Episode 19 - Social Science: Historicism, Social Engineering, and the Case of Edward Bernays

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Who was right? Plato, Aristotle, neither, or both? Tough questions deserving a lifetime of study, or so thinks MoFo. What did Karl Popper think? (Hint: It wasn’t Plato!) Once Popper distinguishes historicism from social engineering as two strains within social thought, the strange case of Edward Bernays may make your skin crawl. As Bernays may have intended it! Listen in . . .

Episode 18 - Discursive Thinking, Meditation, and Contemplation

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MoFo goes whack-a-mole as thoughts wax irrepressible in this whacky episode.

Episode 15 - Time: Part 1

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What is time? MoFo knows until you ask him. So, we listen to Augustine, Lakoff & Johnson, and Douglas Rushkoff of the Team Human Podcast write about it instead. “Seeing Double” by Larry May and Larry Fike.

Episode 9 - Taking Notes, Listening to Lectures, and Other Unpopular Habits

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Descartes (1596-1650) is most famous for saying, “I think, therefore I am.” But he also had four “rules” for the right conduct of human understanding and progress, and these rules constituted his method. Guess what his fourth rule was? Take notes! Find out why. And then recommend this podcast to one friend who suffers from insomnia, or who lays claim to boredom.

Episode 8 - The Misery of Tyrants: Plato's Republic, Book IX

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“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” -Eleanor Roosevelt. MoFo allows Plato to fill his mental content and speak to us today about the psychological origins of tyranny. Written in 380 BCE, you the listener can judge the relevance of its psychological pronouncements for the twenty-first century.

Episode 7 - Bibliomania: For the Love of Books

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Middlemarch author George Eliot’s actual name was Mary Anne Evans (22 November 1819 - 22 December 1880). Here is MoFo’s Booklist.

Episode 5 - Logos, Logocentrism, and 'Marriage'

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‘Logos’ can mean: story, explanation, narrative, account, argument, reason, word (or, Word) . . . and the list goes on. Heraclitus said we breathe the Logos in and out, but fail to recognize its significance. The concept of Logos is deeply entrenched in at least Western thought, and from it we get logic, logo, biology, psychology, geology, sociology . . . and that list continues as well. MoFo thinks we have an uneasy relationship with the distinct roles played by the mind and the language we use to express it: we are logocentric. What’s happened in recent decades around the word ‘marriage’ illustrates that this blind spot in our thinking is not neatly divided along political lines - which is good - but due instead to the vestiges of magical thinking - which ain’t so good.

Episode 4 - Opinions, Beliefs, and Knowledge: A Nested Hierarchy

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“Is that just your opinion, or is it a fact?” Such confusion! Let’s try to clear this mess up once and for all, even if it takes twenty nuanced episodes. Join MoFo for the second in a series of reflections that have as their end the social goods of cooperation, coordination, human understanding and eventual flourishing!

Episode 3 - What the Fact, MoFo?!

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Facts, facts, facts . . . Is there any end to them? What is a fact? Are there alternative facts? What does that even mean? Why do people like facts, and what role do they play in civil society? Does it matter? Is all this as complicated as we make it sound sometimes, or is there a shortcut that can enable us to see facts as wonderful, and representative of a concept that is easily understood?

Hear “Seeing Double” sung and produced by Larry May, as sampled in this episode. See Justin McBrayer’s article, as alluded to in this episode. Read MoFo’s article, “Seattle is North of Portland” in Fike’s blog! Finally, check out the current world population (human-wise).

Sorry for the popping noises, Boo - I’m still learning.

Episode 2 - Human Flourishing, Aristotelian-Style

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“How are you? I’m good.” Why do we begin conversations this way? Are we all, as a species, striving to be good? Are we cooperative well-wishers, and is this a part of our biology? Aristotle thought he knew, and therapists seem to think that they do, too. Maybe it “takes an internet” to maximize human flourishing. So join the conversation!

[‘Casuistry’ was misspelled during the broadcast, and it means: the resolving of moral problems by application of theoretical rules to particular instances.]

Episode 1 - What the heck am I, or are we, doing here?

Fike introduces his new podcast: Is this even a good idea? What’s its purpose? What is “MoFo”? Should we live in our vehicles and stop paying rent? Everybody loves to talk about the importance of critical thinking, but what is it?

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