For Sigmund Freud, a joke was never just a joke, but a window into the unconscious, laughter an anxious symptom of recognition that something lost has resurfaced, distorted into humor. For Slovenian psychoanalytic philosopher Slavoj Žižek, jokes function similarly.[...]
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Martin Heidegger is often called the most important philosopher of the 20th century. I’m not in a position to evaluate this claim, but his influence on contemporary and successive European and American thinkers is considerable.
I can vividly recall the first time I read C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters. I was fourteen, and I was prepared to be terrified by the book, knowing of its demonic subject matter and believing at the time in invisible malevolence.[...]
Over at his blog Leiter Reports, UC Chicago professor of philosophy Brian Leiter is currently conducting a very interesting poll, asking his readers to rank the 25 philosophers of “the modern era” (the last 200 years) who “have had the most pernicious influence on philosophy.[...]
While theorist and provocateur Slavoj Žižek tends to get characterized—especially in a recent, testy exchange with Noam Chomsky—as obscurantist and muddle-headed, I’ve always found him quite readable, especially when compared to his mentor, psychoanalytic philosopher Jacques Lacan.[...]
When you think of Michel Foucault, it’s hard not to think of the bald head that’s so part of his persona.[...]
We’ve established something of a tradition here of featuring drawings by famous authors. It seems, unsurprisingly, that skill with the pen often goes hand-in-glove with a keen visual sense, though admittedly some writers are more talented draftsmen than others.[...]
If you run a web site long enough, you end up covering topics you never thought you’d touch. Like professional wrestling. Come to think of it, we did show you once before Andy Warhol making an unexpected appearance on a 1985 World Wide Wrestling Federation broadcast. But today the subject isn’t an artist with a penchant for wrestling.[...]
The folks at the Cornell Creative Machines Lab are “interested in robots that create and are creative.” Here’s one such example of robots getting creative. Above, the lab lets two chatbots (essentially computer programs designed to simulate an intelligent conversation) start chatting with one another.[...]
Podcasting has treated few fields of human inquiry as well as it has philosophy. You’ll already know that if you’ve subscribed to the philosophy podcasts we’ve featured before, like Philosophy Bites, The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps, and The Partially Examined Life.[...]