Episode 67, Flowers for Algernon (Part III - The Story: The Fall of Charlie Gordon)

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Welcome to 'Episode 67 (Part III of V)', where we'll be unpacking the second and final part of Daniel Keyes’ novel, Flowers for Algernon.

Report: March 2nd
After the successes we have had with Algernon, and with much deliberation, I have officially chosen our first research subject. Charlie Gordon, 32, was recommended to us by Alice Kinian from the Beekman School for Retarded Adults and she has assured us of his desire to increase his intellect.
I have scheduled for Charlie to come to the lab over the next few days where Burt Selden will run some preliminary psych tests. We are also going to test his mental flexibility with a few maze puzzles with Algernon. All that remains is the consent of a family member to grant permission for the operation. According to Alice Kinian, his sister Norma might be the most appropriate person to seek out. 
Providing there are no warning signs during the testing, and consent is provided, we will be on the cusp of something truly ground-breaking. All these years of hard work will be vindicated and the trust of my wife and those who fund me will have been justified. Dare I say it, I might be remembered amongst the pantheon of great scientists.
Strauss has insisted that we keep a close eye on his mental state and emotional growth. I am inclined to agree but feel we cannot be held fully accountable for the man’s personality. The success or failure of this experiment will rest on his increased intelligence, or lack thereof. 
One thing is certain, if the experiment works, Charlie Gordon’s life will change forever.
Professor Harold Nemur
The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/explores the realm of the forms

Contents

Part I. Life and Context.

Part II. The Story: The Rise of Charlie Gordon.

Part III. The Story: The Fall of Charlie Gordon.

Part IV. The Meaning.

Part V. Further Analysis and Discussion.


Attributions

Thank you to the following creators for allowing us to use their work in this episode.

Tri-Tachyon: https://soundcloud.com/tri-tachyon/albums.

PSOVOD: https://freesound.org/people/PSOVOD/sounds/416057.

3bagbrew: https://freesound.org/people/3bagbrew/sounds/57743/.

TheWorkingBamboo: https://freesound.org/people/TheWorkingBamboo/sounds/257738.


Episode 67, Flowers for Algernon (Part II - The Story: The Rise of Charlie Gordon)

Classic Cast.jpg

Welcome to 'Episode 67 (Part II of V)', where we'll be unpacking the first half of Daniel Keyes’ novel, Flowers for Algernon.

Report: March 2nd
After the successes we have had with Algernon, and with much deliberation, I have officially chosen our first research subject. Charlie Gordon, 32, was recommended to us by Alice Kinian from the Beekman School for Retarded Adults and she has assured us of his desire to increase his intellect.
I have scheduled for Charlie to come to the lab over the next few days where Burt Selden will run some preliminary psych tests. We are also going to test his mental flexibility with a few maze puzzles with Algernon. All that remains is the consent of a family member to grant permission for the operation. According to Alice Kinian, his sister Norma might be the most appropriate person to seek out. 
Providing there are no warning signs during the testing, and consent is provided, we will be on the cusp of something truly ground-breaking. All these years of hard work will be vindicated and the trust of my wife and those who fund me will have been justified. Dare I say it, I might be remembered amongst the pantheon of great scientists.
Strauss has insisted that we keep a close eye on his mental state and emotional growth. I am inclined to agree but feel we cannot be held fully accountable for the man’s personality. The success or failure of this experiment will rest on his increased intelligence, or lack thereof. 
One thing is certain, if the experiment works, Charlie Gordon’s life will change forever.
Professor Harold Nemur
The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/escapes the cave

Contents

Part I. Life and Context.

Part II. The Story: The Rise of Charlie Gordon.

Part III. The Story: The Fall of Charlie Gordon.

Part IV. The Meaning.

Part V. Further Analysis and Discussion.


Attributions

Thank you to the following creators for allowing us to use their work in this episode.

Tri-Tachyon: https://soundcloud.com/tri-tachyon/albums.

PSOVOD: https://freesound.org/people/PSOVOD/sounds/416057.

3bagbrew: https://freesound.org/people/3bagbrew/sounds/57743/.

TheWorkingBamboo: https://freesound.org/people/TheWorkingBamboo/sounds/257738.


Episode 67, Flowers for Algernon (Part I - Daniel Keyes: Life and Context)

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Welcome to 'Episode 67 (Part I of V)', where we'll be introducing Flowers for Algernon and discussing the life of the author, Daniel Keyes.

Report: March 2nd
After the successes we have had with Algernon, and with much deliberation, I have officially chosen our first research subject. Charlie Gordon, 32, was recommended to us by Alice Kinian from the Beekman School for Retarded Adults and she has assured us of his desire to increase his intellect.
I have scheduled for Charlie to come to the lab over the next few days where Burt Selden will run some preliminary psych tests. We are also going to test his mental flexibility with a few maze puzzles with Algernon. All that remains is the consent of a family member to grant permission for the operation. According to Alice Kinian, his sister Norma might be the most appropriate person to seek out. 
Providing there are no warning signs during the testing, and consent is provided, we will be on the cusp of something truly ground-breaking. All these years of hard work will be vindicated and the trust of my wife and those who fund me will have been justified. Dare I say it, I might be remembered amongst the pantheon of great scientists.
Strauss has insisted that we keep a close eye on his mental state and emotional growth. I am inclined to agree but feel we cannot be held fully accountable for the man’s personality. The success or failure of this experiment will rest on his increased intelligence, or lack thereof. 
One thing is certain, if the experiment works, Charlie Gordon’s life will change forever.
Professor Harold Nemur
The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/plays the game of shadows

Contents

Part I. Life and Context.

Part II. The Story: The Rise of Charlie Gordon.

Part III. The Story: The Fall of Charlie Gordon.

Part IV. The Meaning.

Part V. Further Analysis and Discussion.


Episode 66, Niccolò Machiavelli (Part IV - Further Analysis and Discussion)

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Welcome to 'Episode 66 (Part IV of IV)', where we'll be engaging some further analysis and discussion.

No book can teach you how to tame the raging river of fortune, for it has many plans contrary to ambitious minds. Yet to submit powerlessly to fate with lamentation, as if God has not instilled you with freedom of the will, is a sign of disrespect and the ultimate folly of our kind. For the river splits into many paths and those that appear to drag us towards the abyss, may, in the end, lead us to glory if only we persist in our efforts.

That is not to say that fortune always favours the brave. The acts of life should be understood as drama rather than science, and sometimes the heroes lose. Nevertheless, if it just so happens that you wish to play the role of the Prince or Princess, and be responsible for guiding others to a better future, there is wisdom you can learn from your time and through history to aid your cause.

Before we go any further, however, I must warn you that the practicalities of ruling come with demands that are not for the faint-of-heart. Human nature dictates that at times, you will need to adopt the methods of the Fox and the Lion.

You must be like the Fox in order to spot the traps laid by those who wish to see you fail and you must be like the Lion so that those same people will never try too hard for fear of the repercussions.

This might sound harsh, but let me remind you that the road to hell is often pathed with good intentions and that sometimes to be good you must learn… to be cruel.

The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/seeks power and glory

Poulton

This episode is sponsored by Rachel Poulton’s The Little Book of Philosophy.

For more information about the book, please click the following link: https://tinyurl.com/y4csq4no.


Contents

Part I. Life and Context

Part II. The Prince

Part III. Machiavellianism Today

Part IV. Further Analysis and Discussion


Episode 66, Niccolò Machiavelli (Part III - Machiavellianism Today)

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Welcome to 'Episode 66 (Part III of IV)', where we'll be discussing twenty-first century examples machiavellianism.

No book can teach you how to tame the raging river of fortune, for it has many plans contrary to ambitious minds. Yet to submit powerlessly to fate with lamentation, as if God has not instilled you with freedom of the will, is a sign of disrespect and the ultimate folly of our kind. For the river splits into many paths and those that appear to drag us towards the abyss, may, in the end, lead us to glory if only we persist in our efforts.

That is not to say that fortune always favours the brave. The acts of life should be understood as drama rather than science, and sometimes the heroes lose. Nevertheless, if it just so happens that you wish to play the role of the Prince or Princess, and be responsible for guiding others to a better future, there is wisdom you can learn from your time and through history to aid your cause.

Before we go any further, however, I must warn you that the practicalities of ruling come with demands that are not for the faint-of-heart. Human nature dictates that at times, you will need to adopt the methods of the Fox and the Lion.

You must be like the Fox in order to spot the traps laid by those who wish to see you fail and you must be like the Lion so that those same people will never try too hard for fear of the repercussions.

This might sound harsh, but let me remind you that the road to hell is often pathed with good intentions and that sometimes to be good you must learn… to be cruel.

The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/seeks power and glory

This episode is proudly sponsored by Gaston Luga.

Head over to www.gastonluga.com and get 15% off any purchase with the discount code PANPSY.


Contents

Part I. Life and Context

Part II. The Prince

Part III. Machiavellianism Today

Part IV. Further Analysis and Discussion


Episode 66, Niccolò Machiavelli (Part II - The Prince)

Classic Cast.jpg

Welcome to 'Episode 66 (Part II of IV)', where we'll be discussing The Prince.

No book can teach you how to tame the raging river of fortune, for it has many plans contrary to ambitious minds. Yet to submit powerlessly to fate with lamentation, as if God has not instilled you with freedom of the will, is a sign of disrespect and the ultimate folly of our kind. For the river splits into many paths and those that appear to drag us towards the abyss, may, in the end, lead us to glory if only we persist in our efforts.

That is not to say that fortune always favours the brave. The acts of life should be understood as drama rather than science, and sometimes the heroes lose. Nevertheless, if it just so happens that you wish to play the role of the Prince or Princess, and be responsible for guiding others to a better future, there is wisdom you can learn from your time and through history to aid your cause.

Before we go any further, however, I must warn you that the practicalities of ruling come with demands that are not for the faint-of-heart. Human nature dictates that at times, you will need to adopt the methods of the Fox and the Lion.

You must be like the Fox in order to spot the traps laid by those who wish to see you fail and you must be like the Lion so that those same people will never try too hard for fear of the repercussions.

This might sound harsh, but let me remind you that the road to hell is often pathed with good intentions and that sometimes to be good you must learn… to be cruel.

The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/seeks power and glory

This episode is proudly sponsored by Gaston Luga.

Head over to www.gastonluga.com and get 15% off any purchase with the discount code PANPSY.


Contents

Part I. Life and Context

Part II. The Prince

Part III. Machiavellianism Today

Part IV. Further Analysis and Discussion


Episode 66, Niccolò Machiavelli (Part I - Life and Context)

Classic Cast.jpg

Welcome to 'Episode 66 (Part I of IV)', where we'll be discussing the life and context of Machiavelli.

No book can teach you how to tame the raging river of fortune, for it has many plans contrary to ambitious minds. Yet to submit powerlessly to fate with lamentation, as if God has not instilled you with freedom of the will, is a sign of disrespect and the ultimate folly of our kind. For the river splits into many paths and those that appear to drag us towards the abyss, may, in the end, lead us to glory if only we persist in our efforts.

That is not to say that fortune always favours the brave. The acts of life should be understood as drama rather than science, and sometimes the heroes lose. Nevertheless, if it just so happens that you wish to play the role of the Prince or Princess, and be responsible for guiding others to a better future, there is wisdom you can learn from your time and through history to aid your cause.

Before we go any further, however, I must warn you that the practicalities of ruling come with demands that are not for the faint-of-heart. Human nature dictates that at times, you will need to adopt the methods of the Fox and the Lion.

You must be like the Fox in order to spot the traps laid by those who wish to see you fail and you must be like the Lion so that those same people will never try too hard for fear of the repercussions.

This might sound harsh, but let me remind you that the road to hell is often pathed with good intentions and that sometimes to be good you must learn… to be cruel.

The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/seeks power and glory

This episode is proudly sponsored by Gaston Luga.

Head over to www.gastonluga.com and get 15% off any purchase with the discount code PANPSY.


Contents

Part I. Life and Context

Part II. The Prince

Part III. Machiavellianism Today

Part IV. Further Analysis and Discussion


Episode 65, 'The Awe-Some Argument' with Ryan Byerly (Part II - Further Analysis and Discussion)

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Welcome to 'Episode 65 (Part II of II)', where we'll be engaging in some further analysis and discussion.

University of Sheffield philosopher, Assistant Professor Ryan Byerly is best known for his work in philosophy of religion, epistemology and virtue theory. Publishing widely in these areas, Ryan is also Reviews Editor for the European Journal for Philosophy of Religion, Treasurer for the British Society for Philosophy of Religion, and a member of Sheffield’s Centre for Engaged Philosophy. Amongst many other fascinating papers in philosophy of religion, Ryan is the author of ‘The Awe-Some Argument for Pantheism’, which forms our focus for today’s discussion.

Ryan’s argument for pantheism (the belief that ‘God is the universe and the universe is God’) provides an exciting and unique take on not just the type of god we should believe in, but also the way in which we might come to establish its existence. In short, Ryan thinks that the emotion of awe - that profound, ineffable feeling that one has when they see Van Gogh’s Starry Night or a meteor burning up in the atmosphere - can point us in the direction of things which are divine. The greatest object of awe, says Byerly, is the cosmos, and therefore, the cosmos is the most divine thing.

The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/points you towards the divine

Contents

Part I. The Awe-Some Argument for Pantheism.

Part II. Further Analysis and Discussion.


Episode 65, 'The Awe-Some Argument' with Ryan Byerly (Part I - Pantheism)

Classic Cast.jpg

Welcome to 'Episode 65 (Part I of II)', where we'll be discussing Ryan Byerly’s Awe-Some Argument for Pantheism.

University of Sheffield philosopher, Assistant Professor Ryan Byerly is best known for his work in philosophy of religion, epistemology and virtue theory. Publishing widely in these areas, Ryan is also Reviews Editor for the European Journal for Philosophy of Religion, Treasurer for the British Society for Philosophy of Religion, and a member of Sheffield’s Centre for Engaged Philosophy. Amongst many other fascinating papers in philosophy of religion, Ryan is the author of ‘The Awe-Some Argument for Pantheism’, which forms our focus for today’s discussion.

Ryan’s argument for pantheism (the belief that ‘God is the universe and the universe is God’) provides an exciting and unique take on not just the type of god we should believe in, but also the way in which we might come to establish its existence. In short, Ryan thinks that the emotion of awe - that profound, ineffable feeling that one has when they see Van Gogh’s Starry Night or a meteor burning up in the atmosphere - can point us in the direction of things which are divine. The greatest object of awe, says Byerly, is the cosmos, and therefore, the cosmos is the most divine thing.

The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/points you towards the divine

Contents

Part I. The Awe-Some Argument for Pantheism.

Part II. Further Analysis and Discussion.


Episode 64, 'The Given - Experience and its Content' with Michelle Montague (Part II - Further Analysis and Discussion)

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Welcome to 'Episode 64 (Part II of II)', where we'll be engaging in some further analysis and discussion.

Michelle Montague is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. As well as publishing extensively in phenomenology and philosophy of mind, Michelle is also the author of Non-Propositional Intentionality, Cognitive Phenomenology, and our focus for this episode, her 2016 book, The Given: Experience and its Content.

This episode is all about what some philosophers have called ‘the given’, that is, what is given to us in our immediate experience. From Aristotle to Hume, philosophers have tried to account for the categories, types, and distinctions within the mind. Michelle’s work continues in this tradition, however it takes a new and exciting turn away from the orthodox positions in philosophy of mind - she thinks that phenomenology comes first, that phenomenology is responsible for our mind’s ability to represent the world, and that there are many more types of phenomenology than we’ve currently admitted.

The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/undergoes a non-sensory, cognitive experience

Contents

Part I. The Given.

Part II. Further Analysis and Discussion.


Episode 64, 'The Given - Experience and its Content' with Michelle Montague (Part I - The Given)

Classic Cast.jpg

Welcome to 'Episode 64 (Part I of II)', where we'll be discussing phenomenology with Michelle Montague.

Michelle Montague is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. As well as publishing extensively in phenomenology and philosophy of mind, Michelle is also the author of Non-Propositional Intentionality, Cognitive Phenomenology, and our focus for this episode, her 2016 book, The Given: Experience and its Content.

This episode is all about what some philosophers have called ‘the given’, that is, what is given to us in our immediate experience. From Aristotle to Hume, philosophers have tried to account for the categories, types, and distinctions within the mind. Michelle’s work continues in this tradition, however it takes a new and exciting turn away from the orthodox positions in philosophy of mind - she thinks that phenomenology comes first, that phenomenology is responsible for our mind’s ability to represent the world, and that there are many more types of phenomenology than we’ve currently admitted.

The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/undergoes a non-sensory, cognitive experience

Contents

Part I. The Given.

Part II. Further Analysis and Discussion.


Episode 63, 'Pantheism and Panentheism' with Andrei Buckareff (Part II - Further Analysis and Discussion)

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Welcome to 'Episode 63 (Part II of II)', where we'll be engaging in some further analysis and discussion.

Andrei Buckareff is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the Cognitive Science Program at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, and Associate Editor of the journal Science, Religion, and Culture. Andrei’s work focuses on a range of fascinating topics, from metaphysics, philosophy of mind, epistemology and the philosophy of action, to philosophy of religion, the afterlife, pantheism, and alternative concepts of God. Andrei is a prolific writer, publishing extensively in these fields, and his influence cannot be overstated. Alongside Yujin Nagasawa and funded by the John Templeton Foundation, Andrei is also the co-leader of the ‘the Pantheism and Panentheism Project’, which will form our focus for today.

In this episode, we’ll be speaking to Andrei about alternative concepts of God; more specifically, on Andrei’s recent work surrounding pantheism and panentheism. In a word, Andrei argues that if we are to understand God as ‘acting in space-time’, we should be inclined to believe that this God exists within time and space, at all spatial locations. Moreover, if we are inclined to think that God is omniscient, then we should also believe that God ‘is the universe’ – that is, God and the universe are essentially made of the same stuff, with God being either identical with or constituted by the cosmos.

Andrei’s work calls the orthodox theist to radically reconceptualise their understanding of God, in the light of a more philosophically plausible philosophy. Our question, if we are theists, do we need to change the way we think about God?

The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/allows itself to be realised in God's mind

This episode is produced in partnership with ‘the Pantheism and Panentheism Project’, which is led by Andrei Buckareff and Yujin Nagasawa and funded by the John Templeton Foundation.


Contents

Part I. The Divine Mind.

Part II. Further Analysis and Discussion.


Episode 63, ‘Pantheism and Panentheism’ with Andrei Buckareff (Part I - The Divine Mind)

Classic Cast.jpg

Welcome to 'Episode 63 (Part I of II)', where we'll be discussing ‘the divine of mind’ with Andrei Buckareff.

Andrei Buckareff is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the Cognitive Science Program at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, and Associate Editor of the journal Science, Religion, and Culture. Andrei’s work focuses on a range of fascinating topics, from metaphysics, philosophy of mind, epistemology and the philosophy of action, to philosophy of religion, the afterlife, pantheism, and alternative concepts of God. Andrei is a prolific writer, publishing extensively in these fields, and his influence cannot be overstated. Alongside Yujin Nagasawa and funded by the John Templeton Foundation, Andrei is also the co-leader of the ‘the Pantheism and Panentheism Project’, which will form our focus for today.

In this episode, we’ll be speaking to Andrei about alternative concepts of God; more specifically, on Andrei’s recent work surrounding pantheism and panentheism. In a word, Andrei argues that if we are to understand God as ‘acting in space-time’, we should be inclined to believe that this God exists within time and space, at all spatial locations. Moreover, if we are inclined to think that God is omniscient, then we should also believe that God ‘is the universe’ – that is, God and the universe are essentially made of the same stuff, with God being either identical with or constituted by the cosmos.

Andrei’s work calls the orthodox theist to radically reconceptualise their understanding of God, in the light of a more philosophically plausible philosophy. Our question, if we are theists, do we need to change the way we think about God?

The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/allows itself to be realised in God's mind

This episode is produced in partnership with ‘the Pantheism and Panentheism Project’, which is led by Andrei Buckareff and Yujin Nagasawa and funded by the John Templeton Foundation.


Contents

Part I. The Divine Mind.

Part II. Further Analysis and Discussion.


Episode 62, Epictetus: A Guide to Stoicism (Part V. Further Analysis and Discussion)

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Welcome to 'Episode 62 (Part V of V)', where we'll be engaging in some further analysis and discussion.

Imagine you are in an open field which stretches in every direction, further than your eyes can see. Since there is nothing of interest in your immediate surroundings, you set your sights on the horizon. You begin to walk with purpose; long strides eventually break into a run until you are sprinting as fast as you can. After a while, you begin to slow down. Not just because of a lack of breath, but because something doesn’t quite feel right.

Your steps relax to a strolling pace as you turn back to glance at where you started — but it isn’t clear how far you’ve come. You continue walking; at first for hours, then days, and then weeks. Eventually, although the anxiety set in days ago, you come to a stop. No matter how many steps you had taken, the horizon never came any closer. The goal was never realised, regardless of your efforts.

This short passage might tell you something about your own life, or at least a way of thinking which has occupied your mind at one time or another. The horizon in the story is an analogy for instrumental goods. Instrumental goods are those things in life that you want because you believe them to be necessary for your well-being or happiness. A new job or a trip that you’ve always wanted to take, for example.

We think that once we meet these goals, we will somehow achieve happiness as if it was some state which could be reached and maintained forever. But these ideas are sorely misguided. We cannot find and maintain happiness by seeking it in instrumental goods. You see, permanent, unchanging happiness is like the horizon in the story. No matter how hard you work for it, no matter how many promotions you achieve, how many new trips you take, you simply cannot find happiness in this way.

The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/desires nothing out of its control

Contents

Part I. The Context and Life of Epictetus.

Part II. The Discourses and The Enchiridion.

Part III. Modern Stoicism.

Part IV. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Part V. Further Analysis and Discussion.


Episode 62, Epictetus: A Guide to Stoicism (Part IV. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)

Classic Cast.jpg

Welcome to 'Episode 62 (Part IV of V)', where we'll be discussing the links between Stoicism and CBT.

Imagine you are in an open field which stretches in every direction, further than your eyes can see. Since there is nothing of interest in your immediate surroundings, you set your sights on the horizon. You begin to walk with purpose; long strides eventually break into a run until you are sprinting as fast as you can. After a while, you begin to slow down. Not just because of a lack of breath, but because something doesn’t quite feel right.

Your steps relax to a strolling pace as you turn back to glance at where you started — but it isn’t clear how far you’ve come. You continue walking; at first for hours, then days, and then weeks. Eventually, although the anxiety set in days ago, you come to a stop. No matter how many steps you had taken, the horizon never came any closer. The goal was never realised, regardless of your efforts.

This short passage might tell you something about your own life, or at least a way of thinking which has occupied your mind at one time or another. The horizon in the story is an analogy for instrumental goods. Instrumental goods are those things in life that you want because you believe them to be necessary for your well-being or happiness. A new job or a trip that you’ve always wanted to take, for example.

We think that once we meet these goals, we will somehow achieve happiness as if it was some state which could be reached and maintained forever. But these ideas are sorely misguided. We cannot find and maintain happiness by seeking it in instrumental goods. You see, permanent, unchanging happiness is like the horizon in the story. No matter how hard you work for it, no matter how many promotions you achieve, how many new trips you take, you simply cannot find happiness in this way.

The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/desires nothing out of its control

Contents

Part I. The Context and Life of Epictetus.

Part II. The Discourses and The Enchiridion.

Part III. Modern Stoicism.

Part IV. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Part V. Further Analysis and Discussion.


Episode 62, Epictetus: A Guide to Stoicism (Part III. Modern Stoicism)

Classic Cast.jpg

Welcome to 'Episode 62 (Part III of V)', where we'll be discussing modern approaches to Stoicism.

Imagine you are in an open field which stretches in every direction, further than your eyes can see. Since there is nothing of interest in your immediate surroundings, you set your sights on the horizon. You begin to walk with purpose; long strides eventually break into a run until you are sprinting as fast as you can. After a while, you begin to slow down. Not just because of a lack of breath, but because something doesn’t quite feel right.

Your steps relax to a strolling pace as you turn back to glance at where you started — but it isn’t clear how far you’ve come. You continue walking; at first for hours, then days, and then weeks. Eventually, although the anxiety set in days ago, you come to a stop. No matter how many steps you had taken, the horizon never came any closer. The goal was never realised, regardless of your efforts.

This short passage might tell you something about your own life, or at least a way of thinking which has occupied your mind at one time or another. The horizon in the story is an analogy for instrumental goods. Instrumental goods are those things in life that you want because you believe them to be necessary for your well-being or happiness. A new job or a trip that you’ve always wanted to take, for example.

We think that once we meet these goals, we will somehow achieve happiness as if it was some state which could be reached and maintained forever. But these ideas are sorely misguided. We cannot find and maintain happiness by seeking it in instrumental goods. You see, permanent, unchanging happiness is like the horizon in the story. No matter how hard you work for it, no matter how many promotions you achieve, how many new trips you take, you simply cannot find happiness in this way.

The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/desires nothing out of its control

Contents

Part I. The Context and Life of Epictetus.

Part II. The Discourses and The Enchiridion.

Part III. Modern Stoicism.

Part IV. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Part V. Further Analysis and Discussion.


Episode 62, Epictetus: A Guide to Stoicism (Part II. The Discourses and The Enchiridion)

Classic Cast.jpg

Welcome to 'Episode 62 (Part II of V)', where we'll be discussing The Discourses and The Enchiridion.

Imagine you are in an open field which stretches in every direction, further than your eyes can see. Since there is nothing of interest in your immediate surroundings, you set your sights on the horizon. You begin to walk with purpose; long strides eventually break into a run until you are sprinting as fast as you can. After a while, you begin to slow down. Not just because of a lack of breath, but because something doesn’t quite feel right.

Your steps relax to a strolling pace as you turn back to glance at where you started — but it isn’t clear how far you’ve come. You continue walking; at first for hours, then days, and then weeks. Eventually, although the anxiety set in days ago, you come to a stop. No matter how many steps you had taken, the horizon never came any closer. The goal was never realised, regardless of your efforts.

This short passage might tell you something about your own life, or at least a way of thinking which has occupied your mind at one time or another. The horizon in the story is an analogy for instrumental goods. Instrumental goods are those things in life that you want because you believe them to be necessary for your well-being or happiness. A new job or a trip that you’ve always wanted to take, for example.

We think that once we meet these goals, we will somehow achieve happiness as if it was some state which could be reached and maintained forever. But these ideas are sorely misguided. We cannot find and maintain happiness by seeking it in instrumental goods. You see, permanent, unchanging happiness is like the horizon in the story. No matter how hard you work for it, no matter how many promotions you achieve, how many new trips you take, you simply cannot find happiness in this way.

The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/desires nothing out of its control

Contents

Part I. The Context and Life of Epictetus.

Part II. The Discourses and The Enchiridion.

Part III. Modern Stoicism.

Part IV. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Part V. Further Analysis and Discussion.


Episode 62, Epictetus: A Guide to Stoicism (Part I. The Context and Life of Epictetus)

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Welcome to 'Episode 62 (Part I of V)', where we'll be discussing the context and life of Epictetus.

Imagine you are in an open field which stretches in every direction, further than your eyes can see. Since there is nothing of interest in your immediate surroundings, you set your sights on the horizon. You begin to walk with purpose; long strides eventually break into a run until you are sprinting as fast as you can. After a while, you begin to slow down. Not just because of a lack of breath, but because something doesn’t quite feel right.

Your steps relax to a strolling pace as you turn back to glance at where you started — but it isn’t clear how far you’ve come. You continue walking; at first for hours, then days, and then weeks. Eventually, although the anxiety set in days ago, you come to a stop. No matter how many steps you had taken, the horizon never came any closer. The goal was never realised, regardless of your efforts.

This short passage might tell you something about your own life, or at least a way of thinking which has occupied your mind at one time or another. The horizon in the story is an analogy for instrumental goods. Instrumental goods are those things in life that you want because you believe them to be necessary for your well-being or happiness. A new job or a trip that you’ve always wanted to take, for example.

We think that once we meet these goals, we will somehow achieve happiness as if it was some state which could be reached and maintained forever. But these ideas are sorely misguided. We cannot find and maintain happiness by seeking it in instrumental goods. You see, permanent, unchanging happiness is like the horizon in the story. No matter how hard you work for it, no matter how many promotions you achieve, how many new trips you take, you simply cannot find happiness in this way.

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Contents

Part I. The Context and Life of Epictetus.

Part II. The Discourses and The Enchiridion.

Part III. Modern Stoicism.

Part IV. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Part V. Further Analysis and Discussion.


Episode 61, David Pearce on Transhumanism (Part II - Further Analysis and Discussion)

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Welcome to 'Episode 61 (Part II of II)', where we'll be engaging in some further analysis and discussion.

Co-founder of Humanity+, formerly known as the World Transhumanist Association, David Pearce is a leading figure of the transhumanist movement. David is perhaps best known for his 1995 manifesto, The Hedonistic Imperative, in which he argues that we can, and will, abolish suffering throughout the living world. Following The Hedonistic Imperative, David has published extensively on topics surrounding utilitarianism, veganism, abolitionism and transhumanism; culminating in his most recent 2017 collection of essays, Can Biotechnology Abolish Suffering?

Alongside his careful philosophical thinking, David’s captivating writing-style has inspired philosophers across the world to look forward into the ‘philosophy of the future’. A world as David hopes, that is free from suffering, ageing and stupidity.

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Contents

Part I. Transhumanism.

Part II. Further Analysis and Discussion.


Episode 61, David Pearce on Transhumanism (Part I - Transhumanism)

Classic Cast.jpg

Welcome to 'Episode 61 (Part I of II)', where we'll be discussing transhumanism with David Pearce.

Co-founder of Humanity+, formerly known as the World Transhumanist Association, David Pearce is a leading figure of the transhumanist movement. David is perhaps best known for his 1995 manifesto, The Hedonistic Imperative, in which he argues that we can, and will, abolish suffering throughout the living world. Following The Hedonistic Imperative, David has published extensively on topics surrounding utilitarianism, veganism, abolitionism and transhumanism; culminating in his most recent 2017 collection of essays, Can Biotechnology Abolish Suffering?

Alongside his careful philosophical thinking, David’s captivating writing-style has inspired philosophers across the world to look forward into the ‘philosophy of the future’. A world as David hopes, that is free from suffering, ageing and stupidity.

The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/evolves into something greater

Contents

Part I. Transhumanism.

Part II. Further Analysis and Discussion.