:: Interviews

Darwinian Creativity, Memetics and Some published 14/01/2017

Memetics reduces again either to something trivial – no big news that there are cultural items that spread, right – or to something false: that they make copies of themselves and that they spread because of their properties. The last point, an explanatory analogy, is often taken to also imply that memes spread independently of the beliefs and interests of human beings, which is also wrong.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Maria Kronfeldner.

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Kant, other minds and intersecting issues… published 07/01/2017

An Epicurean is someone who thinks that when people are dead, they no longer exist. Our suggestion is that people are implicit Epicureans. How should an implicit Epicurean answer the questions in the study? Consider first the vignette in which David is dead. You’re asked whether you agree or disagree with statements such as ‘David has emotions and feelings’. This statement presupposes that David exists. And it’s very natural to think that when a statement has a presupposition that you take to be false, neither agreement or disagreement seems appropriate. (Compare being asked whether you agree or disagree with the statement ‘I’ve stopped cheating on my partner’.)

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Anil Gomes.

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Kuhn’s Science and Does Medicine Really Care About Patients? published 23/12/2016

Who is the physician? The answer to this question has changed dramatically through the centuries. For the Greek and Roman traditions, for example, the nature of the physician shifted from priest to philosopher. Today another shift has occurred, from philosopher to scientist—especially technician. The human factor has been eliminated or greatly marginalized, and so professionalism is often reduced to technical competence. Little if any human competence, if you will, is required of a medical professional today, and this can result in patient harm and compromise the morality of modern medicine. Unfortunately, modern medicine too often resembles an industrial factory in which patients are placed on a conveyer belt, and then anatomized, tested, and treated.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews James Marcum.

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From Pogoing to Blue Plaques: 100 Nights at The Roxy published 22/12/2016

Obviously by managing the Damned and Generation X/Chelsea for a little while they all form, split, reform etc. and so that created more but in those days everyone was devout, every Wednesday morning they got their NME, so even though it was a slow printing process it was relatively fast in that you could get reviews in quickly and a couple of days after each review of the club we started getting all these tapes coming in saying ‘We’re a punk band from Sheffield, we’re punk band from Manchester, we’re a punk band from Scotland etc.’

Andrew Stevens talks to Andrew Czezowski and Susan Carrington about their new duography.

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Archives of Pain: The Holy Bible published 20/12/2016

Strangely, I sometimes found myself looking at or for authors that weren’t explicitly there in the album’s references, but I nonetheless felt cast their shadows over it: T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Philip Larkin. I’d always put off reading Yukio Mishima before, and diving into his works, I felt a strong influence on Richey, especially the concepts of political purity, intransigence, eroticized pain and masochism, self-sacrifice in the name of a higher virtue, discipline.

Daniel Lukes and Guy Mankowski in conversation on the legacy of the Manic Street Preachers.

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Ethics, Law and Politics published 17/12/2016

I see loyalty – roughly perseverance in relational commitments despite the cost of such perseverance – as an important human value/virtue. Think of it as a kind of relational glue. It is odd that a value/virtue that plays such a central role in dramatic literature has played such a small role in philosophical writing. There are probably a number of reasons, but I think that a predilection for a certain kind of individualism is a major one. Others might include the fashionability of consequentialism, the idea that loyalty has more to do with sentiment than reason, as well as its proneness to corruption. The revival of interest in virtue/character as distinct from rules/principles has also created space for a renewed, if hesitant, interest in loyalty.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews John Kleinig.

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What Kind of a Fact is a Flying Pig for Kant? and Things like That published 03/12/2016

If we really can’t help but think a certain way, one might worry that this doesn’t guarantee that that is the correct way to think. If we can’t rationally doubt certain principles, then there is a certain kind of sceptical worry that we are stuck being unable to doubt false principles. I appeal to Kant’s idea that conditions on the possibility of thought and experience are themselves also conditions on the objects of thought and experience.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Jessica Leech.

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Saving Wittgenstein, Credence Knowledge and Semantics published 26/11/2016

Wittgenstein got stuck when it came to analyzing propositions about the colors of objects. Take four propositions about the color of some particular object A. These propositions aren’t logically independent from each other, so at most one of them could be an elementary proposition. But then the worry is that once we determine that one of these four propositions is elementary, we’ll have no way to analyze the three leftover propositions, since they won’t each be truth functions of the elementary color proposition. A lot of people think that this problem motivated Wittgenstein to abandon the central project of the Tractatus.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Sarah Moss.

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This Is The Place To Be: An Interview with Lara Pawson published 23/11/2016

While people may think that someone who writes about such intimacy can’t possibly be nervous, they’d be wrong. I still feel unsettled by this aspect of the work. That’s part of what makes it a difficult book to discuss. In truth, I’m also a little afraid that in talking about my book, I risk damaging the work itself. My mouth might tread all over the text. I don’t want that to happen. I want the text to speak for itself. I feel very protective of the text.

Lara Pawson, interviewed by Rebekah Weikel.

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Wittgenstein’s Ethical Enterprise and Related Matters published 19/11/2016

I am very firmly of the view that philosophy needs to be aware of the non-philosophical investigations going on in its very many neighbouring disciplines (whether that is in history or in mathematics or in art or in psychiatry: it’s not as if everything that isn’t philosophy is science), without surrendering its responsibilities to any of them. After all, quite often when things start getting really interesting in these neighbouring disciplines it’s because they are getting philosophical, whether or not this is recognized.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Edward Harcourt.

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