Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

This is a video essay about how themes of selfhood and slavery are explored in the fourth season of HBO’s GAME OF THRONES.
It was originally published on Tower of the Hand in 2014.

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This is a video essay looking at how Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974 thriller The Conversation explores the psychology of sound. In particular: Kaja Silverman’s theory of the “maternal voice”.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

The maternal voice is a fantasy of origins: a representation of an individual’s pre-lingual, pre-cultural form, and their inauguration into subjectivity. Kaja Silverman writes that it is “a moment prior to the creation of the world”, when the infant is wrapped in the “sonourous envelope” of the mother’s voice, and unaware of its own selfhood (72). However, this state of “uterine night” is soon severed once the child becomes aware that it is a separate entity from the mother, thus establishing the subject-and-object (73). This realisation creates in the individual a feeling of incompleteness, and a desire return to the “bath of sound” the mother has nourished them with, which now serves as the “prototype for all subsequent auditory pleasure” (84). The fantasy contrasts the maternal “voice” (which is identified with sound and sense) with the paternal “word” (which is identified with meaning). From a psychoanalytic viewpoint, the subject enters language and symbolic order, but yearns to return to the pre-lingual “wholeness” of the maternal voice (Zizek 47). (more…)

David Hume — Is there a Self?

Posted: January 15, 2014 in Philosophy
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This is a video essay looking how philosopher David Hume questions the existance of the “self”, and tries to define what it means.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

In the broadest possible terms, the “self” can be defined as the unique identity of a person over time. It is a source of consciousness within a unified being. It is the “agent” responsible for the thoughts and actions of an individual. It can also be interpreted as the traits and characteristics of a person, as observed by others. Some philosophers have argued that a person is their memories—that we define ourselves by past experience—though perhaps the self is the spirit, or maybe it is the body the houses it. David Hume argues that the self is an illusion. (more…)