Posts Tagged ‘dr. cornel west’


Dr. Cornel West at Skidmore

by adminadam in education, videos

Key Ideas from This Talk:

  • No man is an island; we’re all ‘born in funk’ and we all will ‘die in the funk’.
  • Denial, dodging, and dismissal of death, maximum distraction and “deodorized” discourse.
  • Learning to die, through/with Philosophy, as a means to real growth.
  • A more just society requires more critical, courageous thinkers that can even give up their dogmas when necessary.
  • Holding opposing ideas simultaneously in our head, and yet still continuing to function, e.g. the U.S. as both a Noble Experiment in Democracy and an Ignoble Experiment in Empire.


The Examined Life

by adminadam in videos

Dr. Cornel West on the importance of philosophy and the examined life. He says so much in every sentence, I had to watch it at least three times to take it all in. We are being towards death. We have desire in the face of death. We face dogmatism and attempt dialogue within a cultural sphere quite limited by the structures of domination. We wrestle with it all, as he says, trying to keep alive democracy and individual dignity at the same time. I haven’t watched the film yet, but I will post here when I do…

The Actual Movie: Examined Life (IMDB: 7.1/10 rating)

“The first step towards philosophy is incredulity.” — Diderot


A Habitual Vision of Greatness

by adminadam in videos

Reject the temptations of success, throw back the status symbols, says Dr. West. It takes courage to think for oneself, but is necessary for one’s own freedom and happiness. Bravery is necessary for greatness, and this is what we should strive for.

He said it before, the current generation will have to retrain their minds to look past success, and to look to a higher place:

I remind young people everywhere I go, one of the worst things the older generation did was to tell them for twenty-five years “Be successful, be successful, be successful” as opposed to “Be great, be great, be great”. There’s a qualititative difference.

See another powerful video of Dr. West speaking at Brown University. And keep in mind your vision of personal greatness, make it a habit of mind to retain your focus on it. Make life about more than just commodities. As the Doctor said, sadly we have to learn to recognize the nihilism and destitution that our culture encourages so effectively. And that’s where the fight begins. That’s where we begin to hack our own destinies.