Friday, September 26, 2014

Paranoia and Propaganda

Relates a little to what we were discussing re: propaganda and the problem of being a Moral politician...

Chomsky - Manufacturing Consent

Long documentary (too long for class!) but an excellent introduction to Chomsky's political views:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


The Story
One sentence interpretations: 1)Should we kill one innocent person for the happiness of others? 2)Should one person’s life and happiness be sacrificed for others happiness? 3) I think the story is philosophically significant because it it shows that lots of people would have been fine (or at least fine enough to let it continue) with the child being locked up as it meant that they could have their happiness, whereas some people walked away, and it tells us that some people thought that the child meant more and others didn't care that much- this shows that everyone had different opinions on whether the child's suffering mattered or not. 4) Ursula Le Guin starts her short story by describing the city of Omelas as “a shimmering city of unbelievable happiness and delight” she also explains how Omelas has no kings, soldiers, priests or slaves. This could relate to Platos ‘theory of the forms’, as he describes another world (or dimension) where everything we see is “perfect”. 5) The story talks about a Utopian town called Omelas which relies on a sacrifice of a child to maintain its perseverance, the philosophical significance of this story lies in the idea that a group of people will willingly sacrifice one person for the pleasure of the many, in this case to put the child through pain and misery in order to secure the towns peace. 6) While reading ‘The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas,’ It made me wonder if an entire cities worth of happiness is REALLY worth one persons misfortune. 7) ‘The Ones who walk away from Omelas’ communicates the shared nature of perception, the function and role of a society rising through an ideal community; shadowed by a consideration of a negative experience, having lasting effects, and leading lives in different directions. 8) Happiness is not perfection, in fact it is not devoid of evil. True happiness is the ability to look at all the evil in the world and be able to justify it. 9) What we think we know to be perfect comes at a price; we must open our minds to thinking new ideas, to gain a perspective that nobody can imagine. 10) ''All smiles have become archaic.'' 11) The short story – ‘The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas’ arises the philosophical question of whether the suffering of one is acceptable in order to retain the happiness and wellbeing of many; this links the theory of the ‘Doctrine of double effect’, the suffering of the child is permissible as the ‘good’ effect caused outweighs the initial ‘bad’ effect (the child’s suffering). 12) For some the suffering of even one is unacceptable. 13) The philosophical significance of this story is that the city of Omelas represents the state of happiness, with the child that is sat in the basement room representing the ugly, ignorant side, and the people whom walk away showing that happiness is not the apex – the pinnacle – of human life, and that you can leave it to go to a better place. 14) There is a reason for everything. 15) “If you can't lick 'em, join 'em.” Now I know where that comes from! At first I thought they left Omelas to die but maybe it’s something more complex such as the realm of the forms? 16) This story highlights the paradox of good and bad, for good to be appreciated there must at least be knowledge of bad.

Friday, March 14, 2014

God and Infinity

The first one is pretty good on God and Infinity and the second one is pretty good on the problem of evil and God:

History of Liberalism

This is a student film but it's got lots about the stuff we talk about:

Chomsky and Democracy and Liberalism

This is a composite of various interviews with Chomsky. Lots and lots of good stuff here:

Friday, February 28, 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

Foucault Documentary

Well, we dip in and out of Foucault all the time and, while this is limited to certain aspects of his Philosophy only, it's not a bad start...

Friday, December 13, 2013

Descent Into Tyranny (etc)

Well, this is hardly pure philosophical reasoning and is chock-full of bias but it is an excellent introduction into the basic debate about Liberty...
And here's a sort of solution to the problems. Again, a sideswipe of (perhaps) biased reasoning but...

Friday, December 06, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

Friday, November 22, 2013

Is Anything Real?

Bits and bobs of this are very relevant to Reason and Experience and Knowledge of the External World some is more Psychology but interesting stuff. Thanks to Nina for telling me about this!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Buckets Of Podcasts

There's lots of podcasts on all kinds of Philosophical things here.... Listen to some.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Zizek, language and violence

"What if, however, humans exceed animals in their capacity for violence precisely because they speak? As Hegel was already well aware, there is something violent in the very symbolisation of a thing, which equals its mortification. This violence operates at multiple levels. Language simplifies the designated thing, reducing it to a single feature. It dismembers the thing, destroying its organic unity, treating its parts and properties as autonomous. It inserts the thing into a field of meaning which is ultimately external to it. When we name gold “gold,” we violently extract a metal from its natural texture, investing into it our dreams of wealth, power, spiritual purity, and so on, which have nothing whatsoever to do with the immediate reality of gold."

Slavoj Žižek, Violence

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The Krill, Free Will & Ontological Insecurity

OK... not specifically relevant to any one section of our course but partly relevant to all parts of our course...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013