Very Bad Wizards
Very Bad Wizards
Jul 7, 2020
Episode 192: Postmodern Wet Dreams (Borges' "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote")
Play episode · 1 hr 37 min

David and Tamler dive into “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,” a very funny Borges story that also raises deep questions about authorship, reading, and interpretation. What would it mean for the same text to be written by two different authors more than three hundred years apart? Is this story the post-modernist manifesto that literary critics like Roland Barthes believed it to be? Or is the narrator in the story just a delusional sycophant, a victim of Menard’s practical joke – and the story by extension, a practical joke by Borges on the post-modernist movement to come?

Plus, My Little Pony fans finally confront their Nazi problem. 

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The Panpsycast Philosophy Podcast
The Panpsycast Philosophy Podcast
Jack Symes | Andrew Horton, Oliver Marley, Gregory Miller
Episode 88, Buddhism (Part I - The Life of Siddhartha Gautama)
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 15 min
Two for Tea with Iona Italia and Helen Pluckrose
Two for Tea with Iona Italia and Helen Pluckrose
Iona Italia and Helen Pluckrose
65 - Helen Pluckrose - Cynical Theories and Their Liberal Opponents
Helen’s book, co-written with James A. Lindsay, Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody (2020) can be found here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cynical-Theories-Scholarship-Everything-Identity/dp/1634312023. Helen’s writing for Areo magazine can be found here: https://areomagazine.com/author/hpluckrose/ For more on the Sokal Squared hoax, which Helen perpetrated, alongside James Lindsay and Peter Boghossian see: https://areomagazine.com/2018/10/02/academic-grievance-studies-and-the-corruption-of-scholarship/ You can follow Helen on Twitter @hpluckrose Further Notes Alexander Pope, Epistles to Several Persons: Epistle II: To a Lady on the Characters of Women (1743) (I misremembered the title as An Essay on Woman): https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44893/epistles-to-several-persons-epistle-ii-to-a-lady-on-the-characters-of-women Kimberle Crenshaw, “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color” (1991): https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/mapping-margins.pdf Walt Anderson, The Fontana Postmodernism Reader (1996) For more on the Evergreen story, see my interview with Benjamin Boyce: https://soundcloud.com/twoforteapodcast/27-benjamin-boyce and this video series by Mike Nayna: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FH2WeWgcSMk For the Ravelry knitting group scandal, see: https://quillette.com/2019/02/17/a-witch-hunt-on-instagram/ Herbert Marcuse “Repressive Tolerance” (1965): https://la.utexas.edu/users/hcleaver/330T/350kPEEMarcuseToleranceTable.pdf Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks (1929–35), for the concept of hegemony Andrea Lynn Lewis and Liam Kofi Bright’s letter exchange on Critical Race Theory: https://letter.wiki/conversation/322 Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, The Coddling of the American Mind (2015) Isabel Wilkinson, Caste: The Lies that Divide Us (2020) Akala, Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire (2019) Jonathan Rauch, Kindly Inquisitors: The New Attacks on Free Thought (1993) Timestamps 2:40 Helen reads a passage about how people can stand up for liberalism without having to go down the woke route 5:35 Cultural and moral relativism 9:14 How postmodernism developed into critical theory: knowledge, power and discourse 19:45 The two evolutions of postmodernism: in the late 1980s and 2010s and the rise of identity politics 25:42 Being woke 26:59 The impacts on wider society and politics 30:08 Why social justice isn’t neo-Marxism or cultural Marxism 34:50 The influence of critical theory on academe 38:00 What is the relationship between critical theory as theory and critical theory as practice 41:37 How people are being affected in the workplace 49:01 How much should we focus on economics and how much on identity 53:03 Freedom of speech 56:15 Why is it called “theory”? 57:08 Why should we take the danger of critical theory seriously and not just see it as a moral panic? 1:00:15 Trump’s announced ban on Critical Race Theory in federal training 1:05:25 Helen’s crimes against food 1:07:35 Collective guilt, identity politics and standpoint epistemology 1:15:51 The responses to Helen as a whistleblower 1:21:09 Helen reads from the introduction to the book
1 hr 26 min
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