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NoP: Leshonkii

Season 4, Ep. 7

The following is a transcript from a lecture I delivered at A Night of Philosophy, a free event that hosted 62 international philosophers and 12 artists on April 24, 2015 from 7pm to 7am simultaneously at the French Embassy and The Ukrainian Institute on New York City’s Upper East Side. I was invited as an artist, and I chose the subject of the shape-shifting character Leshonkii, of Ukrainian, Russian and Slavic folklore, to adapt to the site of the Ukrainian Institute. As an artist, the logical shape to shift into was that of a philosopher. I delivered my lecture in a crowded auditorium on The Philosophy of the Comic and Tickling at 03:50 am. I have no audio or video documentation of the event, so this is a post-performance presentation. The laugh tracks and supplemental audio was included in the live performance.

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NoP: Onkalo or the Contamination of Eternity

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In this lecture from The Night of Philosophy in 2019 at 05:00 am on October 06 at the New School for Social Research in New York City, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Nicolas de Warren, discusses our debt of plastic and nuclear waste. While many of us dream about augmented technology and the possibility of becoming cyborgs in the future, Dr. de Warren considers a different transformation of homo sapiens. With the prevalence, distribution and breakdown of plastics and nuclear waste into micro and nanoparticles, it is likely that we will consume so much as a species that future homo sapiens will indeed become part organic and part something else. Our waste habits produce an uncontrolled Kippleization – a term de Warren borrows from Philip K. Dick – that is guaranteed to transform the bodies of humans 100,000 years in the future. That is close to twice as long as homo sapiens have roamed the earth. The pyramids in Egypt are much younger than that, and yet the lazy gift we will saddle our descendants with will be far more cursed than the tombs of the pharaohs. In another Sci-Fi nod, this time to the Strugatsky brothers, de Warren compares us to disrespectful roadside picnickers - we have not taken from the forest everything that we brought in. Our campsite remains a mess.Nicolas de Warren is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Penn State University. He has published extensively on phenomenological subjects such as Original Forgiveness, Husserl’s Awakening to Speech, Emmanuel Levinas and the Evil of Being, Sartre’s Phenomenology of Dreaming and Towards a Phenomenological Analysis of Virtual Fictions.
12/21/2020

NoP: Racial Justice

Season 4, Ep. 4
In this lecture from The Night of Philosophy in 2019 on October 06 at 01:00 am at the New School for Social Research in New York City, professor of philosophy at CUNY Graduate Center Charles W. Mills spoke on the topic of Racial Justice. Dr. Mills charges the conceptions of T-justice (over-arching theories of Justice) by the Western European male canon of analytic philosophy with not accommodating G-justice (justice for those grouped as women, people of color, working class and LGBTQIA+, to name a few). Rather than taking the abolitionist road and starting from scratch, Mills takes the critical theory approach and finds salvageable material in, for instance, John Rawls’ Theory of Justice. Just as we continually try to amend the Constitution of the United States which was written by and for rich, Anglo-Saxon, slave-holding men, Mills suggests that we can reconstruct bits from the white supremacist tradition of analytic philosophy in order to make things right for other folks. He sees one path to corrective justice through a re-imagining of Rawls’ Veil of Ignorance and conceiving Justice for, what he calls, ill-ordered societies.Charles W. Mills works in the general area of social and political philosophy, particularly in oppositional political theory as centered on class, gender, and race. He is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters, as well as five books. His books include The Racial Contract (1997); Blackness Visible: Essays on Philosophy and Race (1998); From Class to Race: Essays in White Marxism and Black Radicalism (2003); Contract and Domination (co-authored with Carole Pateman, 2007); Radical Theory, Caribbean Reality: Race, Class and Social Domination (2010) and the forthcoming, Black Rights/White Wrongs: The Critique of Racial Liberalism. Dr. Mills is a professor of Philosophy at CUNY Graduate Center in NYC.His full essay on Racial Justice can be found at the Aristotelian Society: https://academic.oup.com/aristoteliansupp/article/92/1/69/5032731