[No video available for this take. Transcribed from the cassette version of the lecture.]
Transcript: In this third lecture I would like to discuss a figure that is in one sense a paradigmatic intellectual of the 20th Century – certainly one of the most famous intellectuals; a person who many of you know not only as a philosopher but also as a writer and a dramatist – and that’s Sartre the famous French philosopher. Sartre is best known I suppose in the United States for his literary works and I can recommend them. They are, as it were, foundational in our culture for the, sort of, existential experience and I have in mind his novel “Nausea” which is a nice existential phrase; it gets you off in the right direction. View Full Article »
Our second lecture will be on Heidegger and the Rejection of Humanism. Many of you may know Heidegger by reputation and I think that it’s always nice in a course in the self in the 20th Century to present at least one lecture by a thinker who is extremely profound and raises the issue of the self in the modern era and also happens to be a Fascist. And again – I always have to put in these disclaimers – this is not an endorsement of Fascism, but… but in a way I almost regret that I had to start with that snotty remark, because Heidegger’s account of finding meaning in the 20th Century is one of the most profound and powerful that we get in the 20th Century. Before I proceed to it, I’d like to say a few brief summary remarks about the rather scattered out first lecture. View Full Article »
Transcript: In this lecture I want to pick up on my discussion of “On the Genealogy of Morals” by Nietzsche and return our argument concerning the value of our values, the origins of our ethical judgements and so on, and look at the question of – as I stated in the opening lecture – the paradoxical situation that our morality may, oddly enough, have an immoral origin. And so this is the argument to which we will return. One of the points I didn’t make about the genealogical method in the last lecture, I want to make now and it’s very important. When we look genealogically at “The Greeks” as a type, or Christianity; Nietzsche uses a kind of typology where we don’t look for who speaks in a document, but for as it were, what motivates the speaker behind the document. View Full Article »
Transcript: A brief recap of the whole journey we have taken here. We tried to as it were retrace, sort of, the history of the accounts of human values given in the Western philosophical tradition. That account seemed to dead end with some rather ordinary philosophical problems. In other words, we found out that most of our accounts wouldn’t work too well, until we got to Hegel’s account, which reminded us that human values and moral and ethical problems come up in historical circumstances, which then forced us to investigate society and history, which opened up immense topics that we have only been able to say suggestive things about. View Full Article »
Transcript: Okay, ah, last time I may have dropped out of my West Texas mode for a moment and become a little too philosophical, so I am going to try to restate a few things from Nietzsche in a simple way, quickly, before I move on to some remarks about Kierkegaard. Ah, what I was trying to evoke in you was more the spirit of Nietzsche than the specific text. The spirit of Nietzsche is one of deep suspicion, and that suspicion is that power is intertwined with things that we normally like to think of, even today, as not being dependent on power, for example; truth, goodness, and so on. Nietzsche says they are. View Full Article »
Transcript: Okay, in our last lecture, ah, I ended the history of ethics in a way – what would be a usual introduction to an ethics course – by discussing Hegel’s view of ethics with its ah… one might call it… super concept of freedom; the very large concept of freedom as formulating those goals and desires of individuals in whatever given historical period. And the idea that freedom represents is to see those goals and obstacles and their overcoming in that period, and to name that activity and those sets of practices “freedom”. View Full Article »
Transcript: Okay, we ended the last lecture by discussing the Utilitarian ethical theory which is that we should always act as though to bring about the greatest happiness for the greatest number, and Kant’s ethical theory that we should always act so that the rule of our action could be willed by us to be universal law, and then we raised objections to both those. Now, a further reminder is in order, and it’s very important. View Full Article »
Mark: The YouTube videos of Rick's lectures are fantastic, and sadly I'm just discovering them. I'm going to a country that blocks youtube.com, however, and thus I'm going to lose access to Rick's wonderful video lecture series, as it is blocked in that country). I wonder if anyone knows of a hidden place where I can find the videos (other than youtube)? I couldn't even find a dvd for sale on amazon (audio casettes only, and who has an audio player these days?).
Pedestrian: Rick Roderick needs a twitter page with quotes from his lectures. It's a way to keep his memory and words alive every single day....
Omar Fourie: About Dr. Roderick: From following his lectures the following: I like his style. I like the fact that he puts humor into what he says and I like the fact that he says what he wants to say without ambiguity.
I really wish I could have met him and studied him a bit more (through latter works, had he lived longer)It is a pity that he died at such a young age, but alas, I agree with Frank, no one knows the time or date, but that death comes for us all is sure. And here I also admire his honesty, few philosophers acknowledge the terrible specter of death.
Gary: What a great idea. I'll be recommending this site to all my friends in future. Truly inspirational stuff!!
Frank: Wow... talk about immortality. I just discovered a great man today and I wanted to tell him, one Texan to another, that his lectures are amazing, his humor sublime. Alas, I am 12 years too late... but, it is almost fitting, after his last remarks on Heidegger (lecture 2 in Self Under Siege) he says, "...but for now that’s all except be sure and fear death. I mean, that’s important to being human. Fear death and realise that even if you don’t smoke, and even if you jog, you are still going to die, and that should come as a great relief to all of you."...