INVITATION TO DIALOGUE – PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENCE
Initiated by – ANNE BUTTIMER – TORSTEN HAGERSTRAND
DR. RICK RODERICK – Department of Philosophy – DUKE UNIVERSITY
Recorded at – THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN – April 8, 1987
AB: Today we have the pleasure of meeting Doctor Rick Roderick, a philosopher from Duke University who is here visiting the University of Texas which is his alma mater. Yesterday he gave us a brilliant lecture in my seminar and so I asked him if he would meet me today and tell me a little bit more about himself so we keep something of his visit with us. Rick, you are particularly interested in Habermas and the school of critical theory. I want to ask you some things about that, but first I would like to ask you about your background; where you grew up and what it was that led you to philosophy. View Full Article »
Transcript: In this lecture I want to discuss one of the most important philosophers who is still working, still alive, his work ranges over many areas in social theory, it ranges in areas of philosophy, linguistics and so on, and that’s Jurgen Habermas. Habermas is one of the last great defenders of rationalism in a period in philosophy in which rationalism is not held in very high esteem. In many ways Habermas is an outgrowth of one of the figures that we discussed last time, namely Herbert Marcuse and the Frankfurt School; that would include Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer. Habermas was in fact Adorno’s graduate assistant and so the original project that Jurgen Habermas set himself was to reformulate the kinds of theories being worked on by Marcuse, by Horkheimer and by Adorno. In particular his first venture was to reformulate their distinction between traditional theory – understood as both philosophy and science, both – as opposed to what they called “critical theory”; a theory whose interest was in the emancipation of human beings. View Full Article »
Transcript: Okay, this is the fourth lecture and we are going to pick things up a little bit here because we have a philosopher who I came in contact with in college through pamphlets and so this is someone I really enjoy, and I hope that you will get something out of this lecture. I am going to talk about Herbert Marcuse. Again, like Sartre, we are talking about an intellectual who becomes a pop cultural figure. I mean this is a very rare thing for a German philosopher to have their picture on the cover of Life magazine, but this happens with Herbert Marcuse in the sixties. The reason it does… and this time I will go into the theory. In the case of Sartre there are so many periods and stuff to follow out that it’s difficult, but with Marcuse there are a series of guiding themes that we can follow that I think will explain why Marcuse was the philosopher of the 1960′s, and I also want to explain more than that. View Full Article »
[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 »
Self Under Siege (1993) Lecture 4: Marcuse and One-Dimensional Man
…now, that’s the method within which Marcuse criticises capitalist society. Not with external norms drawn from some utopian situation, but by its own terms, with its own terms. I also think that’s not only a good strategy as a style of critique, but its utterly fair. I mean, in a way, it’s like demanding of yourself that you do what you say… which you want to demand at least of your friends… that they do most of the time what they say they’ll do. But it’s certainly a good demand to place upon, ah, your society, its leaders, and so on. View Full Article »
Self Under Siege (1993) Lecture 4: Marcuse And One-Dimensional Man
I didn’t want these lectures to turn into some kind of funky… kind of Tony Robbins course in self development. Like “now I know who I really am” kind of crap. Because when we are through, we won’t know! I don’t know. If I had known who I was, I probably wouldn’t have shown up. Now, I mean, you know this is not… I mean, it’s an important part. It’s not a cynical thing to say. But it’s an important part of finding out about the self in this part of history, that we don’t have all the answers, that we have not even formulated all the questions correctly. 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."...