Rebecca Goldstein: The Mattering Map: Religion, Humanism, and Moral Progress

From many sources I have heard that philosopher Rebecca Goldstein’s lecture on the “will to matter”, below, was the highlight:

Your Thoughts?

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Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Shira Coffee

    Just watched this (I had read her book on Spinoza about a year ago, so was predisposed to watch). I’m so excited to learn about this — it fits in with what I have been calling “agency” — choosing one’s actions with the confidence that correct choices will be effective. This is a cornerstone of my own ethics, and also the Buddha’s teaching. (It underlies the concept of kamma, for instance.) I’m especially impressed with her succinct explanation about how “mattering” relates to religion, which is SO much better than the usual formulations about religion being about faith. I will have to keep an eye on whatever else she comes up with in this regard, because it’s sure to be worth following. (And tomorrow I will start looking up “mattering maps”.)

    Thanks, Dan. I would never have found this on my own!

  • Shira Coffee

    What’s scary as I am reading some of the material on “mattering maps” is that the twentieth century in particular has been the golden age (if you can call it that) of the manipulation of mattering maps through advertising and propaganda. This really touches on my ongoing project to try to understand how the individual and collective aspects of selfhood intertwine.