We discuss the poem within The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
Continuing our liberal bubble-bursting exercise, the core foursome address more directly the question of how philosophy is supposed to shape one’s political views and actions. On a non-partisan “public good” and rhetorical strategies in the face of an apathetic and/or ignorant public.
End song: “Better Days” from The Getaway Drivers’ Bellatopia; check out Mark’s interview with singer/songwriter Bob Manor on Nakedly Examined Music ep. 11.
The singer/guitarist shifted gears many times through Bauhaus, Tones & Tail, Love & Rockets (which shifted from acoustic to electric to electronica), and has since put out five distinctive solo albums.
We discuss, from the collection Freedom I Love (2017), the title track and “Indie Boys”; and then “Christian Says” from Stripped (2014). End song: “Flame On” from the Hog Fever soundtrack (2016). Intro music: “So Alive” from Love and Rockets. Learn more at www.danielashmusic.com.
A letter from a listener.
In 1996, Samuel Huntington presented a theory of “clashes” occurring between different civilizational blocks. Huntington traced the mindsets of different people to solid religious sources. However, what if the difference between civilizational blocks is that some have read Nietzsche and others haven’t?
Stoicism proposes an ongoing discipline of deliberately withdrawing one’s desires and aversions from external matters and applying them to what lies within one’s own person. Getting this distinction right—what is in our power and what is not—turns out to be integral to understanding and practicing Stoic philosophy as a way of life.
How does studying philosophy help you to make sense of the political landscape? Wes, Mark, Dylan, and Seth play pundit and reflect on political rhetoric, elitism, and much more. There is no text for this episode! Freedom!
This discussion is continued on part 2. You can alternately get the ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition. There are still PEL Wall Calendars left.
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Todd held down the beat and wrote some songs for Grand Rapids, MI’s Molly in the ’90s through 2003, then wrote more songs and sang a bit for Dutch Henry for about ten years, then pushed forward to sing and write all the songs for his projects The Star Darts and now Cartorson.
Featuring Cartorson’s “The Last Time” and “Hearts on the Highway” from the new Richfield Skyline EP, “Say It” from Shooting Star Darts (2014) and “44 Days” by Dutch Henry from All That Space (2007). Opening music: Molly’s “Another Day of Regrets” from The Finger (2002). Learn more at toddlongmusic.com.
Some straightforward steps to take to not just help you grasp a fact or issue, but also arm you to survive—even thrive—in an era of limitless data, and limitless people who want to tell you how to interpret it.
Continuing on Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Ch. 3–4.
Rorty claims that Kantians improperly read Kantian concerns (the connection between the senses and reason) back into the ancients. He thought that Sellars’s “epistemological behaviorism” was right on, and despite what you may have heard does not give a bad rep to animals and babies. Plus, psychological nominalism! Woo hoo!
End song: “The Ghosts Are Alright” from The Bye-Bye Blackbirds; check out the interview on Nakedly Examined Music #32.
Asif led Canadian band MIR from 1998 to 2008, and has since recorded with real instruments for commercials and films, and released a one-man-band Police-influenced album Synesthesia in 2013.
We discuss the title track and “Electrical” from that album, also MIR’s “A Day in Your Life” from 7 Directions (2004). We conclude by listening to “The Chosen One” from MIR’s A Soldier’s Carol Christmas EP (2008). Intro music: “No Taxidermy,” produced for Empire Theaters.
It’s often been claimed that no dream should ever be a crucial feature of a narrative. Henry James famously advised, ”Tell a dream, lose a reader.” But why not? Perhaps the brain is not active in the same way when encountering someone else’s dream. Perhaps we are all too aware that it lacks the dramatic or instructive intention of a fully realized story.
On Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979), Part II: “Mirroring.”
Is a “theory of knowledge” possible? Rorty thinks that any such account will be a fruitless search for foundations. Knowledge is really just a matter of social agreement, and beliefs must be justified from other beliefs, not from any alleged relationship to reality.
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Some have traced the origins of our “post-truth” era back to post-modernism and relativism. Could a look at Richard Rorty’s philosophy help us understand the “post-truth” phenomenon?
Bradley fronts the Bay Area band, The Bye-Bye Blackbirds, which inhabits the niche of Byrds-influenced “power pop” even though Bradley really doesn’t like that term. We discuss the band’s 2016 boogie single “Let Your Hair Fall Down,” the country ballad “Hats” from Fixed Hearts (2011), and a pre-Blackbirds song eventually recorded for Fixed Hearts, “Elizabeth Park.”
End song: “All in Light” from We Need the Rain (2013); opening music: “The Ghosts Are Alright” from Houses & Homes (2008). Visit byebyeblackbirds.com.
Continuing on “Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind.” We consider a couple of Sellars’s thought experiments, both of which are supposed to show that what we might think are primitive mental terms like “appearance” are really derivative and secondary relative to statements about the external world. With guest Lawrence “Dusty” Dallman.
End song: “Senses on Fire” by Mercury Rev. Check out the interview with singer Jonathan Donahue in Nakedly Examined Music ep. 14.
On “Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind” (1956).
Is knowledge based on a “foundation,” as Descartes, Locke, et al. thought? Sellars says no: The allegedly basic elements upon which knowledge would be built either have to be propositions, in which case they involve a lot of prior knowledge involved in language use and so aren’t really basic, or they’re “raw feels,” in which case they can’t actually serve as reasons for anything; reasons have to be propositional. With guest Lawrence Dallman.
Don’t forget to pick up a PEL 2017 Wall Calendar at partiallyexaminedlife.com/store.
Also, go to talkspace.com/examined and use code “examined” for $30 off of online therapy.
Michael has played on 500+ recordings; he was the house bassist for the Windham Hill label in the ’80s and has put out seven solo albums. He expands what electric bass can do by using many tunings, even retuning on the fly using a custom-built system, using his bass as a percussion instrument, and sometimes playing multiple basses at once.
We discuss “Excuse Me, Mr. Manring” from Soliloquy(2005), and “My Three Moons” and “The Enormous Room,” both from Thonk (1994). The opening music is “Thunder Tactics” from Unusual Weather (1986), and we wrap up with “Unclear, Inarticulate Things” by Attention Deficit from Idiot King (2001).
Learn more at manthing.com.
If the Internet is one of the basic cognitive resources we bring to bear on the everyday world, the websites we spend the most time on must be playing a proportionally large role in our everyday cognitive functions. So does Facebook constitute a cognitive system in its own right?