Thursday, December 9, 2010
I received my Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego in 1974. My doctoral dissertation was done under the direction of Richard H. Popkin and was entitled The Common-Sense Philosophy of Religion of Bishop Edward Stillingfleet (1635-1699). It was published by Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, in 1975.
(Hat tip to Craig Callender for the pointer.)
Friday, October 29, 2010
Morality: Brain roots of right and wrong
by Patricia Churchland
We are figuring out how the brain and its chemicals give rise to moral and social values, says Patricia Churchland
WHERE do moral values come from? Not from Plato's heaven, nor from any other. Aristotle, Confucius and Darwin all recognised valuing as a basic function of biological creatures generally, and moral valuing as a basic function of highly social and intelligent animals like humans. Until very recently, however, science could not explain how brains, built by gene networks interacting with the environment, give rise to morality.
Natural selection being what it is, caring for others must serve the fitness of the animals involved. Evolutionary biologists have developed models to show how this might work, but it is only now that neuroscientists are catching the first glimpses of how altruistic behaviour happens in the brain.
Morality seems to be shaped by four interlocking brain processes: caring, rooted in attachment to and nurture of offspring; recognition of others' psychological states, bringing the benefit of predicting their behaviour; problem-solving in a social context, such as how to distribute scarce goods or defend the clan; and social learning, by positive and negative reinforcement, imitation, conditioning and analogy. These factors result in the emergence of a conscience: a set of socially sanctioned responses to prototypical circumstances.
These four interlocking brain processes result in the emergence of a conscience
Social values, real as they are, depend on an evolutionary modification of the neural circuitry involved in basic survival. In all vertebrates, brain-stem circuitry keeps crucial parameters such as temperature and carbon dioxide and glucose levels within the right range. In order to maintain this homeostasis, the brain deploys motivations such as pain, hunger, thirst and fear, as well the complementary pleasures of food, water, sex and safety.
As the mammalian brain evolved, the homeostasis network enabling "me" to survive expanded its scope to embrace "mine", at first meaning one's own helpless offspring. Pain and anxiety responses were triggered by separation or perceived need; pleasure and comfort came with being suckled, licked and cuddled. In some species, additional adjustments in attachment circuitry widened the circle to include mates, kin and others in the group, depending on selection pressures.
At the hub of the neural circuitry of attachment are ancient peptides: oxytocin and its sibling, vasopressin. Along with other reproductive hormones and neurotransmitters, these peptides organise the circuitry in the hypothalamus, the part of the brain stem involved in attachment to "mine". Though much remains to be discovered, vasopressin seems to be related more to aggressive care, such as defence, while oxytocin dampens fear and anxiety, which feels good and is associated with trust.
The neocortex - the six-layered mantle covering the brain's hemispheres - is unique to mammals. The high cost of mammalian dependency at birth is offset by the singular advantages of new forms of learning made possible by the neocortex. In primates, the neocortex appears to be responsible for an enhanced capacity to predict others' behaviour. It also enables more abstract learning and problem-solving, as well enhanced flexibility in impulse control and social skills. These skills paved the way for the emergence of cultural institutions such as trade practices, criminal justice systems and religions - all of which served to regulate trust among non-kin and allow for a wider range of trusting relationships than isolated hunter-gathering groups could offer. In short, the brain's regulation of attachment and bonding is what makes us want to be together, to care for one another, and to value our family, friends and community. The interplay of our neural and cultural institutions comprises our moral history.
Patricia Churchland is a philosopher of neuroscience at the University of California and the Salk Institute, both in San Diego. Her book, Braintrust: What neuroscience tells us about morality, will be published by Princeton University Press in March 2011
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason: Background Source Materials
Friday, September 17, 2010
If you haven't already seen it, be sure to read the 2007 New Yorker feature on the Churchlands (full text available here; abstract below) entitled "Two Heads". The article explains how the two are able to maintain psychic unity even at a distance-- it's a bit mysterious, but there is some perfectly reasonable materialist explanation, I can assure you.
On page 59 of the magazine is a fine picture of them together, hydra-like, taken by Steven Pyke and included in his series of portraits of famous philosophers, entitled Philosophers II (Pyke also took a portrait of Richard Arneson, which I mentioned in an earlier post). Pyke also took these beautiful portraits of their individuated avatars.
Larissa MacFarquhar. "Annals of Science, 'Two Heads', The New Yorker, Feb. 12, 2007, p. 58-69.
ABSTRACT: PROFILES of Paul and Patricia Churchland. Paul and Patricia Churchland are in their early sixties and are both professors of philosophy at the University of California at San Diego (U.C.S.D.). They have been talking about philosophy together since they met; they test ideas on each other and criticize each other’s work. Some of their ideas are quite radical. The guiding obsession of their lives is the mind-body problem, or how to understand the relationship between conscious experience and the brain. In the past, everyone was a dualist. Nowadays, few people doubt that the mind somehow is the brain. Paul and Pat Churchland believe that the mind-body problem will be solved not by philosophers but by neuroscientists. Describes Pat’s childhood and background; she attended the University of Pittsburgh, where she met Paul, and Oxford. Describes Paul’s background; as a child he was influenced by the science fiction novels of Robert Heinlein. Mentions Wilfrid Sellars. Describes their jobs as professors at the University of Manitoba in the early 1970s. Mentions Pat’s study of the “split brain.” Mentions Thomas Nagel’s “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” Pat disagreed with Nagel’s assertion that science could never understand consciousness. She also objected to the prevelant notion that neuroscience would never be relevant to philosophical concerns. In the early 1990s, Australian philosopher David Chalmers developed a theory of consciousness as a universal primitive, like mass or space. Mentions Francis Crick and the neuroscientist V. S. Ramachandran. These days, many philosophers give Pat credit for making the link between the mind-body problem and the brain. Pat and Paul are currently studying the implications of neuroscience for ethics and the law. Much of Paul’s work is focused far into the future. Both he and Pat like to speculate about a day when whole chunks of English are replaced by scientific words. As people learn to speak differently, they’ll learn to experience and think differently. Paul believes that someday language will disappear altogether and people will communicate by thought. If so, a philosopher might come to know what it’s like to be a bat.
Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/02/12/070212fa_fact_macfarquhar#ixzz0z3Z0THhR
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
The intrepid Marcuse was not, however, to be permanently ousted from San Diego. A Los Angeles Times article entitled "New Left Teacher Declares He Won't Quit Despite Death Note", published July 12, 1968, describes Marcuse's intentions after the threat: mainly, that he will return to teach in the fall. The same article also gives an account of UCSD philosophy chair Jason Saunders telling reporters that Marcuse had said, "I will not run away. I will not be intimidated".
"Prof. Marcuse is a distinguished political philosopher, whose proactive writings have stirred controversy all over the world. We know him as a man of integrity and as an outstanding teacher. We wish to assure him and our chancellor of our complete support against the attempt to silence him, whether they be well-intentioned citizens, by persons capitalizing on false rumors to agitate public sentiment or by making threats against his person. The reputation of the University of California and of the San Diego community are at stake. We are confident that a great majority of the public supports us in our determination to develop in San Diego an outstanding university, free of violence or threats of violence and dedicated to the principles of freedom of expression and of scholarship, without which a democratic society cannot long survive."
Anonymous. "New Left Teacher Declares He Won't Quit Despite Death Note". Los Angeles Times, July 12, 1968, p. 3.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Craig is also shown on "Philosophy TV" debating Johnathan Schaffer on various topics of metaphysics (or, er, meta-metaphysics-- can't we just get back to physics?)-- check out the streaming online video.
Great job Craig! You've got a face made for internet television blogs.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Alternatives Summer 1966
Friday, August 20, 2010
Art Seidenbaum in a Los Angeles Times article entitled "The Trouble with Students" gives an interesting first hand account of the author's first time meeting with Dr. Herbert Marcuse and the subsequent lecture on Freud which he attended.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Repressive Tolerance at UCSD? Undergraduate speaker controversy occasioned a neglected Los Angeles Times piece by Marcuse
Anonymous. "Marcuse Protests Anti-Red Lectures at UC San Diego", LAT March 27, 1970, p. 3.
Banowsky, W. "An Unwitting Score for Tolerance", LAT April 5, 1970, p. E7.
Marcuse, H. "Repressive Tolerance" 1965, in Robert Paul Wolff, Barrington Moore, jr., and Herbert Marcuse, A Critique of Pure Tolerance (Boston: Beacon Press, 1969), pp.95-137. Available online at: http://marcuse.org/herbert/pubs/60spubs/65repressivetolerance.htm, includes Herbert's 1968 'Postscript'.
Marcuse, H. "The True Nature of Tolerace", LAT April 12, 1970, p. D7.
Monday, August 9, 2010
For these efforts they, predictably, suffered repression at the hands of San Diego police and probably federal agencies including the FBI and CIA as well (at least according to this 2006 U.S. News and World Report article). They were aided and supported by heroic San Diego Superior Court judge Roger Ruffin, about whom I also wrote about in a recent post.
It seems that they headquartered at the historic Franz Merzman House, at Second Avenue and Thorn Street, near downtown and Balboa Park, according to this San Diego Union Tribune piece. One can see a picture of the house here on google maps. I am interested in this detail because I happen to live on Thorn Street myself, though on the other side of the park.
Lance: can you see if there are any references to Ruffin in Under the Perfect Sun? If so, please give us page references.
Monday, July 19, 2010
You can learn more about Don's work at his homepage by pointing your browser to: http://philosophy.ucsd.edu/faculty/rutherford/
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Some of his major works include: Society, Law and Morality (1961), Justice and Social Policy (1961), Principles and Persons: An Ethical Interpretation of Existentialism (1967), Ethics and Twentieth Century Thought (1973), The Dialectic of Action: A Philosophical Interpretation of History and the Humanities (1979), Heidegger and the Philosophy of Mind (1987), and What Is a Human Being? A Heideggerian View (1995); Humanism & Philosophy: The Relationship Past, Present and Future (2008). Some of his publications are available electronically over at Phil Papers.
Stay tuned for the interview and more on Frederick Olafson's philosophical work.
Friday, May 7, 2010
I think that I have now succeeded in determining the dates and names of all the chairs of the UCSD philosophy, from its founding to the present day.
1963-1966 Richard Popkin
1966-1967 Avrum Stroll (Acting Chair)
1967-1968 Richard Popkin
1969-1972 Avrum Stroll
1972-1976 Frederick Olafson
1976-1978 Edward Lee
1978-1982 Henry Allison
1982-1986 Georgios Anagnostopoulos
1986-1990 Paul Churchland
1990-1992 Robert Pippin
1992-1996 Richard Arneson
1996-1998 Patricia Kitcher
1998-2000 Georgios Anagnostopoulos
2000-2007 Patricia Churchland
2007-2010 David Brink
Alternatives March-April 1966
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Posted On: August 03, 2003 09:59:06 PM
Name: richard and juliet popkin
Comments: Richard Popkin was the chair of the philosophy department at UCSD from 1963 to 1968 and took the initiative, with Avrum Stroll, to invite Herbert Marcuse, Stanley Moore, Lewis Feuer and Joseph Tussman to speak at a symposium on Marxism. This led to Marcuse's being invited to become a member of the philosophy department in 1965. Marcuse was delighted with the intellectual and natural environment in La Jolla. The philosophy department that Popkin envisaged was far more diverse than other American departments at that time. We have many memories of Marcuse and some correspondence from our interactions with Herbert, his second wife Inge and his third wife Erica Sherover.
A Retrospective on 26 Years at UCSD
By Paul Churchland
David (Brink) suggested that Pat and I pen something brief, for the Newsletter, given our upcoming retirement later this Spring. In truth, much the same giddy amazement attends our leaving our two positions as characterized our original arrival to them. The doors then opened to us, both by the department and by the campus academic community at large, transformed our personal and intellectual lives forever. The accumulated legacy of the intervening years leaves us stunned, even now, by the many marvelous things that have happened. Allow us a brief summary of why we are still smiling from ear to ear. The dept. that wooed us, in 1984, was already well‐balanced in its ideological profile and decidedly gifted in its membership. We were proud, even chuffed, to be welcomed into it. It was also a profound pleasure to finally be back on the West Coast, after 20 years of purgatory Back East, in England, and on the snow‐driven Great Plains. But change came quickly. Mark Wilson, a gifted philosopher of science, was pirated away by Chicago, and we soon acquired Pat and Philip Kitcher from Minnesota, Stephen Stich from Maryland, and eventually, Sandy Mitchell from Pittsburgh. Francis Crick had made Pat an Adjunct Professor at the Salk Institute, and we quickly made friends with the neurocomputationalist Terry Sejnowski, the psychologist V.S. Ramachandran, and many other local scholars. Those early years were a time of heady expansion on the campus as a whole, and we were lucky to participate in the formation of the interdisciplinary Cognitive Science Ph.D. Program, and indeed, in the founding of the current Cognitive Science Department itself. Inspired by that success, Jerry (Doppelt), Sandy, Philip, and I subsequently teamed up with our distinguished colleagues in History and Sociology to found the interdisciplinary Science Studies Ph.D. Program, a program that continues to thrive today. Being Chair of the dept. during that formative period was, for me, an (almost) unalloyed pleasure.
As the 90s dawned, however, financial woes gripped the campus, retirements took many departmental icons from us (Zeno Vendler, Ed Lee, Fred Olafson, Avrum Stroll, Henry Allison), Chicago lured Bob Pippen away, and Stich and the Kitchers were also lured back to their eastern roots. Later in that period, we even lost Nick Jolley to Syracuse. Fortunately, the people who remained, and the high quality of our philosophy graduate students, made being here a reliable pleasure; our own philosophical research was flourishing as never before (we’ll spare you a summary); and in that period we did manage to convince David (Brink), Gila (Sher), Rick (Grush), and Michael (Hardimon) to join us. As well, the Administration wisely determined to help the department replace its many losses and regain its former glory. On the strength of such promises, Pat agreed to be Chair, and the following years saw a second great burst of hiring. Clark Glymour, Nancy (Cartwright), Bill (Bechtel), Jonathan (Cohen), Don (Rutherford), Eric (Watkins), Craig (Callender), Sam (Rickless), Dana (Nelkin), and Chris (Wuthrich) came in a steady rush, and the department’s reputation shot back up again. With the recent arrivals of Monte (Johnson), Clinton (Tolley), and now Saba (Bazargan), we are once again made whole. We wouldn’t trade this dept. for any other in the world.
And we won’t. Except for summer holidays, Pat and I will remain in San Diego and continue our research and writing in your extended and uniquely valuable company. David has kindly promised us a joint office in the dept., as long as resources permit, and we will continue to haunt the dept.’s Friday colloquiums. There is too much here to ever walk away from. May your own time here at UCSD be as rewarding to you as ours has been to us.
Monday, May 3, 2010
1. "Reflections on the French Revolution" (p. 41-46), a widely circulated set of comments on the May 1968 French student uprising. According to Kellner, "Professor Herbert Marcuse was in Paris when the current French crisis began, between May 6 and May 12. On returning, he spoke about his impressions of the French situation to several hundred students and faculty members at The University of California at San Diego where he teaches philosophy" (p. 40-41).
2. "A September 12, 1968 letter from Herbert Marcuse to the University of California, San Diego faculty senate, on
3. "A July 19, 1968 testimony from the University of California at San Diego Department of Philosophy on Herbert Marcuse's seventieth birthday" (p. 119-120 and n.2). It is not clear who the author was, and the entire speech is in third person and speaks for the department as a whole. The statement shows how staunchly the Philosophy Department supported Marcuse. I plan to comment on the statement at greater length later.
4. "Translation of a September 18, 1968 letter from T. W. Adorno to the University of California, San Diego, Department of Philosophy on Herbert Marcuse" (p. 120-121 and n.3). The letter is addressed to Jason Saunders.
5. "The 'interview with Dr. Herbert Marcuse by Harold Green'...broadcast on San Diego KFMB-TV on February 25, 1969" (p. 128-136).
6. "'A Conversation with Herbert Marcuse'...a transcript of a P.B.S. interview with Bill Moyers on March 12, 1974" (p. 154-164). The interview was conducted in the library of Marcuse's La Jolla home.
7. "'Thoughts on Judaism, Israel, etc., ...'...published in a University of California San Diego Jewish student publication L'Chayim (Winter 1977)" (p. 179-191).
8. An Afterword by George Katsiaficas entitled "Marcuse as Activist: reminiscences on his theory and practice" (p. 192-203). Katsiaficas was a graduate student of Marcuse's at UCSD.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
The first is a testimony about a letter written by Jean-Paul Sartre, mentioned in Jim Miller's 2003 essay "Just another day in paradise?" (p. 397, footnote 412; see bibliography tab for details).
As professor of literature Carlos Blanco, who was on the budget committee when Marcuse's promotion came up, recalls in an interview dated August 19, 2002, that the committee, in order to make it crystal clear that Marcuse was more than qualified to not only continue on at UCSD, but be promoted as well, asked for assessments of Marcuse from all over the world. Jean-Paul Sartre, for example, wrote, "Why are you asking me about Herbert Marcuse? Don't you know who he is?"
Douglas Kellner in the third volume of his edition of the Collected Works of Herbert Marcuse (2005, p. 120-121; see bibliography tab for details) has translated a letter of recommendation written by Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969) to Jason Saunders, then chair of the Philosophy department at UCSD.
September 18, 1968
Department of Philosophy
University of California
San Diego, California 92037 [sic]
My Dear Professor Saunders:
With sincere thanks I acknowledge your letter of August 21 and thank you for the confidence which it expresses.
It is with the greatest joy that I express my opinion about Herbert Marcuse, for many years my colleague at The Institute for Social Research, and my old friend. I have the highest opinion about his intellectual qualities as well as his humane and moral integrity. His power of thought and intellectual energy, his opposition to all the "mechanisms of stupefication" [sic] to which we are exposed today, speak for themselves. There is no particular need to acknowledge and comment on his fame. For myself, I can only say that during the course of a life-long friendship, his outstanding productive abilities have proved themselves without any sign of a diminution of his intellectual powers. And, my vote should perhaps have a certain weight inasmuch as I have known him and thought so highly of him for a long time, and long before world-wide recognition thrust his name into prominence. But, I can most emphatically assure you that even that recognition has not spoiled him in the slightest, and that he has not changed at all. He is altogether without conceit and without pretension, as only truly great men can permit themselves to be.
Perhaps I should add that Herbert is, as I am myself, opposed to the violence which manifests itself as one form of the universal repression which we both fear. His sense of reality and his profound sense of humor protect him from evaluating any movement out of proportion to the actual balance of power. He has maintained his independence from the so-called extra-parliamentary opposition in Germany as publicly and as unflinchingly as he has opposed the threatening reaction in the Western World, and just as he has always opposed the Communist terror. He and I are in agreement in our fundamental positions, although these have developed independently. Thus, I do not feel that I am a blind partisan when I speak so strongly on his behalf. I must say that his age certainly presents no difficulty; I have never yet seen a man of 70 who in every aspect, and to an almost unbelievable degree, has so preserved his youth.
These words represent my spontaneous reaction to your letter. Should there be any need for document [sic] which would be something more of the character of a formal statement and which should be written in English, please let me know as soon as possible. Of course, I would reply immediately. I hope with all my heart that this letter will serve your purpose.
With very best wishes, I remain devotedly,
Theodor W. Adorno
Saturday, May 1, 2010
The paper begins with Thales, the original philosopher according to the Aristotelian tradition. Yet the paper is through and through focused on the present and concrete proposals for change.
In my estimation, Marcuse’s efforts to deprovincialize U.S. culture have actually led to a recovery of philosophy in the post-60s United States academic context, especially among a new generation of scholars in the humanities and social sciences who are more conscious than ever of issues arising from conflicts involved in the context of our political, moral, and academic culture. After WW II, logical positivism had attained a near monopoly in U.S. graduate schools of philosophy and generally prevailed as the underlying scholarly methodology within the undergraduate curricula as well. European approaches such as phenomenology, existentialism, Marxism, and critical theory tended to be severely marginalized, especially at the most prestigious private and the largest state universities. Although Marcuse died in 1979, for me it is impossible to believe that the philosophical upheavals which developed throughout the 1980s in the American Philosophical Association, for example, splitting “analysts” and “pluralists” were not substantially due to his influence. My personal supposition is that the APA’s own kind of Positivistenstreit could not have occurred apart from Herbert Marcuse’s immense impact in One-Dimensional Man. This was republished in 1991 with a new introduction by Douglas Kellner: further testimony to its ongoing pertinence to continuing controversies. See also Marcuse’s (1969b) APA address “The Relevance of Reality” which vividly demonstrates his radical and heretical stance vis à vis U.S. academic philosophy. Marcuse called for a rethinking of the relevance of reality in four key areas of philosophy: 1) linguistic analysis, emphasizing a new, more political linguistics; 2) aesthetics, emphasizing the nexus of artwork and society; 3) epistemology, moving towards a historical understanding of transcendent knowledge; and 4) the history of philosophy itself, emphasizing the internal relationships linking theory of knowledge (and hence theory of education) to the theory of government and the theory of politics since Plato: “authentic democracy presupposes equality in the ways, means, and time necessary for acquiring the highest level of knowledge” (Marcuse 1969b).The 1969 referred to is Marcuse's Presidential Address to the Pacific APA: “The Relevance of Reality” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Association. 1968-69.
- The exact date of the founding of the department (July 1, 1963)
- The founding members: Richard Popkin, Jason Saunders, and Avrum Stroll
- The next hired members: Paul Henry, Herbert Marcuse, and William Bartley
- The beginnings of the graduate program in 1963-1964 (9 students); the fist Ph. D. candidacy (1965) and first graduate degree awarded (M.A. in June 1965)
- The beginnings of the undergraduate program in 1963-1964
- The early emphasis on history of philosophy and social-political philosophy
Philosophy: The Department of Philosophy was formed on July 1, 1963, with the appointment of Professors Richard H. Popkin (chairman), Jason L. Saunders, and Avrum Stroll. In 1964-66, Professors Paul Henry, Herbert Marcuse, Associate Professor William W. Bartley III, and some temporary members were added to the staff.
Graduate instruction began in the academic year 1963-64 with nine graduate students. In 1964-65, there were 22 graduate students and in 1965-66, there will be more than 40. In January, 1965, the department received authorization for its M.A. and Ph.D. programs. In May, 1965, its first student was advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree and in June, 1965, its first M.A. degree was awarded.
Undergraduate instruction began in 1964- 65, when the first freshman class was admitted. The department, in cooperation with the Department of Literature, offered the freshman humanities course to the entire freshman class (176 students). An elective introductory course was also offered to 16 freshmen in the spring of 1965. In 1965-66, the department will participate in both the freshman and sophomore humanities course in Revelle College, as well as offering elective philosophy courses at the sophomore and junior levels.
The curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate level is designed to emphasize the history of philosophy, political and social thought, and the widest possible variety of philosophical approaches. It is hoped thereby to provide students with a solid foundation and to encourage them to do independent, imaginative, mature, and self- critical work in philosophy.
In its first two years, the department has also sponsored a public symposium on The Relevance of Philosophy Today, a campus-wide symposium on Marxism, a lecture series on Galileo (in conjunction with the Department of Literature), and a departmental col- loquium on Contemporary European Philosophy. The editorial office of the Journal of the History of Philosophy is in the department. The department has also initiated a cooperative graduate program with the Irvine campus.
-RICHARD H. POPKIN
Source: The Centennial Record of the University of California, 1868-1968. A Centennial Publication of the University of California. Compiled and Edited by Verne A. Stadtman and the Centennial Publications Staff. Link to HTML version at the University of California History Digital Archives:
Friday, April 30, 2010
Lowell A. Bergman is an American investigative reporter with The New York Times and a producer/correspondent for the PBS documentary series Frontline. Bergman is also the Reva and David Logan Distinguished Professor at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where he has taught a seminar dedicated to investigative reporting for over 15 years. Bergman has received top honors in both print and broadcasting. In 2004, he shared the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service with David Barstow.
Professor Bergman was also a graduate fellow in philosophy at the University of California, San Diego, where he studied under Herbert Marcuse from 1966-1969.
See him portrayed by Al Pacino in the 1999 movie The Insider discussing studying philosophy at "UC La Jolla" (fast forward to 7:30 on this clip).
Doug Ireland, in an article posted to ZNET, transcribes an interview that journalist Danny Postel did with Lowell Bergman about Marcuse, in which he reflects on UCSD and La Jolla. I quote extensively from Ireland’s article below. After the quotation are links to Ireland’s article and to Lowell Bergman’s website.
Danny Postel did a long interview about Marcuse with the investigative journalist Lowell Bergman ... Lowell recounts his experiences with Marcuse, how they led to Bergman's career in journalism, and the influence Marcuse had on Bergman's work:
"I studied with Marcuse as a graduate fellow in philosophy at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) from 1966 to 1969," Bergman told Postel. " It was a Ph.D. program in the history of philosophy.....My first real contact with Marcuse came [when] reading his book Reason and Revolution, which remains one of the best, if not the best, expositions of Hegel in English. It wasâ€”maybe there are others nowâ€”the only coherent presentation of his philosophical insights in relation to the development of Marx's thought. That book led me to read some of his writings from his time in Frankfurt [Ger.], especially a seminal essay on liberalism...
"...One-Dimensional Man provided a unique way of looking at the rise of the authoritarian state in advanced industrial society. The suppleness of the analysis provided a way of thinking that ran counter to the dominant notion of 'progress' and 'Nature' that permeated thinking on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Marcuse began to articulate ideas about the way in which the culture and mass media were no longer presenting information except for the sake of presenting it. There was no depth, no history, no analysis. Information for information's sake without any attempt to help people understand....
"[My] jump to journalism was...in 1969, " Bergman (left) continues. "The spark was the incessant appearance of editorials in the San Diego Union-Tribune demanding that the University of California regents fire Marcuse. This came after students in Europe ran around in 1968 chanting "Marx, Mao, Marcuse!" When Herbert went back to Germany that summer he was feted not just at universities but at outdoor rallies....Back in San Diego, the very conservative community reacted at first with virulent publicity and then physical harassment. Marcuse's telephone lines at home were cut. Someone drove by and fired at his garage door. There were phone threats. The tension was mounting. San Diego had an active right-wing vigilante movement, which I encountered later when I got into journalism. So his graduate students decided to start escorting him to school every morning, a 15-minute walk. This was in the time when UCSD was a small campus with a small undergraduate college and as many graduate students.
"This experience led the students to discuss the idea of putting out an alternative newspaper in what was and is a monopoly newspaper town. San Diego was not only the largest staging area for the Vietnam War; it was also home to a large military retirement community and politics that made parts of the deep South look liberal. Thus was born the San Diego Free Press, which a year later was renamed the San Diego Street Journal....The publicity [about Marcuse] in Europeâ€”and it was then repeated in the U.S. pressâ€”that [Marcuse] was an ideological leader came to the attention of the anticommunist ideologues associated with the Copley Press (the San Diego Union-Tribune). In those days the paper, now a conservative but civilized rag, was to the right of Barry Goldwater. Richard Nixon called San Diego his 'favorite city.'...
"Marcuse was a symbol, which became even more threatening when one of his students, a veteran of the Hegel seminar and before that a student of Marcuse's at Brandeis, went to work at UCLA. That was Angela Davis (below left). The ensuing row brought in [then] governor Ronald Reagan and more action to terminate her appointment. Marcuse's own reputation, enhanced by hers, made him a central target of the anticommunists of the Reagan right in the late '60s. ... I guess what I'm getting at is that one doesn't normally associate political upheaval and mass mobilization with philosophy professorsâ€”at least not in the United States. Moreover, the figure of Marcuse doesn't exactly square with the style and tone of the '60s counterculture. There was something of a baroque quality about him: By that time he was fairly ancient, wore nice suits, spoke with a heavy German accent. There's a striking scene in the documentary film Herbert's Hippopotamus in which a group of student activists are holding a demonstration of some sort on the UCSD campus. They're running around, banging on drums, singingâ€”and then Marcuse steps up to speak, using language right out of 19th-century German philosophy. Yet he captivated them. They fell silent and listened to his every word. This struck me. What was it about himâ€”because I think he was fairly unique in this sense that so many young people revered and were inspired by?
"...Despite his Germanic professorial bearings and his old world roots, Marcuse was a captivating orator. His lectures on Hegel were phenomenal. The best way to describe them is to read Reason and Revolution. Few, if any, books on Hegelian philosophy and its aftermath are so cogent and to the point. In the world of UCSD at the time, Marcuse was an intellectual superstar. It was a little surreal, in the midst of San Diego county, high on a plateau, within sight of the largest military complex in the world....
"Marcuse's dialectical analysis did not depend on heavy-handed 'conspiracy' theories or mechanistic economic determinism. That would save me from falling into some of the simplistic traps that lure many people looking for tidy explanations...."
Doug Ireland's article can be found at these sites:
Lowell Bergman’s Berkeley website is here:
San Diego Reader | Philosophy Majors Sit Around and Think About Things
Thursday, April 29, 2010
The campus had already branched into fields other than science and engineering with the establishment of Departments of Philosophy and Literature during 1963. In the fall of 1964, the campus opened for undergraduates offering a basic lower division curriculum preparing students for upper division majors in the humanities, the social sciences, the biological sciences, the physical sciences, and mathematics. A total of 181 freshmen enrolled in the pioneering undergraduate class.One can put this in perspective relative to the establishment of the "University of California, San Diego" in 1960, which had previously been known as an "Institute of Technology and Engineering".
The first faculty appointment for the School of Science and Engineering was made in July, 1957, and was supported by a large grant of funds from the General Dynamics Corporation. By June 30, 1959, seven faculty appointments had been made and a total of 36 appointments had been approved for the 1959-60 fiscal year. The school enrolled its first graduate students in 1960 in the physical sciences.
From this beginning, the program was rapidly developed in the humanities and social sciences. By the mid-1960's, research ranged from the problems of cosmochemistry to studies of seventeenth-century philosophy. The teaching program reflected a broad spectrum of learning, with offerings in aerospace and mechanical engineering sciences, applied electrophysics, biology, chemistry, earth sciences, economics, history, languages, linguistics, literature, philosophy, physics, and psychology.
The Regents on November 18, 1960, selected the University of California, San Diego, as the name for the general campus in the La Jolla-San Diego area.
Stanley Moore, who taught at the UCSD Philosophy Department from 1965 until his retirement in 1974, died on December 5, 1997 in Santa Barbara at the age of 83. Stanley was a distinguished social and political philosopher, whose specialty was the work of Karl Marx. He was the author of numerous papers and four books--The Critique of Capitalist Democracy (1957), Three Tactics (1963), Marx and the Choice Between Socialism and Communism (1980), and Marx Versus Markets (1993).
The first of these works is more expository than critical. The latter three relentlessly explore a deceptively simple question: Why does Karl Marx call for the elimination not only of the inequalities he associated with capitalist private ownership but also the institution of market exchange? In other words, why does Marx envisage the ideal of humane and decent social order in the form of communist society? The issue goes to the core of Marx's intellectual legacy. Stanley Moore's writings analyze the issue with scrupulous scholarly care in the interpretation of Marx's text, a generous sympathy with the values of solidarity and emancipation he discerned in these texts, and a rigorous intelligence directed to the exposure of Marx's mistakes and evasions that have a bearing on his historical prophecies and revolutionary urgings. Moore's conclusion is that Marx has no good arguments that should persuade us to follow him beyond the condemnation of exploitation to the rejection of markets and exchange. For many years after his formal retirement, Moore continued his sensible and nuanced reflections as to how to extract the rational kernel of Marx's radicalism from the romantic and utopian shell in which it seemed to be encased. In his last writings he proposed a pairing of Rousseau's emphasis on economic transformation. All of Stanley Moore's writings felicitously combine the qualities of a rigorous scholar and staunch social critic.
During the nine years of his stay at UC San Diego Stanley was an invaluable colleague and a sane, steadying influence in the affairs of the Department of Philosophy. He was a man of excellent judgment, realistic, unsentimental, and concerned above all for academic and humanistic values. He was also that rare thing--a gentleman in the best sense of that much abused term--and as such he contributed to the broader education of his students as he did to their progress in philosophical studies. He was a very effective teacher at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels, blessed with an extraordinary memory for the literal wording of texts; and the directness and clarity of both his thought and his manner were great assets to him as a teacher. He was also a most congenial companion with a fine sense of humor and a strong allergy to cant of all varieties. Altogether, he combined the qualities of a scholar and a humane commentator on the life of his time in a wholly admirable way.
Stanley was a person of principle--fearless, and fair-minded. He became nationally famous in the profession because of his courageous stand against the encroachments of McCarthyism on academic freedom. In 1954 he lost his tenure position as Professor of Philosophy at Reed College when he refused to answer questions about his political affiliations before the House Un-American Activities Committee. In characteristically witty fashion Stanley remarked at the end of the hearings, "When this investigation started, I predicted that I would win the argument and lose the job. My prediction . . . has now been confirmed."
Stanley was right. He won the argument. In 1996, the Oregon Historical Quarterly published an 80-page article by Michael Munk entitled "Oregon Tests Academic Freedom in (Cold) Wartime: The Reed College Trustees versus Stanley Moore," that meticulously described the events that resulted in Moore's dismissal. In this essay, Munk reproduces a statement of "regret" by the Board of Trustees and the Reed administration, that was published in 1981. This statement formally revised the judgment of the 1954 trustees. In 1993, the president of Reed invited Stanley to visit the College, and in 1995 the last surviving member of the Board that fired Stanley expressed his regret and apologized to him.
As Munk reports, Moore waited 24 years to surprise both sides by telling the Oregonian in 1978 that he had been a member of the Communist party when he came to Reed but that he had left it before the HUAC hearings began. While still describing himself as a Marxist (albeit a "more critical one") he said he quit the party 18 months before the HUAC hearings because, "I couldn't stomach the American organization's kowtowing to Moscow on the so-called 'doctor's plot,' which had been announced in January 1953 and was declared a 'fabrication' shortly after Stalin's death just two months later."
Thus, had Moore been willing to accept the authority of his interrogators, he could have passed the trustees' political test. That is, he could have told them, truthfully, that he was not now a Communist. But as he stated at the time, he had decided not to do so in order to help Reed defend its historical attachment to academic freedom "against the fickle tides" of public opinion. As Michael Munk writes at the end of his essay, "Those who chose to play the historical moment of McCarthyism, and therefore dishonored Reed's proud distinction, still have Moore's challenging question echoing against their reputations: "If the careful deliberate judgment of the academic community is reversed in order to placate influential demagogues, who--more than forty years later--stands condemned?"
Having been fired under these conditions, Stanley was unable to find a permanent teaching post for another decade, even though he was widely regarded as one of the most knowledgeable philosophical historians in America. He did teach during the period of 1955-1965 on a part-time basis at Barnard College. During this hiatus most of his time was spent researching and writing. In 1964, the new UCSD philosophy department, chaired by Richard Popkin and whose other members were Jason Saunders and Avrum Stroll, proposed a symposium on the topic "Marx Today." With financial support from Chancellor Herbert York and Dean Keith Brueckner, the department arranged for a three-day conference that was held in Sumner Auditorium. The main speakers were Stanley Moore, Herbert Marcuse, Lewis Feuer, and the moderator was Joseph Tussman of UC Berkeley. This conference caused a sensation on campus. It had virtually one hundred percent attendance from the scientific community. Its stars were Moore and Marcuse, and with the enthusiastic support of York and Brueckner, and such faculty members as S. J. Singer and James Arnold, we managed to hire both of them. It began an auspicious period that gave international visibility to the department. Those of us fortunate enough to have known Stanley will sorely miss him.
Avrum received his Ph.D. from UC, Berkeley. He joined the Philosophy Department as a professor in 1963 and became chair in 1965 and 1968. His areas of specialization are philosophy of language, epistemology, history of 20th century analytic philosophy, and Wittgenstein studies. He is the author and co-author of twenty books and about 150 articles. Seven of the books were co-authored with Richard H. Popkin. Avrum's latest publications are "Searle on Knowledge, Certainty and Skepticism" in Searle's Philosophy and Chinese Philosophy: Constructive Engagement, "Philosophy in the Future" in Rescher Studies, and Much Ado About Non-Existence: Fiction and Reference (with A.P. Martinich, University of Texas at Austin). Publications in 2008 include "Richard Popkin and Philosophy Made Simple" in Essays in Honor of Richard Popkin, "Metaphysics Revived" in A Companion to Philosophy, and Moore's Paradox Revisited. Avrum has also written referee reports for Cambridge University Press and for Blackwell Pubishing. He has also written reviews for Mind and for the Internet Publications in Philosophy.
Avrum is currently Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at UCSD.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Science Studies was founded in 1989 by four departments: communication, history, philosophy, and sociology.
Here is a link to an abstract of an article about the subject in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
First Aired: 10/30/2007
Andrew Feenberg discusses his new collection of essays by Herbert Marcuse. The most influential radical philosopher of the 1960s, Marcuse's writings are noteworthy for their uncompromising opposition to both capitalism and communism.
The Essential Marcuse - UCSD-TV - University of California Television
Herbert's Hippopotamus: Marcuse and Revolution in Paradise
56:49 - 3 years ago
This documentary examines the turbulent life in California of political philosopher Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979), author of One-Dimensional Man, Reason and Revolution and Eros and Civilization, among other books, professor of philosophy at the University of California San Diego, and a visionary and influential force for the student movement worldwide during the Sixties and Seventies. Blending archival footage, interviews, re- created scenes and voice-over narration, the video profiles not only the life of Marcuse but also the history of student protest and social activism. The video features interviews with Marcuse's student Angela Davis, former UCSD Chancellor William McGill, colleagues Fredric Jameson and Reinhard Lettau, and rare footage of Marcuse and former California Governor Ronald Reagan. Directed by Paul Alexander Juutilainen