Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hubert Dreyfus

Hubert Dreyfus was educated at Harvard, earning three degrees there (B.A in 1951, M.A in 1952, and Ph.D. in 1964). He is considered a leading interpreter of the work of Edmund Husserl, Michel Foucault, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, but especially of Martin Heidegger. While spending most of his teaching career at Berkeley, Professor Dreyfus has also taught at the Brandeis University (1957 to 1959), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (from 1960 to 1968), the University of Frankfurt, and Hamilton College. In addition to criticizing artificial intelligence, Dreyfus is well known for making the work of continental philosophers, especially Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Michel Foucault, intelligible to analytically trained philosophers. (bio taken here)

Discussion of Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty:

Host Harry Kreisler welcomes philosopher Hubert Dreyfus for a discussion of why machines cannot become human. In their discussion, they talk about the role of philosophy in clarifying what it means to be human.

Podcast of a philosophy class
on Martin Heidegger's "Being and Time"
UC Berkeley Fall 2007
Philosophy 185 Heidegger
Instructor Hubert Dreyfus

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Willie Smits: Restoring a Rainforest

Photo taken by Suzie Katz at TED Conference 2009

Willie Smits works at the complicated intersection of humankind, the animal world and our green planet. In his early work as a forester in Indonesia, he came to a deep understanding of that triple relationship, as he watched the growing population of Sulawesi move into (or burn for fuel) forests that are home to the orangutan. These intelligent animals were being killed for food, traded as pets or simply failing to thrive as their forest home degraded.

Smits believes that to rebuild orangutan populations, we must first rebuild their forest habitat -- which means helping local people find options other than the short-term fix of harvesting forests to survive. His Masarang Foundation raises money and awareness to restore habitat forests around the world -- and to empower local people. In 2007, Masarang opened a palm-sugar factory that uses thermal energy to turn sugar palms (fast-growing trees that thrive in degraded soils) into sugar and even ethanol, returning cash and power to the community and, with luck, starting the cycle toward a better future for people, trees and orangs. (bio taken here)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Free Will

The question of free will has been debated by philosophers, psychologists and religious thinkers from the beginning of recorded history. Any system of thought that seeks to deal with man's place in nature must inevitably consider this question. The roundtable examines free will from the points of view of philosophy, psychoanalysis and neuroscience. In particular, findings from psychoanalysis, such as the death instinct and trans-generational transmission, as well as discoveries in neuroscience about implicit memory, are employed to provide a new perspective from which to relate free will to current discussions of human behavior.

Akeel Bilgrami
is Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University and the author of Belief and Meaning, Self-Knowledge and Resentment, and Politics and the Moral Psychology of Identity.

Annaik Feve is a neurologist, psychoanalyst, and member of the Psychoanalytic Society of Paris. She lectures and publishes regularly in the fields of neuroscience and psychoanalysis, focussing on movement disorders, dreams, and psychoanalytic education. She organizes monthly meetings of the Philoctetes Center in Paris.

Rebecca Goldstein
, a novelist and philosopher, is the author of eight books, the last of which was Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity. The recipient of numerous prizes for her fiction and scholarship, including a MacArthur Fellowship, she is currently a fellow of the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University.

Siri Hustvedt is the author of The Blindfold and The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, as well as numerous essays and short stories. Her last novel, What I Loved, was nominated for the Prix Etranger Femina.

Jaak Panksepp is Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Bowling Green State University and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical College of Ohio at Toledo. He is the author of Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions, Textbook of Biological Psychiatry and Advances in Biological Psychiatry.

Joel Whitebook
is a philosopher and practicing psychoanalyst. He is on the faculty of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research and is writing an intellectual biography of Freud for Cambridge University Press.

Click Here to Watch on Youtube
Click Here for Source Website

Friday, September 18, 2009

Clay Shirky: It's Not Information Overload. It's Filter Failure.

Mr. Shirky divides his time between consulting, teaching, and writing on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies. His consulting practice is focused on the rise of decentralized technologies such as peer-to-peer, web services, and wireless networks that provide alternatives to the wired client/server infrastructure that characterizes the Web. Current clients include Nokia, GBN, the Library of Congress, the Highlands Forum, the Markle Foundation, and the BBC.

In addition to his consulting work, Mr. Shirky is an adjunct professor in NYU's graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), where he teaches courses on the interrelated effects of social and technological network topology -- how our networks shape culture and vice-versa. (bio taken here)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Herbert Marcuse

Herbert Marcuse (July 19, 1898 – July 29, 1979) was a German-Jewish philosopher, political theorist and sociologist, and a member of the Frankfurt School. His best known works are Eros and Civilization, One-Dimensional Man and The Aesthetic Dimension. (bio taken here)

Andrew Feenberg discusses his new collection of essays by Herbert Marcuse.

Andrew Feenberg is Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Technology in the School of Communication, Simon Fraser University, where he directs the Applied Communication and Technology Lab. He has also taught for many years in the Philosophy Department at San Diego State University, and at Duke University, the State University of New York at Buffalo, the Universities of California, San Diego and Irvine, the Sorbonne, the University of Paris-Dauphine, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, and the University of Tokyo.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Paul Goodman

Paul Goodman (9 September 1911 New York City – 2 August 1972) was an American sociologist, poet, writer, anarchist, and public intellectual. Goodman is now mainly remembered as the author of Growing Up Absurd and an activist on the pacifist Left in the 1960s and an inspiration to that era's student movement. He is less remembered as a co-founder of Gestalt Therapy in the 1940s and '50s. (bio taken here)

Paul Goodman speaks on the changes in the university system made necessary by the Free Speech Movement (1965).
Click Here for Realplayer Audio