Ep. 255: Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" (Part One)
51 min

On the Chinese military treatise from around the 5th century BCE.

How does a philosopher wage war? The best kind of war can be won without fighting. The general qua Taoist sage never moves until circumstances are optimal. We talk virtue ethics and practical strategy; how well can Sunzi's advice be applied to non-martial pursuits? With guest Brian Wilson.

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Sponsor: Visit TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/PEL for a free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.

The Panpsycast Philosophy Podcast
The Panpsycast Philosophy Podcast
Jack Symes | Andrew Horton, Oliver Marley, Gregory Miller
Episode 88, Buddhism (Part V - Further Analysis and Discussion)
Introduction Jack was walking down a street. It was a day like any other. As ever, his mind was a flurry of thoughts, worries, and anxieties, stimulated by coffee and the bright light of his phone. In a bid to relieve his stress, he put his phone in his pocket, and tried to notice the details he would usually ignore.  As he walked past the pharmacy, he saw a sick man coughing and spluttering; he was throwing medication back to stop his disease from decaying his body. Jack kept walking and came across an old woman waiting at a bus stop. She was fragile, crooked, and anxious; clearly age had taken much from her. Crossing the road away from the bus stop, he waited for the traffic to pass. Driving slowly past him was a hearse: a coffin on full display, surrounded by flowers, proceeded by a stream of weeping mourners.  Jack fell to his knees, overwhelmed with despair, “we all get sick, we all age, and we all die. We cannot escape this fate!” His head against the pavement, he didn’t move for almost an hour. When he got up, he was approached by a homeless man, to whom he said, “sorry, I don’t have any change.” The man replied, “It is you who needs a little change, young monk. I know why you fall to your knees in despair: the inescapable suffering of life weighs on us all. Let me tell you of someone who was once like you, who tried to remove suffering from our minds… let me tell you the story of Siddhartha Gotama, The Buddha.” Contents Part I. The Life of Siddhārtha Gautama Part II. The Four Noble Truths Part III. The Cycle of Life Part IV. The Eightfold Path Part V. Further Analysis and Discussion Links Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction. Book. Buddhist Ethics: A Very Short Introduction. Book. Why Buddhism Is True, Robert Wright. Book. The Foundations of Buddhism, Rupert Gethin. Book. Buddhism, The Great Courses. Lecture series. What the Buddha Taught, Walpola Rahula. Pdf. The Problem of Mindfulness, Sahanika Ratnayake. Online essay. Buddha, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Webpage. Buddha, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Webpage.
1 hr 2 min
Then & Now: Philosophy, History & Politics
Then & Now: Philosophy, History & Politics
Then & Now
Francis Bacon: Introduction to Induction & the Scientific Method
An introduction to the philosophy of Francis Bacon, the father of empiricism. Bacon was born in London in 1561. He was an establishment figure born into one of the most powerful families in Britain. He as a member of the house of commons and the house of lords for 37 years, a lawyer, Attorney General, and a member of the Privy Council, the group who advises the monarch. He died of pneumonia after carrying out experiments with ice in 1626. He’s interested in the question of what is useful, practical, the pursuit of improving our place in the world. He thought that the scholastic philosophy taught at the time was dry, closed off, esoteric, at a dead end. First, to know the truth we have to be able to distinguish it from falsehood and for Bacon, the mind does a good job at distorting the truth. He said that the mind was a ‘crooked mirror’, distorted by what he called idols. He wrote: There are four idols: idols of the tribe, idols of the cave, idols of the marketplace, and idols of the theatre. To remedy the effect the idols have on the pursuit of knowledge, Bacon advocates for induction: the scientific method. The Baconian Method starts with simple observations. He said ‘a new beginning has to be made from the lowest foundations.’ Instead of starting at the top, from general ideas, we start from the bottom, from particular observations, and work upwards to ‘general truths’ or axioms. Then & Now is FAN-FUNDED! Support me on Patreon and pledge as little as $1 per video: http://patreon.com/user?u=3517018
16 min
Decoding the Gurus
Decoding the Gurus
Christopher Kavanagh and Matthew Browne
Russell Brand: Spiritual Transcendence and Anarchic Revolution is Praxis
Russell Brand is a hip bohemian Englishman on the path to enlightenment. And he likes the ineffable. Like, a lot. The decoders kinda like him too, despite the fact they really struggle to eff him at all. Really, Matt has no effing idea what he is babbling about most of the time, but Chris, being 'English-adjacent', seems to make a better job of it. Imagine smoking pot and talking big ideas with your precocious college room-mate at 2am in the morning. Now give him some methamphetamine, and you've got some idea of the fast-talking stream of consciousness that is Russell Brand. A pair of milquetoast moderates like Chris and Matt just aren't the right audience to properly appreciate the mystical anarchism that Brand advocates. It's probably got something to do with the limits of the bandwidth of their instruments of perception given that knowledge and wisdom are infinite and being-ness itself is.... Well, you get the idea. The lads also reveal some of the exciting progress of the podcast! In exciting news... DTG has broken into the top 100 podcasts! In the Culture and Society category... in Iceland. Regardless, come ride this unstoppable and frenetic juggernaut of mind-expanding concepts with us, and get these cosmic ideas downloaded directly into your squishy little brain! Links https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YR4CseY9pk (Jeremy Paxman and Russell Brand interview from 2013) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyRCQEum_vI (The main 'Awakening of Russell Brand' interview with Rich Roll) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiRRJU0kU5Y (Short Video Update from Brand on 'What I think about This UK Election and Politics Today') Support this podcast
2 hr 5 min
New Books Network
New Books Network
Marshall Poe
Jennifer M. Randles, "Essential Dads: The Inequalities and Politics of Fathering" (U California Press, 2020)
In Essential Dads: The Inequalities and Politics of Fathering (University of California Press, 2020), sociologist Jennifer Randles shares the stories of more than 60 marginalized men as they sought to become more engaged parents through a government-supported “responsible” fatherhood program. Dads’ experiences serve as a unique window into long-standing controversies about the importance of fathering, its connection to inequality, and the state’s role in shaping men’s parenting. With a compassionate and hopeful voice, Randles proposes a more equitable political agenda for fatherhood, one that carefully considers the social and economic factors shaping men’s abilities to be involved in their children’s lives and the ideologies that rationalize the necessity of that involvement. Michael O. Johnston, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University. His most recent research, “The Queen and Her Royal Court: A Content Analysis of Doing Gender at a Tulip Queen Pageant“, was published in Gender Issues Journal. He researches culture, social identity, and collective representation as it is presented in everyday social interactions. You can learn more about him on his website, Google Scholar, follow him on Twitter @ProfessorJohnst, or email him at johnstonmo@wmpenn.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1 hr
Social Science Bites
Social Science Bites
SAGE Publishing
Salma Mousa on Contact Theory (and Football)
There’s an intuitive attraction to the idea that if we could just spend some quality time with someone from another group, we’d both come to appreciate, and maybe even like, the other person and perhaps even their group. Enormously simplified, that’s the basis of contact theory, which Gordon Allport posited in the 1950s as the United States grappled with desegregating its public schools. If differing groups could be brought together cooperatively – not competitively – in a manner endorsed by both groups and where each side met on an equal footing, perhaps we could, as Salma Mousa puts it in this Social Science Bites podcast, “unlock tolerance on both sides and reduce prejudice.” Mousa, currently a postdoctoral research fellow at Stanford University’s Department of Political Science, tells interviewer David Edmonds that since Allport’s heyday, “We have [had] a lot of studies about contact, but we need experimental tests of contact.” She’s been working to address that need, sometimes using the football pitch as a field site, with work that’s caught both the public and the scientific imagination. One experiment she was part of examined the incidence of hate crimes once Mohamed “Mo” Salah, the talented Egyptian soccer star, signed with Liverpool Football Club. The results were heartening; Merseyside, where the club is located, experienced a 16 percent drop in hate crimes while anti-Muslim tweets from Liverpool’s fans dropped to half the number compared to fans of other Premier League clubs. In this interview, Mousa details another experiment involving football and otherness, albeit an experiment made under harsher conditions: “We set out to learn if positive, social contact across social lines can reduce prejudice, can build friendships, can overall improve relationships between groups even in postwar settings, like Iraq.” The experiment was conducted along the faultlines of northern Iraq where there’s a Kurdish enclave. Working with a Christian community organization which was helping Christians and Muslims displaced by ISIS, the researchers recruited Christian amateur soccer players for a football league. They then added three or four players to each team, randomly adding either all Muslims or all Christians as the newcomers, and tracked player attitudes and actions on the field and off for a half year after the season ended. Amid some “really profound friendships” that formed, survey results and observed behavior showed that the Christian players came to be much more accepting and welcoming of their Muslim teammates. But that warming did not make the leap to their attitudes towards Muslims in general, suggesting some underlying prejudices remained in place. While her promising findings nonetheless were not the “home run” people of good will would have liked, the research earned the cover of the journal Science, and left Mousa feeling optimistic about further possibilities of contact theory. Given the difficult context of postwar Iraq and subjects scarred by their flight from ISIS, “to find some evidence that these guys actually became friends and we changed something in these communities, I think is positive, especially given that these communities are persecuted and highly distrustful.” Fostering tolerance and eroding prejudice, especially in the Middle East, matters personally to Mousa, an Egyptian-Canadian who grew up in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Canada. She’s focused on helping “fix” the region’s ethnic and religious divides: “I think of myself as an engineer but with a social science background.” Mousa has held fellowships at the U.S. Institute of Peace, Stanford’s Immigration Policy Lab, the Freeman Spogli Institute, the Stanford Center for International Conflict and Negotiation, the McCoy Center for Ethics in Society, and the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society. Her work has been supported by the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, the Innovations for Poverty Action Lab, the King Center on Global Development, the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences, the Program on Governance and Local Development, and the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies.
19 min
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