I invited my friend Manotti to try out vlogging (which auto-corrected to flogging, by the way). Just in case no one reads blogs anymore I figured I’d try out making video for no one to watch. This reminds me of something a colleague and I once discussed: since primary sources are better to assign in philosophy classes, but students don’t read what is assigned anyway, it is better that they not read the primary sources than not read the crappy textbook. Whatever.
So here are three videos we made based on questions we each wrote. It’s heavy philosophy, so buckle up. In the end I am not sure we accomplished anything, but we had fun. In the Socratic tradition these are “aporetic”, and perhaps that’s how it should be. Either way, we’re two traditionalist dudes who are yakking just after Sunday Mass, and that means we’re a little formally dressed and wired on coffee and donuts. Manotti didn’t want anyone to know, but he spilled water all over his shirt, which is why he’s wearing a jacket.
Question One: Which is primary – the Good, the True, or the Beautiful?
Manotti asks me about the three transcendentals, one of my favorite topics. We have a very good conversation, and Manotti makes some valuable insights and then nearly commits the heresy of Sabellianism. I think you’ll like this one.
Question Two: Is there room in our contemporary moral world for a Platonic notion of the Good?
When we decided to do this we both wrote down our questions, not letting the other know what they were. It seems we had some similar themes in mind. Here I ask Manotti about whether or not we can envision a morality based on something like the Platonic Good. In other words, is there an overarching sense of the Good that we should be striving for? We go deep on this one. Very deep. I bring up Augustine. Manotti brings in Leibniz. Whenever Leibniz enters the room things get nutty.
Question Three: How and When Did the West Go Wrong in its Thinking, pt. 1
This was a fun conversation. Manotti asks me about if and when the West went off course. I propose a broad answer is with the Cartesian turn, but more acutely in post-enlightenment thinking. We never finished, then decided to eat sauerkraut and keilbasa, and call it a day. We’ll finish this one later. IT WENT THAT WELL!
OH WHAT A SCHOLAR!