Richard Tarnas is known as one of the most influential and perceptive cultural historians of our time.
In ‘Passion of the Western Mind’, he presented a vast overview of the history of western thought and culture, with predictions of where both were heading.
On its release it was hailed as a masterpiece, allowing “readers to grasp the big picture of Western culture as if for the first time”.
Twenty-five years on from its release, the world has changed dramatically, how has his thought changed? And in a time of renewed interest in philosophy and big ideas, what does Richard Tarnas make of the rise of Jordan Peterson and the Intellectual Dark Web?
In this introduction to the work and theory of René Girard, I look at mimetic desire, scapegoating, mimetic crisis, ritual, sacrifice, culture, and religion.
Rene Girard, born in 1923 and died in 2015, was a French thinker whose thought spanned across disciplines. His focus was on mythology, violence, sacrifice, and religion, but the range and implications of his thought touch on history, psychology, literary criticism, anthropology; in fact, you could list every area of the humanities here.
Girard seems to be able to supply answer to a difficult question: how and why did culture emerge?
Scholar Harald Wydra calls it a ‘fundamental anthropology’ and tells us that Girard’s thought can help us make sense of ‘humanity’s immense “progress” during the short time of its existence.’
In other words, the question is this: why did the first myths and stories emerge – culture – and how do they underpin humanity’s direction since. He’s one of those rare thinkers that can change your entire way of looking at things.
If the next years are set to be some of the most challenging humanity has ever faced, how will we get through? Jordan Hall (formerly Greenhall) has a growing reputation as one of the most insightful cultural observers, explaining the ‘Deep Code’ of society and culture. In this definitive film, he explains how the structures of civilisation are breaking down at an increasing rate, and what we can do about it – and the necessary evolution we need to make to survive.
I’ve heard it said that our relationship with our mothers forms our interior psychology and our relationship with our fathers forms our psychology with respect to others in a social structure. It seems to me that a person who disrespects an imperfect father’s weakness and vulnerability will not be formed into a person who will respect imperfect people despite their weakness and vulnerability, especially those in authority. An inability to function within functional but imperfect social structures will naturally lead one to a kind of slavery because the person will not have the social skills to take the proper role within a given social hierarchy, let alone rise in it.
Recorded on April 26, 2010
Mark Steyn, a writer, political commentator, and cultural critic, breaks down the numbers and explains why they spell doom for the Western world with Hoover fellow Peter Robinson on
Is the dedication to diversity undermining American culture? In her book The Diversity Delusion, Heather Mac Donald argues that the focus on race and gender diversity is harming society. Mac Donald and Peter Robinson discuss how she was protested off of school campuses by students because of her ideas. They discuss the collapse of free-speech ideals on college campuses in the United States and how the dedication to diversity doesn’t extend to a diversity of thought.
Mac Donald also breaks down issues of gender and racial equality. She talks about how affirmative action has not had the impact that was intended and has in fact made attending college more difficult for minorities who are accepted to schools they are not ready for. She also goes on to analyze rape culture on college campuses and posits her theories as to why discussions of sexual violence have become more prevalent now than in the past.
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