PRIDE

May 15, 2018

In this podcast, we evaluate pride and find that its reputation as a deadly sin is undeserved. [Free. 25 minutes.]

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LAOTZU 12

April 28, 2018

This podcast deals with Chapters 18, 19 and 20 of The Tao Te Ching. In these chapters, Lao Tzu extols the virtue of alignment with the Tao for individuals and society. Simplicity is the way, he says, to come into that alignment. Instances of misalignment are consumerism, over-sophistication and acquisitiveness. Again, the character of the sage-leader is explored. [Free. 42 minutes.]

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ON GUILT

March 22, 2018

Here I sketch out and contrast various ideas of what guilt is and how it arises. These are firstly, that conscience, the capacity to feel guilt, is innate, [biologism and Kant], and secondly, the result of social processes, [Nietzsche and Freud]. Books mentioned are New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis (Third lecture: 'The Dissection of the Psychical Personality' 1933) and Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals (1886). [Free. 39 minutes.]

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LAO TZU 11

February 19, 2018

This podcast deals with Chapters 16 and 17 of the Tao Te Ching. Lao Tzu revisits the character of the sagacious ruler who is rooted in contemplation, this time drawing on a metaphor of plant growth and nuture by deep roots. Not only is contemplation to be nurtured by our roots in the earth, but the sage should quietly nurture those around him. This leads on to considerations of styles of government of which a pure anarchism is evaluated as the most desirable. We suggest that this would only be possible for a population deeply rooted in contemplation of nature and its underpinning processes and cycles. [Free. 23 minutes.]

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THE USES AND ABUSES OF THE CONCEPT OF NATURE

January 22, 2018

In this podcast, I consider the concept of nature and its ideological uses in justifying inequalities of wealth and power in ordinary discourse. I find that its use in the form of 'state of nature' arguments in political philosophy is also ideological as is the idea of human nature in most of its articulations. I suggest the concept can have a less ideological use for helping us picture our situation. In this positive use, nature is understood as a complex system which embeds the human being and culture which are themselves systems. [Free. 33 minutes.]

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TIME TO STOP AND STARE

November 13, 2017

Misquoting W. H. Davies, I recommend taking time to stop and stare in this podcast. I draw attention to resonances between Davies' sentiment and the nature paintings of the Sung and Yuan dynasties which often feature tiny figures dwarved by vast landscapes. [Free. 21 minutes.]

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FEMINISM 101

April 1, 2017

In this podcast, we roughly sketch out types of feminism including liberal, socialist, marxist and essentialist varients. We try to draw out the theoretical and practical difficulties encountered by these various approaches in the hope that a view of the terrain thus exposed might be useful to anybody currently struggling with the widespread and pathological back-lash to all emancipatory aspirations. [Free. 55 minutes.]

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A CRUEL DECEPTION: THE MANUFACTURE OF DISCONTENT AND THE SPIRITUAL SUPERMARKET

August 26, 2016

In this podcast, I take issue with a couple of examples of a common new age trope that promises the fulfillment all your desires easily if only you partake of this or that snake oil. I assert that this idiocy both exaggerates and underestimates the promise of meditational quietness given that its motivations lie in a quest for profit and influence. The discussion briefly explores will, desire, the tendency to wish-fulfillment fantasy and suggests what the real possibilities for meditation might be. [Free. 18 minutes.]

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TRAVELLING LIGHT

June 1, 2016

We started this podcast with no topic in mind. Consequently it meanders from a consideration of the plasticity of mind through the matter of the historical variety of cultures and the character formations they produce and require, on through a story about our current situation in which consumerist capitalism requires hyper-individualism as the preferred human character, on through a narrative connecting discomfort with this plasticity with social conservatism and the metaphysics of stasis. Somewhere amongst this, we remember childhood and celebrate and recommend travelling light. [Free. 51 minutes.]

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ON THE BODY [PART SIX]: THE SENSES AND PROCESS

April 16, 2016

This is a meander which attempts to elucidate the senses and perception. We start off by saying why it is preferable to consider the senses as though processes rather than structures are primordial, as indeed our life-world and lived experience suggest. [The philosophical tradition largely considers the senses through a structural metaphor which understands the human being as like a camera and this is briefly taken issue with.]  The path of thought winds its way towards the intimation that the entanglement of the processes of nature, psyche, culture and consciousness which is human life allows the universe, potentially, to see itself. [Free. 59 minutes.]

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