84 episodes

where the real philosophy happens

Hotel Bar Sessions Leigh M. Johnson, Rick Lee, Charles F. Peterson, and Jason Read

    • Society & Culture

where the real philosophy happens

    Hospitality (with Michael Naas)

    Hospitality (with Michael Naas)

    The HBS hosts invite Michael Naas to make himself at home on the podcast.
    There are two popular ideas about hospitality that seem to be at odds with one another. The first is an understanding of a bygone era in which our ancestors were frequently forced–- through battles, famines, the search for water, etc.–- to move frequently and, for many of them, regularly. Under such conditions, the virtue of welcoming a guest was prized among many other virtues. “Tomorrow I might need this hospitality,” leads one to provide it to the one from elsewhere, to the stranger or the traveler. 
    The second emerges with the rise of the nation-state. Each country has a right to its “territorial integrity” and therefore to decide who is let in and who is not. At the rise of the nation-state, many thinkers of the “law of nations” saw that hospitality was necessary because otherwise nation-states could not co-exist, or not peacefully.
    There also seems to be a personal or individual and even corporate relation to hospitality. Hotels are in the “hospitality industry,” and people are praised for being “great hosts.” We say things like, “make yourself at home,” or “welcome,” meaning “no matter how hard your journey, you have come to a place where you will be well.”
    And yet, we want to “build that wall!” or prevent those who are fleeing violence or climate disasters from coming into “our" country. Hospitality is a dicey business. So, in this episode, we are talking with Michael Naas (Professor of Philosophy, DePaul University) about the complicated question of hospitality.
    Full episode notes available at this link:http://hotelbarpodcast.com/podcast/eepisode-81-hospitality-with-michael-naas 
    -------------------If you enjoy Hotel Bar Sessions podcast, please be sure to subscribe and submit a rating/review! Follow us on Twitter @hotelbarpodcast, on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel!
    You can also help keep this podcast going by supporting us financially at patreon.com/hotelbarsessions. 

    • 56 min
    Attention and Distraction

    Attention and Distraction

    The HBS hosts focus their attention on... oh, look, a squirrel!
    It is said that we are living in an attention economy,  an age in which attention has become both a scarce resource and a source of wealth. Devices and apps do everything in their power to solicit our attention and keep us glued to our screens, turning minutes scrolling and clicks into revenue. Because of this demand on our attention, distraction has become an ongoing problem; from the road to the classroom we are worried that we are not truly paying attention. Is it time to pay attention to attention, to reflect on how we perceive what we perceive and why? What might it mean to reclaim our attention?
    Full episode notes at this link:http://hotelbarpodcast.com/podcast/episode-80-attention-and-distraction
    -------------------If you enjoy Hotel Bar Sessions podcast, please be sure to subscribe and submit a rating/review! Follow us on Twitter @hotelbarpodcast, on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel!
    You can also help keep this podcast going by supporting us financially at patreon.com/hotelbarsessions. 

    • 55 min
    The History of Philosophy

    The History of Philosophy

    The HBS hosts argue for the merits of studying the history of philosophy.
    In a recent essay, Hanno Sauer argued against the importance, for philosophy, of the history of philosophy. In summary, he presented a positivistic, scientistic model of philosophy, namely, that like physics, biology, and chemistry, philosophy has actually “made progress” on many of the issues that philosophy struggled with from Thales until relatively recently. Because of this progress, Sauer's argument goes, we do not need to study the history of philosophy. The model of the sciences shows why this is the case: in biology courses, no one is struggling with Aristotle, Linnaeus, or Mendel. In chemistry, no one pays attention to the history of alchemy, the theory of phlogiston, or the ether. In physics, no student learns Aristotle’s theory of why bodies “fall,” or the medieval notion of “impetus.” Is Sauer right that philosophy has similarly progressed? Should philosophy leave its history to the historians? Then, beyond Sauer, we can add that the history of philosophy is a history of both dead white guys and the history of the victors. If the history of philosophy is ethno-centric, and therefore racist, if it is phallo-centric and therefore patriarchal, why should philosophy continue to engage it?
    Or is there something philosophically relevant about the history of philosophy?
    Full episode notes available at this link:http://hotelbarpodcast.com/podcast/episode-79-the-history-of-philosophy-------------------If you enjoy Hotel Bar Sessions podcast, please be sure to subscribe and submit a rating/review! Follow us on Twitter @hotelbarpodcast, on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel!
    You can also help keep this podcast going by supporting us financially at patreon.com/hotelbarsessions. 

    • 57 min
    Revolutionary Mathematics (with Justin Joque)

    Revolutionary Mathematics (with Justin Joque)

    The HBS hosts chat with Justin Joque about how we might get Thomas Bayes' robot boot off our necks. 
    Why does Netflix ask you to pick what movies you like when you first sign on in order to recommend other movies and shows to you? How does Google know what search results are most relevant? Why does it seem as if every tech company wants to collect as much data as they can get from you? It turns out that all of this is because of a shift in the theoretical and mathematical approach to probability. 
    Bayesian statistics, the primary model used by machine learning systems, currently dominates almost everything about our lives: investing, sales at stores, political predictions, and, increasingly, what we think we know about the world. How did the "Bayesian revolution" come about? And how did come to dominate? And, perhaps more importantly, is this the best mathematical/statistical model available to us? Or is there another, more "revolutionary," mathematics out there?
    This week we are joined by Justin Joque, visualization librarian at University of Michigan who writes at the intersection of philosophy and technology. He is the author Deconstruction Machines: Writing in the Age of Cyberwar and, most recently, Revolutionary Mathematics: Artificial Intelligence, Statistics and the Logic of Capitalism.
    Full episode notes available at this link:http://hotelbarpodcast.com/podcast/episode-78-revolutionary-mathematics-with-justin-joque
    -------------------If you enjoy Hotel Bar Sessions podcast, please be sure to subscribe and submit a rating/review! Follow us on Twitter @hotelbarpodcast, on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel!
    You can also help keep this podcast going by supporting us financially at patreon.com/hotelbarsessions. 

    • 53 min
    Human Nature

    Human Nature

    The HBS hosts ask not what is human nature, but what is at stake in this constant recourse to human nature. 
     
    The history of philosophy can in part be understood as one long rumination on the question of human nature. Throughout its history philosophers have put forward multiple definitions of what it means to be human and what sets humans apart from other animals: political animal, rational animal, tool making animal, etc., but these definitions have come under scrutiny for both the way they maintain both hierarchies separating humanity from non-human animals  as well as hierarchies within human societies, as rationality, tools, and politics become instruments of exclusion. Is it possible to dispense with the idea of human nature, or is it an unavoidable question, framing how we understand ourselves in relation to not just animals but also our increasingly intelligent machines? In other words, human nature, can’t live with it, can live without it.
    Full episode notes at this link: http://hotelbarpodcast.com/podcast/episode-77-human-nature
    -------------------If you enjoy Hotel Bar Sessions podcast, please be sure to subscribe and submit a rating/review! Follow us on Twitter @hotelbarpodcast, on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel!
    You can also help keep this podcast going by supporting us financially at patreon.com/hotelbarsessions. 

    • 57 min
    HBS Goes to the Movies: Casablanca

    HBS Goes to the Movies: Casablanca

    The HBS hosts return to the movies and this week we are discussing Casablanca.
     
    Shot in 1942, a year after the U.S. entered The Second “World War,” Casablanca makes it onto many lists of the best movies of all time. It is part caper movie, part romance, part war flick, and part resistance movie. These are woven together in a fairly complex plot that is beautifully shot, has gorgeous characters, and has given us some memorable lines. On top of all of that, the entire movie takes place almost exclusively in a bar! The writers of the screen play, Julius and Phillip Epstein (Penn State Alums!) were swept up in the Red Scare, though they were never called to testify in front of the House Unamerican Activities Committee. When asked on a questionnaire whether they belonged to any subversive organizations, they answered “Yes. Warner Brothers”). The film is obviously anti-fascist, pro-resistance, has a complex depiction of its one protagonist who is a woman, Ilsa Lund, played by Ingrid Bergman, and even portrays a fraught, from today’s perspective, relationship between Rick (Humphrey Bogart), who is white and Sam (Dooley Wilson), who is black. Complex history, complex politics, complex social relations taking place in bar? It’s just like Hotel Bar Sessions!
    Full episode notes at this link: http://hotelbarpodcast.com/podcast/episode-76-hbs-goes-to-the-movies-casablanca
    -------------------If you enjoy Hotel Bar Sessions podcast, please be sure to subscribe and submit a rating/review! Follow us on Twitter @hotelbarpodcast, on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel!
    You can also help keep this podcast going by supporting us financially at patreon.com/hotelbarsessions. 

    • 52 min

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