:: Interviews

Making a Difference published 19/09/2018

Hume’s answer to the problem of induction is: ‘custom or habit’. The mechanism is just a brute mechanism that works as follows: once you’ve got enough experience of events just like y (e.g. feeling satisfyingly full rather than dropping dead) following events just like x (eating toast), you start just brutely coming to expect y-type events when we experience x-type events. That’s it. Essentially it’s no different to what happens when your dog infers that a walk is imminent from the fact that you’ve just put your coat on, picked up its lead and said ‘Walkies!’. Your dog has come to expect a walk to follow because that’s what’s always happened in the past.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Helen Beebee.

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Anonymous Sessions – Chamber II: Interview with The Syndicate published 18/09/2018

Interview with The Swarm

The Symposium came to us from an atmosphere of loss in, at the time, contemporary vibrant scene of the hybridization of theory. What was left was this helpless booklet. We looked at ourselves, a few speechless voices nourished by theories and fictions, and we dove into sentient silence, the overgrown intimation to zero. Zero is—in dB—the level of a perfectly mastered sound, and we found it, in our silence, though distorted by a restless redshift of the VU signal, a noise formula that infected all of our production, whereas we can no longer see differential qualities or differential individualities.

Elytron Frass and Cergat interview The Swarm.

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Buddhism and Levinas published 14/09/2018

A chair, for example, is often regarded as “the same chair” whether it is painted one color or another, or a leg is replaced. Moreover, the concepts we employ are understood to circumscribe or capture that essence. But if all phenomena are always arising and passing away, dependent on causes and conditions, then—according to many Buddhist thinkers—they do not possess the nature or essence that we attribute to them with our words and concepts. They do not exist independently. According to our social/linguistic conventions, of course, things do have meanings that are stable. But upon analysis, many Buddhists argue, it is we who have superimposed these meanings on passing phenomena. Ultimately, these phenomena lack, or are empty of, the concepts that we superimpose upon them. Even this emptiness of the meaning that is superimposed, it is argued by some Buddhist philosophers, is itself dependent on the mental imputation of an essence, and is therefore also empty.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews William Endelglass.

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The Causal Revolutionary published 08/09/2018

We have never internalized how profound this dichotomy is, which Nancy Cartwright immortalized in: “No causes in no causes out.” This means that statistics and big-data cannot answer ANY causal question, for example, what will happen if we intervene (say ban cigarettes) or what would have happened had we acted differently. The latter being counterfactual.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Judea Pearl.

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Anonymous Sessions – Chamber I: Interview with [x] published 04/09/2018

Interview with [x]

There’s a fragile line between being seen and being witnessed; the former is sold to us as sufficient, where we exist so long as we reduce ourselves to content. I want something terrible and intimate, I want to know that you’re afflicted, that you’re caught in this. When something touches us it’s terrifying. To soothe the discomfort of feeling in response to Other, even if it’s joy or wonder, we try to possess, as if ownership can mitigate that helplessness. To witness is to take that fear on the tongue, a little body to go with the blood.

Cergat Boş & Elytron Frass interview [x].

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The Monarchy of Fear published 31/08/2018

In an absolute monarchy, the monarch thrives on fear, and usually finds many ways to engineer fear. But in a democracy we need to look one another in the eye as equals and to work together for common goals. This requires trust, the willingness to be vulnerable to what other people do. If I’m always defending myself against you I do not trust you. Trust breeds deceit and defensiveness rather than common efforts to solve problems.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Martha Nussbaum.

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Freedom’s Tendency to Get Ahead of Itself and Fall Short etc published 25/08/2018

We are used to seeing Kant as being somehow dismissive of our living nature, since he seems to define practical reason by means of actions that precisely go against our sensible impulses, desires, and inclinations. But although he makes it very hard to notice this, Kant in fact has a surprisingly wide and inclusive conception of desire and life: He defines the faculty of desire as the capacity to be by means of a representation the cause of the existence of what we represent. And to be alive means nothing else than to be a being of desire in this sense, a being that is capable of this practical stance toward the world.

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

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Baggini: Melody Thinker published 19/08/2018

Music can take us to somewhere removed from the contingencies of each day. Through art, we’re reminded of another important dimension of life which can get lost. Humans are odd animals. We’re rooted in the present and we’re culturally and historically located, but through imagination and intellect we can grasp and appreciate things which aren’t specific to our times. It’s quite remarkable capacity really.

Hugh D. Reynolds interviews Julian Baggini.

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Indian Materialist Philosophy published 17/08/2018

Buddhism offers a hope of liberation, nirvāṇa, getting out of the cycle of birth and rebirth, with suffering accompanying every birth. On the other hand, materialism has nothing to offer but the naked truth that consciousness dies as soon as the body is dead; therefore, there is no question of either liberation or rebirth. The hope for living forever in heaven is not there. Buddhism in this respect offers a middle way between traditional Hinduism and the Cārvāka/Lokāyata.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Ramkrishna Bhattacharya.

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The Contesting Memory of African Philosophy published 12/08/2018

An African philosophical perspective, that takes itself seriously, must engage the question of being—i.e., what to be means—for contemporary Africa, since colonialism, above all else, destroyed the differing modes of African being-in-the-world. Indeed, the struggle for African freedom (which presently has achieved only the status of formal independence) is aimed at precisely this; reclaiming the African experience of being from within the context of our contemporary world. This is what Amilcar Cabral means by “return to the source.” This too is what Frantz Fanon is calling us to when he insists that we must invent our freedom. Remember, this is how The Wretched [Damned] of the Earth ends—one of the most important works of contemporary African philosophy.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Tsenay Serequeberhan.

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