7 episodes

Lectures on Philosophy

Johnathan at Limbo Johnathan Bi

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 17 Ratings

Lectures on Philosophy

    Lecture VII: The One Who Withholds | René Girard's Mimetic Theory

    Lecture VII: The One Who Withholds | René Girard's Mimetic Theory

    Christianity exposed the injustice of scapegoating and, in doing so, robbed us of the cathartic tools which early human societies used to contain and resolve violence. Today, the Katechon which prevents violence from overflowing is three institutions that limit and channel violence: Law, Capitalism, and War. By tracing a genealogy for all three institutions, Girard comes to the terrifying conclusion that these final bulwarks against apocalypse are on the verge of collapse. More precisely, their collapse is already underway.

    00:00:00 Introduction
    00:03:13 Violence in Modernity
    00:09:05 Mimetic Contagion in Modernity
    00:11:21 Scapegoating in Modernity
    00:14:20 Divinization and Institutionalization in Modernity
    00:18:51 The Katechon of Law
    00:21:42 The Monopoly Over Violence
    00:28:08 The Price of Equality
    00:34:54 Kinetic and Potential Violence
    00:37:15 Prestige, Catharsis, and Violence
    00:41:50 The Logic of Retribution and the Logic of Guilt
    00:46:05 The Katechon of Capitalism
    00:55:36 Capitalism and Violence
    00:59:17 Incendiary Global Trade
    01:02:32 The Katechon of War
    01:06:58 The Gentleman's War
    01:10:38 Napoleon and Total War
    01:14:56 The Bomb
    01:17:47 The Case Against Political Action
    01:21:42 Conversion
    01:27:21 Holderlin and the Case for Withdrawal
    01:30:45 The End

    • 1 hr 36 min
    Lecture VI: The Triumph of Modernity | René Girard's Mimetic Theory

    Lecture VI: The Triumph of Modernity | René Girard's Mimetic Theory

    Rescued by Christianity, modernity is distinctly different than the violent, deceitful, and stagnant societies of yore. We are the most loving, truthful, and innovative culture ever to exist. Resting uneasily alongside this fundamental affirmation of modernity, however, is Girard’s puzzling insistence that things have barely changed at all: we now simply persecute victims under the banner of love, rigidly adhere to scientific dogmas under the guise of free inquiry, and package trivialities as radical innovations. Despite our high-minded ideals, stubborn human nature refuses to budge and, so, the perversions of modernity take on the shape of hypocrisy. Even humanity’s greatest triumph is terribly ambivalent and limited.

    00:00:00 Introduction
    00:04:11 Modernity as Rupture
    00:08:09 Modernity as Continuity
    00:11:18 Metaphor of the Rocket
    00:13:40 The Force of Love
    00:22:08 Theatre
    00:24:49 Hypocrisy
    00:34:13 The Force of Truth
    00:38:11 The Epistemology of Love
    00:47:50 The Church of Science
    00:59:39 The Blindspots of Science
    01:05:06 The Force of Innovation
    01:15:49 Fashion
    01:22:00 An Ephemeral Triumph

    • 1 hr 26 min
    Lecture V: The Christian Revelation | René Girard's Mimetic Theory

    Lecture V: The Christian Revelation | René Girard's Mimetic Theory

    For Girard, Christianity is radically different from all other religions in one crucial aspect: it takes the side of the innocent victim and, in doing so, exposes the violence and deceit of worldly order. We will explore how this intuition of innocence begins to take root in the Hebrew bible and blossoms into a resounding declaration in the Crucifixion. Girard presents us with an anthropology of the Cross: a translation of Christian phenomena into this-worldly, humanistic language. Girard’s success in placing this world in the foreground, however, forces the other world and even God himself to retreat into the background. In Girard’s unorthodox Christianity, God’s absence is just as loud and jarring as humanity’s presence.

    00:00:00 Introduction
    00:03:36 The Myth Vaccine
    00:08:56 Cain and Abel
    00:14:19 Joseph and His Brothers
    00:18:30 The Incompleteness of the Hebrew Bible
    00:21:31 Completing the Message
    00:26:51 The Crucifixion
    00:30:18 Christ's Innocence
    00:33:50 Christ's Truth
    00:37:31 Christ's Love
    00:41:28 An Anthropology of the Cross
    00:42:31 Girard's Interpretation of Satan
    00:44:57 Girard's Interpretation of the Christian Revelation
    00:45:47 Girard's Interpretation of the Anti-Christ
    00:49:05 Girard's Interpretation of the Kingdom of God
    00:50:08 Girard's Interpretation of the Apocalypse
    00:51:08 A Christian Dictionary
    00:54:10 Girard's Unorthodoxy: The Sacrificial Reading
    00:56:45 Girard's Unorthodoxy: God's Absence
    01:03:17 Girard's Unorthodoxy: Historical Christianity
    01:05:39 Girard's Unorthodoxy: Apocalyptic Ambivalence

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Lecture IV: The Scapegoat Mechanism | René Girard's Mimetic Theory

    Lecture IV: The Scapegoat Mechanism | René Girard's Mimetic Theory

    Starting from lecture IV, we will move away from psychology and into Girard’s history, beginning with the very first human societies. In times of internal turmoil, these early societies would converge on an innocent victim, attribute to him all the blame, murder this scapegoat in a brutal killing, and achieve peace through violent catharsis. These founding murders gave rise to institutions, cultures, and even gods themselves. Far are we from the comfort of social contracts. Girard’s unsettling conclusion is that peace is built on the corpses of innocent victims. Worldly order demands violence and deceit.

    00:00:00 Introduction
    00:04:16 The Trojan War and Reciprocal Violence
    00:13:51 Oedipus and the Scapegoat Mechanism
    00:15:23 Step One: Mimetic Contagion
    00:25:06 Step Two: Founding Murder
    00:29:22 Consensus, Deceit, and Catharsis
    00:36:04 Three Marks of the Victim
    00:41:18 Step Three: Divinization
    00:46:30 A Revaluation of Values
    00:51:26 Step Four: Institutionalization
    01:03:33 The Violent Foundations of Society
    01:06:39 The Hymn of Purusha
    1:10:20 The Founding of Rome
    1:13:10 Moral Paradigm Shifts

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Lecture III: Mimetic Rivalry and Girard's Theodicy | René Girard's Mimetic Theory

    Lecture III: Mimetic Rivalry and Girard's Theodicy | René Girard's Mimetic Theory

    In this lecture, we will finish painting the picture of Girardian psychology by understanding mimetic rivalry and negative mimesis. This picture will expose humans as fallen and certain psycho-social pathologies as inevitable: fetishization, alienation, bipolarity, masochism, oppression, and inequity. Girard’s psychology, then, is also a theodicy — an inquiry into the origins of evil. For Girard, evil is not contingent on poorly designed societies but an inevitable consequence of corrupt human nature. We will never escape these pathologies no matter how much social “progress” is made. Girard’s theodicy tampers our expectations of the world and inoculates us against a whole host of, what we can loosely call, critical theories. This is a critique of critique. 

    00:00:00 Introduction
    00:04:26 Internal and External Mediation
    00:10:50 Mimetic Rivalry
    00:33:33 Doubles
    00:35:24 False Differences
    00:37:58 American Psycho
    00:42:19 The Negative Phase of Mimesis
    00:46:33 Conforming to Contrarianism
    00:53:31 The Psycho-Social Pathologies of Man
    00:55:51 Fetishization
    00:56:39 Alienation
    00:59:08 Bipolarity
    01:01:01 Masochism
    01:04:27 Oppression
    01:07:56 Inequity
    01:10:03 Hegel's Theodicy
    01:13:22 Rousseau's Theodicy
    01:15:40 Girard's Theodicy
    01:20:14 A Critique of Critique

    • 1 hr 28 min
    Lecture II: Mimetic Desire and Original Sin | René Girard's Mimetic Theory

    Lecture II: Mimetic Desire and Original Sin | René Girard's Mimetic Theory

    Mimesis, mimetic desire, and metaphysical desire are the fundamental building blocks of Girard’s psychology. They will show us how even the most intimate aspects of our identity can be radically shaped by others and how to distinguish vanity from authenticity. These psychological fundaments are what make humans social animals, why prestige and recognition matter so much to us, and how we are able to form cultures and even language itself. They are responsible for humanity’s greatest achievements, but they also render us helplessly fallen. Under scrutiny, metaphysical desire will reveal itself to be none other than original sin. 

    00:00:00 Introduction
    00:03:51 Mimesis
    00:08:16 Mimesis and Normativity
    00:17:34 Mimetic Desire
    00:29:17 What is Meant by "Being"
    00:31:53 The First End of Being: Reality
    00:34:38 The Second End of Being: Persistence
    00:35:31 The Third End of Being: Self-sufficiency
    00:41:36 Metaphysical Desire
    00:50:14 The Malleability of Metaphysical Desire
    00:52:09 The Power of Metaphysical Desire
    00:53:30 The Deceitfulness of Metaphysical Desire
    00:58:18 The Ungovernability of Metaphysical Desire
    01:00:31 Original Sin

    • 1 hr 10 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings


Brilliant Podcast - I’m a Girardian! ❤️❤️❤️

A depthful analysis of Girard’s work! More please! This is an invaluable exploration of the one philosophy that helps us most understand our contemporary experience! I will listen again and again! Brilliant..thank you!

nate/a ,


Love the podcast’s content, extremely well thought out analysis of Girard. I also recommend reading through the transcripts. It does bug me that Lecture 4 appears more recent chronologically than Lecture 5, but that’s a minor detail. Definitely recommend.

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