[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 hanawalt: Hi, I am trying to contact Rick's son Marshall. I just finished a massive poster project in philosophy and probably could not have pulled it off without Rick. He was truly a modern Socratic figure committed to truth and humility. My question is simple and straightforward. As someone who knew him intimately; how do I deal with a world like this? Can you offer any advice? On a regular basis now I wake in the morning convinced I am Alice with big black hair and a big red dress; I've fallen down the rabbit hole; and it's the mad hatter over there and the smiling cat over there and talking furniture over there .... you get the point. All our political candidates are characters out of a South Park cartoon. How does one find some kind of engagement yet also some kind of detached concern? I am experimenting with imagery work and mythologies just to sort of get through the day ... but it occurred to me to ask you. He really was extraordinary....
Henry: Some more info on Rick can be found at tinyurl.com/jzcv562.
I have only 4 more of the lectures to view (for the first, but not last, time). What a gift! Thank you, Rick, and, ctrlshift....
Rick: Hi Marshall,
I just wanted to let you know that your father Rick has been a big influence on me. I am a working class, uneducated person who has tried to open up their world. Rick's lectures have helped me to conceptualize a lot of theory that was poorly written and i have used it to communicate my ideas to a lot of friends. I'm forever grateful for his work and want to thank him through you for his lucid style. He was a giant among men. As long as his talks are available online, he will always live in out hearts.
Levina2: I think that fear and hurt kill cells and organs and break down the body - mental aspects are responsible for health and longevity - not exercise. Not even diet. My mother never exercised and ate chocolate and pastries for breakfast and diner and was a young person at age 87 - both in body and mind - while I can think of any number of people who aged rapidly and died early while being devoted to 'keeping in shape'. My father was still young at 84 - smoking 3 packs a day and never once having exercised in his life. There may be arguments for exercise but it's one small element and you have to do it for decades. I love the way Rick laughs at these fools who think that they're escaping death. Especially because they heard it from the THEY that that's the thing to do and just maybe they will live forever.
I was twenty years younger than my real age in every test I took, doctors were astounded, and superior to 18 year old men in almost every physical aspect at age 60. Then I got divorced ...
victoria Lane: Enter your comments here...Excellent information...