:: Interviews

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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A Conversation on M.R. James published 18/11/2016

Because of the writer that James was, his prose come across as very conversational. The criticism often suggested of him is that it’s rambling and dusty but I don’t think that myself. When you have to start breaking that down, fitting his text into boxes, there’s actually no fat on his writing at all. The aspects you might think of as extraneous are actually an important part of how these texts work; the everyday setting, the ordinary people venturing into extraordinary situations.

Leah Moore and John Reppion in conversation with Adam Scovell.

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Nihil Unbound published 12/11/2016

In Sellars’s account, the “myth of Jones” is perhaps the most momentous step in the construction of the Manifest Image and hence in the development of our collective self-conception as humans. It is the step through which we begin to understand ourselves both as minded beings motivated by beliefs and as sentient beings affected by sensations. In Sellars’s myth, Jones is the genius who first suggests that what humans say and do can be explained as the outward manifestation of inner mental states of believing, desiring, and sensing.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Ray Brassier.

[Pic: Shirren Lim]

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Constructing Race published 05/11/2016

In the case of race, explicit racism seems to be much rarer than in the past. A range of other barriers remain, but a substantial part of the explanation of the relative deficit of nonwhite philosophers (especially black philosophers) seems to involve large-scale inequality in society as a whole. There remains substantial disagreement about how to correct such inequality (even were there the political will to do so). Thus, even once we acknowledge a role for various kinds of explicit, implicit, and structural racism (even when we acknowledge a role for the social construction of race), there are other barriers that we as a society must understand and address.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Ron Mallon.

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Peirce, Pragmatism and Race, Racism published 29/10/2016


I argue that we need to be involved in defining ourselves, to own the definitional project, otherwise we, as a group, are doomed in Europe. Given the surge in far right sentiment across Europe I worry that we may already be doomed, but while ever someone else controls whats defines us we can simply be erased by fiat. Now, perhaps this borrows the tools of “white” mainstream philosophy by talking of definitions and concepts and precision etc. but I don’t feel as though my philosophical work is especially tainted because of that. Its just another aspect of the many ways that philosophers can and are doing important work on such issues.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Albert Atkins.

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Speaking Gigantular with Irenosen Okojie published 24/10/2016

Irenosen Okojie’s prose is luxurious, rich and evocative, frequently funny, sensual. Her writing also carries a sharp bite, razor edges that cut you up if you slip into an easy groove. Her stories are fable-like in the way she anthropomorphizes animals, legendary creatures, plants, inanimate objects and forces of nature. They traverse continents, fetishes, curses, incredibly strange goings-on and serious traumas. Winner of the Betty Trask Award this year for her intoxicating debut novel, Butterfly Fish, Okojie has made a name for herself as a unique voice in British fiction.

Kit Caless talks to Irenosen Okojie for 3:AM Magazine.

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Reason In Our Dark Time published 22/10/2016

People and countries have done an enormous amount of damage in their attempts to bring about the best possible world. Communism is an obvious example. But so is British imperialism, which was not grubby self-interest all the way down, but at least in part a sincere attempt on the part of people who felt they were superior to other people to magnanimously improve the lot of their inferiors. In much of the world today there are no more chilling words than “I’m from the United States and I’m here to help you.”

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Dale Jamieson.

[Picture: MikkoLagerstedt]

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Death, Afterlife, Justice and Value published 15/10/2016

At no point in their theory do utilitarians rely on an independent notion of justice or fairness. They are concerned solely with the maximization of value. Non-consequentialists are the only people who treat justice as a fundamental moral concept. Since justice is a fundamental moral concept, the question should be: how do we (any of us) accommodate ideas of justice, and especially ideas about the justice of basic social, political, and economic institutions, within an overall outlook that is also sensitive to a variety of other moral values and principles, including values and principles that apply to small-scale personal relationships?

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Samuel Scheffler.

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From A Biological Point Of View, and Then Some published 09/10/2016

I don’t endorse deism or interventionist theism. My point is just that evolutionary biology is logically compatible with the former and with some versions of the latter. I have bothered to make this point in print because I want to take the heat off of evolutionary biology. The more evolutionary theory gets called an atheistic theory, the greater the risk that it will lose its place in public school biology courses in the United States. If the theory is thought of in this way, one should not be surprised if a judge at some point decides that teaching evolutionary theory violates the Constitutional principle of neutrality with respect to religion. Creationists have long held that evolutionary theory is atheistic; defenders of the theory do the theory no favor when they agree.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Elliott Sober.

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