hegel: Lectures on the Phenomenology of Spiritto be the best written and most helpful. The language is terse, direct, powerful, fresh, and compelling. It’s always struck me as an example of how philosophy ought to be […]

Žižek on Hegel on Identity

One public intellectual who has made much hay of Hegel’s continued relevance is Slavoj Žižek, who begins one of his jazz-session-like lectures on Hegel’s concept of identity here: Watch on youtube. It’s not clear to me whether Žižek is properly interpreting Hegel, mostly because I find both Žižek and early Hegel incomprehensible. Z’s been accused […]

Lawrence Cahoone on Hegel’s Phenomenology

Here’s an audio-only lecture by Lawrence Cahoone: Listen on youtube. Cahoone here emphasizes very different themes than we talked about on the episode, specifically the theistic themes (he characterizes “Spirit” as “pantheistic” or “panentheistic,” both of which have been used to describe Spinoza; the former means everything is God, while the latter means everything is […]

Clare Carlisle’s Spinoza Walk-Through (via The Guardian)

I just stumbled across an 8 part series on Spinoza (discussed by us here), completed today and begun here on 2/7/11, written by U. of Liverpool lecturer Clare Carlisle, who I see has written some books on Kierkegaard,which will give you some idea where she’s coming from. I’ve not read the whole series, but it […]

Topic for #35: Hegel on Self-Consciousness

We will at last be breaking open the most notoriously obscure, fantabulous work of philosophy ever: Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit.This is the early Hegel: anti-metaphysical and historicist, as opposed to the later Hegel previously discussed in our philosophy of history episode and ripped on by Kierkegaard and Schopenhauer. It’s a frickin’ acid trip, this book […]