What is Stand Up Philosophy

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This blog charts my attempts, in whatever way I can, and whenever I can, and as honestly as possible, to stand up for thinking - real thinking, whether in philosophy or politics, or maths - Because thinking needs standing up for!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Keeping up the pace

I have blogged before about that integral difficulty of standup philosophy: pace versus explication. That is go to quickly and the audience is lost, as you have said far far too little, but go too slowly, and you do the philosopher justice, but bore, then loose the audience. This dilemma is not only integral to the structure of each piece, but also unique to each performance. Take this piece. It was the end of a long evening of (very strong) performances. It was therefore far too late for most the audience to engage their brains. This meant there was no real point 'doing Plotinus' properly. It would not have worked. Plotinus is hard at the best of time to wrap your head around, even more so at the first hearing  and almost impossible if that hearing is past ten, and everyone is tired... The performance therefore had to not be about explanation, so must as impression. I wanted the audience to get the idea that there was an amazing theory of time, a theory which is similar and yet so different for todays conception of it, in the third century AD. What is more I wanted the audience to get the idea that this theory was linked to St John's gospel, and combines a theory of physics with outright mysticism. Hence the piece has lost some of the subtlety  of the original, and yet has I hoped kept much of its poetry and its power.
 But judge for yourselves:

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