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Fizz (2)

Swan Hill, by Laura Michet

Your brother sighs and takes his pipe out of his jacket. "It's good to be home," he says, and fills the bowl. "A light?" You put your hand out. snap your fingers. There's the sharp stab familiar prickle comfortable ache in your wrist, among the bones. A flame leaps from your fingertips.
[more inside]
posted by Elementary Penguin on Oct 20, 2013 - 13 comments

"the cult of these antique figures"

"Old Polymaths Never Die ...they just keep on publishing. Adrian Wooldridge explores the unstoppable legacies of Isaiah Berlin and Hugh Trevor-Roper." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 16, 2013 - 7 comments

"... Russell has only three degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon"

Bertrand Russell in Bollywood: The Old Philosopher’s Improbable Appearance in a Hindi Film, 1967 [SLYT] "The year was 1967. Russell was by then a very frail 95-year-old man. Besides finishing work on his three-volume autobiography, Russell was devoting much of his remaining time to the struggle for peace and nuclear disarmament. To that end, he sometimes made himself available to people he thought could help the cause. (See our March 2012 post, “How Bertrand Russell Turned the Beatles Against the Vietnam War.”) So when he was asked to appear in a movie called Aman, about a young Indian man who has just received his medical degree in London and wants to go to Japan to help victims of the atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Russell said yes." [via: openculture.com]
posted by Fizz on Jan 17, 2013 - 14 comments

What if money was no object?

What if money was no object? [SLYT] A brief talk by the philosopher Alan Watts. Previously
posted by MuffinMan on Oct 10, 2012 - 61 comments

"Scooby Doo can doo-doo, but Jimmy Carter is smarter." [a bale of detritus blows across the living room]

RCMP eyed philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre during tense Quebec political upheaval. [theglobeandmail.com] Canadian spies closely eyed existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, tracking his planned trip to Quebec in support of people arrested during a crackdown on separatist threats, newly released documents show. The declassified Royal Canadian Mounted Police dossier on Mr. Sartre also reveals that Mountie intelligence officers pored over translations of the French writer’s pronouncements, monitored his links to the peace movement and noted the academic rebel’s brushes with the law.
posted by Fizz on May 22, 2012 - 55 comments

Didn’t you notice the palpable difference between what is happening in Libya and what is happening elsewhere?

"[T]he real target of Western bombers and soldiers is in no way the wretched Gaddafi...For the target of the bombers is definitely the popular uprising in Egypt and the revolution in Tunisia, it is their unexpected and intolerable character, their political autonomy, in a word: their independence." Philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the left's support for the NATO intervention in Libya. Background: Europe's economic entanglements with Gaddafi's Libya in the Irish Left Review.
posted by Pastabagel on Apr 6, 2011 - 44 comments

Why THINQon?

Mathematical logician Asaaf Peretz discusses his new "Social Thinking" site THINQon. [more inside]
posted by Sticherbeast on Feb 13, 2011 - 20 comments

Alvin Plantinga debates Stephen Law

Philosopher Alvin Plantinga discusses the evolutionary argument against naturalism with philosopher Stephen Law. Plantinga, now retired from his position at Notre Dame, is one of the most well known analytic philosophers of recent times. The podcast is targeted at a non academic audience and keeps things on a fairly basic level in non-technical language. Plantinga and Law conduct a congenial, mutually respectful discussion of the issue. Previously. [more inside]
posted by fleetmouse on Nov 19, 2010 - 107 comments

cool memories

Le sociologue et philosophe Jean Baudrillard, mort mardi à Paris à l'âge de 77 ans.
posted by shoepal on Mar 6, 2007 - 65 comments

Philosophy as practiced in most English-speaking philosophy departments today.

Long .pdf paper on the state of mainstream "analytic" philosophy. In a recent thread, we discussed the current state of philosophy departments in English-speaking countries. Philosophers are often asked why we don't take Ayn Rand seriously as a philosopher, or why we aren't up on literary Theory or deconstruction, etc. The short answer is that most academic philosophers in universities in the English-speaking world are engaged in a broad consensus (about how to do philosophy, what counts as a good question, etc) that's called "analytic philosophy" for short. Here is a long, informative encyclopedia entry by Scott Soames describing the history and current state of play in analytic philosophy. If you want to understand the background of the currently dominant school of philosophy in the US, UK, Canada and Australia, this will explain it. Link goes directly to a 44-page .pdf file.

Here are a few bonus bits: Jerry Fodor on Why no one reads analytic philosophy. One of the Philosophy talk podcasts from the Stanford philosophy department, on The Future of Philosophy. Some answers at askphilosophers.org -- a site where you can ask questions directly of professional philosophers -- that say the distinction between analytic and continental philosophy should be retired. (In a way, I agree, but the terms are used so widely that it's useful to get a sense of what they're meant to describe.) The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on what different philosophers have meant by "analysis".
posted by LobsterMitten on Aug 24, 2006 - 56 comments

Genius Without a Beard

The scientist whom history forgot: Emilie du Châtelet. Lover of Voltaire, genius without a beard, female scientist, mathematician and philosopher.
posted by MetaMonkey on Aug 3, 2006 - 10 comments

Paul Tillich: the Apostle to the Intellectuals

Paul Tillich (1886-1965) was a German thinker who came to America in 1933 after losing his job for opposing the national socialism movement. Tillich was at once a protestant theologian and an existentialist philosopher and humanist who attempted to intellectualize religion and bring it to contemporary audiences in the age of science. His brilliant writings and speeches would typically weave together biblical passages with discussions of philosophy and science. In this most famous work, The Courage to Be, Tillich laid out his case of how man can resolve the existential crisis of facing non-being. In echoes of Soren Kierkegaard and Freud, Tillich attempted to explain how man could resolve the fear of nothingness with the Courage to Be in the face of Non-being. Throughout his life, Tillich's ultimate concern was to try to help man understand the real value of faith and meaning by divorcing the concepts from the myths and the religious and social dogmas which cramp the mind of modern man.
posted by dios on Feb 2, 2006 - 55 comments

Paul Ricoeur Dies

Paul Ricoeur dies. A sketch of his life's work can be found here. (Warning, somewhat dense, NSF-sunday mornings). Here's a little on phenomenology, Ricoeur's philosophical paradigm.
posted by blindsam on May 22, 2005 - 6 comments

My favorite living philosopher of late has been Daniel Dennett. His Consciousness Explained offers an ambitiously complete theory of consciousness, and miraculously manages to synthesize philosophy with neuropsychology without sacrificing the benefits of phenomenological inquiry -- a feat which manifests itself in his Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University, the website of which offers a dizzying array of online articles. (An especially interesting sample: "Did HAL Commit Murder?") Finally, he was the founding author of The Philosophical Lexicon, a compendium of in-jokes obscure enough to please the nerdiest philosophy major.
posted by tweebiscuit on Jan 18, 2002 - 33 comments

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