:: Interviews

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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Against Empathy and Other Philosophical Beefs published 07/10/2016

It is not only the sciences that have changed the landscape, but also culture more generally, the present stage of capitalism, media and communication, finance, new forms of governance, lifestyles and consumption habits, new forms of political expression, new people making there presence felt on the global stage, and so on. There is some truth to the claim that some forms of classical philosophical inquiry might have lost their purchase on human reality in the wake of these transformations.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Jan Slaby.

[Pic: Edward Colver]

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Robust published 30/09/2016

Models in science are based on assumptions, which are simplifications of real-world systems, in a similar way as with the model of the bridge. How can we apply the result of a model to real-world phenomena, where the initial simplifications do not hold? The idea behind robustness analysis is that if the result of a model holds under different assumptions, each of which captures certain possible aspects of the real world phenomenon, then our confidence in the result of the model is higher than before we proved its robustness.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Chiara Lisciandra.

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The Other London Perambulator: John Rogers published 26/09/2016

There were a few cases of consciously not recreating things in the book. For example, there’s a wonderful section in the book about Iain’s relationship with Angela Carter. She’s great. When I interviewed Iain about the book, I was really curious about that because that is another London that doesn’t quite exist anymore, a literary London. It’s kind of dead really, at least in that form. So he’s still book dealing, and she can do a profile on him in the LRB and that can have transformative effects. What I loved about it is that there’s a lunch in Bloomsbury to celebrate an article in the LRB and that just doesn’t happen now.

Adam Scovell interviews John Rogers about his recent London Overground film with Iain Sinclair.

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Epicureanism, Early Mods and The Moral Animal published 23/09/2016

Even if the gods did exist, the Epicureans argued, they didn’t care about us. Rather, everything comes from nature, and all that really exists are atoms and void, moving and congregating. The life-world of human and animal experience, with colours, tastes, solid objects, is a perceptual effect of massed atoms.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Catherine Wilson.

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The Virtue Epistemologist published 16/09/2016

Either we squelch our curiosity or we will have to fall into the circularity or regress to which the skeptic objects. Since the actual infinite regress is of reach for finite humans, we must fall into the circularity, the Cartesian sort of circularity, wherein we use our fundamental faculties (intuition and deduction, as they might be) in order to attain a picture of ourselves and the world around us (ourselves in the lap of a benevolent omnipotence) that enables us to endorse our use of those very faculties. There is no hope for a properly supportive perspective on our basic faculties that is not acquired by means of such inquiry.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Ernest Sosa.

Painting: Harry Adams.

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The Anatomical Venus published 11/09/2016

Many people find the Anatomical Venus disquieting. Grotesque and beautiful, spectacle and teaching tool, seemingly both dead and alive, she tends to elicit a strong emotional engagement, deep fascination, and intellectual uncertainty. This uncertainty, and the feelings of uneasiness it provokes, can be understood via the concept of The Uncanny.

Richard Marshall talks to Joanna Ebenstein about the Anatomical Venus.

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