:: Interviews archive ( click for A-Z index)

Reid’s Common Sense, Berkeley’s Vision and Whether Gentile’s Fascism Should Matter More Than Berkeley’s Slave Plantation published 25/06/2016

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But you ask: do we face the same sorts of issues regarding Gentile as we do with Heidegger? Gentile – no longer at the center of power by the late 30s – helped Jews in Italy who were threatened by the Fascist regime. But his philosophy and his politics were of a piece, both contributing to a global disaster that cost many lives. Among other things, the disaster was one of nationalisms in conflict. Our politics today is still in turmoil about nationalism and nativism.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Rebecca Copenhaver.
Painting: Billy Childish

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On Perception, Aesthetics etc etc published 18/06/2016

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Our motor skills are developed through physical play; our perceptual skills by playing at looking and listening “pointlessly”—the infant stares, and by doing so she learns how to look. (Notice how my emphasis on active perception plays into this notion of perception as a skill.) It is this fun, I claim, that is the basis of aesthetic pleasure. A child babbling for no other purpose than the sheer joy of it—that’s the prototype of art production. Aesthetic enjoyment isn’t tied to the value of particular things, as standard evolutionary accounts maintain. It is rooted, rather, in the joy that infants get from activities that have no immediate purpose, but which have a long-term benefit in terms of learning.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Mohan Matthen.
Painting: Billy Childish.

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Interview with gorse published 16/06/2016

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I spent a little time immersed in some of those modernist little magazines when I was deciding what gorse might look like – Margaret Anderson’s Little Review, Harriet Shaw Weaver’s The Egoist, but especially Eugene and Maria Jolas’ transition, that idea of collaboration, the intersection of words and art. But I’m certainly not nostalgic about a hazy past. Thinking of legacy reminds me of what Anselm Kiefer has said about being a ‘history painter,’ that to capture special moments in history is plain boring. He considers his work less of a linear evolution and more circular, everything comes around again and again and again.

Interview with Susan Tomaselli and Christodoulos Makris, editors of gorse.

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Who Rules? published 11/06/2016

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When Arendt says that “truth has a despotic character,” she explains that she means that as a single person investigates questions in, say, physics or math (even aspects of history, though that’s more complicated), the correct answers are not in any way affected by the fact that there are other minds with other perspectives. It’s simply between me and the non-negotiable world. By contrast, in the domain of the moral and political, there is no subject matter at all if not for multiple minds and perspectives. The right answer is not only hard to know without help from others—that’s also true about lots of math, physics, and history (she emphasizes the need for witnesses, for example). More importantly, in normative matters the right answer is itself some accommodation of multiple perspectives, such as competing aims and convictions.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews David Estlund.

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The Logical Pluralist published 05/06/2016

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It’s not true that everything in the world makes it true that there’s either beer in my fridge or not—there are some parts of the world that are completely silent about my fridge and its contents. You can maintain the classical insights as being correct, but still say that they don’t tell you all there is to know about consequences and logical connections.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Greg Restall.
Picture: Billy Childish.

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Keeping the Manifest Image in Mind published 28/05/2016

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Mental life is prospective, marked by possibilities and plans. There is, to be sure, that famous “problem of consciousness” that allegedly inserts a permanent gap between all things physical and all things mental. But even if the gap were filled – perhaps by one of the endless surprises yielded by quantum physics – there would remain the differences among persons in the matter of their plans; the different incarnations of the same person over the stages of life. Consciousness is the open shutter. Mental life is the actual or imagined plot, often unfolding in ways not anticipated by the author.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Dan Robinson.

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Factory records: an interview with John King published 23/05/2016

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I think I look at time as more of a circle than a straight line. Some people are very fixed, section their lives off, but I have never been that way. I do find it interesting how things change, but also how they repeat. People’s problems remain the same. I’ve always liked social history, listening to stories. That’s a big part of our education, really. What shapes us. So it feeds into what I do, makes the experience of writing exciting.

Andrew Stevens interviews John King for 3:AM.

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Hume’s Irreligious Core published 21/05/2016

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A plausible compatibilism – what I describe as critical compatibilism – must accept free will pessimism. It is important to note, however, that critical compatibilism and free will pessimism do not propose a solution to the traditional free will problem – as that depends on finding a way to satisfy or at least respect the exclusion requirement. Since critical compatibilism accepts free will pessimism, and free will pessimism involves rejecting the exclusion requirement, critical compatibilism involves rejecting the free will problem as it is generally understood. The morality system – which is deeply embedded in our Western, Christian culture – is highly resistant to this entire picture of the human predicament. Free will pessimism is, however, the truth about our condition and circumstances with respect to moral agency.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Paul Russell.
Picture: Billy Childish

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Once you’re a writer you have to write — Dan Fante (1944-2015) published 17/05/2016

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Once you’re a writer… You have to write. That’s what I do. People build houses and design aircraft. I have to design books. I have to put my thoughts on paper and it’s something that, thank God, over time has become a wonderful gift. It’s my life’s work.

Dan Fante interviewed by Jan Nasrullah Rylewicz.

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The Rhetoric and Lethargy of the Anthropocene published 14/05/2016

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The Wittgensteinian metaphor of picture that captivate us, which is the interpretive key to the arguments contained in my book, refers to a collection of futile philosophical assumptions, strongly criticized by the heroes of my narrative. Those assumptions prevented the development of more fruitful and more open views of language. While philosophizing about language we need to take into account a few factors, such as: 1) the existence of non-referential but meaningful expressions as well as the fact of the empirical underdetermination of reference, 2) the importance of performative dimension of language, 3) the role of practice of building and maintaining references in the area of situated speech (parole), 4) the existence of de-essentialised common area shared by the participants of acts of communication.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Ewa Bińczyk.

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