Sep 28, 2015

Starting the Master-Slave Dialectic

More than a year-and-a half-in, the Half-Hour Hegel project continues on strong!  I've just released the 74th installation in this video lecture series -- aimed at providing an innovative, open-access, digital commentary on G.W.F Hegel's first major work, the notoriously difficult Phenomenology of Spirit.

I usually provide updates about the project and matters Hegel-related on the Half-Hour Hegel blog, but since the Master-Slave dialectic is a particularly popular selection from the work -- and that's what we're about to start --  I thought it would be worthwhile to mention it here in Orexis Dianoētikē.

If you're interested specifically in that section of the work here's the video lectures so far from the "Lordship and Bondage" portion:
If you'd like to see the other videos from the Self-Consciousness portion that the Master-Slave dialectic fits into, I suggest going over to this page on the Half-Hour Hegel blog, where all the video lectures are curated as soon as I shoot, edit, upload, and release them. 

Next week, you can expect to see videos specifically discussing the paragraphs in which Hegel elaborates the Master-Slave dialectic proper -- if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, I'll announce their releases there, as well as on my YouTube channel, the Half Hour Hegel Patreon page, and the Half Hour Hegel blog.

Sep 16, 2015

Understanding Anger - Lecture 9: Thomas Aquinas On Anger

Our series of monthly lectures for this year -- hosted by the historic Kingston Library -- has come to a close, with a well-attended and very enjoyable last session.  The topic for this talk, Thomas Aquinas' perspective upon anger, tied together thematic threads from many of the previous sessions, particularly because Thomas himself was a great systematizer and synthesizer of previous points of view.

In the previous session, we examined several early Christian thinkers who discussed anger (you can watch the video of that earlier session here), taking us up to the 5th century AD, the cusp between antiquity and the middle ages.  In this final session, we focused on a thinker solidly in the midst of the medieval period, the 13th century, often called the "high middle ages."  You can watch the video of that very lively discussion here.

Sep 8, 2015

Theology Matters Guest Appearance: The 1930s Christian Philosophy Debates

Taking up the standing invitation to come back on the weekly Theology Matters with the Pellews internet radio show, I made a guest appearance last week.  This time the topics under discussion between myself, the host, and callers were several of the main issues and ideas of my 2011 book, Reason Fulfilled by Revelation:  The Christian Philosophy Debates in France (published by Catholic University of America Press).

The notion, the problem, and the historical examples of Christian philosophy -- and those 1930s debates in particular -- are topics that I've greatly enjoyed researching, writing on, and talking about over the last decade.  So, I was quite happy to come back on the show specifically to discuss them.

For those who would like to listen to the audio of the show, minus the first portion (which featured a different guest) and the advertisements, I've put it into a podcast mp3 form, which you can download or listen to.

Aug 31, 2015

10 Philosophical Texts I'd Bring to a Desert Island

A bit over a year ago, a longstanding friend and colleague -- someone I actually went to college with -- asked me a question so intriguing that I ended up sitting down and recording a 20-minute YouTube video answering it in detail.

He wrote me:  If you could bring ten philosophical works to be stranded with on the proverbial desert island, which ten would they be, and why? 

Apr 7, 2015

Anselm on Divine Power and Greatness

Recently, the web-comic xkcd put out a one-panel one-liner that caught my immediate attention as a sometime scholar working on Anselm of Canterbury.  He's often credited with originating the "ontological argument," in some important senses a misattribution, since that term comes into use much later, in the 18th century, and since Anselm's "unum argumentum" is actually nearly the whole of the Proslogion, not just the second chapter -- there's even more to be said, but those are topics for another day, and a different post.

What's particularly interesting to me about this is the question that's being asked in the panel -- not the part about a "flaw" in the ontological argument, but rather the much more intriguing question hinted at about divine power, or rather omnipotence, and its intersection with the "that than which nothing greater can be thought" reasoning driving Anselm's argumentation in the Proslogion.  Here's why that issue is well worth thinking through in light of Anselm's actual texts and thought:

Mar 21, 2015

Understanding Anger - Lecture 3: Plato on Anger

The series "Understanding Anger" continued with the third installment -- a lecture focused now not on literary or religious texts, as the previous two were, but on a philosophical perspective upon the emotion of anger.  At least in Western Philosophy, Plato is one of the first philosophers to devote sustained -- though not exactly systematic -- attention to anger in his works.

To be sure, there were a few pre-Socratic philosophers who made isolated, though interesting remarks about anger, but those don't provide enough to say that we have any real articulated perspective upon anger and the many other phenomena with which it is -- or can be -- connected.  In Plato's works, we find considerably more intellectual resources available -- as I discussed in my talk (the video of which you can see here).

Mar 19, 2015

A New Series of Talks: "Reconsidering. . . "

I've been involved in so much philosophy-related activity of various sorts lately, that I've not had the time to write here about quite a bit of it, which might lend a mistaken impression of precisely the opposite -- that nothing has been going on! 

Last night, at the Kingston Library, we held the second of a new series of monthly community discussions -- the "Reconsidering . . ." series, this one called "Reconsidering Charlie Hebdo:  Free Speech, Violence and Offense in Context".  So, that means that it has been a month since the first session. "Reconsidering Ferguson:  Racial Politics in Context."