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It takes the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 28,250 words to explain the woolly concept of relativism. It takes Genis Carreras 32 words and a single image. If you ask me, he doesn’t even need the text.

—Co.Design

Philographics is all about explaining big ideas in simple shapes, merging the world of philosophy and graphic design. Here are ninety-five designs, each depicting a different “–ism” using a unique combination of geometric shapes, colors, and a short definition of the theory.

Genis Carreras writes:

The visuals [are] open to different interpretations, allowing the reader to draw their path to connect the idea behind each theory with its form. This plurality reflects all the different theories to see and understand the world that are compiled [in] this book. The book aims to be the starting point of deeper discussion about these theories; it’s a trigger of conversation to bring philosophy back to our daily lives.

Maria Popova from Brainpickings says: Perhaps most importantly, these minimalist graphics are designed to tickle our curiosity and spark deeper interest in influential theories of human nature and human purpose that those of us not formally trained in philosophy may not have previously been inspired to explore.

Skepticism

True knowledge or certainty in a particular area is impossible. Skeptics have an attitude of doubt or a disposition of incredulity either in general or toward a particular object.

Relativism:

Points of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration. Principles and ethics are regarded as applicable in only limited context.

Absolutism:

An absolute truth is always correct under any condition. An entity’s ability to discern these things is irrelevant to that state of truth. Universal facts can be discovered. It is opposed to relativism, which claims that there is not an unique truth.

Positivism:
The only authentic knowledge is that which is based on sense, experience and positive verification. Scientific method is the best process for uncovering the processes by which both physical and human events occur.
Empiricism:

Knowledge arises from evidence gathered via sense experience. Empiricism emphasizes the role of experience and evidence, especially sensory perception, in the formation of ideas, over the notion of innate ideas or tradition.

Humanism:

Human beings can lead happy and functional lives, and are capable of being ethical and moral without religion or dogma. Life stance emphasized the unique responsibility facing humanity and the ethical consequences of human decisions.

Hedonism:
Pleasure is the only intrinsic good. Actions can be evaluated in terms of how much pleasure they produce. In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize the pleasure and minimize the pain.
Authoritarianism:
Submission to authority and opposed to individualism and democracy. An authoritarian government is one in which political power is concentrated in a leader who possesses exclusive, unaccountable, and arbitrary power.
Determinism:

Events within a given paradigm are bound by causality in such a way that any state of an object or event is determined by prior states. Every type of event, including human cognition (behavior, decision, and action) is causally determined by previous events.

Solipsism:

Knowledge of anything outside one’s own specific mind is unjustified. The external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist.

 

 

Review: Starz’s ‘Dancing on the Edge’ hums along to a jazz beat

The period piece takes its sweet time in exploring the seductive stories behind the Jazz Age in England.

October 19, 2013|By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
John Goodman stars in Starz’s “Dancing on the Edge.” (Starz )

There is something nicely unexpected about “Dancing on the Edge,” writer-director Stephen Poliakoff’s seductive drama of jazz and England in the early 1930s.

The series, which begins Saturday on Starz (it has already aired on the BBC), forms a kind of “Upstairs/Backstage” story with a mystery attached and comes in five parts, plus an epilogue — appendix might be the better word — in the form of interviews.

To be sure, jazz has often lurked at the background of British period pieces — Lord Peter Wimsey dragged to some Soho cellar, Bertie Wooster knocking out a chorus of “Minnie the Moocher.” The next season of “Downton Abbey” will feature a black American singer (Gary Carr) based on the historical Leslie “Hutch” Hutchinson, who cut a swath through British high society in the 1920s and ’30s.

A writer with a long list of fairly high-toned stage plays, film scripts and TV to his credit, Poliakoff was inspired in part by reading of the friendship of Duke Ellington with members of British royalty. In place of Ellington, he gives us Louis Lester (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a rare black British bandleader whose career starts to get traction when he crosses paths with hustling music journalist Stanley Mitchell (Matthew Goode), who is his entree as well to a world of upper-crust jazz fans.

At the suggestion of one (Anthony Head), they acquire a singer — two, in fact (Angel Coulby and Wunmi Mosaku). And things change.

Poliakoff takes his time, with long scenes in which people spend a little time coming to a point. The pace is mostly languorous, despite the jazz theme, and even when the going gets going, steps are only slightly quickened.

Where he falls short, oddly, is the music. The many original songs, all written by Adrian Johnston, sound less like lost classics than not-quite-successful pastiche. Hackneyed lyrics like, “Shout it loud/Head up proud / This girl’s going far/Blow, Joe, blow / Let ’em know / I’m gonna be a star” may comment profitably on the action, but they are not Cole Porter or Billy Strayhorn. The music is also — on purpose, it transpires, for effect — too modern for the era, both in arrangement and performance; not everyone will find that jarring, of course, or know the difference.

But Poliakoff is in any case less interested in jazz as music or culture than as a destabilizing, reorganizing force. Notwithstanding a few dropped names, he is scant on context and on the details whose mention and sharing are a natural and important part of that world, for musicians and fans alike. And despite the band’s stated rise, there are few scenes that express any palpable connection between players and crowd — or even muster a crowd. But perhaps that’s just how it was with the British.

His true business is elsewhere, with the love stories, a murder mystery, the collision of race and class, past and future, of bright hopes and dark desires. He uses the music to gather into close, sometimes very close, quarters a cast of characters whose diverse backgrounds might otherwise keep them apart. Indeed, they tend to go about in a pack as if joined at the hip, and to the exclusion of anyone else.

Rounding out this crowd are John Goodman as an American moneybags who keeps a little gold around (and on display) in case of another crash; a lovely Jacqueline Bisset as a semi-reclusive great lady, compensating for a personal loss by looking into new music; Janet Montgomery as a photographer who clicks with Lester; and Tom Hughes and Joanna Vanderham as one of those neurasthenic brother-sister dyads who promise seven kinds of trouble. The great Allan Corduner plays Stanley’s boss, Jenna-Louise Coleman his underappreciated assistant.

The faults are noticeable, really, only because so much else feels right. The film is beautifully shot and apportioned. Its engine hums, in low gear, mostly, but reliably. You are drawn in and along, just as the characters are drawn along, by music or money or sex or love, the taste of something better, hotter, cooler, more rewarding, more alive.

robert.lloyd@latimes.com