:: Interviews

Municipal Dreams: an interview with John Boughton published 16/05/2018

The question of what is the proper role of the state has probably been the dominant one in British politics since 1979.  Mrs Thatcher pledged to ‘roll back the frontiers of the state’ and, in her own terms, was very successful in doing so.  New Labour, while seeing a greater role for public investment, was also quite sceptical about what central and local government could or should do and placed far more emphasis on the market and the ‘third sector’ – voluntary organisations and the like – than previous Labour governments. Nowhere was this shift better exemplified than in the field of housing provision.

Interview by Andrew Stevens.

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To Be Refuted at Each Century: James Ward and Alfred North Whitehead published 12/05/2018

Whitehead argues that we experience causation all the time. Notoriously, this is precisely what Hume denies; according to him, we just experience succession, not the action of one thing upon another. Whitehead does not deny that we apprehend sense-impressions; when an object hits me, however, I have direct experience of causal forces acting upon me. Whitehead charges the entire British tradition with having neglected this fundamental dimension of experience. This failure has led to the strange view that experience is like a cage – that it encloses us within the circle of our perceptions, instead of doing what it so obviously does, namely bringing us in touch with the outside world.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Pierfrancesco Basile.

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No Fulfillment Without Anticipations and VRs Place Of Illusions published 09/05/2018

Our anticipations regarding the hidden side of a modern sculpture tend to be more indeterminate than our anticipations about the hidden sides of more familiar objects. Contrast a situation in which you look at a modern sculpture for the first time with a situation in which you look at a familiar object, such as your favorite coffee cup. I suggest that you will anticipate seeing the hidden side of each object as you change your perspective. But the anticipations in the case of the sculpture will be more indeterminate than in the case of the coffee cup. It may even seem to you as if you are “guessing” in the case of the sculpture.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Michael Madary.

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Existence and Consolation published 04/05/2018

Consolation philosophy posits the primacy of mood in the universe. Since I conceive mood as a proto-mind, my thought-system is an African idealism. It is monistic because it reduces everything in the universe to mood, a creative principle driven by an all-pervading logic that is nothing more than yearning. This assertion has implication for determinism and freedom. Rigid determinism and freedom are denied, with the notion of fatalism taking precedence.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Ada Agada.

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Why You Don’t Need Brain Surgery To Change Logic published 03/05/2018

There could probably be a perfectly logical advocate of the claim that the moon landing was a hoax, but few would regard such a person rational.  It’s frequently noted that when one becomes aware that certain of one’s beliefs are logically inconsistent, the most rational response is often to keep the inconsistency, because one is not sure how best to eliminate it.  The ability to manage known inconsistencies and other tensions in one’s beliefs is one of the many important factors in rationality that stress on “being logical” obscures.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Hartry Field.

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People-Pleasing and the Art of the Sentence-graph: The Definitive Sam Pink Interview (part two) published 02/05/2018

yeah i agree with that. there’s just something off about everybody i like, to be honest. especially when it comes to art. like, if you’re hiring someone to build you some cabinets, the last thing you want to hear is ‘there’s something wrong with them.’ but fuck, if you’re drawing me a picture or writing me a story, i hope you are fucked up. if ten people look at the same picture and only one sees something different, i’m interested in that. and to tie this in to the previous question, i’m starting to think that what might be ‘off’ about me is multiple concussions. all i know is, growing up, people always commented on how dark / weird / funny my take on shit was. so i went with it. and it’s fun. be a fucking weirdo man. you’re going to die. be ‘a little off’, like someone’s grandma.

Mike Kleine interviews Sam Pink.

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People-Pleasing and the Art of the Sentence-graph: The Definitive Sam Pink Interview (part one) published 01/05/2018

there is a place for violence that i believe alleviates more than it damages. i wouldn’t characterize the main character as a pacifist, necessarily. or, he would be if possible, but it’s not possible. being a bouncer at a bar is like, half psychological and half physical. it’s an eye-opening look into humanity too. because, for the most part, people get away with what they’re allowed to get away with. so if i let a guy keep harassing a group of girls, then he’s going to keep doing it. if i go up and tell him to stop, then he’s going to stop. there is a very interesting exchange of energy too. when you approach someone to discipline them, at least with guys, they immediately calculate the situation. i’ve seen guys bigger than me look at me and calculate that it’s not worth getting into something. like a rat. you let the rats walk on you, they will bury you.

Mike Kleine interviews Sam Pink.

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How Donald Trump’s Bullshit Earned Him a Place in the History of Assertion. published 29/04/2018

Kripke, and perhaps Wittgenstein, were in favor of norms of meaning, but it is not so clear that either was in favor of norms of assertion, in the current sense, although Kripke spoke of correct assertions. Dummett also spoke of correct/incorrect assertions, but not with an appeal to norms in the current sense. He is still a little different, since he in addition made appeal to conventions of assertion. He did not, however, try to explain what assertion is by appeal to such conventions. One of Dummett’s memorable statements on the matter is this: “A man makes an assertion if he says something in such a manner as deliberately to convey the impression of saying it with the overriding intention of saying something true.”

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Peter Pagin.

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Aspiration published 27/04/2018

If we think back, we can recall earlier versions of ourselves who didn’t care about many of the things we now care about. The question is: how did we get from there to here?  How did we come to be passionately invested in political activism or motherhood or fashion or classical music or whatever? 

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Agnes Callard.

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Why Marx’s Philosophy But Not His Economics Matters Now published 26/04/2018

Marx’s whole approach, like that of Hegel and Kant, was strongly human-centered and shows no concern for the environment. That is an important weakness, and perhaps even more important is, as you indicate, that Marxism is often seen as providing a justification for refusing to do things that would be highly effective in helping people in extreme poverty. Very often, when I speak about effective altruism, and what we can do, at very little cost to ourselves, to assist people in extreme poverty, someone will say that we should not be assisting charities, no matter how effective they may be, because we need to overthrow capitalism first.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Peter Singer.

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