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Exiting The Cave

Exiting The Cave

By Greg Gauthier
Philosophy essays, debates, discussions, and other explorations.
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Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 3, Chapter 7

Exiting The Cave

Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 3, Chapter 7

Exiting The Cave

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Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 3, Chapter 11
Philosophy and Boethius rehearse the final arguments for the unity of happiness, and the good, and Philosophy makes the case for The Good as the Telos of all things. The analysis of this episode includes an extended clip from Plato's Phaedo. If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the discussion.
31:52
November 22, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 3, Chapter 10
We have reached the summit, and Lady Philosophy now lays out the full case defending Divine Unity along Neo-Platonic lines of reasoning. This is going to be an intensely technical episode, but if you make it all the way to the end, I have a treat in store for you. Did you know that Boethius wrote his own music? We don't know absolutely for sure what it sounded like, but you may enjoy "Bella quis quinis", a work by Boethius himself. If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the discussion.
39:02
November 15, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 3, Chapter 9
We reach the end of the journey to the true good. Philosophy and Boethius have a brief dialogue on the false good, and turn toward the true good. Philosophy ends the dialogue with a prayer to the source of the One True Good (God).  If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the discussion.
23:23
November 8, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 3, Chapter 8
Lady Philosophy concludes her case against false happiness with a brief bullet-point recap, and a verse to remind us not to spend our lives looking for things where they cannot be found. If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the discussion.
09:14
November 1, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 3, Chapter 7
Boethius warns us off of bodily pleasures, through the mouth of Lady Philosophy, because they give you a hangover. Also, a segment from a lecture by Dominican Father Dominic Legge, on the question of intellectual pleasure. You can find the original lecture here. If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the discussion.
20:43
October 25, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 3, Chapter 6
Philosophy Tells us why Glory is a poor substitute for true happiness.  Also, a segment from a Paula Gooder lecture, on the question of glory. You can find the original lecture here.  If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the discussion.
18:42
October 18, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 3, Chapter 5
Lady Philosophy has been walking us through the various false routes to happiness, and this week, we revisit the question of power. If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the discussion.
16:51
October 11, 2020
Plato, Parmenides, and the Theory of Forms - An Analysis
In this podcast, I will be outlining the theory of Forms, beginning with why Plato might have concocted the theory in the first place, moving next to what exactly the theory is and how it works, and finishing up with an analysis of the criticisms of the Forms offered by Parmenides (primarily), and a few others since.  For all the snide dismissals of Plato's theory, nobody has ever bothered to explain to me why the Forms are no longer taken seriously, or how they’ve been shown to be disreputable. The point of the podcast is to answer for myself those 'why' and 'how' questions. In order to be confident of why I ought to either accept or reject this theory, I need to understand the theory, and to understand it, I need to portray it to myself, as closely as possible as Plato would have portrayed it to himself. Along the way, I hope you find this useful as well.
49:36
October 6, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 3, Chapter 4
Philosophy explains to Boethius how the pursuit of honor and respect in this world, is no path to happiness. If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the discussion.
13:23
October 4, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 3, Chapter 3
Philosophy and Boethius discuss the insufficiency of wealth to the attainment of happiness. In the analysis, we shall see that Boethius is signaling his departure from Aristotle, here. If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the discussion.
13:19
August 2, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 3, Chapter 2
Boethius debates Aristotle on the nature of the Summum Bonum, and comes down on the side of Plato. If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the discussion.
22:30
July 26, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 3, Chapter 1
Philosophy prepares Boethius for his turn toward the truth.  If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the discussion.
12:53
July 19, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 2, Chapter 8
Philosophy explains the utility of adversity to virtue, and regales us with a paean to love.  If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the discussion.
15:46
July 12, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 2, Chapter 7
Philosophy takes Boethius to task for his love of glory. She reminds him of the fleeting nature of human life, and the impermanence of fame. This is the last of the four false pursuits of happiness: wealth, power, pleasure, and honour (as Aristotle would have called them). We get a visit from Carl Sagan, at the end, echoing Philosophy's counsel on the foolishness of glory. If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the discussion.
24:50
July 5, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy - The Music Of The Consolation
This week is a musical hiatus from reading and analysis, because I have been working on my exams. Next week, normal programming will resume. But please enjoy this brief exploration of the medieval music of The Consolation.   NOTE: I did not do these interviews. They were done by Cambridge University, in an effort to promote the album created by the project discussed in the interviews. If you'd like to know more about the project, please visit their website: https://boethius.mus.cam.ac.uk/. If you'd like to purchase the album they created, you can find it on Amazon (link provided here). If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the discussion
21:57
June 28, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 2, Chapter 6
Philosophy lectures Boethius on the false promise of power, and George Orwell answers her on whether the powerful can indeed get to the rational man. If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the discussion.
16:02
June 21, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 2, Chapter 5
What do Hesiod, Boethius, and Rousseau all have in common? Listen in to find out! If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the discussion.
27:21
June 14, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 2, Chapter 4
Philosophy tells Boethius to stop whining, and check his privilege. She also makes the first argument for happiness from virtue rather than external sources. Also, a special bonus clip at the end! If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the discussion.
27:05
June 7, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 2, Chapter 3
Philosophy prepares Boethius for the hard road ahead by reminding him of the full scope of fortune’s blessings. Boethius is chastised for his excessive self-regard, and given a fresh set of reasons for eschewing his morbid despair. If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the discussion.
10:41
May 31, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 2, Chapter 2
Philosophy warns Boethius of the inevitability of his place on the wheel, and chides him for challenging this most natural state of affairs. We'll briefly explore the history and mythology of Croesis and Perseus, and then we’ll have a quick look at the problem of fate. If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the debate.
15:16
May 24, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 2, Chapter 1
Philosophy calls Boethius a stupid-head, and then gives him three arguments for why his response to fortune was foolish.  If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the discussion.
16:17
May 17, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 1, Chapters 6 and 7.
Philosophy makes her final diagnosis, outlines the three arguments, and reminds us of the alpha and omega. If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the discussion.
16:53
May 10, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 1, Chapter 5.
Boethius' final prayer of lamentation. If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the debate.
15:31
May 3, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 1, Chapter 4.
Boethius pleads his case to Lady Philosophy, and raises a charge against God himself. If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the debate.
23:02
April 26, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Book 1, Chapter 3
Philosophy reminds Boethius of the historical context within which he is situated.  If you'd like to get these podcasts in first-release, please visit my Locals Community page, and subscribe! Your subscription will also entitle you to participate in the curated discussion. Sign up now, to join in the debate.
12:52
April 19, 2020
Short Reads: The Consolation of Philosophy, Chapters 1 and 2.
Hello, and welcome to the first in a new series of Exiting The Cave short reads, made available exclusively to my Locals community. If you want to continue listening, you can sign up at this link: https://exitingthecave.locals.com This feature begins with a series on "The Consolation of Philosophy", by Anicus Manlius Severinus Boethius. Each episode will consist of a reading of one or two chapters in sequence, followed by a brief commentary offering a few insights into the text. Boethius' chapters are very short. Each consists of a single section of verse, followed by a passage of narration. So, each episode is likely to be around 15 minutes long. There are a total of 5 books, or 39 chapters. So, this series should last us a while, given one reading per week! The first episode covers both chapters one and two, of Book one. I am making this episode available to all comers to the Exiting the Cave community page, to provide a taste of what awaits those who are generous enough to support what I do
20:19
April 4, 2020
Aristotle 101: Substance In the Categories
Transcript: https://exitingthecave.com/aristotle-101-substance-in-the-categories/ The Categories is Aristotle’s first attempt to outline a theory of being, in addition to the work’s central focus, which is to provide an account of the ways in which we think about being, and beings. In total, there are ten categories of thought about being, but the core of his theory of being begins with the first category. This is what he called “substance”. This essay will summarize Aristotle’s conception of substance as he presents it in The Categories, briefly explain what distinguishes substance from the other categories, and offer some additional thoughts about the metaphysics of being, in relation to Aristotle’s mentor, Plato.
18:51
March 16, 2020
Aristotle 101: The Four Causes
Transcript Here. In the Physics, Aristotle says that we aim at understanding, which he says is to be able to give a full account of “the how and the why of things coming into existence and going out of it”. In other words, to understand something is to be able to give an explanation of how and why a thing changes. That explanation is what Aristotle means by ‘cause’. Today, thinking of explanation in terms of causes is not an alien notion. But, when we do this, we are typically only thinking in one narrow scientific sense of the term. Aristotle, however, describes a theory of causal explanation in both the Physics and the Metaphysics that includes four separate categorical senses of the term. Aristotle insists that a complete explanation will appeal to all four of these kinds of cause. In this answer, I will briefly describe the four causes, and attempt to explain why the fourth, ‘final’ cause is primary in Aristotle’s theory.
12:48
February 27, 2020
Is There A God? Part 1: Preparing to ask the first question
Transcript: https://exitingthecave.com/preparing-to-ask-the-first-question/ This post is my first foray into the question of whether or not there is a God. Before I can begin to attempt an answer, I need to explore a deeper question. Namely, what is the nature of this question? What exactly are we asking, when we ask this question? I want to suggest that this question is best understood as a fundamental choice, and that the choice is not simply one of satisfying an ontological preference, but one of universal significance. The way one answers this question will define one’s entire life, indeed all life. It will condition the content of all of one’s relationships, and predispose the outcome of every subsequent choice. It will frame every subsequent question you will ask yourself, from the nature of morality and history, to the kinds of activities you engage in, day to day. This choice lies at the center of everything it means to exist, and to be human. Which fork of the dilemma you choose, is therefore, the most important choice you will ever make.
20:55
February 21, 2020
John Holroyd, Judging Religion: A Dialogue For Our Time - Author Interview
There is good reason why some people don’t want to talk about religion in polite company. Like conversations about politics, discussions about religion all too often set people at odds with each other in ways that are hard to predict and difficult to control. For all the controversy involved with such debate, this book invites the reader to engage with an ethical appraisal of religion(s) as they are practised today. It is written in the belief that this is an important dialogue for our time. It claims, despite the emotive character of the subject, that the free exchange of ideas and experience between people of differing views and commitments can with practice generate more light than heat. Particular effort is made to answer the question: how can we fairly evaluate the ethical character of religion(s)? It focuses especially but not at all exclusively on the religions of Christianity and Islam, being critical of them in many respects; but it also offers sharp rebuke to some of the perspectives of Richard Dawkins and others among the new atheists. John Holroyd's Blog Amazon Book Page London School Of Philosophy
1:35:40
November 10, 2019
On Cultural Knowledge and Discipline
We're being robbed of our capacity for expression in more ways than just overt censorship. In the name of "liberation" from an ostensible "oppression" we are stripped of access to our cultural heritage, and denied the opportunity to learn the rules and principles that governed the creation of new art in previous generations. This is dangerous, and we ought to reject this.
33:38
June 30, 2019
The Struggle Between the Public and the Private
The role of the private sphere of life has been drastically eroded and diminished over the last twenty-five years, by the exploitation of network technology in the form of social media -- and the public scrutiny of private life doesn't stop with Twitter or Facebook. Everywhere, network connected devices are collecting data about your activities, your choices, your relationships, your habits, and your preferences. Doorbells, televisions, stereo systems, building security systems, and of course, computers and now the ubiquitous smartphone, all have microphones, cameras, GPS trackers, 'call home' beacons, and various other means of generating and vomiting data about you, to massive commercial institutions that are more than willing to hand that information over to political institutions, or even to openly publicize it for no other reason than to increase the potential for revenue generation. All digital  records are fair game for exploitation. Emails, purchase receipts, government documents, video recordings, audio recordings, private chats, even files stored on local hard disks -- if they're connected to the internet, they're "public" in some sense enough to skirt legal limits. If your mother notes your birthday on her Facebook page, your birthdate is public record. If your girlfriend breaks up with you and rants about it on Twitter, your relationship status is public record. If you add your friends to your snapchat address book, your friends contact information is public record. What's more, if it's public, the automatic assumption is that it is fodder for not just commercial, but political action. Celebrity is now an abundant commodity, diluted across the entire population of internet-connected citizens, whether it wants that status or not. If you have a phone number, you are as much a celebrity as Megan Markle. The only difference, is that not everyone has heard of you yet. Where does this leave the status of the sphere of the private? When the only barrier left between public and private, is mere ignorance of your presence in this new ubiquitous public sphere, can it really be said that there is a private sphere anymore? 
30:48
June 9, 2019
Terrorism, Power, and the Example of Christ
Transcript: https://exitingthecave.com/terror-responsibility-and-the-example-of-god/
20:28
March 31, 2019
What Is Freedom? Artur Schopenhauer and The Freedom Of The Will
Transcript:  https://exitingthecave.com/a-conversation-with-artur-schopenhauer-on-his-conception-of-freedom/ The following is a dialogue between myself and Artur Schopenhauer, in which I basically try to interrogate the text as if I were talking directly to Schopenhauer, in an interview or discussion. All of Dr. Schopenhauer’s responses below come from the text of his essay, either as direct quotes or as slight rephrasing, in order to fit them into the flow of a conversation. It should be noted that I have not read World As Will And Representation (written before this essay), and that I have only a cursory knowledge of Schopenhauer’s biography. So, it is likely that additional context might have made this more insightful. In any case, this is meant only to offer an engaging way to consider the basic ideas contained within this essay, not as a serious critique of Schopenhauer, as such. I hope you enjoy it…
21:22
March 17, 2019
The Allegory of the Cave - What it is, and what it means.
This is the first official episode of the Exiting The Cave (ETC) Podcast. What better way to kick things off, than with an explication of Plato's Allegory of the Cave?  Transcript for this episode: https://exitingthecave.com/exiting-the-cave-the-podcast-edition/
35:57
March 3, 2019