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Episode 88 – Sartre and Camus pt. 3

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The Great Debate


On this episode, we take a look at the great post WW2 debate between Sartre and Camus. See the full transcript of this episode here.

Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus first met in June 1943, at the opening of Sartre’s play The Flies. When Sartre was standing in the lobby, according to Simone de Beauvoir, “a dark-skinned young man came up and introduced himself: it was Albert Camus.” His novel The Stranger, published a year earlier, was a literary sensation, and his philosophical essay The Myth of Sisyphus had appeared six months previously. The young man from Algiers was marooned in France by the war.

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Episode 87 – Sartre and Camus pt. 2

FRANCE. Paris. French writer Albert CAMUS. 1947.

Albert Camus (1913-1960)


On this episode, we take a look at Albert Camus and his work on existentialism. See the full transcript of this episode here.

Albert Camus (1913–1960) was a journalist, editor and editorialist, playwright and director, novelist and author of short stories, political essayist and activist—and arguably, although he came to deny it, a philosopher. He ignored or opposed systematic philosophy, had little faith in rationalism, asserted rather than argued many of his main ideas, presented others in metaphors, was preoccupied with immediate and personal experience, and brooded over such questions as the meaning of life in the face of death.

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Episode 86 – Sartre and Camus pt. 1 – Freedom

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Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–1980)


On this episode, we take a look at Sartre and his thoughts on the concept of freedom. See the full transcript of this episode here.

Sartre (1905–1980) is arguably the best known philosopher of the twentieth century. His indefatigable pursuit of philosophical reflection, literary creativity and, in the second half of his life, active political commitment gained him worldwide renown, if not admiration. He is commonly considered the father of Existentialist philosophy, whose writings set the tone for intellectual life in the decade immediately following the Second World War. Among the many ironies that permeate his life, not the least is the immense popularity of his scandalous public lecture “Existentialism is a Humanism,” delivered to an enthusiastic Parisian crowd October 28, 1945.

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Episode 85 – Peter Singer on Effective Altruism

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Peter Singer (1946-present)


On this episode, we take a look at Peter Singer and his work on effective altruism. See the full transcript of this episode here.

Peter Albert David Singer, AC (born 6 July 1946) is an Australian moral philosopher. He is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and a Laureate Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne. He specializes in applied ethics and approaches ethical issues from a secular, utilitarian perspective. He is known in particular for his book, Animal Liberation (1975), a canonical text in animal liberation theory, and his essay Famine, Affluence, and Morality, a key text in the theory of effective altruism. For most of his career, he was a preference utilitarianism, but he announced in The Point of View of the Universe that he had become a hedonistic utilitarian.

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Episode 84 – William James on Truth

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William James (1842-1910)


On this episode, we take a look at William James and his work on the concept of truth. See the full transcript of the episode here.

William James was an original thinker in and between the disciplines of physiology, psychology and philosophy. His twelve-hundred page masterwork, The Principles of Psychology (1890), is a rich blend of physiology, psychology, philosophy, and personal reflection that has given us such ideas as “the stream of thought” and the baby’s impression of the world “as one great blooming, buzzing confusion” (PP 462). It contains seeds of pragmatism and phenomenology, and influenced generations of thinkers in Europe and America, including Edmund Husserl, Bertrand Russell, John Dewey, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

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Episode 83 – Henry David Thoreau

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Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)


On this episode, we take a look at Henry David Thoreau’s views on the individual, society and civil disobedience. See the full transcript of this episode here.

Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) was an American philosopher, poet, and environmental scientist whose major work, Walden, draws upon each of these identities in meditating on the concrete problems of living in the world as a human being. He sought to revive a conception of philosophy as a way of life, not only a mode of reflective thought and discourse.

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Episode 82 – Austrians and Marx

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Carl Menger (1840-1921)


On this episode, we take ideas from several different thinkers of the Austrian School of Economics and try to understand the counterpoints to Marx’s critiques of capitalism. See the full transcript of this episode here.

The Austrian school of economics was founded in 1871 with the publication of Carl Menger’s Principles of Economics. Menger, along with William Stanley Jevons and Leon Walras, developed the marginalist revolution in economic analysis. Menger dedicated Principles of Economics to his German colleague William Roscher, the leading figure in the German historical school, which dominated economic thinking in German-language countries.

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Episode 81 – Capitalism vs. Communism

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Karl Marx (1818-1883)


On this episode, we talk about Karl Marx and his famous critiques of capitalism. See the full transcript of this episode here.

Karl Marx (1818–1883) is best known not as a philosopher but as a revolutionary, whose works inspired the foundation of many communist regimes in the twentieth century. It is hard to think of many who have had as much influence in the creation of the modern world. Trained as a philosopher, Marx turned away from philosophy in his mid-twenties, towards economics and politics. However, in addition to his overtly philosophical early work, his later writings have many points of contact with contemporary philosophical debates, especially in the philosophy of history and the social sciences, and in moral and political philosophy.

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Episode 80 – Feuerbach on Religion

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Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872)


On this episode, we talk about Ludwig Feuerbach and his (occasionally) controversial views on the origins of religion. See the full transcript of this episode here.

For a number of years in the mid-nineteenth century Ludwig Feuerbach (1804–1872) played an important role in the history of post-Hegelian German philosophy, and in the transition from idealism to various forms of naturalism, materialism and positivism that is one of the most notable developments of this period. To the extent that he is remembered today by non-specialists in the history of nineteenth-century religious thought, it is mainly as the object of Marx’s criticism in his famous Theses on Feuerbach, originally penned in 1845 and first published posthumously by Friedrich Engels as an appendix to his book, Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy (Engels 1888).

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Episode 77 – Marx and Kierkegaard on Religion pt. 1

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Karl Marx (1818-1883)


On this episode, we talk about Karl Marx and his views on religion. See the full transcript of this episode here.

Karl Marx (1818–1883) is best known not as a philosopher but as a revolutionary, whose works inspired the foundation of many communist regimes in the twentieth century. It is hard to think of many who have had as much influence in the creation of the modern world. Trained as a philosopher, Marx turned away from philosophy in his mid-twenties, towards economics and politics. However, in addition to his overtly philosophical early work, his later writings have many points of contact with contemporary philosophical debates, especially in the philosophy of history and the social sciences, and in moral and political philosophy.

Continue reading Episode 77 – Marx and Kierkegaard on Religion pt. 1