:: Interviews

Bayes’ Arrows published 23/06/2018

McGinn and Giere and their like can botanize the world of thought into “philosophy” and “not philosophy” and corral the mostly fruitless into the former, as they wish. Universities make those sorts of separations an invitation to triviality and sometimes, outright stupidity. I think the basic motivation is pretty simple: most philosophers can’t do any mathematics, certainly not original mathematics; they are trained not to know statistics or computation. They treasure playground and rewards for the skills they have, and want to make sure the playground is well-guarded.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Clark Glymour.

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Raw, sexual, and feminist published 17/06/2018

Our society has so many deep toxic layers of sexism, homophobia, violence, transphobia, racism and deep deep rooted layers of sexual stigma and shame.  These are systematic and have deep rooted ties to our societies allegiance with capitalism and religion that over shadows love, compassion, interconnectedness, well being, community.  Much of the work that I do is digging in deep to these systematic layers through art, porn, film, performance, writing and education and unraveling this tangled web of toxicity so that we might all find our hearts once again and remember how to use them. 

Continuing the States of Anxiety series, Jana Astanov interviews Madison Young.

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Carl Schmitt and Democratic Cannibalism published 16/06/2018

The absolute entrenchment of the constitution’s core commitments and party bans are the two most significant takeaways. By arguing that the basic decision of the Weimar Constitution was for liberal basic rights rather than democracy, Schmitt believed he had discovered a way to prevent extremists from gaining power and committing legal revolution, a way consistent with the existing Weimar Constitution.

As the Nazis and Communists gained seats in parliament, Schmitt was frustrated by positivist jurists’ unyielding commitment to democratically decided positive law. He criticized them for how their theoretical commitments resulted practically in something like political quietism. And, in doing so, he seems to interpret them as one-sided adherents to Weber’s ethics of conviction, as politically irresponsible.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Benjamin A Schupmann.

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The Impossible and The Real published 09/06/2018

When I think about what it means for something to exist, I don’t see a gap between existence, reality, being, or whatever you want to call it. When it comes to Pegasus, Santa Claus, and the Tory party’s concern for the poor, it’s not that there’s something out there in reality that somehow lacks the property of existence. There’s simply no such thing.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Mark Jago,

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James Miller in Conversation with Fernando Sdrigotti published 07/06/2018

Between the writing of  Sunshine State and UnAmerican Activities is a gap of about seven years — although some of the stories in the book were first written around the same time… but in this period there’s been a shift from dystopia as a future potential immanent within the present into the present itself becoming a sort of constantly shifting dystopian distortion — the terrible future, although always slightly postponed, is also sort of already here.

Fernando Sdrigotti interviews James Miller .

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History as the New Ideology of Patriotism In Russia: An interview with Alicia Ganieva published 06/06/2018

…the world I was depicting was a very male dominated world of very brutal tension between different branches of Islam, between relatives, and between different gangs on the street. Everything was so far away from what is supposed to be literature written by a woman. So I chose this male pseudonym and it happened to be a life changing decision because when my identity was revealed, of course there was a big outrage and uproar and maybe some sadness on some people’s parts because some of them, especially my countrymen, said that a girl from a good family didn’t have any right to depict the street colloquial language and dialogue of this male dominated world. And others were really sure that I was some bearded stranger, some savage from the Caucasus. Of course, a very colonial way of thinking about the inhabitants of these fringes of the country.

Olivia Capazzalo and Smith Freeman interview Alisa Ganieva.

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Aristotelian Plato, Mathematical Pythagoreanism and the Origins of Philosophy published 02/06/2018

Plato was impressed by the Persians and Egyptians, and in antiquity he was thought to have traveled to meet them in his youth (and, on his death bed, a Chaldean came to gain wisdom from him). Plato wrote eloquently about the wisdom of Egypt in the Timaeus-Critias, ascribing the wisdom of his distant ancestor Solon of Athens to the Egyptians, and he praises the wisdom of the Persian kings Cyrus and Darius in the Laws. He also wrote about the Zoroastrian educational system, and in particular Ahura Mazda (who was the primary god of the Zoroastrian pantheon), in the First Alcibiades, which he praised in various ways, but ultimately considered deficient to the system of Socratic/Platonic education that he was advancing. Quite interestingly, as soon as Plato dies, his students in the Academy (especially his amanuensis Philip of Opus, and another figure called Hermodorus of Syracuse) claim that Plato took his overall metaphysical system from the Persians – a striking claim that, when compared with the surviving inscriptions from Persia and the Zoroastrian writings, which are collected under the title Avesta, show impressive connections.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Phil Horky.

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Indian Philosophy of Language published 31/05/2018

We can’t be familiar with the intellectual traditions of every culture (I’m certainly not), but given that some of our oldest literature is in Sanskrit and that human beings have been speaking languages for a very long time, I don’t think we should be that surprised that there would be people reflecting on what language is and how it works, well before Russell and Frege. And in the 1960s and the work of B.K. Matilal, English-language philosophers have had resources to make them well aware that Indian philosophers have been doing sophisticated stuff in language (in Sanskrit, but not only that language–there’s Pāli, Prakrit, Tamil, and other languages too). I should add that Chinese philosophy also has a very long history of linguistic philosophy, dating back to around the time of Pāṇini, and that anyone interested should look into Mohist logic.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Malcolm Keating.

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After Identity: Questions Of Interpretation published 27/05/2018

White non-trans faculty are not meant to study issues of race or transgender – witness the controversy over Rebecca Tuvel’s article, “In Defense of Transracialism” – and non-white faculty are meant to study nothing but issues of race and the consequences of racialization. For the most part we find LatinX scholars, for example, in Hispanic Studies and Ethnics Studies departments, rather than, say, Philosophy ones. We are all, then, to study ourselves. This outcome seems to me to be both a travesty of the promise of diversity and a dogmatic account of identity.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Georgia Warnke.

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How Good Are We? published 24/05/2018

Now after reading the psychology literature, one view you might hold is the depressing one that most of us are vicious people to some extent or other – cruel, callous, dishonest, and the like. We belong on one end of the spectrum.

But I don’t see a lot of support for drawing that conclusion, just like I don’t see a lot of support for widespread virtue either. For instance, in the cheating literature just mentioned above, cheating was basically eliminated when participants recalled the Ten Commandments or signed the honor code. Yet to a truly dishonest person, neither of those would matter a great deal if at all.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Christian Miller.

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