240 episodes

Interview with Philosophers about their New Books

New Books in Philosophy New Books Network

    • Philosophy
    • 4.4, 64 Ratings

Interview with Philosophers about their New Books

    Santiago Zabala, "Being at Large: Freedom in the Ago of Alternative Facts" (McGill-Queen's UP, 2020)

    Santiago Zabala, "Being at Large: Freedom in the Ago of Alternative Facts" (McGill-Queen's UP, 2020)

    In recent years, questions around the nature of ​truth ​and ​facts have reentered public debate, often in discussions around journalistic bias, and whether politically neutral reporting is possible, or even desirable. Many pundits have tried to place blame for the increasingly slippery and fickle nature of truth in reporting on the ideas developed in much 20th-century philosophy, particularly postmodern theory.
    Santiago Zabala, however, argues that this is to mistake a diagnosis with the condition itself, and makes the case in his recent book, ​Being at Large: Freedom in the Age of Alternative Facts (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2020),​ that much of the hermeneutic and postmodern philosophical traditions can help us navigate these times out of joint.
    Santiago Zabala is a philosopher and cultural critic and ICREA Research Professor of Philosophy at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. He is author of many books, including Why Only Art Can Save Us: Aesthetics and the Absence of Emergency (Columbia University Press, 2017). His opinion articles have appeared in the Guardian, the New York Times, and Al-Jazeera among other international media outlets.
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    • 57 min
    Karl-Stéphan Bouthillette, "Dialogue and Doxography in Indian Philosophy" (Routledge, 2020)

    Karl-Stéphan Bouthillette, "Dialogue and Doxography in Indian Philosophy" (Routledge, 2020)

    This ground-breaking work on Indian philosophical doxography examines the function of dialectical texts within their intellectual and religious milieu. In Dialogue and Doxography in Indian Philosophy: Points of View in Buddhist, Jaina, and Advaita Vedānta Traditions (Routledge, 2020), Karl-Stéphan Bouthillette examines the Madhyamakahṛdayakārikā of the Buddhist Bhāviveka, the Ṣaḍdarśanasamuccaya of the Jain Haribhadra, and the Sarvasiddhāntasaṅgraha attributed to the Advaitin Śaṅkara, focusing on each of their representation of Mīmāṃsā, to arguing that each of these doxographies represent forms of spiritual exercise.
    We refer to Bouthillette's Instragram account in the interview. You can find it here.
    For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship.
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    • 1 hr
    B. Earp and J. Savulescu, "Love Drugs: The Chemical Future of Relationships" (Stanford UP, 2020) )

    B. Earp and J. Savulescu, "Love Drugs: The Chemical Future of Relationships" (Stanford UP, 2020) )

    Consider a couple with an infant (or two) whose lives have become so harried and difficult the marriage is falling apart. Would it be ethical for them to take oxytocin to help them renew their emotional bonds, or would this be an unethical evasion of the hard work that keeping a marriage going requires? What if someone has sexual desires that they consider immoral – should they be able to take a drug to suppress those desires, or alternatively can society force them to? Debates about the ethics of using drugs for enhancement rather than treatment usually focus on the individual, such as doping in sports.
    In Love Drugs: The Chemical Future of Relationships (Stanford University Press, 2020), Brian Earp and Julian Savulescu consider the case for using drugs to alter our love relationships. Earp, who is Associate Director of the Yale-Hastings Program in Ethics and and Health Policy at Yale University, and Savulescu, the Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, note that drugs that alter sexual desire and attachment are already available, although are restricted or illegal. What is needed, they argue, is more research into the interpersonal effects of drugs, and more discussion of the ethics of their use for non-medical purposes. Let’s turn to a fascinating interview on a complex topic with no easy answers.
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    • 1 hr 11 min
    Adrian Johnston, "Prolegomena to Any Future Materialism: The Outcome of Contemporary French Philosophy " (Northwestern UP, 2013)

    Adrian Johnston, "Prolegomena to Any Future Materialism: The Outcome of Contemporary French Philosophy " (Northwestern UP, 2013)

    In the contemporary philosophical landscape, a variety of materialist ontologies have appeared, all wrestling with various political and philosophical questions in light of a post-God ontology. Entering into this discussion is Adrian Johnston, with his 3-volume ​Prolegomena to Any Future Materialism​, an attempt to develop a systematic and thoroughly atheistic material ontology of the subject. The first volume, subtitled ​The Outcome of Contemporary French Philosophy (Northwestern University Press, 2013) looks at three recent French theorists, Jacques Lacan, Alain Badiou and Quentin Meillasoux, arguing that all three ultimately fail to maintain a consistent atheism, regularly relying on various supramaterial elements to hold their systems together. In doing so, the book attempts to clear the ground for a consistently materialist ontology to be pursued in the latter two volumes.
    Adrian Johnston is chair and distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of New Mexico and a faculty member at the Emory Psychoanalytic Institute. He is the author of close to a dozen books, including among others ​Time Driven: Metapsychology and the Splitting of the Drive (Northwestern 2005) and ​Adventures in Transcendental Materialism: Dialogues with Contemporary Thinkers (Edinburgh 2014). He is also a co-editor of Northwestern University Press’ book series ​"Diaeresis​," of which this trilogy is a contribution.
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    • 1 hr 19 min
    Dominik Finkelde, "Excessive Subjectivity: Kant, Hegel, Lacan and the Foundations of Ethics" (Columbia UP, 2017)

    Dominik Finkelde, "Excessive Subjectivity: Kant, Hegel, Lacan and the Foundations of Ethics" (Columbia UP, 2017)

    How are we to conceive of acts that suddenly expose the injustice of the current order? This is a question that has puzzled philosophers for centuries, and it’s the question that animates Dominik Finkelde’s book ​Excessive Subjectivity: Kant, Hegel, Lacan, and the Foundation of Ethics (Columbia University Press, 2017). The book looks at these three major thinkers, and the ways they saw subjects as being immersed in a particular set of ethical orientations, but also always with a subtle but profound potential to do something beyond what they might’ve thought possible. Dominik Finkelde is a professor of contemporary political philosophy and epistemology at the Munich School of Philosophy, and is also the author of ​Zizek Between Lacan and Hegel and Benjamin Reads Proust.​
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    • 1 hr 16 min
    Emily Thomas, "The Meaning of Travel: Philosophers Abroad" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Emily Thomas, "The Meaning of Travel: Philosophers Abroad" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Travel has been a topic lurking in the background (at least) of a lot of philosophy. Socrates was keen to remind his jury as well as his interlocutor Phaedrus that he had spent nearly his entirely life within the city of Athens. For another example, Descartes saw fit to take the intellectual journey of his Meditations from a room in a foreign country. But that’s not all: many great philosophical works comment on the value of travel: think here of the reflections that close Rousseau’s Emile.
    In The Meaning of Travel: Philosophers Abroad (Oxford University Press, 2020), Emily Thomas picks up this longstanding, though now generally overlooked, philosophical concern with travel. This fascinating book not only reflects on the philosophical significance of travel, but is also a philosophical travelogue in its own right.
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    • 1 hr 4 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
64 Ratings

64 Ratings

flight750 ,

Please change the hosts

Brilliant guests. Horrible hosts. “Uh, hum, you know, like, uhm...”; ridiculous

jess_simp ,

Excellent Philosophy Podcast

Very impressed with the choice of guests and quality of the conversations. This podcast provides excellent introductions to new philosophical works and thought provoking conversations with authors. Keep up the great work!

RJJO ,

So disappointing

I am a philosophy professor who absolutely loves podcasts. I listen to several everyday and attend live recordings of podcasts every year. But this podcast is just terrible. It is not necessarily the content (although that is usually fairly boring). The issue is that the hosts cannot speak. Seriously, I am not sure what they hear when they listen to themselves but they say "um," "uh," etc. so much that it becomes impossible (for me) to listen to any philosophy. How did they get the rights to host this when it seems so difficult for them to speak English without pausing so say "um" every five seconds. If you do not believe me, just count how many times they say "um" in one minute. Can they just edit it out (like most professional hosts do) or get someone who can finish a sentence without saying "um"? C'mon, people!

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