October 2005

Fiction and Imaginative Resistance

This post has been hanging in Limbo land for awhile, waiting for me to find time to get it finished.   I haven't had much time to blog lately but hope to squeeze more blogging in.  Also, I hope we can make a renewed push to get some of our on-air guests to contribute as well.

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We’re All Crazy (Prelude to Tuesday’s show “Art and the Suspension of Disbelief”/follow-up to John’s most recent blog)

Have you ever watched a foreign film without subtitles in a language you don’t speak ? You probably didn’t watch the whole thing, because—no matter how worked up the actors got—you didn’t follow it and they’re just actors anyway. Contrast that feeling of lack of interest with the intense feeling of engagement you get watching your favorite film. For me that would be American Beauty or The Godfather, Part I. Let’s call the first kind of feeling the this-is-lame feeling and the second the this-is-awesome feeling.

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Fiction and Belief

When The Old Curiosity Shop was approaching its emotional climax -- the death of Little Nell -- Dickens was inundated with letters imploring him to spare her, and felt, as he said, "the anguish unspeakable," but proceeded with the artistically necessary event. Readers were desolated. The famous actor William Macready wrote in his diary that "I have never read printed words that gave me so much pain. . . . I could not weep for some time.

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Backstage Live with Philosophy Talk

On Sunday,  November 6th, 11:30 - 1:30,  we will be produce an episode of Philosophy Talk in front of a live audience on the Stanford Campus.  Our guest will be Congresswoman Anna Eshoo. The episode will be taped and broadcast at a later date.  Our topic will be  Legislating Values. 

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The Costs of War

Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the New York Times did its best to run an informative obituary of each of the victims, those at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in the airplanes that were hijacked.  So there were in the neighborhood of 2000 of these obituaries.  Reading them, day after day, made a very deep impression.  To lose your life is a bad thing for the victim; philosophers may have a little bit of difficulty agreeing as to exactly why, since one is alive until the loss, and so hasn't incurred it, and dead afterwards, and so in some sense no longer cap

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