Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The Philosophy Show

It's always really good to do something which you've been meaning to do for some time, and this morning's  installment of 'Widsith and Deor Present...' on Phonic FM on modern philosophy, was just that. Philosophy is a passion of mine, if in a hobbyist/slacker way. I love the history of ideas, the way that philosophy forms the backdrop to most if not all other disciplines, the way in which it critiques assumptions and looks at the scaffolding of language and culture that most of us take for granted. I love the way it makes you look at the world in a whole new light, and can make you change for the better. And I love the crazy quirky tales of how some books were written or recorded or lost and re-found, the wacky lives of many philosophers, ancient and modern, and just the whole way it seems to light up art and literature.
   So it was great to do a show just devoted to discussing it. We talked of how modern philosophy was probably to be charted from Nietzsche; Foucault's remarkable and eye-opening take on how the idea of sexuality has changed with technology and conceptions of what society's all about, from hanging to health care. Of Heidegger's Being and Time; of the difference between the Continental and analytic (or ordinary language as it used to be called) traditions in philosophy; of Deleuze's idea of the Event, very fruitfully I thought, and of course, of how the Stand Up Philosopher's performances came about! And we played one recording (a great piece, though the sound was a bit echo-y), and Deor performed the other. The show, punctuated with wonderful music from Debussy, Bizet and Britten, went all too quickly. We could have discussed just Foucault for a whole show, and we didn't have time to talk about the book I'd brought along, Foucault's beautiful and dynamic homage, art/criticism, work of philosophy 'This is Not a Pipe' - about (of course) Magritte, one of his favourite artists. There was also a lot more that could have been said about what it means to turn the history of thought and philosophy into theatre, but we did touch on the fact that of course, once philosophy was essentially oral, and changed its character with the printing press and so on. We could have gone on all day! But apart from anything else, it's in the nature of radio to have bite sized chunks of subjects. When you present a show, on any kind of radio station, it gives you some insight into why presenters and DJs sound as they do, and why programmes get studded with music or are only certain lengths.
    However, we also managed to record it, so it should soon be up on the 'Widsith and Deor presents...' site (link to the right).

    The Stand Up Philosopher will be appearing at the HowTheLightGetsIn Festival of philosophy and music in Hay-on-Wye, which runs during the same period as the Hay Literature Festival (26th May - 5th June) and the show is on the  on the 3rd of June, so do come along if you can!

Check out the HowTheLightGetsIn Festival of philosophy & music at;

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