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The Self Under Siege: Philosophy In The Twentieth Century
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The Self Under Siege: Philosophy In The Twentieth Century

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  77 ratings  ·  7 reviews
This set of 8 lectures examines from a philosophical perspective the self under siege from the start of modernity to the beginnings of the postmodern age in the late twentieth century.
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Published 1996 by The Teaching Company (first published 1993)
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4.16  · 
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 ·  77 ratings  ·  7 reviews


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David K. Lemons
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved his recorded lectures and was heart-broken when I learned that he had died. I will listen to his interesting lectures again. People this good should never die, like good actors or musicians or writers.
Millicent Swinson
May 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
My favorite part of this lecture series is when he harangues people who use exercise bikes, but the whole thing is good.
Florian Blümm
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the single most important course on philosophy I've encountered so far and maybe ever. The lecture follows a very modern approach to a very pragmatic kind of applied philosophy contemplating 21st century life, where the "self is under siege".

Actually the lecture was recorded in the 1990s. But its appeal and relevance have only increased in the internet age. Some of the examples seem outdated, but are remarkably spot on when translated into internet parlance.

The lecturer Rick Roderick is
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Noah
Nov 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
A good lecture series on some of the most influential philosophers of the modern era. The most interesting lecture was the last one, on Jean Baudrillard and "hyperrealism", a word meaning a simulation or fiction that becomes more real than what it was meant to emulate. A very scary thought, but one that likely has more truth for our future than we would like to admit.
Arash Kamangir
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
حظ محض بردم.
Alan
Feb 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Lecturer is a bit quirky, but entertaining.
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Rick Roderick (1949–2002) was an American professor of philosophy, best known for his lectures for The Teaching Company.

Roderick was born in Abilene, Texas on June 16, 1949, son of (by his own description) a "con-man" and a "beautician". He was a teacher of philosophy at several universities, where he was much revered by many students for a Socratic style of teaching combined with a brash and ofte
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“Mass culture is enlightenment in reverse. Its goal is precisely to wipe out that last little garrison of human autonomy.” 8 likes
“The real question I am asking here is the one Marcuse asked in the sixties. How does a way of life break down? How does it break down. And Marcuse doesn’t give the pat Marxist answer, which means economically, and we ought to be glad that that pat Marxist answer is false because if a society could be driven to ruin by debt, you know, the way a lot of people said the Russians – the Soviet Union – fell because it was broke. Let’s hope that’s not true [laughs] since we are broke, let’s hope that’s false. As a generalisation, we had better hope it is false.

How do they break down? Well, here there is an analogy – for me – between the social and the self under siege, in many ways. In many ways, not in a few, and some of the symptoms we see around us that our own lives are breaking down and the lives of our society is a generalised cynicism and scepticism about everything. I don’t know how to characterise this situation, I find no parallel to it in human history. The scepticism and cynicism about everything is so general, and I think it’s partly due to this thing I call banalisation, and it’s partly due to the refusal and the fear of dealing with complexity. Much easier to be a cynic than to deal with complexity. Better to say everything is bullshit than to try to look into enough things to know where you are. Better to say everything is just… silly, or pointless, than to try to look into systems of this kind of complexity and into situations of the kind of complexity and ambiguity that we have to deal with now.”
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