…and then that makes knowing yourself a crucially important part of knowledge. Now I’ll make this as simple as I can. I love to use references to movies, I mean not many of us read any more, but a lot of us go to movies.
In Superman ONE okay… lets get down to a real case okay… in Superman I, little baby superman is flying from the very sophisticated planet to earth, and there are all these knowledge crystals… and I didn’t like the series that much okay, so don’t frown at me. 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: The course that I am about to present: “Philosophy in the 20th Century – The Self Under Siege” has been a difficult course for me to develop over the years, and it’s been a difficult subject matter for me because I have been trained in the classic tradition of philosophy, studied ancient philosophy, know many of the methods and taken all the required logic courses and so on. I have also done a lot of work in Continental Philosophy as well. It seems to me that the late 20th Century presents us with one great and overriding problem and that will be the focus of this course; and I had second thoughts about even calling it a course in philosophy because the most current philosophical attempts to understand both the self, society – our place in it and so on – have been what I will call “deflationary”. View Full Article »
Transcript: This lecture is on a very troubling thesis of Nietzsche’s: The Eternal Recurrence. Before I discuss Nietzsche’s idea of The Eternal Recurrence I want to do a little bit of what I promised that I would do last time when I recounted the parable of The Death of God, and that’s to interpret it a little bit more. One of the nice things about parables – and I am going to compare that parable to some other parables. One of the nice things about parables is that in a certain sense if one is to read them at all – engage in reading them at all – parables demand, require interpretation. They quite literally can’t mean what they say, quite literally. And if you notice in many traditions, the attempt to communicate through a parable is the attempt to communicate a truth that, as it were, could not possibly be communicated in another, sort of, more linear form without, as it were, the aid of a story. 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: Lecture two will attempt to answer one of the paradoxes I raised in the first lecture – and this will be a specific form of it – and that’s a rather famous charge in philosophy. In fact this is the charge of relativism and one of the things that professional philosophers do in order to display their professional credentials is to respond to the relativist and to the sceptic. Nietzsche has been accused of being a relativist. One form of this accusation is a kind of mislabelling – in my opinion it’s a mislabelling – of Nietzsche’s view about the function of truth and lie; he opposes that to true and false. Truth and lie; the function of that within philosophical discourse, he has an account of that we are going to discuss. View Full Article »
Transcript: The first lecture will be an introduction to Nietzsche that I have called “Myth and Mythmaker”. I’d like to say a little bit about his life because there is really not too much to say about it. It will only take a few minutes, I think, to summarise. He had a really unexciting life, and so we need to distinguish right away two things. One is what I like to call “The Nietzsche Effect”, and I am a child of the sixties, so I am very familiar with the so-called “Nietzsche Effect”, and that’s the effect that Nietzsche has on adolescent young males who read him for the first time [crowd laughter] and begin to name their cars “Ubermensch” wagons, ah, and begin to quote Nietzsche in order to date women who dress in black, as I am dressed today, and the Nietzsche fascination. That characterises one’s first encounter and certainly it characterised my first encounter with Nietzsche as well. View Full Article »
Transcript: A course in philosophy and human values may seem paradoxical because philosophy was that discipline in our traditions – that’s western traditions, western civilisation – that began with a search for unconditioned knowledge. Unconditioned by human knowledge, of things that transcend this world or any other. That tradition is very much alive in philosophy today, mostly in formal logic and mathematics, where it seems in place, and professional philosophers have a name for that tradition. It’s the “analytic” tradition in philosophy. A course in philosophy and human values has very little to gain from that tradition. 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...