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Hardcore Philosophy

Hardcore Philosophy

Author: eRochefoucauld

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Philosophy should expand our lives, not just our vocabulary.

Philosophy is often treated like a “museum of ideas” to be observed from a distance and in a safe, sterile setting. It also brings about thoughts of elitism or the ivory tower. Many use the tool to tell us that we can never hope to know anything and that our lives have no meaning, while offering us no set of tools to build a foundation or find our personal meaning.

This is not what the Hardcore Philosophy podcast is about.

I believe that philosophy is for everyone. It is meant to expand, uplift, and improve our lives, no matter who we are.

The Hardcore Philosophy podcast features a bit of everything – Philosophy, psychology, history, religion, science, culture, politics, and more. From Aristotle to Zarathustra, I am passionate about a wide range of topics and utilize many traditions. I do this because the world is big and complex, and so is our life. It is unlikely that one school of thought will serve us in every situation. We therefore need an arsenal of good ideas to live well.

Hosted by Evan Thomsen, the Hardcore Philosophy podcast is made and delivered with a hammer.

How did we pass from barbarism to civilization? How do we become worthy of happiness? How do we master our will and explore the Truths of the world and within us? I care about these questions, and plan to spend the next several decades talking about them, with you.
36 Episodes
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eR 30 | An Epic of Masculinity
When good men sit down, bad men stand up. When masculine virtues are ignored, masculine vices reign. When kings are told to go away, tyrants take their place. This is not just a description, but a strategy.This results in a world where a plurality of masculine figures without virtue are in leadership positions in governments, companies, and organizations. This structure is incentivized to forward and repeat the societal talking points whereby masculinity is defined as toxic. This narrative helps prevent good men from rising up.The toxic masculine narrative is the norm, of both history and today.I'm going to crush this status quo, by uplifting masculine idealism.It is a simple formula. Competence + Ethics. This is the masculine ideal.We are a species that doesn’t do well with nuance. We see so many bad men in the world and in the news, and we drift towards simple answers: men are bad. With this we forget that our last and best hope against tyranny is the development of masculine ideals and virtues.It is for this reason that stories about the positive masculine (and omens about the negative masculine) have survived and thrived for thousands of years.I’m going to crush the historic and modern status quo that defines all men as toxic, not by offering my critique of their position, but by offering the alternative. The alternative are these stories and lessons from history, philosophy, and idea. These stories have one purpose: uplift the positive masculine, and teach masculine ideals.
eR 25 | A Philosophy of Trash, Garbage, and Waste
As the world becomes wealthier, more connected, more educated, and more metropolitan - we create more trash. And our population is growing, faster than ever. From the American Revolution, to the end of WWI, our world population grew by 1 billion. From the day the World Trade Center Towers fell, to the day Osama Bin Laden was killed, our population grew by the same amount. Every day, we produce more waste than the day before. So what are we going to do? Now I'm an optimist about our future. I quite agree with Steven Pinker and his book Enlightenment Now. I know I've already made the controversial statement of admitting my fondness for people, and yes this includes my neighbor and the people who voted differently than me. So, I suppose I won't do too much damage by agreeing with Pinker and saying that the world is fantastic. We have certainly progressed. But that is part of the point - waste is endogenous to progress. Inefficiency to efficiency. Failed attempts to successful ones. But we can't simply wave our hands and brush garbage under the rug with the answer that it is here to stay - at some point quantity matters and as it stands there is only one earth. So, let's talk about trash, waste, and garbage, and think about how awful the world would be if we don't find a way to deal with this problem, and paradoxically, how awful the world would be if there were no trash at all.This is Hardcore Philosophy.
eR 22 | Harris, Peterson, Zizek, & Haidt - Through the looking glass of ideological fiefdoms and metadata walls
Our species has a long history of living in tribes and fiefdoms, and we still do. Only now our fiefdoms are often created and maintained by hashtag, linguistic signaling, and online cookies. We've also spent a good amount of time building walls to create safe spaces. The irony of today's chant in the United States is that the wall is already here, only it is made of metadata, preference settings, and block lists. The now well-known graphic that shows the lack of dialogue or connection between the left and right on twitter is shocking to say the least. But more than connections in name between opposing camps, we need the spirit of dialogue. Which means a group of people who are willing to exercise a bit of intellectual doubt and show honest curiosity to how other people might form an opinion about political, social, and cultural phenomena. We all know the adage, that to know someone requires us to walk a mile in their shoes. We also know that things are easier said than done. Now I believe that philosophy is positioned to be a type of glue between competing ideas, like science, religion, history, and politics, and most certainly so during times of complexity and uncertainty. This is such a time. Because at the end of the day, philosophy is neither science, religion, history, or politics, but if it is not consulting these subjects, and more, it can never hope to be more than what Nietzsche described in Beyond Good and Evil - a species of unconscious autobiography. If you would like to support the podcast, please visit https://patreon.com/eRochefoucauld Full notes to the show can be found on our Trello board at https://trello.com/b/3TaimmHF/22-hashtag-fiefdoms-and-metadata-walls
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Comments (11)

Cory

its like listening to a speaker give a recipe for cake, but all theyre talking about is the value of the eggs.

Nov 28th
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Evan Thomsen

Cory Hey Cory, wow that's a compelling analogy. Very simple but thought provoking! I must say I agree, and appreciate this concept. I would say that this is what a mature education is – giving the ingredients, but the individual must make their own cake. Thanks! Have a great day :)

Nov 30th
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stan howlett

amazing pod cast 5 stars enlightening

Oct 9th
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stan howlett

Evan Thomsen awesome glad to here it making my way from the start , im a left leaning 21 year old and its nice to here another person resonating truth and sense , oh and you don't sound like peterson at all , im a big fan of his as well and you may take simlar ideas but your approach is very different and unique im a good way :)

Oct 24th
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Evan Thomsen

stan howlett I really appreciate the comment, Stan. :) Much more to come!

Oct 24th
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Sean Morgan

I disagree with some of your moral and social hierarchical structure but these are definitely thought provoking discussion topics. I like the other people on here comparing you to Jordan Peterson. I think I agree with you a bit more than I do Peterson but you're a bit more liberal while I consider myself a bit more conservative. Regardless, I've listened to every podcast you've put out and had the fortune of being able to work with you on a couple of occasions. Keep up the good work and continue doing great things! I look forward to working with you more in the future and I can't wait to see what you're going to accomplish.

Sep 26th
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Aedreus Shaene

I've only just started, but I want to state this brought to mind the jovial way my philo professors back in college would approach a topic they liked or even didn't like, treating it not as something to be thrown out should it not make sense or fit where we want it, but carefully thought over. It's not so much a lesson as it is an invitation to explore. With online classes being popular, this should be part of a course. Would a course be as lively!

Sep 25th
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Evan Thomsen

Aedreus Shaene I really appreciate the comment! Accreditation is expensive... but education is free.

Sep 25th
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Joey Huller

I knew something was wrong minutes into this podcast. and then he startsb using "they" over and over in a conspicuous way. And then he drops the JP bomb. And then he drops the Ayn Rand follow up. And I'm out.

Sep 3rd
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Aramithius

Yes, you dislike Hans' characterisation. We got that, loud and clear. That was about half of the entire critique of this episode. Have you ever seen The Usual Suspects? Did you like it? I don't see that having a last-minute twist that completely changes an audience's understanding of a character as a bad thing. I personally read Hans as Machiavellian. He is good or evil insofar as those actions support his goal of securing Arundale for himself. He isn't mean to anyone early on because it will not help him become its ruler. He helps the people he wants to rule to make sure he rules something. Everything he does is in service to the eventual goal of becoming ruler of Arundale. That's it. I take Frozen's main message to be one of familial loyalty and love. That siblings should stick together and support each other, do anything to help each other, that was the main thing, for me. That's why the kingdom is so readily abandoned, because the writers did not want to tell a story about rulership (as many fairy stories in general don't, actually). The family stuff is also pretty much the only narrative element that remains from the original Snow Queen tale, apart from the frozen heart. Also, does Frozen have to have a moral lesson? It had a huge impact because it was popular. Disney, while it is Disney, had no way of knowing that it would be as popular as it was. You can't write a story knowing the impact it will have, necessarily (The later Harry Pottters are an exception here, but in general). Hell, the composer of Let It Go has publicly apologised for writing it, because it got played so much. To go back to The Usual Suspects, is it a bad film because it was not trying to teach a moral lesson? No, not in the least. It was really well made, and had a compelling story. And none of the characters, so far as I can tell, were archetypes. Simply because a film does not have archetypal characters dots not make it a bad film. Frankly, I find it refreshing, because it means that I can't know every plot development 20 minutes before it happens, which I can with many films that flew archetypes. Mystery enhances the enjoyment, for me. And finally, a small stylistic point. Could you please try to speak less like Jordan Peterson? If I want to listen to him, I'll listen to him, not you. I would love to hear your own voice and idiom, not one that apes (either intentionally or not) someone else.

Aug 11th
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Evan Thomsen

Aramithius Hey James, I really appreciated reading this. Very thoughtful. I love the movie the Usual Suspects. The twist is of course what makes it so memorable - and the coherence of the film given the twist. The twist makes perfect sense, once it happens, and the explanation is intelligible. This, I argue, is not the case in Frozen. The twist just... happens? We are expected to accept this without question? No, I don't believe stories work like that! :) haha. And of course, films don't require archetypical stories. Certainly not. I do believe that Disney stories are archetypical representations, and Frozen, in my respectful opinion, falls short. I also very much appreciate the compliment and comparison to Jordan Peterson. Very much appreciated! Thank you again for the comment. I very much hope I have made myself more clear. I hope you have a wonderful day!

Sep 25th
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