We held the first Public Philosophy Journal Writing Workshop at the Inn at the Presidio this to facilitate the work of five collaborative projects. On episode 73 of the Digital Dialogue, each collaborative writing team joins me and Mark Fisher to talk about their work, their progress, and the collaborative writing process.
It is probably fair to say that Will Altman and I met one another in my book Socratic and Platonic Political Philosophy. Perhaps it is strange to think of a book as a place in which two people can meet one another, but it was in Will’s reading of my book, his reaching out to me to share his generous review of the book, and then his willingness to enter into dialogue with me in the digital space the book opened and seeks to cultivate, that we came to know one another.
In episode 71 we are joined by John Jasso, Assistant Professor of English at Penn State. Our conversation focuses on what Jasso calls Plato’s Psychagogic Rhetoric, a phrase that suggests the manner in which Plato deployed (or had Socrates deploy) rhetorical strategies designed to move souls.
Marina McCoy, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Boston College, joins me for episode 69 in which we discuss Plato and the philosophical imagination.
Marina is a long time guest of the Digital Dialogue, appearing previously on episode 6: Attentive Listening (when the Digital Dialogue was in its infancy) and episode 20: Sophocles in Utah.
Moya Bailey is a post-doctoral fellow at the Africana Research Center here at Penn State. She received her doctorate from Emory University in 2013 with a dissertation entitled “Training to Treat: A Study of Representation of Black Women Patients at Emory School of Medicine.” She specializes in critical race, feminist and disabilities studies and is interested specifically in how race, gender, and sexuality are represented in media and medicine.
Moya joins the Digital Dialogue to talk about her recently published article in Palimpsest entitled “Homolatent Masculinity & Hip Hop Culture.”
Almost immediately upon being awarded a $236K Mellon Grant to develop the Public Philosophy Journal, Mark Fisher, Dean Rehberger and I found ourselves in New York at the 2013 Ithaka Sustainable Scholarship conference to learn more about how to identify a path by which scholarly projects like the @PubPhilJ can be sustained after their period of funding.
In the 66th episode of the Digital Dialogue, we discuss the journal, the technology behind it, the interface, and the future of scholarly publishing. At Ithaka, we learned more about the current state of scholarly publishing, the challenges it faces and the possibilities open to it in a digital age. In this podcast, we think together out loud about where we are and where we hope to go with the Public Philosophy Journal.
In 1914 Harlan Smith published an article about how best to incorporate sound into museum exhibitions to supplement the visual experiences of museum goers. According to Craig Eley, Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Institute for Arts and Humanities at Penn State, it took two decades for this idea to take hold when, in 1936, the Cornell University Museum integrated synchronized sound recordings into traditional taxidermic exhibitions.
John Lysaker, Professor of Philosophy at Emory University, joins me to discuss his current book project on philosophical writing. In it, John investigates various forms of philosophical writing, developing what he calls a “descriptive phenomenology of writing.”
The episode was recorded in the restaurant at the Emory Conference Center.
Mark Fisher, Lecturer and Director of Teaching and Learning with Technologies in the Philosophy Department and Assistant Director of the Rock Ethics Institute, joins me to talk about the vision and development of the Public Philosophy Journal.
Anne-Marie Schultz, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core at Baylor University, joins me at the 13th annual meeting of the Ancient Philosophy Society She is author of many articles in Ancient Greek Philosophy and on Plato specifically, including most recently:
- “The Narrative Frame of Plato’s Euthydemus,” Southwest Philosophy Review 24 (2009):163- 172;
- “You Are What You Read: Reading the Books of Augustine’s Confessions,” Augustinian Studies 39 (2008): 101-112; and
- “Socratic Reason and Emotion: Revisiting the Intellectualist Socrates in Plato’s Protagoras,” in Socrates: Reason or Unreason as the Foundation of European Identity, ed. Ann Ward (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007): 1-29.
She has recently completed an excellent book, entitled, Plato’s Socrates as Narrator: A Philosophical Muse, to appear with Lexington Books any day now.
Anne-Marie is on the Digital Dialogue to discuss the paper she delivered at #APS13: “The Narratve Frame of Plato’s Lysis: Toward a Critique of Socratic Intellectualism.”
For episode 59 of the Digital Dialogue, I am joined at the 51st annual meeting of SPEP in Rochester, NY by Cynthia Willett and Shannon Winnubst to talk about the paper Cindy delivered entitled “Anarchy and Animal Humor.”
Cynthia Willet is Professor of Philosophy at Emory University, where she specializes in political ethics, moral philosophy, race and gender studies, new critical theories and American social thought. She has numerous publications including three books: Irony in the Age of Empire (Indiana, 2008); The Soul of Justice: Social Bonds and Racial Hubris (Cornell, 2001); Maternal Ethics and Other Slave Moralities (Routledge, 1995).
She has been a long time member of SPEP and served a term as co-director of the society. She is also, I must add, an esteemed alumna of the PhD program in Philosophy at Penn State.
Shannon Winnubst is Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the Ohio State University. Her work currently inquires into the conceptual transformations of social difference and ethics underway in the social rationality of neoliberalism, especially as diagnosed by Foucault in his 1979 lectures. She has numerous publications in queer theory, race theory, feminist theory, and twentieth century French theory, including a book entitled Queering Freedom from Indiana University Press, 2006.
She commented on Cindy’s paper and joined the Digital Dialogue to talk further about Cindy’s work.
For episode 58 of the Digital Dialogue I am joined at the 51st annual meeting of SPEP in Rochester, NY by Silvia Benso. She is Professor of Philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology, where she teaches courses in Ancient Greek Philosophy, Contemporary European Philosophy, the history of philosophy, ethics and feminist philosophy.
Besides having published articles on Nietzsche, Heidegger, Levinas, and ancient philosophy (especially Plato), she is the author of Thinking After Auschwitz: Philosophical Ethics and Jewish Theodicy (in Italian), The Face of Things: A Different Side of Ethics, and the co-author of the volume Environmental Thinking: Between Philosophy and Ecology (in Italian). She is also the general co-editor for the series Contemporary Italian Philosophy published by SUNY Press.
I would be remiss if I did not also say that she is a graduate of the philosophy PhD program at Penn State.
She is also a long time member and friend of the Ancient Philosophy Society, so when we found out we were coming to Rochester for SPEP, we knew just who we wanted to invite to speak at the APS at SPEP session. She joins me today on the Digital Dialogue to speak about the paper she delivered entitled:
Life, Death and Liesure: Recovering Socrates’ Love of the World
A collaborative lecture given by Professor Christopher Long at the University of San Francisco, Thursday, October 25, 2012. Here are the curated tweets and other artifacts related to the lecture and courses I taught designed to perform the sort of collaborative reading for which I argued.
John Protevi, Phyllis M. Taylor Professor of French Studies and Professor of Philosophy at Louisiana State University, joins me for episode 56 of the Digital Dialogue, God and the Organism.
Although I have known John through our work together at the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, the impetus for this episode of the Digital Dialogue was a series of comments we exchanged on the Art, Politics, Philosophy, Science blog to which John contributes. In response to a post by Mohan Matthen on Aristotle On Art and Nature:
John asked a question about the passage in Aristotle’s Metaphysics in which Aristotle invokes the notion of eros to characterize the manner in which the prime mover moves: “it moves as something loved [eromenon].” In response, I tried to point to some of the arguments I articulated in my book, Aristotle on the Nature of Truth, about how the understanding of eros there awakes finite beings to their own lack. John suggested that these themes where taken up in chapter 3 of his book on Political Affect, particularly with regard to the gnomic claim made by Guattari and Deleuze in A Thousand Plateaus
that “the organism is the judgment of God.”
This is the first video episode of the Digital Dialogue. I embed it here below:
Larry Hatab joins Emanuela Bianchi, Erick Jimenez and me in beautiful Umbria, Italy in Citta di Castello, at the Collegium Phaenomenologicum, for episode 55 of the Digital Dialogue.
- Nietzsche’s Life Sentence: Coming to Terms With Eternal Recurrence. New York: Routledge, 2005.
- Ethics and Finitude: Heideggerian Contributions to Moral Philosophy. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000.
- Experiment in Postmodern Politics, Open Court, 1995.
- Myth and Philosophy: A Contest of Truths. Chicago, Illinois: Open Court Publishing Co., 1990.
- Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morality. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.Translated into Portuguese: Genealogia da Moral de Nietzsche: Uma Introdução. São Paulo, Brazil: Madras, 2010.
She is completing a manuscript entitled, The Feminine Symptom: Aleatory Matter in the Aristotelian Cosmos, which she discussed in some detail on Digital Dialogue episode 24.
For episode 54 of the Digital Dialogue, I am joined via Skype by Catherine Zuckert, Nancy Reeves Dreux Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. Professor Zuckert is the author of many on the history of political philosophy and the relationship between literature and politics. I will link to her CV on the blog, but I want to mention a few of her excellent books here in reverse chronological order:
- Natural Right and the American Imagination: Political Philosophy in Novel Form (Savage, Md: Rowman and Littlefield, 1990), 277 pages.
- Postmodern Platos: Nietzsche, Heidegger, Gadamer, Strauss and Derrida (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), 351 pages.
- The Truth about Leo Strauss: Political Philosophy and American Democracy, with Michael P. Zuckert (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006), 352 pages.
But it is her most recent book, Plato’s Philosophers: The Coherence of the Dialogues (Chicago UP, 2009) that brings her to the digital dialogue today. I had the privilege to review the book for the Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews and upon its recent appearance, we thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to engage in a more dynamic discussion of the book together here on the digital dialogue. So, Catherine Zuckert, welcome to the Digital Dialogue.
Christopher Moore joins me for Digital Dialogue, episode 53. He received his PhD from the University of Minnesota in 2008 and is currently Lecturer in Philosophy and Classics at Penn State.
His areas of specialization include: Ancient Philosophy, Socrates, Aesthetics and Democratic Theory.
He has a number of articles in press and forthcoming, including:
- “Chaerephon, Telephus, and Cure in Plato’s Gorgias,” Arethusa (forthcoming May 2012)
- “The Myth of Theuth in the Phaedrus,” in Status, Uses and Function of Plato’s Myths, Catherine Collobert, Pierre Destrée, Francisco Gonzalez, edd. (Brill, forthcoming Spring 2012)
- “Socratic Persuasion in the Crito,” British Journal of the History of Philosophy (forthcoming November 2011)
I was very happy when Christopher joined the faculty here at Penn State because it offered me the opportunity to work closely with someone who really understands the nuances of Greek. What better way to welcome Christopher, I thought, than to invite him onto the Digital Dialogue to talk about his very interesting paper on the connection between Plato’s Phaedrus and Pindar’s First Isthmian, a poem from which Socrates quotes early on in the Phaedrus.
I hope you will enjoy our conversation as much as I did.
Episode 52 of the Digital Dialogue was recorded at the 50th Anniversary Meeting of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy.
I was joined by Sara Brill, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Fairfield University and graduate from the Philosophy Department here at Penn State in 2004, where she wrote her dissertation with John Sallis entitled, Hygieia: Health and Medicine in Plato’s Republic.
Sara has appeared on the Digital Dialogue a number of times including episodes:
- Digital Dialogue 13: Psychology and Politics
- Digital Dialogue 17: Parmenides (with Rose Cherubin and Jill Gordon)
- Digital Dialogue 33: Ancient Philosophy Society 2010 Wrap-up (with Jill Gordon)
So this episode is part of an ongoing dialogue about our ongoing work on Plato. Sara has completed a manuscript on Plato’s psychology and I am completing a manuscript on Socratic and Platonic Politics. The Phaedo plays an important role in both of these manuscripts and we take up our readings of that text in our discussion.
Episode 51 of the Digital Dialogue was recorded in Washington, D.C. at the Advancing Public Philosophy conference. Joining me are: Mark Fisher, Assistant Director of the Rock Ethics Institute, Penn State, Ronald Sundstrom, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of San Francisco, Cori Wong, PhD Candidate, Penn State, Jessica Harper, Partner at Bodker, Ramsey, Andrews, Winograd, and Wildstein in Atlanta, and Vance Ricks, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Guilford College.
We focus our discussion on two workshops that focused on social media and public philosophy. The first, facilitated by Vance Ricks and Mark Fisher, focused on Social Media Ethics; the second, facilitated by me and Cori Wong, focused on Philosophy and the Digital Public.
Digital Dialogue 51: Mark Fisher, Ron Sundstrom, Cori Wong, Jessica Harper and Vance Ricks on the Digital Public
Here are some links to things we mentioned in the podcast.
Tom Tuozzo, Professor of Philosophy at Kansas University, joins me for episode 50 of the Digital Dialogue.
This episode of the Digital Dialogue was recorded at the 11th annual meeting of the Ancient Philosophy Society in Sundance, UT. On it, I am joined by Karen Gover and Kalliopi Nikolopoulou.
Gover’s winning essay, “Artistic Freedom and Moral Rights in Contemporary Art,” concerns a recent controversy and lawsuit between Swiss installation artist Christoph Buechel and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, MA.
She has published articles on literature and continental aesthetics, on figures such as Homer, Baudelaire, Henry James, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Adorno and Kant. Her book manuscript Tragically Speaking: On the Use and Abuse of Theory for Life is forthcoming from University of Nebraska Press as
the inaugural volume of its Symploke Studies in Contemporary Theory series.
John Lysaker, Professor of Philosophy at Emory University, turns the tables on me for this episode of the Digital Dialogue. As promised in episode 16 in which John and I discussed his book, Emerson and Self-Culture, John took the lead to interview me after the panel on my book, Aristotle on the Nature of Truth, at the 2011 Ancient Philosophy Society in Sundance, UT.
Here is a slideshow of pictures from episodes of the Digital Dialogue:
Claire Colebrook, Edwin Earl Sparks Professor of English here at Penn State joins me for episode 47 of the Digital Dialogue. Claire received her doctorate from the University of Edinburgh and was a Professor of Modern Literary Theory at the University of Edinburgh before joining the faculty of English at Penn State.
Her work focuses on contemporary European philosophy, feminist theory, literary theory, contemporary music, dance and visual culture and political theory. Let me name just a few of her books to give you a sense of the range of her expertise: New Literary Histories, Manchester UP 1997, Ethics and Representation, Edinburgh Press 1999, Understanding Deleuze, Allen and Unwin 2003, Irony and the Work of Philosophy, Nebraska 2002 and Milton, Evil and Literary History, Continuum 2008. She is currently working on two book projects, one on vitalism and another on William Blake and aesthetics.
But she joins me on the Digital Dialogue today to discuss an article she published in the London Consortium in 2006 entitled Happiness, Death and the Meaning of Life. In fact, this article was recommended to me by a loyal listener to the digital dialogue, Dirk Felleman, who suggested that Claire would be a great guest on the Digital Dialogue. So, of course, I wanted to respond to Dirk’s deep engagement with the work we are doing on the Digital Dialogue, and I immediately extended an invitation to Claire, who has graciously accepted.
Cori Wong who is a graduate student in the department of Philosophy here at Penn State working on affective embodiment and oppression.
For episode 45 of the Digital Dialogue, I am joined by Josh Hayes who is currently a Lecturer at Santa Clara University. He has been a Visiting Assistant Professor at Loyola Marymount University and Post-doctoral Fellow in the Humanities at Stanford University and he graduated with his PhD from the New School in 2005.
He joins me on the Digital Dialogue today to discuss his essay: Being Ensouled: The Role of Desire as an Efficient Cause in Aristotle’s De Anima.
For Digital Dialogue episode 44, I have joined Nicolas Parra, Norman Mora and Sergio Ariza in their home city of Bogotá, Colombia to discuss the seminar we held today on Plato’s Apology and a paper I wrote entitled Socratic Disturbances and Platonic Politics.
Sergio is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Universidad de los Andes, who work focused on Ancient Greek Philosophy; his currently working on a translation of the Meno with commentary, he has recently published an essay entitled “Gorgias and the Incommunicability of Being”, which is a critique of Mourelatos’s interpretation.
Norman Mora is an undergraduate student working on his degree in literature and philosophy. And Nicolas Parra has been on the Digital Dialogue before when he was studying at Penn State. It was episode 21 and we discussed the relationship between Philosophy and Rhetoric in the Gorgias. Nicolas is working on his MA in Philosophy and a degree in law. His work focused on aporia in Socrates.
In episode 43 of the Digital Dialogue, I am joined by Ryan Drake, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Fairfield University and graduate of the Pennsylvania State University’s Department of Philosophy.
Today, however, he joins me to talk about his own work, and specifically on a paper he has written called: The Death of Painting (After Plato) which will soon appear in Research in Phenomenology. This paper begins with reference to the work of Aleksandr Rodchenko entitled Pure Red Color, Pure Blue Color, Pure Yellow Color, 1921. Here is a link to information about the painting from MoMa.
Ryan’s work focuses on aesthetics, politics, ancient philosophy, critical theory, hermeneutics and 19th and 20th century continental philosophy.
Walter Brogan, Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University, editor of Epoché: Journal for the History of Philosophy and a founding member of the Ancient Philosophy Society joins me for episode 42 of the Digital Dialogue.
Walter is the author of numerous publications on ancient philosophy, hermeneutics and contemporary continental philosophy. His most recent book is Heidegger and Aristotle: The Twofoldness of Being, published by SUNY press in 2005 which is essential reading for anyone interested in the Heideggerian engagement with Aristotle.
This recording was made in Montreal, Canada, where we were both attending the annual meeting of SPEP. In it we discuss an essay entitled “In the Wake of Socrates: Impossible Memory” in which he focuses on the problem of remembrance in the dialogues and specifically the complex dynamics associated with Plato’s attempts to remember the life of Socrates.
Francisco Gonzalez, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Ottawa. Frank’s work centers on ancient philosophy, contemporary heremeutics and the relation between metaphysics and ethics/politics.
His first book, Dialectic and Dialogue: Plato’s Practice of Philosophical Inquiry, Northwestern University Press, 1998, offers insight into dialogue as a philosophical practice. This book has been of enormous help to me as I consider the nature of Platonic politics as rooted in the writing of dialogues.
His most recent book, A Question of Dialogue: Plato and Heidegger, Penn State Press, 2009, engages Heidegger’s reading of Plato and argues that Heidegger never really entered into a philosophically fruitful dialogue with Plato.
Frank comes to the Digital Dialogue to discuss the paper he gave on November 3rd, 2010 at the Ancient Philosophy Society gathering at the 2010 meeting of SPEP in Montreal, Canada. That paper, entitled, “What’s in a Moment? Time for Aristotle (and Heidegger)”, takes up Heidegger’s engagement with Aristotle’s notion of kinesis or motion in a number of unpublished lectures from the 1920’s in order to argue that Heidegger privileges kinesis in a way that eclipses the philosophical power of Aristotle’s own understanding of energeia, or being-at-work.
Vincent Colapietro, Liberal Arts Research Professor of Philosophy here at Penn State, joins me for episode 40 of the Digital Dialogue.
The depth and breadth of his scholarship can hardly be touched upon in any substantive way in such a brief introduction, although I will emphasize that his work focuses on American Philosophy, semiotics and Peirce, but he has published extensively on a wide diversity of issues, including psychoanalysis.
His most recent book, Fateful Shapes of Human Freedom: John William Miller and the Crises of Modernity was published by Vanderbilt University Press in 2003. I would be remiss if I did not mention an essay of his that has meant a lot to my own intellectual development, namely, Striving to Speak in a Human Voice: A Peircean Contribution to Metaphysical Discourse, which was his Presidential Address to the Metaphysical Society and was published by the Review of Metaphysics in 2004.
Vincent joins me today, however, to discuss a profile essay on Richard J. Bernstein he was asked to write for Profiles in the Theory of Communication. I thought this would be a great opportunity for us to talk as Dick Bernstein was a member of my dissertation committee and has had an important and ongoing influence on my intellectual development. I know Vincent and I share many of Bernstein’s central philosophical commitments.
- The Nation essay on Summer in Mississippi, The Educator, by Richard Bernstein
- John E. Smith’s Experience and God
On Digital Dialogue episode 39, I am joined by the co-directors of the World in Conversation Project, Sam Richards and Laurie Mulvey.
Their work explores the multifaceted relationship between people from different cultural and ancestral groups. More specifically, they use a Socratic method of dialogue to facilitate genuine, honest exchanges between people of differing perspectives, histories and background.
And they do this in ways that have a profound effect on all involved.
Our discussion focuses on the transformative power of dialogue and the difficult work required to engage in genuine dialogue. Laurie and Sam have had years of experience in preparing students to have honest, open and difficult conversations with people, and our exchange on the Digital Dialogue touches upon some of their most profound lessons.
Take a look at Sam’s SOC 119 Course:
Cole Camplese is the Director of Education Technology Services, Allan Gyorke, Assistant Director of Education Technology Services, and Sam Richards, Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Crime, Law and Justice and co-director of World in Conversation join me for episode 38 of the Digital Dialogue.
These three guests are all actively involved in the innovative use of technology for teaching here at Penn State. Our wide ranging discussion focuses primarily on using technology to engage students. We speak in particular about moving from a pedagogy of engagement to one of genuine cooperation.
This podcast is also a contribution to the Hacking Pedagogy project we have initiated at Penn State. To read more about how you can participate in that project, please visit the Hacking Pedagogy blog and tweet related articles using the #psuhack hashtag.
Mark Shifmann joins me to discuss Plutarch’s understanding of the practice of Socratic philosophy as animated by erotic wisdom. Plutarch himself focused more on Socratic practice than on attempting to articulate a systematic account of Platonic philosophy. His focus on the action of the dialogues allows us to glimpse something dynamic and alive in the Platonic texts.
Sean Kirkland joins me for Digital Dialogue episode 35 to joins me today to talk about a book project he is completing entitled Ontology and Self-Knowledge in Plato’s Early Dialogues. Our discussion focuses on the extent to which the activity of Socratic philosophy must be permitted to strike us as strange because it is rooted in an ante-modern understanding of human thought and it’s world.
Rob Metcalf, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado at Denver and graduate of the Pennsylvania State University’s Department of Philosophy, joins me for episode 34 of the Digital Dialogue. Rob’s work focuses on ancient philosophy, phenomenology, ethics, philosophy of religion and the history of philosophy.
Jill Gordon, Dana Professor of Philosophy at Colby College, and Sara Brill, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Fairfield University, join me for episode 33 of the Digital Dialogue to discuss Catherine Zuckert’s keynote address at the 2010 Ancient Philosophy Society held at Michigan State. The address was entitled: “Two Paradigms of Philosophy: Socrates and Timeaus.”
Catherine Zuckert has recently published an extensive study of the dialogues entitled Plato’s Philosophers: The Coherence of the Dialogues with the University of Chicago Press. In that text, she offers a reading of the dialogues in accordance with the chronological order of the drama they articulate.
We also talk more generally about the 2010 Ancient Philosophy Conference and the community that has developed in the Society.
Episode 32 of the Digital Dialogue is a recording of my paper on Plato’s Protagoras entitled, “Crisis of Community: The Topology of Socratic Politics,” delivered at the 10th Annual Independent meeting of the Ancient Philosophy Society.
The paper is part of a larger project that investigates the nature of Socratic Politics by attending to the manner in which Socrates practices politics in the dialogues themselves.
In this essay, I argue that Socrates interrupts his plans for the day in order to go with Hippocrates to the house of Callias where Protagoras is staying. The discussion is facilitated at certain important points by Alcibiades who, I argue, plays the part of Hermes in the dialogue itself.
The podcast includes the comments by Anne-Marie Bowery of Baylor University and the questions and discussion from the APS gathered at Michigan State this spring.
Ryan Drake, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Fairfield University and graduate of Penn State’s Philosophy Department, joins me for Digital Dialogue 31 which focused on the paper I will deliver at the 2010 Ancient Philosophy Society conference at Michigan State entitled: Crisis of Community: The Topology of Socratic Politics in the Protagoras.
My good friend and fellow New School graduate, Rick Lee, joins me for episode 30 of the Digital Dialogue. We discuss his work on Hobbes and the dangers of a politics that acts on behalf of future generations. We also discuss some points of common interest, including the question of the role domination and force play in politics.
Falguni Sheth, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Political Theory at Hampshire College joins me for episode 29 of the Digital Dialogue to talk about her book Toward a Political Philosophy of Race. We discuss the central argument of her book which is that race is a vehicle of division used by sovereign power to maintain and legitimate its authority.
Leonard Lawlor, Edwin Earl Sparks Professor of Philosophy and Co-director of the Society for Phenomenology and Existentialist Philosophy, joins me for episode 28 of the Digital Dialogue in which we discuss his recent work on the philosophy of immanence and the questions of human and animal life.
Kathryn Gines, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and founding co-Director of the Collegium of Black Women Philosophers (CBWP) joins me for episode 27 of the Digital Dialogue.
In this episode we discuss the CBWP, the initiatives the Philosophy department at Penn State has undertaken to support early career underrepresented faculty in the discipline and Kathryn’s inaugural address entitled “Jean-Paul Sartre and His Interlocutors: Reconceptualizing ‘European’ Philosophy.”
Episode 26 of the Digital Dialogue is a special edition in which Jaimie Oberdick, Associate Editor for Publications at Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) at Penn State, turns the tables on me and interviews me about the way I have used blogs in my Philosophy courses.
The Digital Dialogue podcast itself grew out of my 2009 Summer Faculty Fellowship at TLT on Socratic Politics in Digital Dialogue. This interview is part of an article Jaimie has written and a video TLT is putting together to highlight the way I am using blogs to cultivate community in my classroom.
Jeremy Engels, Assistant Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences here at Penn State University, joins me for Digital Dialogue, episode 25.
Jeremy’s work focuses on the rhetorical foundations of democratic practices. His first book, Enemyship, the difficult question of how talk of “the enemy” functions in political rhetoric and action.
Emanuela Bianchi, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte joins me for episode 24 of the Digital Dialogue to discuss her book manuscript with the working title The Feminine Symptom: Aleatory Matter in the Aristotelian Cosmos.
Robert Bernasconi, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Philosophy, joins me for episode 23 of the Digital Dialogue to discuss his inaugural lecture at Penn State entitled “Nature, Culture, Race: A Phenomenological Perspective on Critical Philosophy of Race.
In the episode we touch on issues related to the critical philosophy of race, phenomenology, the Philosophy Department at Penn State and the recent publication of Emmanuel Faye’s book on Heidegger.
A group of students from my Philosophy 200, Ancient Greek Philosophy, course join me for episode 22 of the Digital Dialogue.
Drew Bullard, Jordan Sanford, Cody Yashinsky, Anthony Zirpoli, Tony Arnold, Pam Doran and Joni Noggle discuss some of the themes that have emerged over the course of this semester as we investigated the nature of Socratic Politics by reading four Platonic dialogues: Protagoras, Gorgias, Phaedrus and Symposium.
This episode of the digital dialogue is particularly important to me because it grew organically out of the work the students and I did together this semester. It was initiated by Cody Yashinsky who thought it would be nice to do a semester round-up podcast as way to highlight a number of themes that have emerged on the blog and in the course of our weekly round-up podcasts.
What we have done together this semester in the classroom, on the blog and through podcast is a testimony to the transformative power of digital dialogue.
Axelle Karera, graduate student in Philosophy at Penn State, and Nicolas Parra, who is a visiting student at Penn State as he completes his M.A. degree from Universidad de los Andes in Bogata, Columbia, join me for episode 21 of the Digital Dialogue.
The impetus for this episode was a brief exchange between Axelle and Nicolas on the blog entitled: Gorgias and Socrates: The Feast of Friendship. I thought it would be excellent to invite them to the Digital Dialogue to discuss the issues they raised there about the possibility of a noble kind of rhetoric, one that would not necessitate a polemical relationship between rhetoric and philosophy.
There were a number of passages to which Nicolas and Axelle appealed in the course of the discussion. Nicolas referred to these:
- (455d7-456c5) where Gorgias uncovers to Socrates the power of rhetoric and tells his story with the sick person and his brother, the physician.
- (497b5-11) Gorgias’ first intervention in the conversation of Socrates with Callicles.
- (506a10-506b3) Gorgias’ second intervention in the conversation of Socrates with Callicles.
- (521d7-522a8) Socrates’ statement that he is the one who practices the true political art and where he compares himself with a doctor.
- (503b1-2) Socrates’ allusion to a rhetoric aiming towards the just that has not yet been seen. (504d6-504e2) Socrates ilustrates what would it mean to be a good rhetor.
Axelle reports the following:
I referred specifically to the analogies in the Protogoras. The relevant passages are: 329c-333c.
The crucial debate between Protagoras and Socrates about the unity of virtue (argued by using the analogies) is found from 349b-360d.
Finally, Socrates recognizes that he seems to have finished the conversation by endorsing Protagoras’ position (which was contrary to his at the beginning), and vice versa for Protagoras, is found on 361a-362a.
In the spirit of the last Digital Dialogue, I have tried to add a picture to give a sense of interlocutors and of the context of the discussion.
Michael Shaw, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Honors Program at Utah Valley University, and Marina McCoy, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Boston College join me for episode 20 of the Digital Dialogue.
This podcast was recorded at Sundance, UT, where we gathered at the invitation of Mike Shaw just after Marina and I participated in a symposium on Sophocles for the Honors program at UVU.
Adriel Trott, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas, Pan American joins me for episode 19 of the Digital Dialogue. Adriel received her PhD in Philosophy from Villanova University in 2008 with a dissertation entitled “The Challenge of Physis: Reconciling Nature and Reason in Aristotle’s Politics.”
Her areas of specialization are Ancient Greek Thought and Social and Political Philosophy. Her work is informed by the continental and feminist traditions.
She has come to the Digital Dialogue to talk about the recent paper she delivered at SPEP entitled: “The Wrongs of Rights: The Onto-Political Logic of Human Rights from Arendt to Badiou.”
Noëlle McAfee, Research Professor at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, joins me for episode 18 of the Digital Dialogue which is another special SPEP edition. Noëlle has numerous publications in the area of democratic political theory, social/political philosophy, feminist theory and American pragmatism including three books, Habermas, Kristeva, and Citizenship by Cornell University Press, 2000, Julia Kristeva, publish by Routledge in 2003, and a text that Shannon Sullivan and I discussed in episode 8 of the Digital Dialogue entitled Democracy and the Political Unconsious. She is here today to talk further about her book and to explore the transformative possibilities digital media opens for politics.
Rose Cherubin, Associate Professor of Philosophy at George Mason University, joins me and a special panel of colleagues from the Ancient Philosophy Society for a special SPEP edition of the Digital Dialogue. We gathered together in Arlington, VA to discuss the paper Rose Cherubin gave at the APS panel at SPEP entitled “Parmenides: Another Way.” Also on the panel are Jill Gordon and Sara Brill.
John Lysaker, Professor of Philosophy at Emory University, joins me for the first of three special SPEP 2009 editions of the Digital Dialogue recorded in Arlington, VA at the 48th Annual Meeting of the Society for Phenomenology and Existentialist Philosophy.
John’s research focuses on philosophical psychology, aesthetics, social and political philosophy, and 19th and 20 century continental and American philosophy.
He has numerous publications in these areas, including two monographs, his first, You Must Change Your Life: Poetry and the Birth of Sense, was published in 2002 by Penn State University Press, and his second, Emerson and Self-Culture, was published in 2008 by Indiana University Press.
He is also the co-author of Schizophrenia and the Fate of the Self, published in 2008 by Oxford University Press, and the co-editor of Emerson and Thoreau: Figures of Friendship forthcoming in January 2010 from the University of Indiana Press.
It is John’s work on Emerson that brings him to the Digital Dialogue today. In it, John enters into dialogue with the thinking of Ralph Waldo Emerson in order to perform self-culture, which he understands as an ongoing activity of self-realization in which one articulates and affirms the commitments and values that animate one’s life.
Holly Moore, who defended her dissertation, entitled “Plato’s Analogical Thought” at DePaul University on October 12th, 2009, joins me for episode 15 of the Digital Dialogue. Dr. Moore is a graduate of Penn State’s Undergraduate Program in Philosophy. She did her honors thesis with Professor Mark Munn, who joined me for episode 12 of the Digital Dialogue in which we discussed his project on the relationship between eros and democracy.
Holly is currently a faculty fellow at Colby College.
Her dissertation argues for the intimate connection between Plato’s use of images and his ultimate philosophical teaching. More specifically, she insists that the images Plato articulates and the story his philosophy has to tell about images are inextricably connected. For Holly, Plato is an analogical thinker because the self-reflection and relational structure of analogies expresses something decisive about Platonic thinking.
- The Sun-Good analogy and divided line: Republic, Book VI, 505a-511e
- The Third Kind and “Chorology”: Timaeus, 48e-53c
- Division and Definition of Weaving: Statesman, 279c-283a
- Application of weaving as a mode for statescraft: Statesman, 305e-311c
John Christman, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Political Science and Women’s Studies at Penn State, joins me for episode 14 of the Digital Dialogue. In this episode, we discuss the social-historical conception of the self, John’s view of autonomy as it relates to deliberative democracy and the account of public reason and deliberation at the root of John’s project.
Sara Brill, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Fairfield University, joins me for episode 13 of the Digital Dialogue. Sara graduated from the Philosophy Department here at Penn State in 2004, where she wrote her dissertation with John Sallis entitled, Hygieia: Health and Medicine in Plato’s Republic. Since graduating, she has published numerous articles on Plato and Ancient Greek tragedy, including “Medical Moderation in Plato’s Symposium”, published in Studies in the History of Ethics, 2006; “Violence and Vulnerability in Aeschylus’ Suppliants” in a 2009 volume edited by William Wians entitled Logos and Mythos: Philosophical Essays in Greek Literature; and “Politics and Exoribitant Platonism”, published in Epoché, 2009.
In this episode of the Digital Dialogue, we discuss the relationship between the Platonic conception of the soul and the political dimensions of the Phaedo, in particular. We also discuss the question of how Plato uses myths to capture something of the violence and vulnerability endemic to the human condition.
- People interested in the Phaedo myth should take a look at 107c-115a; in the Republic, the myth of Er (of course) from 614b-621d; and for the Laws, the series of preludes against impiety that take up most of Book 10, from 888a-907d.
- Sara Brill’s current CV (pdf).
Digital Dialogue 12 is with Mark Munn who is Professor of Ancient Greek History, Greek Archaeology, and Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies here at Penn State. We focus on the relationship between eros and democracy in classical Athens. Our discussion ranges from the agonistic or competitive nature of political discourse in classical Athens, to the political function of eros in the classical period. This later is the focus of Mark Munn’s latest book project, which we discuss in the episode as well.
His research and teaching focuses on the history of rhetorical theory, rhetorical criticism and the philosophy of rhetoric. He specializes in the early development of Greek rhetoric.
His recently completed book will appear in November 2009 from the University of South Carolina Press entitled Listening to the Logos: Speech and the Coming of Wisdom in Ancient Greece. He has also written numerous articles on ancient Greek rhetoric and communication, including the essay on which we will focus our attention today entitled “Sophistical Wisdom: Politikê Aretê and ‘Logosophia‘” which appeared in Philosophy and Rhetoric, 39, no. 4 (2006): 265-89.
In episode 11, we discuss the history of how the Sophists and Plato have been interpreted and we talk about the differences between philosophy and rhetoric. We differ strikingly about how to read Plato and this difference opens an interesting new possibility for understanding the way the Sophists have historically been juxtaposed to Philosophers.
- Pam Dorian’s blog post reconsidering the Sophists for my PHIL200 (Ancient Greek Philosophy) course based on her work in Chris’s CAS201 (Rhetorical Theory) course.
Related Texts Mentioned
- Jarratt, Susan C. Rereading the Sophists: Classical Rhetoric Refigured. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1991.
- Schiappa, Edward. Protagoras and Logos: A Study in Greek Philosophy and Rhetoric. 2nd ed, Studies in Rhetoric/Communication. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 2003.
In episode 10 of the Digital Dialogue, I am joined by Allan Gyorke, Ryan Wetzel, and Matt Meyer, the team that has been working with me during my summer faculty fellowship at Penn State’s Teaching and Learning with Technology.
In this episode we discuss the video we have been working on this summer, an outline of which you can watch here, the future of the Digital Dialogue podcast and the Socratic Politics blog as we move into the semester and some of the things we learned this summer.
In episode 9 of the Digital Dialgoue, I am joined by Jill Gordon, who is currently Professor of Philosophy at Colby College, but in just a few days, on September 1st, she will be the Charles A. Dana Professor of Philosophy at Colby College.
She is the author of many articles on Plato and Social Political philosophy. She has been a long time member of the Ancient Philosophy Society and she served a term as Co-Director during which time she oversaw a tremendous increase in membership and did an enormous amount to secure the long term flourishing of the society.
Her well received book entitled Turning Toward Philosophy: Literary Device and Dramatic Structure in Plato’s Dialogues focuses on the way Plato’s literary techniques are designed to engage students and readers and turn them toward the pursuit of philosophy. She is currently working on a book manuscript that investigates the erotic dimensions of Plato’s world.
In this episode we discuss the erotic nature of Socratic questioning, touching also upon the discussion Marina McCoy and I had in episode 6. We also focus on some passages from Plato’s Phaedo to highlight courage and openness as excellences of dialogue. We touch too upon contemporary political culture and its fundamentally agonistic posture. Finally, Jill highlights the importance of Platonic as opposed to Socratic irony.
In episode 8 of the Digital Dialogue, I am joined by Shannon Sullivan, Professor of Philosophy, Women’s Studies and African and African American Studies here at Penn State. Shannon is also the Head of the Department of Philosophy.
- McAfee’s understanding of the public sphere as a “semiotic happening” (p. 132)
- The meaning of the political unconscious.
- The notion of a political posture McAfee introduces briefly ( p. 84).
In the course of the discussion, we touch upon McAfee’s recognition that social media opens important possibilities for political community.
- The 2009 SPEP program (pdf) which announces the book session on Democracy and the Political Unconscious in which Noëlle will respond to Shannon and Robyn Marasco. Thursday, October 29th, 2009, 12:30 to 3:00 in the Jefferson room at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, VA.
- See my live blog post of the Specter Town Hall in State College on August 12, 2009 where the current pathetic state of public discourse and deliberation in the US was on display. See the video of a disturbing confusion between the God and the VA here.
The podcast and this post are being highlighted by the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution where Noelle McAfee is on faculty.
They also posted it to their Facebook page. I captured a screen shot here. If you click it, you will be brought to their page on Facebook.
In episode seven of the Digital Dialogue, I am joined by Leigh Johnson, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Rhodes College in Memphis. She is working on scholarship related to human rights and what she calls “weak humanism.” In the podcast we discuss the meaning of this term and the whether we need to appeal to a sense of commonness to ground claims of human rights.
- Human Rights Watch: http://www.hrw.org
- Judith Butler’s Precarious Life: http://www.amazon.com/Precarious-Life-Power-Mourning-Violence/dp/1844670058
- Leigh recommends Micheline Ishay’s A History of Human Rights: From Ancient Times to the Globalization Era as the best history of human rights she has read in a long time: http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/9737001.php
- Leigh’s excellent blog is: http://readmorewritemorethinkmorebemore.blogspot.com/
Marina has written extensively on Plato, focusing on the role of rhetoric in his thinking. Her recent book, Plato on the Rhetoric of Philosophers and Sophists, published by Cambridge University Press, investigates the relation between Socratic questioning and the rhetoric of the sophists.
She shows, convincingly, that part of what differentiates the Socratic practice of philosophy from other rhetorical activities is that the activity of philosophy involves at once a commitment to the truth and an openness to questioning the human relation to the truth itself.
In the podcast we focus on passage from Plato’s Protagoras in which the issue of the nature of Socratic questioning is at play. These include 331c5-d1, 333c9-d6 and 348c-d. We then turn to the question of what Marina calls “sympathetic listening” and the degree to which this is an important for the transformative possibilities of dialogue. There the passages we touch upon are: 328e-329b. For examples of Hippocrates listening, see 312a and for the scene at the doorway, see 314c-e. For the passage that suggests that Protagoras is not a bad listener, see, for example, 359d.
- Griswold on rhetoric in Plato: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/plato-rhetoric/
- For an electronic version of the Protagoras, with the Jowett translation (not our favorite), see: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1591
In episode five of the Digital Dialogue podcast, I am joined by Joshua Miller, Ph.D. candidate in Philosophy and blogger under the pseudonym anotherpanacea. We focus on the question of identity and anonymity.
Because Josh is writing his dissertation on Arendt, our discussion circled around some of the central themes of her political thinking, including the public/private distinction, the manner in which words and action are bound to one another, the question of responsibility and the need for thought to be sheltered.
- Left of Centre: an anonymously written by “Thorstein Veblen” about the Penn State administration.
- Evernote: a note taking program for the desktop, mobile devices, etc.
Josh suggested a list of blogs on the left and right that are well balanced and thoughtful.
In episode four of the Digital Dialogue podcast, Allan Gyorke and I talk with recent PhD Philosophy graduate and Assistant Professor of Philosophy at New Jersey Institute of Technology, Michael Brownstein, about his work on the social practices embodied by web 2.0 technologies. We discuss his paper The Background, the Body and the Internet: Locating Practical Understanding in Digital Culture, in which he criticizes Hubert Dreyfus’s position that the internet is incapable of cultivating a genuine public space. Michael uses the work of Bourdieu to argue that the social fields opened by web 2.0 technologies are informed by a set of habits (in the sense of habitus) that lend themselves to scholarly study. This study, he calls, following Dreyfus’s characterization of Bourdieu’s project, an “empirical program of existential analytics.”
We discuss how these ideas relate to the question of Socratic politics and Michael presents some ideas about a new online journal being developed as part of an NSF grant on which he is working with colleagues at NJIT.
- Listen to Luciano Floridi on the Philosophy Bites podcast: http://nigelwarburton.typepad.com/philosophy_bites/
- Or read up on Floridi on his homepage: http://www.philosophyofinformation.net/
- See the Amazon page for Dreyfus’ new edition of On the Internet.
- Or read some of Dreyfus’ essays on technology and social practice, found on his homepage: http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~hdreyfus/html/papers.html
- See the homepages for my co-PIs for the NSF grant: Robert Friedman @ http://web.njit.edu/~friedman/ and Brian Whitworth @ http://brianwhitworth.com/
- See Michael Brownstein’s faculty page at NJIT, though it is currently under construction (a link to my under-construction homepage will be there soon too, and papers and such will be on my homepage eventually): http://humanities.njit.edu/people/brownstein.php
In episode 03 of the Digital Dialogue Podcast, Ryan, Matt, Allan and I consider the question of sincerity as it relates to dialogue and politics. In the course of the discussion, we consider how the disjunction between words and deeds is erosive of politics, the relation between sincerity and playfulness and how different modes of digital expression offer different possibilities of connection.
Links to Things Discussed
To begin the dialogue, I thought it appropriate to post the first in a series of Digital Dialogue podcasts designed to generate discussion around questions concerning but not limited to the nature of digital dialogue, its political possibilities, the excellences associated with it and the impact is might have on our pedagogical practices.