Zizek – the Refugee Crisis

http://inthesetimes.com/article/18605/breaking-the-taboos-in-the-wake-of-paris-attacks-the-left-must-embrace-its For those on the Left, Zizek’s claims that capitalism is one of the (indirect) causes of the refugee crisis is not controversial. If you accept this premise, which Zizek’s audience typically does, the debate concerning the refugee crisis centers around what the (capitalist) West is obligated to do for the refugees. For Zizek the… Continue reading Zizek – the Refugee Crisis

Ibn Rushd – the Qur’an and Philosophy 

Ibn Rushd, known in the Western world as Averroes, wrote summaries and commentaries of Aristotle that made the philosopher  intelligible for the Muslim world in the 12th century, but his legacy is the impact his commentaries had on Jewish and Christian philosophy. St. Aquinas referred to Aristotle as the Philosopher, and Ibn Rushd as the… Continue reading Ibn Rushd – the Qur’an and Philosophy 

Pascal -the Wager

The French scientist/mathematician/philosopher Descartes argued that since we cannot trust our senses, we should only believe what can be known with certainty. He was able to satisfy his doubt first with an argument that he existed, and then that God existed.   Blaise Pascal rejected Descartes’s attempt to know God through reason. Pascal was also… Continue reading Pascal -the Wager

Descartes – the Doubt Methodology

During the 17th and 18th centuries, in Europe the Enlightenment introduced the scientific method, which reshaped their conception of truth. Philosophers in the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian worlds during the Middle Ages constructed metaphysical frameworks, not unlike those of Plato and Aristotle. Science was quickly showing them they could not trust their senses. Even though… Continue reading Descartes – the Doubt Methodology

Klein – Capitalism vs. The Climate

The Dead Parrots have been discussing justice for a couple years. Some readings have been purely theoretical. A few have been practical. This reading is somewhere in between. Naomi Klein argues that humans have not adequately addressed the greatest crisis humanity has ever faced because the reigning ideology of the day forbids considering climate change… Continue reading Klein – Capitalism vs. The Climate

West – Race and Social Theory

Cornel West proposes that a genealogical materialist methodology is necessary in order to understand African American oppression. West’s vocabulary is tremendous, and he can be quite loquacious, assuming his audience is as well read and well spoken as himself. “Genealogical” and “materialist” are two terms with specific philosophical definitions that he fails to explain. If… Continue reading West – Race and Social Theory

Engels – The Principles of Communism

The revolution will start in England, America, France, and Germany, the developed nations, and then spread to the rest of the world. It is only a matter of time before the workers rise up against their oppressors. In the past, as technology evolved, social relations consequently changed. In every era there exists a class that… Continue reading Engels – The Principles of Communism

Mill – Justice as Utility (Utilitarianism)

When we read Foucault we talked about the panopticon, a brilliant conceptual design intended to keep prisoners under control by making them aware of the fact that the prison guard, which they could never see, might be watching them at any moment. This was considered a great humanitarian move because it did not rely on… Continue reading Mill – Justice as Utility (Utilitarianism)