Photograph via snooOG

Welcome to the subreddit for the study of the history of ideas, including the histories of philosophy, of literature and the arts, of the natural and social sciences, of religion, and of political thought!

Welcome to the subreddit for the study of the history of ideas, including the histories of philosophy, of literature and the arts, of the natural and social sciences, of religion, and of political thought!

Few discoveries are more irritating than those which expose the pedigree of ideas.

Lord Acton

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Chinas Historical Wars of Religion

07:56 UTC


What did armour look like on navy ships in the golden age of piracy

Answer asap

21:41 UTC


Newbie here and sometimes get caught up in the weeds on this platform; are bragging rights once in a while okay or too gauche?

See above...

05:09 UTC


Think this bomb would work?

20:21 UTC


Thehincaly, Isn't The 7 Year War World War 0?

I mean like, think about it. A lof of contries were involved. And one source said that 5 contients were involved! So I think that makes it a world war

23:02 UTC


Is critical philosophy (specifically Marcuse) ultimately addressing consciousness?

On my podcast this week, we were discussing the conclusion of Marcuse's One-Dimensional Man and my co-host suggested that Marcuse is ultimately addressing consciousness in his position of a pacified existence (and that all philosophy is in essence discussing consciousness).

If I can do my best to state his argument, it is that:

Marcuse is ultimately a materialist as he is addressing the specific conditions of people and animals on earth and wishing to increase their material well-being. This materialist desire is a result of consciousness because is atomizes and discretizes problems to be aware of and then solved.
The face that Marcuse is attempting to be aware of problems and logically project historically and futuristically is a display of his examination of consciousness and further that all philosophy is the manifestation of consciousness trying to understand consciousness.

(If my co-host sees this, he might have some helpful clarification, if I have missed any important pieces of his point.)

In any case, I am curious what the Critical Theorists think of this analysis of Marcuse's philosophy.

In case you're interested, here is the full episode:
Apple - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pdamx-21-2-consciousness-trying-to-understand-consciousness/id1691736489?i=1000657237527

Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/episode/3HTO3W8BjFy7ijmCAMtcpH?si=5c04da691df046c6

Youtube - https://youtu.be/pIzZc2uM5Lg

(Note - if anyone is interested in coming on the podcast to discuss this, we would love to have some guests on to hash it out a bit)

04:23 UTC


The Age of Invention starts off unexpectedly with the 1815 death of Robert Fulton, who I assumed would be a major player. Perhaps he inspired all the other inventors? Maybe it took a while for society to grasp that the world was changing? Let's find out together!

1 Comment
14:52 UTC


Bentham's Panopticon & Foucault — An online reading group discussion on Thursday June 6 (EDT), open to all

03:45 UTC


On Herbert Marcuse - Is societal progress a movement towards the 'abolition of labor' as Marx put it?

For my podcast, this week, we are discussing Marcuse's book - One-Dimensional Man. In it he lays out his idea of what 'progress' means. For Marcuse, the idea of progress is something that pushes society towards the Marxist notion of 'abolition of labor' (or 'pacification of existence' - Marcuse's update to Marx).

"Progress" is not a neutral term; it moves toward specific ends, and these ends are defined by the possibilities of ameliorating the human condition. Advanced industrial society is approaching the stage where continued progress would demand the radical subversion of the prevailing direction and organization of progress. This stage would be reached when material production (including the necessary services) becomes automated to the extent that all vital needs can be satisfied while necessary labor time is reduced to marginal time. From this point on, technical progress would transcend the realm of necessity, where it served as the instrument of domination and exploitation which thereby limited its rationality; technology would become subject to the free play of faculties in the struggle for the pacification of nature and of society.

Such a state is envisioned in Marx's notion of the "abolition of labor." The term "pacification of existence" seems better suited to designate the historical alternative of a world which— through an international conflict which transforms and suspends the contradictions within the established societies— advances on the brink of a global war. "Pacification of existence" means the development of man's struggle with man and with nature, under conditions where the competing needs, desires, and aspirations are no longer organized by vested interests in domination and scarcity—an organization which perpetuates the destructive forms of this struggle.

I personally find the notion that struggle against nature is something to be transcended to be a highly undesirable. In a similar way to egalitarianism, I find the concept of the abolition of labor to be a net negative in that it would strip meaning from most undertakings. I fail to see what the source of pride of incentive would be to do anything in a world of pacified existence.

What do you think?

In case you're interested, here are links to the episode:
Apple - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pdamx-21-1-communists-are-individualists/id1691736489?i=1000656463945

Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/episode/3IyoqxIysCc0y6cKgEm1B7?si=ec9b3fc3f4aa4491

Youtube - https://youtu.be/G7SAwPQoMoY?si=MiBuwwge7FsCMM7I

(Note - if you are interested in discussing any of these ideas on the show, feel free to reach out and we would love to have you on).

17:13 UTC


Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (1785) reading group — Online meetings every week starting Wednesday May 29 (EDT), open to all

03:39 UTC


Are there important ties between American Progressivism and European Fascism?

We did a podcast this week discussing Mussolini's 'Doctrine of Fascism' and the conversation regarding the connection between American Progressivism and European Fascism came up. I contend that these are essentially sister ideologies - both collectivist and authoritarian in similar ways:

Love of war
Nationalization of industry
High taxation
Use of the corporate world to be productive for the state
Use of media as propaganda wing of the state
And love of Ancient Rome

What do you think?

Links to the full episode (in case you're interested)
Apple - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pdamx-20-1-fascists-also-love-their-neighbor/id1691736489?i=1000655746676

Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/episode/3MzIXSyktzWhIEIRX8ObuL?si=bcbc4739308249d2

Youtube - https://youtu.be/AT6xix1IZAQ

*Also, we are very open to discussing these ideas on the podcast if anyone is interested in coming on

1 Comment
14:52 UTC


Friedrich Nietzsche’s Human, All Too Human: A Book For Free Spirits (1878) — An online reading group discussion on Thursday May 23, open to all

06:18 UTC


Marx's proletariat revolution and modern working conditions...

I co-host a weekly podcast and this week we were discussing the communist manifesto. We got into a conversation about how from Marx's perspective, probably the proletariat revolution has not yet occurred (since he allows for a number of failed proletariat revolutions to happen before the true one takes hold) - as a sub point to that, Marx discusses the ever increasing discomfort of the working class - however, as my co-host suggests, we are living in the best time to be a worker in history.

What do you think about these points?

Is there a 'true' proletariat revolution to come and are we living in the best times?

Links to the full episode, if you're interested:

Apple - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pdamx-19-2-workers-of-the-world-etc/id1691736489?i=1000654995283
Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/episode/4Fb2Y6bZxqNCZoFyiZYahc?si=g9t8esJvTAyRI8tViFCTwA
Youtube - https://youtu.be/doNShQBYcqA?si=boBNKkVBcPZg2aI0

*Disclaimer, including a link to the podcast is obviously a promotional move

17:09 UTC

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