Orbis Tertius: Borges on Magic, Conspiracy and Idealism

Episode 32 · October 31st, 2018 · 1 hr 10 mins

About this Episode

Jorge Luis Borges's story "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" is a metaphysical detective story, an armchair conspiracy thriller, and a masterpiece of weird fiction. In this tale penned by a true literary magician, Phil and JF see an opportunity to talk about magic, hyperstition, non-linear time, and the power of metaphysics to reshape the world. When Phil questions his co-host's animus against idealist doctrines, the discussion turns to dreams, cybernetics, and information theory, before reaching common ground with the dumbfound appreciation of radical mystery.

Jorge Luis Borges, "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" in Ficciones
Weird Studies, Episode 29, "On Lovecraft"
George Berkley, A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (1710)
John Crowley, the Aegypt tetralogy
Quentin Meillassoux, After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency
Sir Thomas Browne, Hydriotaphia - Urn Burial
Richard Wagner, Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung)
William James, A Pluralistic Universe
Karl Schroeder, "Degrees of Freedom"
Weird Studies, Episode 26, "Living in a Glass Age"
Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution
Dogen, Genjokoan