Tag Archives | interview

Music, Aesthetics & Making Sense: A Conversation with Andrew Bowie

Bowie Header Adorno

This post originally appeared on four by three magazine.

What is music? Can music make sense of the world or even transcend it? Philosopher and jazz musician Andrew Bowie talks to four by three about the connection between music, aesthetics, language, and time, with reference to Adorno and Heidegger, as well as about the relationship between philosophy, the arts and sciences, asking: why does art matter?


‘Art is supposed to engage your whole being and not just your conceptual capacity’
— Andrew Bowie

four by three: The philosophy and philosophical significance of music has been a major preoccupation of much of your writing. What is it that motivates you to write philosophically about music?

Andrew Bowie: When I started doing philosophy, I used to regard my playing as completely separate from my philosophy, because I wasn’t very good at playing in any case [I still am not great, but I have got better].… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Human, All Too Human: The Look of Silence

the look of silence

What is deception? Why are we deceiving ourselves individually and collectively? Can art help us to see ourselves clearly? 
four by three talks to Joshua Oppenheimer about The Act of Killing and its spellbinding companion piece The Look of Silence, giving an insight into how the past relates to the present and how to break an imposing silence of fear and guilt through cinema.


Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence is the impressive companion piece to The Act of Killing, which won over 60 awards around the world. Both films open up space and time for the perpetrators of the 1965-66 Indonesian genocide to look at themselves anew, exposing their fractured humanity to their families, neighbours and the world. In The Look of Silence a family of survivors discovers not only how their son was murdered, but as well the identities of his killers. This award-winning documentary focuses on the family’s youngest son Adi, who makes possible the seemingly impossible: breaking fifty years of visible blindness and audible muteness.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Aesthetics, Immanuel Kant & Imagination

Irving Guyer

Does an artist perceive or invent his creation? How does imagination relate to freedom, beauty and nature?
Paul Guyer talks to four by three about the relationship between aesthetics and morality in the work of Immanuel Kant, Hegel’s rejection thereof and Schopenhauer’s positive conception of the aesthetic experience.


four by three: A substantial part of your work as a philosopher has been in the field of aesthetics. What motivated you to start working on this discipline of philosophy?

Paul Guyer: In hindsight, three things.  First, I started taking classes with Stanley Cavell as a freshman at Harvard (his large humanities class, some of the material from which turned up forty years later in his last book, Cities of Words). Cavell did not teach any conventional aesthetics in that course, or at any time during my undergraduate and graduate years at Harvard, but his title was ‘Professor of Aesthetics and General Theory of Value,’ and that may have both piqued my interest and licensed the subject of aesthetics for me.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Cornel West on Bernie Sanders, Michael Eric Dyson, Black Lives Matter, Trans Rights and More

From GRITtv:

In an exclusive new interview on The Laura Flanders Show, author, activist and public intellectual Dr. Cornel West responds to criticism from MSNBC host Michael Eric Dyson and discusses Bernie Sanders, Palestine, Black Lives Matter, B.B. King, and the LGBT movement. Dr. Cornel West has written or edited dozens of books, including classics like Race Matters, and Democracy Matters. His most recent is Black Prophetic Fire, written in conversation with Christa Buschendorf. He has also been an outspoken supporter of the causes others won’t touch. and an equally outspoken critic of President Barack Obama. He was the civil rights elder most warmly embraced by Black Lives Matter activists on the ground in Ferguson and Baltimore.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Craig Finn: Punk Rock, Literature, and the Art of Being an Optimist

Craig Finn, best known as frontman for The Hold Steady, sat down with Ron Placone at a coffee shop in East Nashville. Topics include the Punk and Hardcore movements of the 80s and 90s, Poetry and Literature, Spirituality and Religion, Rock ‘N’ Roll, Songwriting, why Craig doesn’t like Jim Morrison, the comparisons to Bruce Springsteen, Minneapolis, Brooklyn, the Replacements, and last but certainly not least, Craig’s first solo effort, Clear Heart Full Eyes, and his upcoming album and tour. YES!!

For more interviews like this check out Ron Placone and the Indie Bohemians Morning Show.

If the above player doesn’t work, go here.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

James Jesso & Benton Rooks On Ayahuasca and Psilocybin

I caught up with my friend James W. Jesso recently to ask him some questions regarding psychedelic culture and his new book The True Light Of Darkness

————-

BR: As of late you’ve been having jungle journey’s in Peru with our mutual friend author/filmmaker Rak Razam. What are some of the qualitative differences you’ve seen between traditionally brewed ayahuasca and psilocybin? I know you have explored the latter in your book Decomposing the Shadow, which is one of my very favorite reads on the subject (and also one of the few!). More recently you have explored the former in your essay ‘Ayahuasca and I’.

JJ: Yes, I went to Peru in September of 2014 and attended one of Rak’s retreats as a part of that adventure. What led me to the jungle was one of those synchronistic arrangements of opportunity and timing that seem to sing to some grander frequency pattern that undertones a harmony between one’s purpose and the unfolding of space/time events; a set of opportunities I just couldn’t turn down.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

A Universe of Causes [Interview with Physicist George Ellis]

We assume that effect follows cause. But could this most basic of beliefs be mistaken?

nothing 1

Mathematician George Ellis made his name focusing on some of the big questions of cosmology and relativity. Along with Stephen Hawking, he co-authored 1973’s The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, which attempted to describe the very foundations of space itself.

More recently, Ellis has been focusing on top-down causation – the process by which higher level organised systems, such as humans, interact with their own component parts. His theories have important repercussions across many fields of research – from consciousness and free will to understanding quantum phenomena. Ellis is also an active Quaker and was a vocal opponent of apartheid during the 1970s and ‘80s.

We spoke to Ellis about his theories, their implications, and the reasons behind certain resistance to these ideas.

What exactly is top-down causation?

A key question for science is whether all causation is from the bottom up only.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Political Apocalyptic Witchcraft


Witchcraft — The very name of this ancient religion has been one of the longest enduring means to induce a community to panicked frenzy. Even in 2015 you don’t need to go far to find witchcraft’s continued legacy of damnation by other religions. Witchcraft is so hated that the very word “witch” is still used throughout the world to oppress. To be a witch is de facto guilt, not uncommon to be followed by public humiliation, mutilation, and death.

In this 38-minute talk called Fly on the Wings of the Storm, Peter Grey of Scarlet Imprint and author of Apocalyptic Witchcraft urges his fellow witches to awaken to the historic “battlefield” and current state of That Old-Time Religion. Drawing a parallel between the current ethics and practices of global war, endless urbanization, the surveillance state, and planetary climate catastrophe with the religion’s historically near-ubiquitous persecution, Grey urges witches to suspend their differences and begin including a more politically-conscious dimension to their religion.… Read the rest

Continue Reading