In this episode, Olivia Branscum speaks with Nic Bommarito, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Simon Fraser University. We discuss the French philosopher Simone Weil (1909-1943), focusing especially on what she has to teach us about the moral value of attention and the true uses of education. Nic and I also talk about his work in Tibetan Buddhist thought and his experiences studying figures and traditions that have been excluded from mainstream histories of philosophy.
Primary Texts (by Simone Weil)
“Reflections on the Right Use of School Studies with a View to the Love of God” (written c. 1942, published in Waiting for God)
La Pesanteur et la Grâce (available in English translation as Gravity and Grace) (1947)
L'enracinement : Prélude à une déclaration des devoirs envers l'être humain (available in English translation as The Need for Roots) (1949)
Attente de Dieu (available in English Translation as Waiting for God) (1950)
“Private Solidarity” by Nicolas Bommarito (2015)
nner Virtue by Nicolas Bommarito (Oxford University Press, 2018)
Seeing Clearly: A Buddhist Guide to Life by Nicolas Bommarito (Oxford University Press, 2020)
To listen to this episode, please visit our podcast page.
In this episode, Haley Brennan talks with Dalia Nassar, senior lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sydney. We discuss the works of several German women philosophers in the late 18th and 19th centuries, including Germaine de Staël, Rosa Luxemburg, and Karoline von Günderrode. The women we discuss wrote on a wide range of topics: idealism, phenomenology, feminism, labour movements, workers’ rights, socialism, and environmental ethics. In addition to these topics, we talk about why it is that these women, who published and were discussed in their own time, have not received modern philosophical attention, the accessibility of their philosophical writings, the importance of being aware of the full range of philosophers writing and corresponding in Germany in the 19th century, and the variety of benefits that come from including the works of these philosophers in classes on German philosophy in the 19th century. We also talk about the value of being flexible and open about what counts as philosophical question, and the ways that philosophy can be applicable to real-world issues.
To listen to this episode, please visit our podcast page.
Works by German Women Philosophers Mentioned in the Episode
Unless otherwise specified, all works listed are in the public domain and are available in the original language and (often) in English translation online.
Germaine de Staël, De l’Allemange (On Germany).
Bettina Brentano von Arnim, Die Günderrode.
——, Armenbuch (The Book of the Poor).
Margaret Fuller, “Bettina Brentano and her friend Günderrode.” The Dial Vol VII.
Clara Zetkin, “In Defence of Rosa Luxemburg.”
——, “Social-Democracy and Women’s Suffrage.”
Karoline von Günderrode, “The Idea of the Earth.” Available in English in Women Philosophers in the Long Nineteenth Century: The German Tradition, edited by Dalia Nassar and Kristin Gjesdal.
Rosa Luxemburg, “Wage Labour.” Available in English in Women Philosophers in the Long Nineteenth Century: The German Tradition, edited by Dalia Nassar and Kristin Gjesdal.
Hedwig Dohm, “Nietzsche and Women.” Available in English in Women Philosophers in the Long Nineteenth Century: The German Tradition, edited by Dalia Nassar and Kristin Gjesdal.
Other Works Mentioned
Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy.
Copleston, A History of Philosophy.
Women Philosophers in the Long Nineteenth Century: The German Tradition, edited by Dalia Nassar and Kristin Gjesdal, New York: Oxford University Press, 2021.
Nassar, Dalia. “The Human Vocation and the Question of the Earth: Karoline von Günderrode’s Philosophy of Nature.” Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 20, 2021.
It’s time for the second episode of New Voices in Philosophy. In this episode, Olivia Branscum talks with Christina Van Dyke, professor emerita of philosophy at Calvin University, about women philosophers in the medieval Latin west. We discuss the contemplative and mystical traditions of philosophy in the middle ages, which focused on an engaged, practical search for truth rather than the abstract arguments that dominated other philosophical traditions. Many women medieval philosophers – such as Julian of Norwich, Angela Foligno, Catherine of Siena, Hadewijch, Margaret Ebner, and Hildegard von Bingen – were writing in the contemplative and mystical traditions, so recovering their work involves learning about different philosophical forms and genres. We also talk about the value of being yourself when pursuing academic philosophy.
Madeleine Birdsell provided research for this episode. To listen to this episode, please visit our podcast page.
We hope you enjoy! Thanks for listening.
Works by Medieval Women Philosophers Mentioned in the Episode
Julian of Norwich, Shewings: Revelations of Divine Love. Available in modern English from Paulist Press and W.W. Norton & Co.
Angela Foligno, Il Libro della Beata Angela da Foligno (Book of Visions and Instructions). Complete works available in English translation from Paulist Press.
Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue of Divine Providence. Catherine also wrote numerous letters and prayers that remain extant. The Dialogue is available in English translation from Newman Press. An English-language anthology of her main ideas (drawn from the Dialogue, selected letters, and prayers) is available from ACMRS (Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies).
Hadewijch composed poems, letters, and a visionary text. Complete works available in English translation from Paulist Press.
Margaret Ebner, Offenbarungen (Revelations). Available in English translation from Paulist Press.
Hildegard von Bingen was a relatively prolific author. Several of her best-known treatises are listed below, all of which can be found in translation.
Scivias (Know the Ways), available in English translation from Paulist Press.
Liber Vitae Meritorum (Book of the Rewards of Life), available in English translation from Garland.
Liber Divinorum Operum (Book of Divine Works/Book of the Operations of God), available in English translation from The Catholic University of America Press.
Physica, available in English translation from Healing Arts Press.
Causae et Curae (Causes and Cures), available in English translation from MedievalMS.
Other Texts Mentioned in the Episode
The Cambridge History of Medieval Philosophy, ed. Robert Pasnau in association with Christina Van Dyke.
Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics
Articles by Christina on medieval contemplative philosophy:
"From Meditation to Contemplation: Broadening the Borders of Philosophy in the 13th-15th Centuries" (for Pluralizing Philosophy’s Past – New Reflections in the History of Philosophy, eds. A. Griffioen and M. Backmann, Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming)
“Taking the ‘Dis’ out of ‘Disability’: Martyrs, Mothers, and Mystics in the Middle Ages” (for Disability in Medieval Christian Philosophy and Theology, ed. S. Williams, Routledge Press)
“Medieval Mystics on Persons: What John Locke Didn't Tell You,” for Persons: a History, ed. A. Lolordo (Oxford Philosophical Concepts Series, Oxford University Press, 2019), 123-153.
“The Phenomenology of Immortality,” The History of the Philosophy of Mind.Vol. 2: Philosophy of Mind in the Early and High Middle Ages, ed. M. Cameron. (London: Routledge, 2019), 219-239.
“‘Many Know Much, but Do Not Know Themselves’: The Centrality of Self-Knowledge in the Affective Medieval Contemplative Tradition” in Consciousness and Self-Knowledge in Medieval Philosophy: Proceedings of the Society for Medieval Logic and Metaphysics Volume 14, eds. G Klima and A. Hall (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018), 89-106.
“What has History to do with Philosophy? Insights from the Medieval Contemplative Tradition” in Philosophy and the Historical Perspective, ed. M. Van Ackeren, Proceedings of the British Academy, Oxford University Press, 214 (2018) 155-170.
“Self-Knowledge, Abnegation, and Fulfillment in Medieval Mysticism,” Self-Knowledge, ed. U. Renz (Oxford Philosophical Concepts Series, Oxford University Press, 2016) 131-145.
“Mysticism,” in The Cambridge History of Medieval Philosophy, eds. Pasnau and Van Dyke (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010) 720-34.
For information on Christina’s forthcoming book about women medieval contemplatives (and other fun stuff!), visit https://www.cvdphilosopher.net/.
Welcome to the first episode of New Voices in Philosophy. In this episode, Haley Brennan talks with Sergio Gallegos Ordorica, an assistant professor at John Jay College, about the Mexican philosopher Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. We talk about how Sergio became interested in studying Sor Juana as a philosopher, how that study can be complicated by a background in analytic philosophy, some of Sor Juana’s views on love, shame, and the self, and how her identity as a Mexican women shaped her philosophy, including her views on how philosophy can be done absent institutional structures.
Marya Jureidini provided research for this episode. To listent to this episode, please visit our podcast page.
Thank you for listening!
Texts Mentioned/Referred to in the Episode
Works by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
[we highlight in bold some secondary sources that are a good place to start further research]
Other Works Discussed and Mentioned
a post by Haley Brennan and Olivia Branscum
This is New Voices, a podcast from the Extending New Narratives in the History of Philosophy project.
This podcast consists of conversations with contemporary philosophers working on historical philosophers that are members of groups underrepresented or not very often studied or taught in a Western professional philosophical context. We talk about the views of these philosophers: what is interesting about them, what is unique about them, how they fit in to the periods that they were apart of. We also talk about what it is actually like to learn about and promote these ideas as a philosopher today: what benefits there are, what challenges there are, and just how to get going on this work.
The conversation in each episode is between a graduate student and a working philosopher, with input and questions from undergraduate researchers. Altogether, we aim to both introduce new or understudied figures and themes, and show how they have captured interest. The episodes highlight what is valuable and exciting about reading and studying these new voices at all different career stages and with all sorts of different academic backgrounds.
New Voices is produced and hosted by Olivia Branscum and Haley Brennan. Olivia is a graduate student in philosophy at Columbia University who works on late medieval and early modern philosophy of mind and metaphysics, as well as philosophy of art and environmental ethics and aesthetics. Haley is a graduate student in philosophy at Princeton University who works on historical (17th, 18th, and 19th c) and contemporary metaphysics and philosophy of mind, with a focus on the metaphysics and ethics of the self and identity. They are joined by a team of undergraduate researchers with wide-ranging interests in underrepresented figures in philosophy: Madeline Hope Birdsell, Marya Jureidini, Makena Yananiso Kiara, Petru Rosa, and Selina Wang.
We’ve had a lot of fun putting together this podcast, and we hope you tune in! A new episode will be available on the last day of every month, starting with our first episode—an interview with Sergio Gallegos Ordorica on studying Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz—on June 30th. Episodes can be found on iTunes, Spotify, or our website, newnarrativesinphilosophy.net/podcast. New Voices is a continuation of the New Narratives in the History of Philosophy podcast: past episodes can be found under that name in all the same places.
Olivia Branscum is a PhD student in Philosophy at Columbia University. She is co-producer of the ENN New Voices podcast