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Philosophy Cafe 1: Introduction to the podcast


First session of new, weekly, "Philosophy to the People: Philosophy Cafe" Podcast Note: Low tech, so some patches of frozen screen. Working on removing them going forward. Please be patient.


Moderator: Philosophy Professor Rick Repetti CUNY/Kingsborough


Guests: Mark Pellegrino (actor: Supernatural, Lost, Dexter, etc.) Mark Gleason (founder and co-host of Level to Power podcast) Niaz & Mike (podcasters from The Other Half) Jennifer, Elly, Angel, and Michael (Twitter philosophy thread friends)


Random topics included: The formal structure of the method of "Socratic Dialogue" the Golden Rule vs. the Silver Rule, falsifiability vs. verification as criteria for the scientific status/meaningfulness of hypotheses/claims, CRT (critical race theory) as unfalsifiable, James Lindsay's analysis of Marcuse's cycle of power, the metaphysical status of color (subjective or objective) and how opposing answers lead to objectivism vs, skepticism, steel men vs straw men, question-begging without circularity, ideas vs identities, the rise of oxymoron postmodern narratives, rules of engagement in debate, difficulty debating on Twitter, confirmation bias, participants' expectations and values regarding their participation in difficult Twitter venues and on this and related podcasts, possible topics for next week's podcast: ethical egoism, rational emotion, rational volition, whether emotion or volition are voluntary (subject to free will), knowledge vs. certainty, art, whether inner peace is attainable, philosophical analysis of color, rules of debate, Golden/Silver Rules, motive whispering.

Philosophy Cafe 2: ART (4.4.2021)

Moderator: Philosophy Prof. Rick Repetti, CUNY/Kingsborough


Participants: Mark Pellegrino, Mark Gleason, Mike Sebach, Rose Richards, Angel, Jennifer, Lu, Kameiko (Ally) Main


Topic: Philosophical inquiry into the nature of art. What is art? Are there criteria for what counts as art and what does not, such that a complete definition can be stated that includes all and only things that are art, and excludes only everything that is not art? What is good art? Possible criteria: clarity, symmetry, composition, intentionality, representational, etc.; whereas some good art may lack these, e.g., Renoir’s art has rich character. Is photography art, and if so, under what conditions/criteria? What is the Objectivist view of art, as espoused by philosophers such as Ayn Rand? Art preferences as mirroring, expressive of, personal values, analogous to sexual preferences as concretization and expression of personal values. Discussion of some Objectivist beliefs about and attitudes towards different types of art, and different criteria that make something count as art or good art. Objectivists’ motto, “check your premises”, serves as a way to interrogate one’s values through their visibility in one’s artistic preferences, e.g., why do I love this piece? Considerations of artists’ intentions, on the creator side of art, versus interpreters’ and consumers’ perspectives, and the extent to which either or both of these may or may not be objective and/or subjective. Rand’s view and examples of (her own literary) art as depicting values that are high (aspirational, idealizing, inspiring) as intentionally contrasted against and depicting values that are the low opposites (demeaning, cynical, destructive, death-oriented, darkness, iconoclastic, etc.). Discussion of a tendency among some Randians to replicate her personal tastes in art, e.g., Classical music vs. rock, misunderstanding the idea that it is not necessarily a type of art that is of positive or negative value, but the reasons an individual likes or dislikes a certain piece or type of art, which is relative to their value structure, experiences, etc. Analogies with aesthetic tastes in food, personal/subjective reasons for liking/valuing heritage foods, music, etc., despite their possibly being excluded as art. Art vs. decoration. Originality/creativity vs. replication/duplication vs. representational/reality-depicting.


Tangential topics: Samuel Meisner, Meisner work, mindful listening, speaking, focusing, etc. Free will and the internal/external factors that thwart its exercise.

Philosophy Cafe 4: 
Free speech & cancel culture. 4.18.2021

Moderator: Philosophy Prof. Rick Repetti, CUNY/Kingsborough


Participants: Mark Pellegrino, Ally, Lu, Elly, Rose Richards, Angel, Michael

Other Topics: The Chauvin trial; double standards (speech is violence & silence is violence); BLM co-founder Patrice's Marxist mansions; no redemption in woke religion except for conversion to woke; Pretty Baby vs. Cuties: Objectivist justifications for free speech are epistemic (knowledge of reality is based on free thought, and free thought requires free exchange of thought); speaking truth to power; analogy with separation of church and state; The suicide of the West by Jonah Goldberg; Michael Malice and libertarian anarchism; anarchy and woke ideology share hatred of the history of government, but anarchists want to eliminate government whereas the woke want to utopianize it; Lovecraft Country; Storefront; difficulty letting go of long-term affiliation with political party and associated friends.

Philosophy Cafe 5: Random Topics. 5.16.2021

Philosophy Cafe 6: Capitalism. 5.23.2021

Moderator: Mark Gleason, Level to Power podcast

Co-host: Philosophy Prof. Rick Repetti, CUNY/Kingsborough


Participants: Ally, Lu, Elly, Rose Richards, Angel, Michael, Jenn, Ben (Yaksa Zen), Kianu

Other/Related Topics: Universal basic income, universal health care, North vs. South Korea, capitalism vs. socialism, Rawls' veil of ignorance thought experiment and objections, disability, etc.


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