Dude-ist Philosophy

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Presented at the McNeese State University Filmosophy Series (in conjunction with a screening of the Big Lebowski). Friday, February 20th, 2008.

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Dude-ist Philosophy

  1. 1. Dude-ism: Laziness As A Personal Ethos
  2. 2. Joel and Ethan Cohen
  3. 3. “ Quite possibly the laziest man in Los Angeles County”
  4. 4. 4 Tenets of Dude-ism <ul><li>Reality is inherently chaotic and purposeless </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tumbleweed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>One should expend effort only on simple, short-term goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rug </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. 4 Tenets of Dude-ism <ul><li>Since one can do very little to affect the mixture of good and bad, one should accept life and be content. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Sometimes you eat the bear” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The purpose of life is to be as happy as possible in any situation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Detached amusement </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Laziness as a personal ethos
  7. 7. “ We Believe in Nothing” <ul><li>Nihilism </li></ul>
  8. 8. Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (1743–1819)
  9. 9. Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi <ul><li>Critic of Secular Philosophy (Rationalism) </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge based on rationality inevitably leads to relativity and nihilism </li></ul><ul><li>Advocated for faith in God as paramount for morality </li></ul>
  10. 10. 3 Tenets of Nihilism <ul><li>No standards to distinguish right from wrong </li></ul><ul><li>Life has no meaning, value, or purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Truth is mere illusion and ultimate knowledge is pointless </li></ul>
  11. 11. “ Fair!? Who’s the f*cking nihilist around here, you bunch o’ f*cking crybabies!” <ul><li>The nihilist values fairness and money </li></ul><ul><li>Nihilism is untenable </li></ul><ul><li>Suicide or delusion </li></ul>
  12. 12. Dude-ism vs. Nihilism <ul><li>He is not delusional or suicidal, he is apathetic </li></ul><ul><li>Values are created from what life gives him </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a long bath </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>bowling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>white russians </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>his rug </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>weed </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. “ I'll suck your c*ck for a thousand dollars!” <ul><li>Hedonism </li></ul>
  14. 14. Aristippus of Cyrene (435 – 366 BCE)
  15. 15. Aristippus of Cyrene (435 – 366 BCE) <ul><li>The first of Socrates disciples to charge for his teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Founder of the Cyrenaic school of philosophy </li></ul><ul><li>Celebrated sensual delight over intellectual </li></ul>
  16. 16. Hedonism <ul><li>The body naturally avoids pain and seeks pleasure </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, that which causes pain is morally wrong </li></ul><ul><li>That which causes pleasure is morally good </li></ul>
  17. 17. “ It is called satryiasis in men, nymphomania in women – who engage in sex compulsively and without joy” <ul><li>Excess </li></ul><ul><li>Desensitization and addiction </li></ul><ul><li>Expensive </li></ul>
  18. 18. Dude-ism vs. Hedonism <ul><li>Too apathetic to fall into excess </li></ul><ul><li>Derives pleasure from leisure </li></ul><ul><li>Simple tastes require no money </li></ul>
  19. 19. “ The bums will always lose!” <ul><li>Objectivism </li></ul>
  20. 20. Ayn Rand (1905 – 1982)
  21. 21. Ayn Rand (1905 – 1982) <ul><li>Grew up during the Russian Revolution of 1917 </li></ul><ul><li>Family property and finances confiscated by the Bolsheviks </li></ul><ul><li>Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged </li></ul>
  22. 22. Objectivism <ul><li>Rugged Individualism </li></ul><ul><li>Man as a heroic being, with productive achievement as his noblest activity </li></ul><ul><li>The individual must exist for his own sake… neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. </li></ul>
  23. 23. “ My father's weakness is vanity, hence the slut” <ul><li>Self-interest ignores the contributions of others </li></ul><ul><li>Big Lebowski inherited his wealth </li></ul><ul><li>Steals from the Little Lebowski Urban Achievers </li></ul>
  24. 24. Dude-ism vs. Objectivism <ul><li>Man as a heroic being, with laziness as his noblest activity </li></ul><ul><li>Achievement is okay if it happens </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bowling league </li></ul></ul><ul><li>He gets his rug </li></ul>
  25. 25. “ Smokey, this is not ‘Nam. This is bowling. There are rules.” <ul><li>Duty-Based Morality </li></ul>
  26. 26. Immanuel Kant (1724 – 1804)
  27. 27. Immanuel Kant (1724 – 1804) <ul><li>German Philosopher </li></ul><ul><li>Human mind could apprehend an objective reality outside of human experience through reason </li></ul><ul><li>Groundwork for the Metaphysic of Morals </li></ul>
  28. 28. Categorical Imperative <ul><li>An action is morally good only if everyone else should act the same way </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Breaking an oath </li></ul><ul><li>“ Over the line!” </li></ul>
  29. 29. “ You’re not wrong, Walter. You’re just an a**hole.” <ul><li>Is everything universalized? </li></ul><ul><li>Allowing a minor transgression will not destroy the bowling league </li></ul><ul><li>Duty is work. It is easier to forgive </li></ul>
  30. 30. Dude-ism vs. Rule-Based <ul><li>There are no universals, life just happens </li></ul><ul><li>Blind adherence to rules causes unhappiness </li></ul><ul><li>Through apathy comes forgiveness </li></ul>
  31. 31. The virtue of laziness <ul><li>Values something (nihilism) </li></ul><ul><li>But not to excesss (hedonism) </li></ul><ul><li>And not for individual gain (objectivism) </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t expect others to value laziness (rule-based morality) </li></ul>
  32. 32. Dude-ism: “Takin’ ‘er easy for us sinners”

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