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

from normativity to responsibility etc published 01/09/2014

We are united by our relations to a common history, a common heritage of cuisines, architecture, crafts, professional and leisure activities, arts and literature, and more which shape our imagination, providing us with the memory of smells and colours and patterns of response, and mutual expectations, which enable us to understand each other, and open avenues for individual development and creativity within the common bonds, individuality which makes itself understood to others, because its roots are in the common culture, and which can be freer and richer because of the richness from which it derives. Interpretations of cultural goods, of history and psychology, are crucial to these processes precisely because they combine preservation with change, plurality with relating to a common core, the common object of interpretation.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Joseph Raz.

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The Ethical Machiavelli published 29/08/2014

Up to the second half of 18th century some of Machiavelli’s most intelligent readers – philosophers like Francis Bacon and Spinoza and Rousseau – read him as a thinker who wanted to uphold high moral standards. They thought he wrote ironically to expose the cynical methods politicians use to seize power, while only seeming to recommend them. Which doesn’t mean they thought he was writing pure satire, a send-up of political corruption. He had constructive aims too: to train people to see through plausible-sounding excuses and good appearances in politics, and think harder about the spiralling consequences of actions that seem good at the time.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Erica Benner.

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Saying no! to Jack Bauer: mainstreaming torture published 22/08/2014

Within a few weeks of the 9/11 attacks, it became clear to anyone who wanted to know that one result was that people were going to be tortured. Of course this wasn’t the first time the U.S. government has been involved with torture, but September 11 did mark a real change. Almost overnight, a question that many people believed had been resolved – whether or not torture is wrong – was reopened. In November of 2011, Jonathan Alter, a mainstream liberal columnist, wrote in Newsweek, “In this autumn of anger, even a liberal can find his thoughts turning to … torture.” He wondered whether it might be a good plan to deport the Muslims living in the United States whom the FBI had rounded up to “Saudi Arabia, land of beheadings.”

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Rebecca Gordon.

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responsibility and punishment published 15/08/2014

A multi-disciplinary perspective is necessary if one wants a nuanced understanding of the mental states legal responsibility depends upon, and the way in which scientific psychology may, or may not provide evidence that such states are present in a criminal defendant. Court cases are a rich source of information regarding folk psychological assessments of responsibility, and legal scholars discuss, categorize, and critique courts’ handling of hard cases. Neuroscience currently represents cutting-edge scientific accounts of human psychology, and lawyers are increasingly presenting neuroscientific data as evidence. Philosophy is a way to bridge the gap between the folk psychological foundation of legal responsibility and neuroscience.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Katrina Sifferd.

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Ray Johnson: fort-da published 08/08/2014

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I keep climbing down the rabbit hole of that 102 Moticos poem which you, Andrew, use as an example of Johnson’s spiraling negativities. Perhaps because I’m a novelist, or a biographer, but something in me wants to decode the poem in such a way that the key to RJ’s heart would click, twirl and open… I know it’s about the materiality of language and the power of the numeric–it’s like a Vito Acconci poem in that way–and yet there’s something alive that keeps bouncing, like a firefly in a jar, against its cold transparent shell and almost reaching the human.

Andrew Blackley interviews Kevin Killian to discuss the art and poetry of Ray Johnson.

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queer theology and sexchatology published

Saying we all have a sexuality doesn’t mean we are all being sexual, in the way we usually use that shorthand, all the time. Sexuality is about our creativity, our generativity, the energy through which and in which we interact with the world – so a person who’s temporarily or permanently celibate doesn’t stop being sexual just because they’re not being genital with anyone else. Sexuality is about far more than orientation.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Susannah Cornwall.

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Foucault’s freedom published 01/08/2014

Practices of state violence are not just instruments for upholding sovereignty and for enforcing the law. They have increasingly got their own internal ends that legitimize them and law is used simply as a particular tactic for the achievement of these ends. The deployment of law thus becomes strategic: it functions as means to predetermined policy ends and not as the ground of their legitimacy.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Johanna Oksala.

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Wounding published 29/07/2014

From a craft point of view, third person provides a critical distance to examine and describe without sentiment that a first person point of view could need. I give the husband a voice, partly because it is a performance, so both characters ‘perform’ but in slightly different ways, but also, of course the male voice is still privileged in our society. He isn’t named though, you might have noticed, so he isn’t pinned in place by naming. I think Mallarmé wrote about the lack of a name allows a poetic freedom … it keeps them in opposition too, playing out the supposed binary opposition between the genders.

Sara Upstone talks to Heidi James about her novel Wounding.

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A Strange Elevation published 26/07/2014

The Models were staged; they were trying to be punk rock. But the Heartbreakers were so real. I met Thunders through a girl called Karine, who I’d met in Paris in 1977, and who used to score drugs for Thunders occasionally. He was an affable and accommodating guy, kind of like the guys you used to meet on the street who wanted to sell you drugs. I’d met Karine at the same party where I met Yves St Laurent, Bianca Jigger and Warhol — who really did only say ‘gee’. I’d gone with a guy called Bernard, who ran the Gibus Club, and a writer friend called Alain Pacadis — I stayed at his flat and was impressed with the fact that he had a little picture that Iggy had drawn for him. I’d met Pacadis in a café near the Gare du Nord in 1977, on the way back from a job I had in Switzerland. They were wearing leather trousers and were the closest thing you had to punks in Paris at the time. I got into a conversation with them, and we were off on a party that lasted for two weeks.

Richard Cabut interviews Gary Asquith of Rema-Rema fame.

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truth, success and frank ramsey published 25/07/2014

Philosophy was then very popular in France, but not in the present day sense of people going to philosophical cafés or festivals, and of the success of lousy books on happiness and wisdom. Philosophy was a political subject, which made a difference to our lives. The intellectual atmosphere was electric, and just after 1968 we had a sense that something was happening, although nobody knew what it was. Sartre was still very active in leftist politics, as well as Deleuze and Foucault. They were our stars, and everyone was discussing Freud, Lacan, Marx, Mao. We dreamt – but only dreamt – of being street fighting men.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Pascal Engel.

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