Category Archives: Uncategorized

17: It Is What It Is! (metaphysics!)

We take the throwaway phrase, “It Is What It Is” and apply it to METAPHYSICS, which then takes us to practical applications in Business, Management, Banking at BB&T with John Allison’s 10 Values, Alcoholic’s Anonymous’s Serenity Prayer, and Stephen Hawking’s declaration that Philosophy is DEAD. It’s amazing how these are all connected! Seeing this practical application of Metaphysics, Tones says POPPYCOCK! It’s soooo alive!

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Here is a link to BB&T’s philosophy sell sheet that Tones quoted in the show.  Mike thought it was a good, interesting display of philosophy in action.


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16: The Republic (2 of 2). The City, Its Influence.

Tones and Mike continue their discussion on the Republic, focusing on the city that Plato conceptualizes and how it has influenced Western Thought. This is the continuation of the 2-part REPUBLIC episode, partnered with Episode 15.

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15: The Republic (1of2), Partners, and Writing

After a long hiatus, Tones and Mike are finally back with a 2-part episode on Plato’s Republic.  In this Part 1 episode, we discuss the Ring of Gyges and The Cave, respectively linking them to conversations on Ethics and Epistemology.  Mike and Tones also discuss the importance of working with a partner and revisit the link between philosophy and writing.

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Music by Buskerdroid (free music archive) and Tones dinking around with his new guitar.


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14: ThoughtExperiments, Election Day, and Writing

Mike and Tones focus on a theme of balancing the narrow scope of the concrete vs. the wide scope of fundamentals by talking about the 2012 Presidential election and Thought Experiments. While the election showed the dire need of philosophic thought in political campaigns, Thought Experiments show the value in bringing ideas down to the concrete level for better understanding. We also discuss if philosophy has a role in writing.

Click here to stream the Episode: ep14thoughtexper

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Tones gives a plug for a great “armchair philosopher” book: The Pig That Wants To Be Eaten by Julian Baggini. You can find it here on AMAZON

Music by Buskerdroid (free music archive) and NIGHTOSAUR (because they said I could).


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13: Breaking Bad, Pragmatism, Principles, and Business

Mike and Tones discuss the philosophic ideas within the Breaking Bad TV series, Mike’s new business classes, and the situations where one must choose one value over another. All of this links our ongoing theme of principles. Plato gets some more love as well as we bring up the Crito again.

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Music by NIGHTOSAUR. Here they are on facebook:

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Posted by on September 5, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Dada… (teaser for our upcoming Aesthetics discussion)

I found an old blog post from 2004 when Duchamp’s Fountain was named the most influential piece of modern art.  Here’s what I wrote:

Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain” (1917) was recently declared the most influential work of modern art according to a Gordon’s Gin survey. Uh… yeah. I can see that.
“Fountain” is influential because it helped start the anything-goes definition of art. Today’s art museums will display anythinga shapeless swirl of colors, a slab of uncut stone, random geometric shapes on canvas, or apparently–a urinal. A modern definition of art is, well, whatever the artist’s whim decides. What is most dangerous, though, is that the modernists who are taken the most seriously today are actually producing anti-art–or art that is destructive to art itself. Observe that Duchamp could have chosen any household item to exhibit his art-is-what-I-say-it-is movement–but he chose a urinal. If Duchamp’s intention was truly as benevolent as he claimed–to show that art can be found in everyday objects–why not display an everyday object that is beautiful? The choice of a urinal shows the true nature behind Duchamp’s statement. A urinal is disgusting, offensive. To choose a urinal was the equivalent of a middle finger saying, “F-you, art, display this.”
It is one thing to convey a dream-like quality like a surrealist, or to experiment with shapes like an abstract artist, but Duchamp not only blurred the essential artistic elements–he removed them with destructive intent… and thus we have Dada. Dada is defined by Webster as “a movement in art and literature based on deliberate irrationality and negation of traditional artistic values.” Sounds accurate to me, but the definition doesn’t capture the evil behind the movement.
Dadaism goes well beyond showing contempt for art–it shows contempt for the rational mind. Art is man’s way of bringing abstractions into reality. We can easily deal with the concept of “chair” because it can be shown. I can also show non-concrete concepts such as “tall” and “transparent” by pointing to a tree and a pane of glass. How would I show the abstract concepts of “beauty,” “resilience,” “pride,” or “happiness?” I would do it with art. I cannot point to “heroic,” but I can point to Michelangelo’s David. I can’t show you “tension” and “suspense,” but I can play you John Williams’ theme from Jaws. I may find it hard to cope with a sudden sadness, but watching Steel Magnolias might help.
What does Dadaism offer to the rational mind? If art offers man the ability to see a physical representation of previously invisible concept–what would anti-art offer? If art is essential for man’s understanding/coping/enjoyment of reality–what good can come from an “art” purposely devoid of the artistic elements? The answer is nothing (that’s what nihilism offers us… nothing).
Sure, “Fountain” served a purpose–and I say that we help it fully reach its potential. Let’s plumb the thing and use it for what it’s best suited to be. I’ll be first in line to use it.



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FreeWill poll… if you want to.