:: Interviews

Nietzsche and Friendship published 27/05/2017

Perspectivism consists in part in the view that there is no privileged representation of the world, no theory that can explain once and for all every worldly phenomenon. Many of its critics infer from this that perspectivism reduces to a relativism according to which every view is as true as any other. There are several answers to this charge. But the connection with the arts provides one of the strongest. For, although it makes no sense to think of “the greatest” artist or “the greatest” work, we are still perfectly capable of distinguishing between the quality of different artists and different works. Why, then, should that be impossible in the rest of life as well?

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Alexander Nehamas.

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Disagreement published 21/05/2017

We take this pattern of judgments to be evidence that the ordinary notion of disagreement allows for two people to disagree by making non-incompatible moral claims (i.e., two claims such that it is not the case that one must be false). If that is right, then, not only is the disagreement argument against contextualism undermined, but the correct theory may in fact be a contextualist theory, since that kind of theory does allow for the possibility of disagreements that do not involve making incompatible claims.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Justin Khoo.

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How to Be a Stoic published 15/05/2017

“Fate permitting” is a standard Stoic phrase meant to remind ourselves that planning things is up to us, but the ultimate outcomes are not under our control. It helps us to develop an attitude of equanimity toward the universe. We should very much try to change things for the better, that’s the whole point of the Stoic discipline of action, as I was saying earlier, and that discipline is connected to the virtue of justice. But we should also be rational about it, and understand that sometimes things go our way, and at other times they don’t.

Skye Cleary interviews Massimo Pigliucci about his book How To Be A Stoic.

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Transcendentally Bad published 14/05/2017

I want to split focus. I want to do something badly. I want to do something badly and well at the same time. I want to transcend spectrums of judgement by doing something blissfully awful, transcendentally bad. I want to associate and read the collage of truth in a coffee soaked newspaper. I don’t want people to like it. I don’t care if they like it. Maybe I do if I want them not to like it. It’s not always about liking.

Starting a new interview series, States of Anxiety, Jana Astanov interviews Alex Romania.

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Jerk and Whoosh Time published 13/05/2017

Of course, Cockburn – unlike More or Alexander – was a woman, and it’s likely that sexism has played some part in the neglect of her work. She was writing at a time when men worried that reading made women ‘troublesome or ridiculous’, and debated whether women’s inferiority was due to their feeble bodies or their soggy brain fibres. (Less than eighty years ago, C. D. Broad concludes a book review by writing that its author, Susan Stebbing, must be enjoying something of the exhilaration of a ‘good housewife’ who has completed her spring-cleaning.)

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Emily Thomas.

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The Noumenaut: Psychedelics and Philosophy published 07/05/2017

If one accepts A. N. Whitehead’s proverb that the European philosophical tradition consists of a series of footnotes to Plato, then a case can be made for the significance of psychedelics to philosophy as we have it. The self-proclaimed ‘chemical philosopher’ Humphry Davy wrote in 1800 a treatise on the philosophical ramifications of nitrous oxide intake, siding with the idealists – and thereafter we can follow a line of philosophers who were indebted to psychoactive intake. Figures include Nietzsche, James, Benjamin, Jünger, Paz, Sartre, Foucault, and Nick Land amongst others. William James, incidentally, wrote that Hegel’s philosophy only became clear to him under the influence of nitrous oxide.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall and Lindsay Jordan interview Peter Sjöstedt-H.

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Jazz: Reading Descartes Otherwise published

Descartes being different from “Descartes” (for instance, as “Descartes, the father of modern philosophy” has largely been a history of repeating, debating or detesting, even summarily rejecting Descartes who is, in fact, in my view, a free thinker, restless traveler, letter-writer lucky enough not to have to make money, yeah, true, but anxious enough to rely on the feedback from prudent and loyal friends…

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Kyoo Lee.

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East End Narratives published 05/05/2017

There’s been a widespread assumption for quite some time and unfortunately still persists that the East End is, in itself, the antithesis of culture. I believe that what I am about is promulgating the sophistication of the culture of the East End and it’s my belief that almost everything we believe to be the culture of London actually came out of the East End.

Andrew Stevens talks Spitalfields Life with the Gentle Author.

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Recalibrating Pragmaticism published 29/04/2017

A true belief is the best belief we human beings could come to—a belief that would really account for the reasons and evidence were we to inquire as far as we fruitfully could. Here it is with the Ramseyan inflection: A belief is a habit with which we meet the world and true beliefs are the best habits we could have.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Cheryl Misak.

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A City is Not a Tree published 28/04/2017

One of the things that entertained me the most in the writing of this book was the way in which these contradictions reared up at every turn. I think, in fact, it’s hard to define what Epping Forest is all about without talking about contradiction, and the involvement of the Corporation is a great example of this. If you think of Crass’s role in Stop the City during the early ’80s, the nucleus of activists at Claremont Road who formed Reclaim the Streets in the mid-90s and then the Corporation’s role in evicting the Occupy protestors from St Pauls, you kind of have the flawed dynamic of the book pretty much encapsulated.

Andrew Stevens gets lost in a Strange Labyrinth with Will Ashon.

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