Foucault's Concept of Power

Apr 12, 2017

What are the mechanisms by which power operates? How much can the workings of power shed light on the concepts and labels applicable to everyday life? Foucault's concept of power is more important than ever.

David Livingstone Smith

Apr 7, 2017
Cindy Prince Baum's picture
Submitted by Cindy Prince Baum on Friday, April 7, 2017 -- 3:02 PM

David Livingstone Smith is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of London, Kings College, where he worked on Freud’s philosophy of mind and psychology. His current research is focused on dehumanization, race, propaganda, and related topics.

Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Mar 20, 2017

Prominent philosophers go head to head in this New York Review of Books piece. Thomas Nagel writes a critical review of Daniel Dennett's new book From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds. Front and center in Dennett's picture is the difference between the "manifest image"—a colorful world filled with ideas, experiences, colors, sounds, emotions, and ordinary objects—and the "scientific image"—a more barebones picture of atoms, subatomic particles, and forces. In essence, Dennett wants to reject the manifest image altogther; he claims that consciousness is an illusion. Nagel is not convinced, and he explains why in the article.

Is this manifest image we have of the world really mistaken? Is consciousness an illusion?

Full link:

Knowing What We Know—And What We Don't Know

Mar 18, 2017

This week’s episode is the first in a new six-part series on the topic of Intellectual Humility. We tackle the big question, whether we can know what we know and what we don’t, since knowing what you do and don’t know is the first step to true intellectual humility.

What are Crony Beliefs?

Mar 14, 2017

Crony beliefs are beliefs you have partly because you want to believe them. But is it really possible to form beliefs because you want to have them? Does that explain why so many people seem to believe things that serve their self-interest? Or is there another explanation for that?

The Mind-Body Problem, Part 1: Substance Dualism

Mar 7, 2017

You have a mind and you have a body.  What’s the connection between the two? All of us are aware of our physical being—our bodies—and we also have an immediate experience of our mental states—our thoughts, emotions, and sensations—but figuring out the relation between these has not been easy.  

A Country is a Country

Mar 6, 2017

A bizarre, somewhat tongue-in-cheek meditation by Point Maganize's Michael Kochin on the concept of a country. Part-historical, part-philospohical, the piece walks us through how America came about and what it meant that it did. The article struggles with the project of figuring out who should get to count as American, and thus touches on the immigration debate raging in American politics today. At its heart, the core question seems to be: what is America for?

Here's the full link:

https://thepointmag.com/2017/politics/a-country-is-a-country

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