Ep. 257: Locke Against Innate Ideas (Part One)
Play • 53 min

On Book I of John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689).

How do we know things? Locke thought all knowledge comes from experience, and this might seem uncontroversial, but what are the alternatives? We consider the idea that there are some ideas we're just born with and don't need to learn. But what's an "idea," and how is it different from a principle? Clearly we have instincts ("knowhow") but is that knowledge? We consider occurrent vs. dispositional nativism, the role of reason, and what Locke's overall project is after.

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The Panpsycast Philosophy Podcast
The Panpsycast Philosophy Podcast
Jack Symes | Andrew Horton, Oliver Marley, Gregory Miller
Episode 90, Arthur Schopenhauer (Part III - The World as Will)
Introduction I am Ixion, strapped to the burning wheel of fire in the underworld that is my life. A bleak assessment to be sure, but I put it to you that it is the truth. For what is life if not an ever-swinging pendulum of pain and boredom, kept in motion by the insatiable will? I constantly strive for the things that I want, but what I want is never enough; long-term satisfaction is tedium elegantly veiled. This alone is a cruel trick to the individual, but in a world of many, it is the ultimate tragedy. The wills of the multitude cannot avoid the inevitable conflict, as one will’s ends treats another as its means. The tiger feasts on the wild dog, who feasts on the baby turtle, all to propagate life so that future generations can play out this tragic scene ad infinitum. In human life - save rare moments of true compassion - we are little better. Yet, there is a hint of salvation.  What if we all realised that, at our core, we are the same will? What if we could make the wheel of Ixion stand still, if only for a moment? Would it be possible to see beauty? Would it be possible to see to fellow sufferers rather than fellow egos? I suspect it might, but I am afraid that I, and many others, are easily fooled. ‘The Will’ will do as it pleases, and not what pleases us. Contents Part I. The Life of Arthur Schopenhauer Part II. The World as Representation Part III. The World as Will Part IV. Suffering, Aesthetics, and Ethics Part V. Further Analysis and Discussion Links Bernardo Kastrup, Decoding Schopenhauer’s Metaphysics (book) Christopher Janaway, Schopenhauer: A Very Short Introduction (book) Bryan Magee, The Philosophy of Schopenhauer (book) Arthur Schopenhauer, Essay and Aphorisms (book) Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation — Vol. 1 (book) Arthur Schopenhauer, The Two Fundamental Problems of Ethics (book) Arthur Schopenhauer, On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason and Other Writings (book) Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Arthur Schopenhauer (online) Intern Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Arthur Schopenhauer (online)
47 min
Social Science Bites
Social Science Bites
SAGE Publishing
Mike Tomasello on Becoming Human
Consider two different, but similar situations. In the first, children are asked to pull ropes together. Candy cascades down, but in unequal distribution – three for one child and one for the other. In the second situation, the children come across the sweets but without joint labor, and again find an uneven distribution. What usually happens next differs between the two situations. When the kids work together, they tend to willingly share the proceeds so everyone ends up with an equal share. But when the candy was discovered through individual serendipity, the children tend to accept the uneven outcome and don’t equalize shares. The first situation involves what Mike Tomasello, the James F. Bonk Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Duke University, would call joint commitment; “When children produce sweets collaboratively they feel they should share them equally.” There’s no explicit promise of an equal share, but there is an implicit one that’s just as recognizable and genuine. As Tomasello details to interviewer David Edmonds in this Social Science Bites podcast, “I can say I don’t like it when you keep all the sweets – that’s my personal opinion – but when I say ‘you shouldn’t do that, you mustn’t do that, you must do this, you have to do that,’ this is not my personal opinion. This is something objective.” While this might be a normative bond that helps glue humans together, it’s not a bond he finds in our closest relatives. Tomasello points out that among chimps – with which the longtime co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology has a deep background researching - the dominant partner takes the spoils in almost all cases. The “we-ness” that can mark human behavior is replaced by the “me-ness” of other primates. That difference between primates and people is the basis of much of Tomasello’s career (see the work of the Tomasello Lab at Duke: “studying the development and evolution of social cognition, communication, and cooperation“) and of his 2018 book, Becoming Human: A Theory of Ontogeny. Much of his effort has focused on great apes, our closest primate relatives, following a line of research that started with Jane Goodall learning that apes make and use tools. Great apes share many qualities with human beings – they understand causal relations, can work with the concept of quantities, can predict what others might do based on what they see and what their goal is, are good social learners, can communicate with gestures (and can learn new ones), and can work with one another in some cases. But Tomasello notes a key area in which apes and people differ. “Humans put their heads together, as a general phrase, to accomplish things that neither one can do on his or her own. So if you look at all the things you think are most amazing about humans – we’re building skyscrapers, we have social institutions like governments, we have linguistic symbols, we have math symbols, we have all these things – not one of them is the product of a single mind. These are things that were invented collaboratively at the moment or else over time as individuals build on one another’s accomplishments.” Great apes and other creatures – ants and bees do offer a limited counter-example -- don’t do that. Understanding this evolved capacity – Tomasello doesn’t like using terms like “hard-wired” or “innate” – isn’t just a matter for academic interest. While he shied away from talking about the normative implications of his research and theories, Tomasello noted the benefits of cooperation and collaboration (and also some of its less-welcome artefacts such as creating out-groups to discriminate against), whether in sports, or work, or society. While he wouldn’t develop public policies, “If you want a more cooperative society, I can tell you some things that would help.”
24 min
The Dissenter
The Dissenter
Ricardo Lopes
#449 Adaner Usmani: Mass Incarceration, Black Subordination, and Modern Democracies
------------------Support the channel------------ Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/thedissenter PayPal: paypal.me/thedissenter PayPal Subscription 1 Dollar: https://tinyurl.com/yb3acuuy PayPal Subscription 3 Dollars: https://tinyurl.com/ybn6bg9l PayPal Subscription 5 Dollars: https://tinyurl.com/ycmr9gpz PayPal Subscription 10 Dollars: https://tinyurl.com/y9r3fc9m PayPal Subscription 20 Dollars: https://tinyurl.com/y95uvkao ------------------Follow me on--------------------- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedissenteryt/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheDissenterYT Dr. Adaner Usmani is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Social Studies at Harvard University.  In this episode, we focus on topics like mass incarceration, discrimination against black Americans and the root causes of their subordination, modern democracies and their weaknesses, creating a Left that does not deny human nature, and the viability of communism in current political systems. We discuss the causes and motivations behind mass incarceration in the US. We talk about the contentious issue of high crime rates in black communities, and the causes behind them. We address the narrative of the destruction of the nuclear family and a culture that go against personal responsibility, coming from the conservatives. We talk about praise and blame. We discuss modern democracies, the major threats to democracy, the democracies that distribute power among their citizens, and the ones that withhold it. And we also discuss political struggle and communism. And, finally, we talk about the need to include biology in sociological analyses, and about a potential biologically-informed Left. -- A HUGE THANK YOU TO MY PATRONS/SUPPORTERS: KARIN LIETZCKE, ANN BLANCHETTE, PER HELGE LARSEN, LAU GUERREIRO, JERRY MULLER, HANS FREDRIK SUNDE, BERNARDO SEIXAS, HERBERT GINTIS, RUTGER VOS, RICARDO VLADIMIRO, BO WINEGARD, CRAIG HEALY, OLAF ALEX, PHILIP KURIAN, JONATHAN VISSER, ANJAN KATTA, JAKOB KLINKBY, ADAM KESSEL, MATTHEW WHITINGBIRD, ARNAUD WOLFF, TIM HOLLOSY, HENRIK AHLENIUS, JOHN CONNORS, PAULINA BARREN, FILIP FORS CONNOLLY, DAN DEMETRIOU, ROBERT WINDHAGER, RUI INACIO, ARTHUR KOH, ZOOP, MARCO NEVES, MAX BEILBY, COLIN HOLBROOK, SUSAN PINKER, THOMAS TRUMBLE, PABLO SANTURBANO, SIMON COLUMBUS, PHIL KAVANAGH, JORGE ESPINHA, CORY CLARK, MARK BLYTH, ROBERTO INGUANZO, MIKKEL STORMYR, ERIC NEURMANN, SAMUEL ANDREEFF, FRANCIS FORDE, TIAGO NUNES, BERNARD HUGUENEY, ALEXANDER DANNBAUER, OMARI HICKSON, PHYLICIA STEVENS, FERGAL CUSSEN, YEVHEN BODRENKO, HAL HERZOG, NUNO MACHADO, DON ROSS, JOÃO ALVES DA SILVA, JONATHAN LEIBRANT, JOÃO LINHARES, OZLEM BULUT, NATHAN NGUYEN, STANTON T, SAMUEL CORREA, ERIK HAINES, MARK SMITH, J.W., JOÃO EIRA, TOM HUMMEL, SARDUS FRANCE, DAVID SLOAN WILSON, YACILA DEZA-ARAUJO, IDAN SOLON, ROMAIN ROCH, DMITRY GRIGORYEV, TOM ROTH, DIEGO LONDOÑO CORREA, YANICK PUNTER, AND ADANER USMANI! A SPECIAL THANKS TO MY PRODUCERS, YZAR WEHBE, JIM FRANK, ŁUKASZ STAFINIAK, IAN GILLIGAN, SERGIU CODREANU, LUIS CAYETANO, MATTHEW LAVENDER, TOM VANEGDOM, CURTIS DIXON, BENEDIKT MUELLER, VEGA GIDEY, AND NIRUBAN BALACHANDRAN! AND TO MY EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS, MICHAL RUSIECKI, ROSEY, AND JAMES PRATT!
1 hr 31 min
New Books in Anthropology
New Books in Anthropology
Marshall Poe
Jonathan Padwe, "Disturbed Forests, Fragmented Memories: Jarai and Other Lives in the Cambodian Highlands" (U Washington Press, 2020)
Cambodia’s troubled history has often been depicted in terms of conflict, trauma and tussles between great powers. In Disturbed Forests, Fragmented Memories: Jarai and Other Lives in the Cambodian Highlands (U Washington Press, 2020), Jonathan Padwe assembles this history from narrative pieces by and of the Jarai, an ethnic minority living in the country’s highlands. Demonstrating how landscapes and social formations simultaneously changed each other, the book takes a reader through the various historical conjunctures - the Jarai’s agency in opening up pre-capitalist resources frontiers; the colonial state’s attempted rationalization of the landscape through rubber enterprises; trauma and displacement during the Vietnam War and the Khmer Rouge regime and re-diversification of the scarred land in recent years. In the process of accessing these histories, the book analyzes forest biota and agricultural practices, enabling a new approach to conceptualizing landscapes that melds representation, materiality and ecology. In this episode, we discuss how to approach ethnography in inaccessible places, conceptualizations of nature-culture, ecological de-diversification and re-diversification and how bombs could be remembered as flowers falling from the sky. Jonathan Padwe is associate professor of anthropology at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. His research interests center on social and environmental change in mainland Southeast Asian uplands, issues of equity and equality in development and indigenous identities. Faizah Zakaria is assistant professor of history at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. You can find her website at www.faizahzak.com or reach her on Twitter @laurelinarien. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
51 min
New Books Network
New Books Network
Marshall Poe
Bruce B. Lawrence, "The Bruce B. Lawrence Reader: Islam Beyond Borders" (Duke UP, 2021)
For more than four decades, Bruce Lawrence’s multivalent and fulsomely prolific scholarship has influenced and imprinted the Western study of Islam and Religious Studies more broadly in singularly profound ways. The Bruce B. Lawrence Reader: Islam Beyond Borders (Duke UP, 2021) edited and executed by Ali Altaf Mian brings together major texts and fragments from Lawrence’s intellectual oeuvre in a manner at once eminently accessible and pedagogically fertile. The Reader also includes a brilliant and extensive introduction by Ali Mian that presents a useful conceptual framing for approaching and benefiting from Bruce Lawrence’s intimidatingly diverse scholarship that ranges from medieval Muslim views on Hindu thought and practice, South Asian Sufism, modern fundamentalism, the Qur’an, and Islamicate art and aesthetics. A moving and intellectually enriching interview between Mian and Lawrence that explores the theoretical underpinnings and political manifesto of Lawrence’s illustrious career, and an equally moving and productive Afterword by historian Yasmin Saikia caps this treasure trove of a volume. The Bruce B. Lawrence Reader is sure to delight, captivate, and intellectually nourish scholars of Islam, religion, and indeed non-academics. It will also make a tremendous text to teach in various undergraduate and graduate courses. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1 hr 9 min
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