Welcome, to Still Dreaming: An Existentialist journey through our Forever Knight. This is a podcast about life, finding meaning, and dealing with the absurdity of modern living. How do we live an authentic life? Each week your host examines the current exploits of Detective Nicholas Knight, a Toronto police detective who is really an 800 year old vampire seeking to become human again. Join us as we analyze each episode through the lens of a selection of Existentialist (or related) philosophical readings.
Natalie's brother is dying, is Nick the only one who can save him? At what cost?
What is the Existentialist basis for Ethical living? If "absurdity challenges ethics" how do we reconcile the need to live in the world with others with the subjective nature of freedom?
Sources this week include:
Simone de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity, 1947. Beauvoir, Pyrrhus and Cineas, 1944. Sartre, "Existentialism is a Humanism," 1946.
Forget it, Nick, it's Chinatown.
What is the nature of the self in Daoism? How can the Dao help us understand Existentialism? What can Simone de Beauvoir tell us about the nature vengeance? Why is Schanke such an asshole? Do all Toronto gang members know Kung Fu? Tune in gentle listener...
(Wisdom comes with experience.)
Confucius. Analects. 2014. Berkeley: Counterpoint
Nivison, David. (1973). Moral Decision in Wang Yang-ming: The Problem of Chinese "Existentialism". Philosophy East and West,23(1/2), 121-137. doi:10.2307/1398068
Wang, Yang-ming. (1963). Instructions for practical living, and other Neo-Confucian writings. Retrieved from https://hdl-handle-net.kean.idm.oclc.org/2027/heb.06056.
Laozi, Zhuangzi, Confucius, & Mencius. (2013). The four chinese classics : tao te ching, chuang tzu, analects, mencius. (D. Hinton, Trans.).
Wang, Qinjie James. "It-self-so-ing" and "other-ing" in Laozi's concept of Ziran. 2003. (http://www.confuchina.com/05%20zongjiao/Lao%20Zi's%20Concept%20of%20Zi%20Ran.htm)
O'Flynn, Pauline. "A Question of Vengeance" Philosophy Now. Issue 69. 2008.
Simone de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity," 1947.
Ho, David Y. F., "Selfhood and Identity in Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, and Hinduism: Contrasts with the West," Journal for the Theory of Social behavior. 25:2. 1995.
Will Nick Perjure himself to convict a murderer? Can he ever find a place to really belong? What the is the nature of Truth? How do we determine value and ethics? What the hell is wrong with Schanke? Is the Canadian legal system really this horrifically broken?
Sources include: Sartre, Being and Nothingness. Nietzsche, The Gay Science. Heidegger, Being and Time. Charles Guignon, ed. The Existentialists. (Especially the chapters within by Guignon, Nehams, and Solomon). Dale Cannon, "An Existential Theory of Truth," The Personalist. Vol. 12. No. 2 (Fall 1996): 135-146.
In this week's episode we examine Episode 6, Season 1 of Forever Knight, entitled "Dying to Know You." What is memory? What does is it mean to lost to memory? Why is everyone just okay with this psychic tromping around a crime scene? Why does Natalie think protein shakes will help Nick? And...oh MY GOD IS THERE A MUSIC VIDEO IN THIS EPISODE?
Sources: Bergson, Matter and Memory, 1896; (I'm using the 1910 translation by Paul and Palmer). Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 1943 (Barnes translation).
In this week's installment we consider the Will to Power and an essential human drive that posits our seeking out suffering as a signal of resistance to our will. We also consider season 1 episode 5 of Forever Knight, 'Dance by the Pale Moon Light" about a stripper who seduces men to lie, steal, and kill for her. Can Nick exert his own will to keep from falling into corruption? How did Janette seduce Nick into becoming vampire 800 years ago?
Tune in gentle listeners...
Sources for this episode include:
F. Nietzsche, (1886( Beyond Good and Evil
F. Nietzsche, (1882) The Gay Science
F. Nietzsche, (1883-5) Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Arthur Schopenhauer, (1819) World as Will and Representation
Bernard Reginster, (2006) The Affirmation of Life: Nietzsche on Overcoming Nihilism
CW/TW: Mentions and discussion of suicide in this episode.
Can Nick come to terms with the death of his former lover, who takes her own life? How can we live authentically in a world of frustration and anguish? Where does Janette get her hats from?
Notes: no central text, just some general existentialism, including bits and pieces from:
Sartre, Being and Nothingness (1943)
Camus, various works.
*Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation (1859)
*Heidegger, Being and Time (1927)
*Yes, I know Schopenhauer and Heidegger were not Existentialists (and even Camus rejected the term).
I mention that we can describe Existentialism as a philosophy of "No Excuses" this is also the title of a series of lectures given by the late Dr. Robert Solomon available on The Great Courses.com about Existentialism. I'm not sponsored by that company, but I do recommend this course, it's a fantastic survey of important Existentialist ideas and readings.
Episode 04: Do I talk about Heidegger and Sartre? Yes, I do. Do we address the theme of living an existentially authentic life? YES! Does Nick get super drama-queen? ALSO YES! Will it be ready for release tomorrow?!? ...uh. No. Probably not. Sorry, guys, those stupid things called "life" and "work" have conspired to make me have to delay the release of the next episode. Please be consoled that I am taking this as a personal failure on my part, and will mentally beat myself up for it appropriately. Cheers.
Episode 3 of Still Dreaming: An Instinct of the Heart. We watch the next episode of Forever Knight, "For I have Sinned"
What can Kierkegaard tell us about hope and faith? Does Nick even want to be human if it's possible? Where does Natalie stand in the spectrum between faith and science? Why did the writers of this episode forget that Nick was IN THE CRUSADES? Why is Schanke such a sexy beast? Wait, what?
Tune in, gentle listeners...
[The sound quality is better on this one, although I did breath into the mic a couple of times, sorry. ]
Our existential wandering through Forever Knight continues with part two of the 1992 pilot.
Camus writes, "hope is disastrous for humans inasmuch as it leads them to minimize the value of this life except as preparation for a life beyond." Nick Knight's hope for salvation is precisely what damns him. His current quest for mortality is deference, a way of not negotiating the present, not accepting his current state. He pushes his Sisyphean rock up the hill angrily, already hating it for falling down the other side.
Can Nick overcome his existential dilemma? Can Schanke figure out anything? What is going on with LaCroix's haircut?
Tune in, gentle listeners, as we explore these eternal questions in our Forever Knight.
There's a series of murders in Toronto, and Nick Knight is a detective on the case, but his colleagues don't know that he's actually an 800-year-old vampire. Nick laments his status an immortal bloodsucker and hopes to someday reclaim his humanity. But can he, if he continues to be shackled to the past? Can understanding Nick's plight through the lens of the existentialist idea of the absurd (as written about by Alber Camus) help us unravel both his struggle and our own quest for meaning? Tune in, dear listener...
Camus Albert, The Myth of Sisyphus (1942)
_____. Nuptials. (1938)
Walter Benjamin, Theses on the Philosophy of History, (1940)
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Trailer and introduction: This is not a nostalgic podcast about a Canadian vampire show from the 1990s. It's about crossing over, about memory and identity and existentialism... and a Canadian vampire show from the 1990s.