Category: Culture and Value

  • Varieties of Nationalism

    by Mark English ___ Patriotism comes in many shapes and sizes. It remains a key factor in politics and international relations. In this episode, Mark English continues his reflections on patriotism and nationalism, referring to a curious and revealing passage from Margery Allingham’s 1941 novel, Traitor’s Purse. Reference is also made to criticisms of previously-expressed […]

  • Nationalism

    by Mark English ____ Gottlob Frege’s organicism and his (surprisingly strong) patriotic commitments were mentioned in a previous episode of Culture and Value. In this episode, Mark English offers a culture-based perspective on the topics of nationalism and political myth, highlighting the tensions between political and more organic cultural elements, and recommending a pragmatic and […]

  • Frege’s View of the World

    by Mark English ____ Gottlob Frege was a mathematician with strong philosophical interests and preoccupations. In an attempt to discover and make explicit the logical foundations of mathematics he developed — almost singlehandedly — the basic ideas of the predicate calculus. But he also had deep and compelling views on language and an appreciation of […]

  • Individualism and cultural embeddedness

    by Mark English ___ Mark English talks about his general goal of presenting and defending a form of individualism which takes seriously our cultural embeddedness, noting that universal political prescriptions – to the extent that they can be applied at all – are rarely successful. He refers to the surprising origins of neo-liberalism in Europe […]

  • Close Reading

    by Mark English ___ Young children are notoriously bad liars, but even mature and sophisticated users of language reveal themselves in ways of which they are all too often unaware. Listeners and readers inevitably make judgments based not so much on the literal meaning of what we say as on what they perceive to be […]

  • Politics and personal values; Taiwan and U.S. interventionism

    by Mark English ____ Personal and political values can be intertwined in complicated ways and, even within close families, there are often serious, politically-driven divides. Mark English talks about the way his own foreign policy views and attitudes have changed. He refers to the influence of his father on his own views and also to […]

  • The Curious Persistence of Cold War Thinking

    by Mark English ___ Great powers in decline are often more dangerous than rising powers. The leaders of such countries (today’s United States?) may be tempted to take drastic action in an attempt to stem perceived decline and restore the status quo ante or simply to distract from domestic problems. Mark English argues that, though […]

  • Chinese General’s Daughter

    by Mark English ____ Mark English recounts some details of the life, character, beliefs and attitudes of a remarkable woman. Her father was a Chinese general and a colleague of Mao Zedong. As a very small child — during the chaos of the Cultural Revolution — she was sent to the countryside for a time […]

  • Announcing our newest podcast, “Culture and Value”

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ The Electric Agora is proud to announce its newest podcast, hosted by our own Mark English, “Culture and Value.” The podcast will be audio only, and available on all the podcast-apps on which our other podcasts are found.  Mark describes the project in this brief, introductory episode. https://youtu.be/NV8ZQT_Fntw