Is Morality Ethical?

“Morality is neither rational nor absolute nor natural.” (Nietzsche) Nietzsche and Spinoza both challenged the validity of morality based on transcendent or universal values. They both argued that moral restrictions are based on weakness:  Nietzsche via enslavement by harboring vengeance or “resentment” against life ( Genealogy of Morals), Spinoza via enslavement to passive affections. In both, the […]

The Existentialist Self in the World: Doubt, Being and Caring

If from continental philosophy you throw out transcendental phenomenology and older idealist trappings–transcendental subjects and so on–you are left with a system which still has two components: the world and the self.  It was the relationship between these two that took hold as the major problem for 20th C. continental philosophy. The upshot of the first phase […]

Nietzsche the Hydra

[Editor’s Note: Thanks to Randall Miron for this post. Randall’s a long-time audio editor of ours and has been helping edit blog posts here recently as well.] In his short book Nietzsche, subtitled “Nietzsche’s Voices,” Ronald Hayman argues that, “Like Kierkegaard, who made copious use of pseudonyms and personae, Nietzsche was exploring his ambivalence.” This […]

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 […]

Is Philosophy Better Than Art?

If you believe Plato, then the answer is “yes”. If all of philosophy is a footnote to Plato, then the artists have been subordinated to the philosophers for about 25 centuries. According to Plato’s Republic, especially the last section, the artists present a danger to society and to your soul. Two of my favorite thinkers […]

Nietzsche and the “Death of God.”

Nietzsche tattoo on

In connection with Episode 61, I submit the following discussion by The Big Ideas podcast concerning Nietsche’s famous but often misunderstood claim that “God is dead.” The several participants in the discussion each address Nietzsche’s pronouncement from different angles. Giles Fraser argues that the “God is dead” revelation is that humanity can only become free […]

Badiou: Wittgenstein and Nietzsche as Anti-Philosophy

Listening to the guys and Philosophy Bro on the last episode, I want to interject that actually I see Wittgenstein as a bridge between analytic and continental philosophy for reasons beyond his being Austrian. What he brackets out and why is crucial to his project, which does become “anti-philosophical” in a broad sense. Anti-philosophy is […]

Foucault Was No Relativist

[Editor’s Note: We’re pleased to have some more blog input here from Getty, the guest from our Hume/Smith episode, who wrote his undergrad thesis on Foucault and was in line to be a guest on this one himself. You can blame me for the image, which I found here.] Was Foucault a relativist about truth? […]

In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens

Watch on YouTube. Christopher Hitchens died on Thursday after a punishing bout with cancer, and I’d like to take the liberty of inserting a brief memoriam. I do this in a philosophy blog partially because PEL recently discussed one of his books. But mostly I do it because I would hate to think anyone remembers Hitchens as […]

What’s at stake in the Heidegger/Nazism debate?

So I have been established, or established myself, as the Heidegger ‘guy’ on this blog/podcast.  Why?  I read a bunch of his stuff in grad school, studied with one of his students (at the time a professor) in Germany, and wrote my Master’s thesis on “Ereignis”.  Wes just sent me a link to this review […]

Christian Realism and Holy War

“Christian Realism” — even Christians ought to struggle with David Brook’s latest invention. How delightful to juxtapose other-worldliness and practicality! But to really understand it, replace “Christian” with “love” and “Realism” with “War.” Meaning, “I love war, but I wage it only out of love.” It’s almost a self-parodying confirmation of Nietzsche’s critique of the human […]

Partially Examined Film Review: “Stupidity”

We are exuberant fellows and have long discussed using this blog as a BLOG and not just as a podcast accompaniment, so I’m going to initiate an idea I’ve been wanting to try out, sort of… You see, I’ve wanted to go beyond the bounds of the podcast and tell folks about the philosophy books […]