What happened to Rick Roderick?

The Bill Hicks of Philosophy

Rick Roderick

Rick Roderick was born in Abilene, Texas in 1949 and received his B.A. at the University of Texas at Austin. He did post-graduate work at Baylor University and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin. Since 1977, Professor Roderick taught at Baylor University, the University of Texas, Duke University and National University in Los Angeles.

His best topics were Marx and Marxism, Social and Political Philosophy, Critical Theory, 19th-Century Philosophy, and Contemporary Continental Philosophy. He also taught Ethics, Logic, History of Modern Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Existentialism.

He was the recipient of the Oldright Fellowship at the University of Texas and served as associate editor to The Pawn Review and Current Perspectives in Social Theory. Dr. Roderick was the editor of the Baylor Philosophy Journal and a member of the Phi Sigma Tau National Honor Society of Philosophy. He presented more than 25 papers, and published 13 reviews and literary criticisms. He was the author of the book Habermas and the Foundation of Critical Theory (1986) as well as numerous articles in professional journals.

Rick Roderick died in 2002.

Audio Lectures

Here are the three audio lectures of his I have. All from The Teaching Company, but they are out of print now. If you for some reason think these shouldn't be available for download, please contact me. Unfortunatly, the two last lectures in "Philosophy and Human Values" are suffering from quite a bit of "tape noise". I guess it was recorded from a worn tape. If you have these in better quality, sharing them will be rewarded in heaven.

Rick Roderick - Philosophy and Human Values
  1. Socrates and the Life of Inquiry
  2. Epicureans, Stoics, Skeptics
  3. Kant and the Path to Enlightenment
  4. Mill on Liberty
  5. Hegel and Modern Life
  6. Nietzsche - Knowledge and Belief
  7. Kierkegaard and the Contemporary Spirit
  8. Philosophy and Post-Modern Culture

Rick Roderick - Self Under Siege - Philosophy in the 20th Century
  1. The Masters Of Suspicion
  2. Heidegger And The Rejection Of Humanism
  3. Sartre And The Roads To Freedom
  4. Marcuse And One-Dimensional Man
  5. Habermas And The Fragile Dignity Of Humanity
  6. Foucault And The Disappearance Of The Human
  7. Derrida And The Ends Of Man
  8. Fatal Strategies

Rick Roderick - Nietzsche and the Post-Modern Condition
  1. Nietzsche as Myth and Mythmaker
  2. Nietzsche on Truth and Lie
  3. Nietzsche as Master of Suspicion and Immoralist
  4. The Death of God
  5. The Eternal Recurrence
  6. The Will to Power
  7. Nietzsche as Artist
  8. Nietzsche's Progeny

The files are .RAR, a file format for data compression. Like ZIP, just not. A free program for decompressing the files can be found here. Or you might want to try this if you have a Mac.

Lecture Notes

Albemuth has been gracious enough to send me his notes from Roderick's lecture on "Theses on the Philosophy of History" by Walter Benjamin. Many thanks!

Rick Roderick notes - Theses on the Philosophy of History

Albemuth's comment:

During the late 1980s, I knew Roderick and a number of his students. One afternoon in March, I walked in with one of his graduate classes. It was typical of Roderick that people could attend his classes without being signed up for the class or even attending Duke University.
These notes are the result of my two hours (with a break in the middle) with Rick and about 10 students in a classroom on Duke's East Campus. I have reworded or added to my notes here and there, but I have tried not to change them much. Of course, there may be an error or two where I have misinterpreted one of my jottings. Reflecting on these notes now, I think that Roderick did a great job in introducing Benjamin's difficult piece and also in relating these ideas to issues of thencurrent interest.
I will venture that Roderick's remarks say something about the situation of the left in the late 1980s. In the face of a political climate that had moved to the right and the failure of actuallyexisting socialism, the left seemed (to me) to turn to more anarchistic and romantic ideas. I am sure that Rick would have something to say to this statement were he still around.

What do I know?

Not much more than Wikipedia. However, there are two old letters and one article about him published at Duke Chronicle, the paper of Duke University where he was a professor for about 8 years. Here it would seem that he was fired from Duke in '92 or '93. The article mentions his plan of moving to "Compton in Los Angeles where he will teach adults who have lost their jobs". In his lecture "Self Under Siege", he also talks about moving to Los Angeles.

To the editor:

Does anyone know why one of Duke's only nationally recognized professors has been fired? From our own conversation with Professor Roderick, we know that he has no idea--because he has never been given any specific reasons. This four-time nominee for the Alumni Undergraduate Distinguished Professor Teaching Award has been recognized by the Smithsonian Institute as the best teacher in his field. His "The Philosophy of Human Values" lecture series has been the bestselling videotape in the history of academia. He has been published in five countries. His "Habermas and the Foundations of Critical Theory" is an internationally recognized standard in the field. His work has been studied and reviewed worldwide--India, China, Denmark, Germany, etc., etc.

No one at this university has been willing to debate with Professor Roderick, in public or private, the issue of tenure and research at Duke--either in his own case or the other controversial cases here.

To further their hypocrisy, the University has time and again sent visitors to Professor Roderick's classes as an example of teaching excellence. If he is not fit to teach at Duke, why for eight years did the University continue to use him to entertain prospective freshmen? Either the University was wrong then or they are wrong now.

Professor Roderick has obviously spent way too much time visiting with students, working with the Black Faculty Initiative, organizing protests (such as the one which aided the removal of the union-busting ServiceMaster from campus), working with students for gay and lesbian rights, and being involved in countless other "extracurriculur" activities. Professor Roderick treated Duke students and employees as essential to the University rather than as excess baggage.

Sadly, this letter cannot change anything in this specific case. However, I think we can learn something from this pathetic situation. We always found Professor Roderick's approach to be neither dogmatic nor crude, but radically Socratic. We have written this letter in the hopes that Duke will not sin twice against philosophy.

Katherine Johnson
Trinity '93
Scott Heftler
Trinity '91

To the editor:

In the Spring issue of Duke Blue, Vice President of Student Affairs Janet Dickerson said, "We're in the midst of the great push to be a more inclusive community. . .In our society, we are struggling with the tension between the kind of fragmentation that [Greek organizations] can cause and our aspiration to be one society, one university community, kind of the one world concept."

This utopian commentary on Duke's social vision is quite noteworthy. The ideal is beautiful, and I--as a fraternity president-- do not deny that legitimate contentions exist supporting the reform of Greek life at Duke which could foster more oneness. No doubt, this campus is plagued by a dearth of peace, love and understanding. However, if the Administration favors Greek reforms with the ultimate end of creating "one society [and] one university community," then, under the banner of consistency, the Administration must do its share to engender this ambition. Otherwise, the social critique stagnates as rhetoric.

Strikingly, we must question whether the Administration seriously seeks an "inclusive community." This semester I have been enlightened by two of the best professors I have had in my four years. Assistant professors Colette Carter of the Political Science Department and Rick Roderick of the Philosophy Department have both been denied the opportunity to teach next year despite their overwhelming talents to encourage independent thinking and sustain student enthusiasm. Perhaps this travesty occurred because they offer a more liberal--or as Roderick would admit, radical--perspective on American affairs than is customary in Duke's conservative climate. We students must insist on being exposed to the vast array of perspectives which we shall inevitably confront in the so-called real world--from fascist to anarchist. Otherwise, instead of maturing and developing intellectually, we will continue to wither away and be enslaved in Duke's mental prison.

Steve Hess

Trinity `93


Being kicked out is becoming a habit for Rick Roderick, assistant professor of philosophy.

Besides losing the tenure battle, Roderick also lost his ex-officio status in the Bunch of Guys living group when the group became extinct last fall.

In a casual discussion on the upper level of the Bryan Center, Roderick answered students' questions Tuesday night with sarcasm, cynicism and several one-liners.

The University Union tried to find a member of the administration to publicly debate Roderick over the tenure process and other issues, but the Union was unable to find anyone. Roderick, however, still had something to say.

In his typical outspoken manner, Roderick commented on everything from the tenure process to race relations at the University to Durham social life.

On the tenure issue, Roderick said tenure at the University is not given on the stated qualifications of published research, good teaching and community service.

Some administrators argued that Roderick had not completed enough research in his field to receive tenure. Roderick claimed that, while research works nicely for the Medical Center, no one can research philosophy.

Roderick said that research is plagiarism and simply means "writing books with lots of footnotes."

Roderick said that if students want to protest his departure, and they can try force the administration to reverse their decision. Otherwise, he said he will teach next year at a school in Compton in Los Angeles where he will teach adults who have lost their jobs. He did not speculate as to his future plans after that.

Besides tenure, Roderick also criticized the University for failing to hire more black faculty.

While the University searches across the country to find great black athletes, they do not search the country and find great black faculty, he said.

Remaining in the academic sphere, Roderick addressed his well-known liberal grading policy.

"Grades are one of our ways of disciplining you," Roderick said. "In my view, you're too . . . old for this. I'm not supposed to give all As this summer so I think I'll have a lottery and give a B+."

Roderick also offered his perspectives on drugs and alcohol. He said that alcohol is a "vicious drug" and that anyone who drinks cannot condemn people who use drugs. He also said that he is not pro-crack.

"Only in America would someone take cocaine and say, `We need something stronger than that.' "

In discussing other social aspects of the University, Roderick said that there is very little to do. He encouraged students to find more imaginative ways of having fun and to take advantage of the possibilities that a campus like Duke's has to offer.

"My time at Duke has been like being around an old folks home for young people," Roderick said. "[The University] is one of the most clean-cut, de-eroticized places you could ever find yourself."

To improve the University's social life, Roderick said that different living groups including fraternities should be scattered around campus to create a more diverse atmosphere. He said that shutting down BOG was a mistake because "every University needs `walking disasters.' "

What is the point of this page?

Just like the people who wrote those letters, I too think Rick Roderick had something valuable to say. I won't try to explain what, I'm neither smart nor informed enough to do him justice. But I would like to know what happened in the last 10 years of his life. To know more about his work, where to get the books, lectures or articles. If you have any information, it would be great to hear. Or if you just have something you want to say about the man - please do.
Roderick Fan
January 25, 2007 - 00:42
Thx for the downloads! He was great!!

- "George Orwell was a pie-eyed optimist."
- "That's what I like about death: it's democratic."
February 13, 2007 - 14:55
I just googled Rick Roderick after listening to his "Philosophy and Human Values" TTC lectures and being very impressed by them. He's a great teacher, witty and enthusiastic, and is obviously someone who's not scared to stand up for his beliefs. I'm very sad to learn that he died so young.
Reply to Rachel
Rob Lenkowicz
June 16, 2007 - 04:30
No need to feel sad about Rick's early departure. He often said that he had no desire to live to be a vegetable. He lived life well, fully knowing that death was inevitable.
Reply to Rachel
February 08, 2009 - 01:51
I too found his lecture series on Philosophy and Human Values. I was so impressed I tried to find out more about him. Hopefully his excellent lectures will continue on.
Reply to Rachel
February 08, 2009 - 03:08
Jason, Make sure you check out the rest of his lectures too
February 20, 2007 - 05:34
I checked out Rick Roderick's Philosophy and Human Values" tape several years ago and have returned to it again and again. I'm sorry to hear he was so badly treated at Duke. Duke is obviously far from Kant's "kingdom of ends" in which everyone is treated as an end an not a means. Thank you for setting up this website to remember this extraordinary man.
February 22, 2007 - 06:37
I too took out the above series of tapes from my local library several times. The tapes inspired me to read the original sources, which is what a great teacher hopes for. Since he had left Duke by then, I searched for his email address and found a discussion group in which he was asking about which sociology textbooks were well liked by students. I emailed him to see what else he had written, and he sent me a CV, which I have somewhere. When I first heard the "Terminator" was thinking of entering politics, I sent Roderick another email and asked him if this was an example of Baudriallaridian Hyper-reality. He quickly responded, "Baudriallardian, through and through! More on that when I get well."

Later when I saw and recorded a segment on book TV on a book by the family of the sociologist C. Wright Mills, suspecting he might be interested in something about Mills, I emailed Roderick to see if he wanted the tape. He indicated he would like it so I sent it. I never heard again, and later found out he had passed away.
Reply to jj
February 22, 2007 - 22:11
Thank you for the information. I'm sad to hear that he wasn't well.
It would have been great to see that CV and have it here on the page. If you want, you can send it to me at rodericksite@gmail.com, or try posting it in comments. It would be greatly appreciated.
James Estevez
February 22, 2007 - 11:07
Great work on this page, I hope we'll be able to find out more. He is sorely missed.
February 25, 2007 - 20:40
Thanks very much for putting up this page. I'm not certain I understand how to get at the contents of your download but I will figure it out (I might be on the wrong operating system).

I took classes with Rick Roderick when I was at Duke University during the late 1980s. I will not attempt a complete account right now. But I can confirm that he was a brilliant and inspiring teacher. I took a particularly good class with him on Marx and Hegel. As many of you have heard in the tapes (which I bought from the Teaching Company many years ago), Roderick was very good at explaining difficult ideas in everyday language that related to people's real lives.

He also had a tendency to poke fun at Duke University, the very process of having formal classes, and especially issuing grades. [Digression: In the Hegel-Marx class he gave us all "A" grades on the first day and then said something like: "So all of you can go now. If you pay your bill to Duke, then you will get your "A." But if anyone wants to accomplish anything worth a shit, then stick around." Roderick then proceeded to give an excellent class that I still have my notes for. Alas, it is hard to see from my notes how funny and illuminating he was -- that sort of thing is hard to write down. But live, the Bill Hicks of philosophy was even better than the tapes!] Roderick also had a few personal troubles, including, I am pretty sure, a drinking problem. So, I don't think that it is quite true that Duke "railroaded him out of town." That said, I wish that Duke could have kept him. He shaked the school up in a constructive way. The more conservative professors could and would complain about Rick but -- hey -- they got their time, too!

Thank you so much for your much-needed efforts here. I am now a teacher myself and I would say that Roderick formed part of my style -- and gave me one resource for keeping my teaching alive. I know you are not reading this Rick but, anyway, thank you, thank you!
Reply to albemuth
February 26, 2007 - 12:11
It's really great to hear these first person accounts, thank you very much! Wish I could have been there.

Sorry about the downloads. I have added a short explanation now, hope it helps. Don't hesitate to ask if you still have trouble.
February 27, 2007 - 16:16
Rick Roderick was an amazing teacher and a thinker that I think Socrates and the like would have been more than happy to hold discourse with - a gadlfy through and through. May we all live up to his memory and thought-provoking words.

Long live philosophy.
March 02, 2007 - 17:01
Rick was a really wonderful teacher, detailed, thorough, and concrete even when he was talking about some of the more abstruse figures in ocntemporary post-structuralism. He could've taught Hegel to a stump, yet for those of us who worked with him as graduate students he was a really helpful and kind mentor.

I first heard about his passing about four years ago and have wondered about what happened to him ever since. Thanks for hosting this page.

March 28, 2007 - 16:46
Rick's lectures are simply brilliant and I was fortunate to hear the first of the series recently, and will now proceed to the second series after downloading these from this site which I came to from the wiki site. Its sad to know he is no longer around. His insights and wit will be missed. His ideas synthesized from Socrates onwards, and their excellent presentation under the philosophical quest for what is ultimately human will hopefully be carried forward by people inspired by him.
March 29, 2007 - 22:43
Like some of the other respondents, I took an introductory course in philosophy from Rick Roderick in 1986. He was quite regularly a spell-binding teacher and lecturer. That he was not granted tenure doesn't come as a surprise. He seemed to relish the prospect of being crucified in some way or other.

Rick was a striking mixture of qualities. However, I would be interested to know the details of his death if anyone knows.

Mike Allen
April 25, 2007 - 05:20
Does anyone know why he died?
Reply to Mike Allen
kim vrungos
September 01, 2010 - 07:07
Rick Riderick died due to Pulmitory Obstruction Disease. I was his girlfriend from LA, and companion
from 1993 untill he died in AUSTIN IN 2002.
May 03, 2007 - 21:32

I have finally found and added Roderick's lecture on 'Nietzsche and the Post-Modern Condition'. Enjoy!
Reply to admin
Matt McCann
May 07, 2007 - 19:24
I would love to see the note from Rick's class, but I am not able to find them here. Can you help?
Reply to admin
May 08, 2007 - 00:13
Sorry, no. What you see is what I've got.
Mike Allen
May 08, 2007 - 01:50
Holy crap you found another lecture, this is an awesome day.
John C. Faubion
May 15, 2007 - 18:32
Thanks to all participating to this website. I first heard Roderick through his teaching company lecture on Derrida. I would have like to known him. Duke has another faculty member who interests me, Stanley Hauerwas. Hauerwas is somewhere between a Catholic, a Mennonite, a Methodist and anything but a Modernist. His work interests me. Although he's probably answering questions many people in contemporary philosophy aren't asking. I guess that's it.

It's good to know the world can still produce the eudaimonic type; may Roderick live on.


May 22, 2007 - 04:05
Thanks for the new lecture that you put up. I'm enjoying it.

I found my notes for part of Roderick's Hegel-Marx seminar (from 1987) and a single lecture on Walter Benjamin's Theses on the Philosophy of History (from the following year, I think). I cannot type up the seminar (!) but I could give a try (sometime) to the Theses lecture. Interested?
Reply to albemuth
June 11, 2007 - 14:03
Sorry about this late answer.

It would be very nice to see. If you want to do it, I'll certainly include it here on the site.
ca shelley
June 03, 2007 - 01:14
I loved the feeling hearing Rick say,"A man has got to know how to write his name.He is his name."His morning style was accompanied by a shake to the left,hair clearing line of vision. Rick was intense and enthralling. We taught in a workshop on the Tx. State School campus. Teens and adults mixed daily.Challenged, institutionalized clients allowed growth. Rick taught manual assembly skills, while running a wonderful social commentary to my glee. Lunch breaks at the house on Austin time were fun times-'75-'76.A reunion years later was dynamic. June 2, 2007 I log onto learn he is physically out of touch. The lecture notes will help me begin to grasp what transpired since the '80s .His son was an infant.I am a neophyte.Rick means much to me.
June 05, 2007 - 20:54
Thank you so very very much for this series!!!!!!!!!!!!! Honestly, I almost cried upon seeing it here, as I've been desperately seeking it ever since discovering Rick in 2003. Thank you for this page, this paradise for we free spirits. Thank everyone for contributing, particularly the personal accounts. ... In short, thank you all!!!!! May the spirit of rick and critical inquiry live on, despite Baudrillard's post-modern paradigm!!!!!!!
Rob Lenkowicz
June 16, 2007 - 04:24
The system deals with threats by Banalization, which produces idiocy. In conveying ideas like this, Roderick was the ultimate maverick. He told my class at Duke to put away our notebooks, that he was once a short order cook, and why would be writing down the things that he said. He would convey life lessons, like "Know your body chemistry." He was the antidote to the modern college education. I am re-listening to "Self Under Siege" right now, completely enthralled by the content and delivery. This guy was the real deal. Keeping his ideas and spirit alive is an imperative for us all. Great thanks to you for doing so!
Reply to Rob Lenkowicz
August 03, 2008 - 06:52
yes I agree with you the 'self under siege' series is excellent and still relevant let it spead via cyberland
Glenn Murray
June 17, 2007 - 23:19
I was overcome with a sense of urgency earlier today listening to "Philosophy and human values". By the time I had to switch off my player I had listened six lessons non-stop. Each lesson will receive the attention it deserves in due time; today I just listened as if there was no tomorrow. Thank you for making the downloads available on this page.
Marshall Roderick
June 21, 2007 - 23:20
I'm Rick's eldest son. The amazing thing about the lectures here is that what you hear here doesn't even scratch the surface of his humor or depth of analysis. It also should be known that he was always "on" - always funny, engaging, and savagely brilliant. I will write up something about the last 10 years of his life and send it to the webmaster here. It is an insane final chapter.

I do want to say, regarding his early death, that it came as a complete shock to all of us. At the time he was teaching more classes than ever. It happened out of the blue, but should have been diagnosed early. He died of a congestive heart condition. It is something that normally kills within 5 years, so it is possible he knew but didn't want to tell us. Though he died suddenly, he died in his sleep surrounded by three of his sons. He went to sleep on his couch to take a nap before heading out to his best friend's funeral (who had died the day before) and never woke up. Rick and I talked a lot about death. He always said that he wanted to go in his sleep. He also said that when he died, he wanted people to celebrate his life rather than mourn his death. I can't help but mourn.
Reply to Marshall Roderick
Russell Spears
October 04, 2007 - 06:03
I would love to know more about his life. I first listented to his lectures in 1995. I have sence listened to his TTC lectures almost regulary since. Really, I owe soo much to this guy I know of no one that had a better grasp of the age we live in and what is most important. I only now feel as though I grasp the weight of his single comments as he might have ment them. I would love to visit his resting spot and leave my own thaks to his work. I hope he earned "this individual" on his grave marker. I do remember him saying that he loved graveyards. Thank you. My email address is russpears@hotmail.com
Reply to Marshall Roderick
tom burditt
November 13, 2010 - 01:59
marshall-just found this website-though i mostly celebrate his life sometimes i still morn too. walking in ramsey park and thought his wake but also the many hours we spent at pool oogling young chicks and just laughing. know rick would such an uplifting spirit to me wiyh my current illness-" a bloody struggle but you are going to make it". take care and let me hear from you. give your rick look alike son a hug for me.


Marshall Roderick
June 21, 2007 - 23:39
A quick anecdote Rick told me from a conference he attended: he and some of his grad students created an avant garde philosopher named Jean Au Trey (Gene Autry) and went around lauding his praises and creating fake quotes from his last book. The one I remember most was: "We're looking so far through theory's eyes that we see its ass again." That one always made me die with laughter.
Reply to Marshall Roderick
July 15, 2009 - 23:37
I have a friend who's a professor at the Sorbonne in Paris. He and his colleagues have, for years, been making up a fictional medieval philosopher and slipping fake quotes, purportedly by him, into their articles in publications. They're waiting for the day some poor sap decides to write a thesis on this person...
June 23, 2007 - 01:46
Wow. Great to hear from Marshall Roderick! Thanks, Marshall. That's a great line about Jean Au Trey and theory's ass. That's the kind of thing that Rick would say but, of course, not quite the sort of thing to end up on the Teaching Company's tapes. I will try to type up my Benjamin class notes from the late 1980s. They will not be particularly funny but they might be an interesting document of the times, and Rick's thinking.
A former TTC Employee
June 30, 2007 - 23:34
I once worked for TTC, and customers often called to order Ricks' course, some heard he was "the cowboy philosopher". the comments we would hear were, that "he is one of your best", "I was sad when the lectures ended", "I've listened to them over and over again". Most who owned his courses were shocked and stunned at his death. His Self Under Seige lectures dared to deal with the misery and sad painful state of the human condition. Although we seem powerelss to stop or change the bankrupt human condition and spirit possessed by so many people, the outlook he provided made it bearable and with great though provoking questions that dared to further address it.
July 03, 2007 - 20:07
During glad school at a party, Rick saved me from being beat up by some drunken Canadians who were visiting a fellow graduate student. I don't know what I did to invite hostility but these two guys were both over 6' and I'm under 5'5." Just when things were getting ugly, Rick said, "You just keep hassling Matt, I'll whip it out and piss on my watch. You won't want to see that." Nothing like a theatrical Texan philosopher with some true grit to call the bluff of Canadians overplaying their rural roots!
Kristján Ţór Kristjánsson
July 05, 2007 - 13:51
Hi, I am listner and reader of Rick Reoderick from Iceland and I was reading Rodericks entry on Wikipedia and they (wikipedia) is proposing it will be deletet because it's a summary or incomplete. So I was wondering if there are some stundents of Rick Roderick here who are able to write him a good biography on wikipedia?
Anders Jřrgensen
July 06, 2007 - 18:27
Hi . I am a danish philosophy student who have been enjoying listning to Ricks lectures. In an effort to try and spare the Wikipedia-entry (en.wikipedia.org) from deletion I have expanded it a little. Please try to improve on it - and don't be shy: If even I can add a little, then surely a lot of you can be improve the article too - and please correct me if I have written something misleading.

It seem to me that there have been much too few philosophers like Rick Roderick, so he clearly deserves the entry - allthough he did'nt produce much in terms of writing. Or maybe something is left out. Please include everything and mention the translations of his work too, etc.
August 13, 2007 - 16:30
Hi. I was a member of a good-sized group of undergraduates at the University of Texas in the early 80s who were heavily influenced by Rick. At school we took many independent studies courses with him on Marx, the Frankfurt School, Deconstruction, etc. Away from school we gave him music (punk, Joy Division) and spent countless hours at his house, went out to play pool, went to concerts, drank beer. Together we watched the Reagan Era unfold. Watching TV with Rick was nightly worth 3 hours of course credit. His influence was so profound that a great number of the group went on to do graduate work in philosophy.
Nikhil Maddirala
August 17, 2007 - 12:56
I'm an Indian student who's a big time TTC fan and I happened to come across Rick's Self Under Siege series on a torrent website. I listened to the whole thing in two days and simply loved it. Does anybody know why TTC does not officially sell his lectures anymore?

RIP Rick
Reply to Nikhil Maddirala
August 06, 2008 - 05:19
contraband I think FBI CIA stuff
August 18, 2007 - 17:47
Has anyone heard from Marshall? I would be really interesting to know about the last 10 years of Rick Roderick's life.
To Marshall (if you're still out there): I just wish I had a professor like him - just ONE - when I was in undergrad or grad school! Marshall, I don't have to tell you this, but your father was simply AMAZING! He is missed.
August 30, 2007 - 01:09

I am from Germany. I am reading Heidegger and others at the moment. The TTC Self Under Seige was picked up via torrent. I listened to the first two chapters. Will do the rest tomorrow. I only have an audio track, but it is very well presented. Rick radiates just by his voice a passion for the subject. Must have been a great lecturer.

What blows my preconceived assumptions about Texas & USA is to hear a Texan describing a German philosopher like Heidegger, when at the same time I only know a Texan like GW Bush on the TV stammering ... I am so glad to know that more can come from there.

I'm not much younger than Rick, but a normal working citizen and perpetual philosophy student. I can recommend Rick's lectures for anyone wanting to make an interesting encounter with the wonderful world of thinking. Are they available on DVD? I'd love to send it to my nephew in Salt Lake City & BYU; he would love it and may be liberated from some ideological hindrances ....

I got to this page via the Wikipedia. It can be updated with Marshal's new info about the last 10 years.

Reply to Lando
August 06, 2008 - 05:25
yeah liberatng, the unforced force of unconditional knowledge
September 09, 2007 - 16:02
I've just discovered Roderick. I was listening to the Self Under Siege series, lecture one, while making coffee. I was at minute 9 before I began a search to find out who Rick Roderick is, or as I now know, was (actually is, but that's a long explanation). Suffice it to say, that within minutes I was impressed enough to find out what else this guy might have had to say. Mainly, I recognised what I thought was a very keen insight into the philosophies of Sartre, and the talent to express that insight; a rare talent.

After reading much from this site, I want to comment on the tenure issue. I lack details on this subject. The details are being withheld, apparently, by Duke. However, it's possible that a hint as to what reasons may be at the core of their motivations are found in the lecture on Neitzsche, "Nietzsche As Myth Maker." I think it likely that most students don't truly understand the issues of power, its structures; and it would take a book to cover the topic. I'll just say that it appears Roderick didn't respect the powers that be--he was an iconoclast hacking away at the foundations of the academia's reason's for existence and, consequently, their authority.

If you want to understand power structures thoroughly, then acquire and read the following books: Secrets of Power, vols. I & II, by Ingo Swann. To my knowledge, they are the best written on the subject of power.

To the creator of this page: THANK YOU!
Reply to carbonbased
August 06, 2008 - 05:33
Yeah it would seem he didn't want to toe the line of the establishment
September 16, 2007 - 05:14
Rick has his fans in Australia as well. Solid, honest intelligence. I hope he had a happy life.
September 18, 2007 - 03:43
I just wanted to raise my hand as another person whose life has been touched by Rick's only in the last year, as TTC lectures became available to me. To have learned just how far his principles reached into the world around him makes me teary.
September 30, 2007 - 20:06
ive just had a whole stack of teaching company lectures become available to me and easily one of the most engaging and enjoyable of the series is Rick's course on Philosophy and Human values, which ive found stimulating and enjoyable (not to mention confusing on occasion). More than anything his style of delivery is something which attracts the listener as he has a clear enthusiasm for his subject, despite the fact that he must have given similar lectures 100's of times before. I found this page after looking for information on him on wikipedia, and was shocked to find he had passed away 5 years ago! This is something which has genuinely saddened me, and as such i wanted to leave a message of praise out of respect.
Reply to Kris
August 06, 2008 - 05:44
agreed, I've listened to macy ttc tapes, rick's hands down are the most thought provoking and entertaining
October 02, 2007 - 00:10
I'm sociologist from Macedonia, and I can say that with the TTC "Self Under siege" I learned more about the postmodernity and post modern theory foundations than from the bunch of my professors at philosophy faculty. Rick was great teacher! I was shocked when I found that he passed away. May he rest in peace. Respect!
October 07, 2007 - 05:59
I first head Rick Roderick years ago in the Teaching Company tapes. I downloaded the course that I did not have. Thanks for loading it on the Internet. He was a gifted teacher, and I bet a fun guy. I would love to know more about him, and his family. I have about 10,000 hours of Teaching Company courses. Roderick was / is among the best.
Reply to Jeffrey
November 21, 2010 - 11:51
I just got Roderick's book about Habermas, and on the cover its says that he will publish a book about Marx and the revolution soon in the USA (1989) last minute - does anybody know if that book has been published ? Or if the manuscript is somehow available ?
October 11, 2007 - 14:06
another fan from australia

does anyone have a copy of the videos? i have searched high and low

they must exist - he keeps referring to himself being on video
Reply to Chris
February 22, 2008 - 12:39
I've been looking too everywhere for the videos---You probably know about this already but I found an awesome website with an early video that was superb!! Rick_Roderick.avi;
October 12, 2007 - 16:16
Wow, I think I checked this site a year ago there were about 2 posts and I though to myself, 'well here's a site that'll never grow because the world is far too stupid." Amazing to see that people actually listen to and appreciate Roderick. The site admin did the world a great favor putting up all those lectures, but even if I saw the future long ago and knew they would be posted here eventually, I would probably still have spent the $55 on the set of used tapes of the Nietzsche course that I miraculously managed to snatch off of Amazon, just to get at them quicker.
While I've managed to get ahold of all of the lectures on audio, I have, like Chris - the poster before me - been looking everywhere for the videos. If anyone knows of the whereabouts of any, please do tell.


P.S. To Marshall Roderick, if you ever get chance, please do describe, as much as your time permits, the last 10 years of your father's great life. It would be much appreciated.
Reply to Andrey
October 17, 2007 - 05:46
I have back up copies in EP mode on old vhs tapes. They are watchable.

God, I must have been in poverty in those days not to have used a couple extra videotapes for SP speed.

I'd be willing to share these if I was sure to get them back.
Reply to Andrey
October 18, 2007 - 04:33
Hey Joe. I don't really know what EP is or SP, but if it is something watchable on VCR that would be amazing. Where are you at? (I'm in USA, Jersey to be exact). There's a place on the web where you can send a VHS tape and have them make a DVD for you and send you back both. If you'd be willing to go along with it, I would pay to have the DVDs made, then I could copy the DVD and send it to you also. My email is ayg209@nyu.edu. Let me know what you think.
Reply to Andrey
October 22, 2007 - 17:10
if this plan works and i somehow end up with a copy, i will make it one of my life's projects to redistrubite to anyone who requests it, completely free of charge

ctrlshift @ gmail
October 16, 2007 - 17:24
"...there are far worse things than being mad, and one of them is to be in a culture that is mad, and to consider yourself sane. That's worse"

Someone from the Philippines looks up to Mr. Roderick as well.

I've been looking for the video lectures too. I found one on the net titled the emancipatory challenge of critical theory.

Here's the link:

October 18, 2007 - 15:16
Ah ah!! This video is so funny!!

The interviewer is obviously uncomfortable and has no idea what he's talking about. And he's well aware of it but he doesn't seem to care at all...
Reply to Seb
October 21, 2007 - 18:34
Well I don't know, I think she liked him and understood all that he was saying. Perhaps in the later part of the talk they may have disagreed about a few things involving the university system (after all what he was discussing is a quite radical interpretation), but I think overall she was very receptive and intrigued.
Doug van Orsow
October 29, 2007 - 02:46
I'm a TeachCo addict that just started listening to the earliest courses I could find and was delighted to come across Rick Roderick. A little shockingly different than any other courses to say the least, but that Rick he wanted it that way. I became used to his style and began preferring them over all other courses! I'm very saddened to hear he passed away 5 years ago. Here are my Teaching Company forums and groups to discuss anything about Rick:

Fellow Teaching Company addicts can now view Yahoo groups and phpbb forums:

A forum on each individual lecture in all recent courses:

My posts in Robert Hazen's "Origins of Life" forum:

Some of my new Yahoo groups:

Doug van Orsow
Marshall Roderick
November 08, 2007 - 06:52
Hi. I want to apologize for the long delay but I have to make up for the fact that I'm not nearly as clever as my dad by working full time and actually spending time to read and study as I go to school. I have been digging up everything I can from my mom's house but I haven't found any video yet. I know that there were two things on VHS at one point in her house: a talk at a conference in Toronto and a news story on a protest. Other than that I have found two audio tapes of casual conversations, a handful of papers, and some other things of interest (love poems and other screeds.) I want to distribute as much about the man as I can because he was a hero of mine as well and the foundation on which everything I thought I knew about the world rests.
Reply to Marshall Roderick
December 06, 2007 - 00:13
where'e travis?
Reply to Marshall Roderick
December 12, 2007 - 18:18
Travis stays away from computers altogether.
Reply to Marshall Roderick
October 23, 2008 - 12:21
Marshall, though it is a year since your above post (and even longer since your father passed) I wanted to express both condolences and admiration. Your father was absolutely one of a kind - so rare a voice (and what a voice it was/is!)
If you ever find yourself in Fes, Morocco - consider this an invitation to tea.
Marshall Roderick
November 08, 2007 - 06:54
my father moved through dooms of love
e.e. cummings

my father moved through dooms of love
through sames of am through haves of give,
singing each morning out of each night
my father moved through depths of height

this motionless forgetful where
turned at his glance to shining here;
that if(so timid air is firm)
under his eyes would stir and squirm

newly as from unburied which
floats the first who,his april touch
drove sleeping selves to swarm their fates
woke dreamers to their ghostly roots

and should some why completely weep
my father's fingers brought her sleep:
vainly no smallest voice might cry
for he could feel the mountains grow.

Lifting the valleys of the sea
my father moved through griefs of joy;
praising a forehead he called the moon
singing desire into begin

joy was his song and joy so pure
a heart of star by him could steer
and pure so now and now so yes
the wrists of twilight would rejoice

keen as midsummer's keen beyond
conceiving mind of sun will stand,
so strictly(over utmost him
so hugely)stood my father's dream

his flesh was flesh his blood was blood:
no hungry man but wished him food;
no cripple wouldn't creep one mile
uphill to only see him smile.

Scorning the pomp of must and shall
my father moved through dooms of feel;
his anger was as right as rain
his pity was as green as grain

septembering arms of year extend
less humbly wealth to foe and friend
than he to foolish and to wise
offered immeasurable is

proudly and(by octobering flame
beckoned)as earth will downward climb,
so naked for immortal work
his shoulders marched against the dark

his sorrow was as true as bread:
no liar looked him in the head;
if every friend became his foe
he'd laugh and build a world with snow.

My father moved through theys of we,
singing each new leaf out of each tree
(and every child was sure that spring
danced when she heard my father sing)

then let men kill which cannot share,
let blood and flesh be mud and mire,
scheming imagine,passion willed,
freedom a drug that's bought and sold

giving to steal and cruel kind,
a heart to fear,to doubt a mind,
to differ a disease of same,
conform the pinnacle of am

though dull were all we taste as bright,
bitter all utterly things sweet,
maggoty minus and dumb death
all we inherit,all bequeath

and nothing quite so least as truth
—i say though hate were why man breathe—
because my father lived his soul
love is the whole and more than all
Reply to Marshall Roderick
March 13, 2008 - 04:26
Your father is a gift to humanity: an incredible Dasein. Wonderful cummings poem.
Reply to Marshall Roderick
August 07, 2008 - 06:17
The Dungeon (for Rick)

I saw you prayin in the dungeon
That's my blood up on that wall
Those are the shackles I was hung in
Are we even here
were we ever here at all ?

I saw you climbin up a mountain
filled with crags of hate and war
we'll all be searchin for that fountain
I think I wrote this song
I Know we've sung this song before

I saw you walkin in the garden
among the blooms of love and truth
it seems the dungeon has been hard on
the blooms of beauty and of youth
All your beauty and your youth

I heard you cryin in the distance
There is no comfort for to bring
It's just the dungeon of existence
It's the reason we can
The only reason we must sing

I saw you dyin in the moonlight
you won't make it til dawn
take some solace in your long night
we'll be here to
always here to carry on
November 15, 2007 - 02:41
I would like to note that in his Nietzsche lecture how hard it was to tell whether he was talking about the US in 2007, rather than the 199X year it was recorded.
Reply to Jeff
August 06, 2008 - 07:55
agreed totally relevant today as his thought ever was
November 16, 2007 - 04:42
I just want you to know that your father was a Hero and a being in time that left his project for all of our gain. If only we could enlighten the masses with some of Rick's views of money and capitalizm (z on facist purpose). Yes, I live in the lap of capitalizm but the more I become aware of the devastation created by it, the more I hope we can find a way to prevent the inevitable collapse. Hey, maybe a new myth? The Second Coming may not turn out to be a religious figure but another prophet professing "Repent, the end of OIL is near and if you don't your heaven on earth will turn to hell".
BTW my real name IS John, no 3:16 or other such power, just John
December 02, 2007 - 21:02
Thanx aLotz...
Julian Mathews
December 09, 2007 - 03:03
Thanks so much for posting these! I had only heard Self Under Siege and was amazed at how entertaining, yet deep and insightful his lecture style was.
Razi Siddiqui
December 17, 2007 - 06:04
Thanks a lot. Rick lives in his lectures. Although they went out of print long time ago, still his voice is with us. This site is a proof that Rick Roderick did a good job and people appreciate his ideas even in these times of break-neck competition, greed, rat-race and rampant selfishness. Thanks Rick for keeping the truth alive. I first found this site about six months ago and since then I have tried my best to do my bit to direct more people to it and spread Rick's words to a wider audience. It is very nice to see this site growing. Please leave your comments after enjoying the lectures.

Razi Siddiqui
December 17, 2007 - 06:05
Thanks a lot. Rick lives in his lectures. Although they went out of print long time ago, still his voice is with us. This site is a proof that Rick Roderick did a good job and people appreciate his ideas even in these times of break-neck competition, greed, rat-race and rampant selfishness. Thanks Rick for keeping the truth alive. I first found this site about six months ago and since then I have tried my best to do my bit to direct more people to it and spread Rick's words to a wider audience. It is very nice to see this site growing. Please leave your comments after enjoying the lectures.

December 20, 2007 - 05:22
I would like to purchase Rick Rodericks courses by the Teaching Company, where can I get them?
January 01, 2008 - 22:41
he is great.
January 03, 2008 - 15:33
you can't. download from here's your best option. (perhaps you can try on eBay, though)

unfortunately was, not is
January 05, 2008 - 06:16
Thank you for the download links. I checked these out from my library years ago but they don't have them anymore. I am really looking forward to revisiting these lectures. Thanks again.
January 06, 2008 - 04:47
New York public library has all three video lectures on tape. For those not in the area you can try using worldcat.org to do an interlibrary loan through your local library or University. I too wish Rick was still around and further would love to hear or see any other media former students or friends might have. I know I still have a habit of taping all the lectures I attend, so some Roderick fan out there must be as neurotic as I am. Hopefully that person will find this site and post some rips (ideally this Hegel Marx class that keeps getting mentioned)!!!!! Thanks so much for the site, wish I had more to contribute.
February 18, 2008 - 12:45
links to library info for the videos:

Philosophy and human values

The self under siege philosophy in the twentieth century

Nietzsche and the post-modern condition

Invisible child abuse
Reply to Chris
February 22, 2008 - 12:50
thanks a lot; very cool link;Tony
February 18, 2008 - 14:20
if anyone has access to any of the libraries in the above links (and can be bothered borrowing and encoding the videos), the internet will be truly grateful
Call Me Job
February 23, 2008 - 07:09
Christ! Hey Marshall and Travis and Taylor and Max! Have you seen this new TV show ... "South Park"? Amazing!

I'm back in Austin and already the journalism students want me to report on perceived harshness of certain probation/registration conditions. Yeah. According to Andrea, Travis became pissed at me circa 1999 and that was the end of my direct communication with the fam. Sorry T-Dog, for whatever the hell I did, you bastard! Wrote Irene after the passing of Our Lord but she never responded.

Sued the state pro se and won computer rights for inmates so now my peoples can learn -- one good thing that came out of this freaking fiasco. Taught GED, did free legal work, and politicked in emergency/provocation/humorous style whenever possible. So my Rick-module was still operating even after the Nervous Breakdown of '99. Mastered emacs lisp and objective C. I'm now balder than Marshall is in his pool pic. Austin sure has changed. Finishing up the diss now. Oh well, more later ...
Quinn Wolfe
March 01, 2008 - 14:48
Thanks for maintaining this site. I've been more inspired by Roderick than any professor I've had at any physical university. I think TTC discontinued his shit; ran a search and couldn't even find Self Under Siege. Guess that means there's no reason to feel guilty downloading the series off emule.
Dylan Reece
March 04, 2008 - 20:03
Rick makes me proud to be a Texan. It's a shame the image of a straight-shooting, witty, irreverant Texan has been forever tarnished in the World's eyes by Bush. Im so thankful that these tapes were made and circulated on the internet and torent sites, etc. Wonderful man and mind.
March 08, 2008 - 22:44
To think that this lecture series was free. Wow. It's one of the best, meaning the most personally affective I've ever heard. He's not dead.
March 13, 2008 - 00:27
Thank you so much for posting this website. YOu have no idea how much difference in term of understand that the roderick lectures to me.
Joe Clarke
March 17, 2008 - 06:32
I'm in the midst of listening to Prof. Roderick's Self Under Seige. I am thoroughly enjoying his style of teaching with attempts to relate the great ideas with events and personages of our time. Perhpas this is where he got into trouble: characterizing Jesse Helms as one of them Christians who love God but hate people. I believe Helms was a powerful guy at the time in the nation and in North Carolina. I am interested in knowing more about him and finding more of his materials on tape or whatever medium. To me he is authentic, not pretentious. I don't agree with him entirely on some of his characterizations or interpretations from The Self lectures, but that is what I believe he would encourage: a conversation about these ideas and the contemporary vacuum of real values and critical thinking.
April 05, 2008 - 04:58
What an incredible inspirational figure. I wished I had a person like that to converse with everyday.
April 10, 2008 - 20:16
My name is David Caploe ... I'm pretty sure Marshall and Travis will remember me ... I remember Taylor and Max, but they were so young ...

I was the OTHER "radical" professor at Duke, for a much shorter period of time than Rick, because I was in political science -- which was a REALLY right-wing department ...

Some of Rick's students from the time may remember me and my classes ... there was some overlap ...

For those of you around the world who are into the substance of the theoretical stuff Rick was saying, you might want to check out my website: www.medianalysis.org ...

And my blog, which is totally political: www.grokyourworld.com

In about a month or so, all the lectures that I recorded while teaching at an allegedly "radical" school in San Francisco -- now, justly, out of business -- are going to be up on the medianalysis.com website ...

Please feel free to check them out ... and to email me as well -- drdave2000@gmail.com

Two P.S.s: I did some work for the Teaching Company for a while in the early 90s and they HATED Rick, despite his success for them ... typical ...

And I TOLD Rick he drank too much ... he would have been much better off if he'd been more, er, herbally-oriented ... ...

Glad to see this website ... while I remain friends with several of my students from Duke days, Rick was the ONLY "colleague" who was a real person, and not a total waste ...

How's Irene doing, btw ??? Please send her my best ... I'm in Singapore, of all places ...
April 30, 2008 - 06:49
There is a video interview of Rick on Google video.
If this link does not work, you can get it by searching for "Rick Roderick" in Google video.
June 02, 2008 - 20:42
Thank you for this page. I was asking myself the same questions an I am grateful that someone has done it before me...
June 10, 2008 - 05:44
For the first (I hope) quarter of my "adult" life, I had two intellectual wishes: 1) to speak in person with Rick Roderick, and 2) to have a conversation with Derrida. Alas, both of these fascinating people died before I could meet them. Maybe I didn't try hard enough...

For those who appreciate Rick's style of analysis, I would suggest looking up Slavoj Zizek, if you're not already a fan. Although they come from different intellectual traditions (Frankfurt School for Rick, Lacan for Zizek) they share a proclivity for abandoning the border between "high" culture and "low" culture, being equally at home with Joyce as with Mad Max. In many ways, Zizek does not live up to Rick's standard; for one thing, he does not speak with a West Texas accent and has become too much of a celebrity in his own time.

Over the next couple of months, I plan to celebrate Rick's legacy by writing several critical essays focusing on his lectures for the Teaching Company. If anyone has any materials (beyond what has been described in this blog) that would be germane to this project, please make me aware.

Russell Spears
July 03, 2008 - 17:44
I live in Montclair, New Jersey and I have allowed Ricks work to inform my life and would be open to building a learning group/discussion group around his ideas and get him more exposure to others. I have one of the last tapes of "the Self under Siege" brand new. I will not listen to the tapes, as I only used them to make MP3 files. I will work on getting a good audio version for anyone who wants it.

TTC should be better at giving access to his work!!! I will gladly pay for everything he has done, but they will not sell this anymore?? Why? they can Record everything into mp3 and mpeg files and offer them free if you do not want to sell them and make money. This is a crime on their part!
Bill Strange
July 17, 2008 - 04:10
It is a pity that Rick's work is no longer available from the Teaching Company. I have two sets of audio tapes and I am wearing them out.

Rick makes me think about things in a different light. I don't agree with everything and I do think he plays a few word games in order to serve up an entertaining or sarcastic jab, but I certainly appreciate his clear passion.

Though I do not subscribe to his politics, he makes me appreciate what is really at stake for our humanity. We are much in need of people like him who use the wisdom of the ages as a practical tool for living today fully.

Does anyone know other current thinkers/academics who are as capable as Rick?
Reply to Bill Strange
joe dansak
July 17, 2008 - 16:46
Slavoj Zizek!
Russell Spears
July 17, 2008 - 15:21
No intellectual thinker lives today, that was as down to earth as Rick. Next to him I like Cornel West for his measure of wit and wisdom as well.... That I know. And yea there are things that I did not agree with him, like his emphatic refusal to see “healthy living” as any more than an existential crutch or part of this “fleeing Business” as he would say. I really love how Rick put the most practical and relevant parts of existentialism, postmodernism and of psychology together. But make no mistake about it, I still find that his off remarks involved very clever thinking to render over the many years I have listen to him. I have 14 years into these subjects and others since his first tapes hit me like a brick in 1994, nothing is as significant in my intellectual life as Rick’s words. His family should be proud of him and know his very voice echoes in the minds of many ordinary people today. If only he would have taken better care of his self, because in my assessment his “long enough for me” comment concerning living to a ripe old age, could have been extended more for the benefit of us who still need his words.
Reply to Russell Spears
Phil Harris
August 03, 2008 - 03:19
Slavoj Zizek
Interrogating the Real might be of particular interest
joe dansak
July 17, 2008 - 17:14
Hey All

I guess the Rick-heads may have access too video through those library links above BUT, incase that is not working out, I'll restate the following:
I have second generation copies of both ttc Roderick sets. Unfortunately, they are recorded on EP speed so they are of slightly lesser video quality than what we could get of TTC wasn't so stridently opposed to selling more first generation pre-records.
I'll send them to someone and also contribute to the transfer of these vhs tapes to DVD-r format, but I do want to be assured that I'll rec'v them beck and I don't want to pay for the entire process. If any of the Rick community have established trust just email me and give me an idea of how much it will cost me to get DVD-r copies and I will send them. I'm sorry not to be able to offer more than this right now or the forseeable future.
Russell Spears
July 17, 2008 - 17:34
Just make .mp3 files and quicktime videos .mpeg files of them and leave a link here. No one needs a hard copy of anything these days.
Reply to Russell Spears
joe dansak
July 17, 2008 - 20:50
In case you missed the not so subtle subtext in my offer, I don't have the time or the software to convert a vhs video to any file nor do I want to learn. I am simply saying I can contribute the tapes and help with the costs.
Russell Spears
July 22, 2008 - 15:48
Our country is in a moral deficit and our media doubly so for every day it is quiet. We need a free on line educational system for the working poor. The discourse on education is so well controlled in the media. The fact that NPR and other media groups do not draw a light on the educational possibilities a free online university would represent, tells me of the hold this educational monopoly has over this nation. This is institutional power unmatched in our history, even the big monopoly busts at the turn of the 20th centaury was done within criticism. I suspect that even the intellectuals, while critical of every other institution, finds it hard to bite the hand that feeds them. The only great thinker that withstood this treatment is Rick Roderick who let non-students to attend class regularly is a quiet hero of mine and inspires my will to make room for new “human struggles”.
July 24, 2008 - 03:37
I could only make it about halfway through "Philosophy and Human Values."

I found him to be frustratingly non-rigorous, and extremely bigoted in his lecture. In one lecture he even admits a lack of empirical knowledge in the social sciences, but then precede to offer a denigrating opinion on a subject. I guess it was too much to ask him to walk across campus and do some fact checking before he publicized his opinions. Truly unbecoming behavior of someone claiming the title lover of knowledge.

He also found a way to relate to Marx and his "so called" discredited" ideas, to most of the topics he was presenting, and seems pathologically incapable of avoiding politically motivated one dimensional digs. Maybe the Teaching Company lectures are not his best work.

Philosophy should offend, it should make you feel uncomfortable, but it should also have a methodology, and submit itself to empiricism and reason. Rick just seemed to indoctrinate without qualification. Sarcasm and wit are not arguments.
Reply to Bob
August 05, 2008 - 07:34
Bob , Please Listen to the Socrates lecture 4 more times then comment
Russell Spears
July 24, 2008 - 18:37
First off I am sure this is much easer to write now that he is gone. As for the inability to make it through “Philosophy and Human Values” that surely is a personal failing. You see, Ricks rejection of “rigorous” was done to discard the hubris of the academic facility and their pedagogical methods. Learning was and is never “a life-long-holding of the student’s hand” and he rejected that to, I am certain.

The sciences-especially in the humanities, require a humility they seem unable to place into rigorous perspective. And if “informed opinions” matter so much to you; Rick gave an excellent take on the incomprehensible magnitude the individual sciences have grown into. So much so that no single opinion-even yours-could only be “non-rigorous and equally dogmatic”. You have not enough days in your lifetime to ingest the information you need to give an authoritative opinion on even the subjects you think you know well, Bob.

Ricks love for knowledge go well beyond your love for your position in the educational monopoly. If you really valued education, you would work to make it an institution that is more open to all rather than being closed to the working poor. Your pathology stems from the part you unwisely play in the university system that excludes so many, yet you lecture every day on it-now that is a moral failure, not pathology.

The real benefit of philosophy is not to insult, which tells me you know nothing of the “Natural philosophy” that your beloved humanities grew upon, but to impart humility and uncover unconsciously accepted dogma (yea, I used psychology to in my arguments). Rick uncovered the dirt under your beloved educational monopoly and gave enough people the confidence to question the sanity of people like yourself too. You wasted you time posting.

P.S Bill, your whole physiological rant lacked any rigorous argument and wit.
Reply to Russell Spears
joe dansak
July 24, 2008 - 18:49
Amen to Mr. Spears' observations concerning Bob's imperious dismissal of Rick's lectures.
"Bob" wouldn't by any chance be Robert Solomon, a former colleague of Roderick's at Texas who has a couple of Teaching Company lecture series on similiar subjects? Was there a deal made that Solomon would lecture only if Roderick's lectures wwere pulled from distribution? Hmmmm, probably not, but there's a fun conspiracy theory.
Russell Spears
July 24, 2008 - 20:12
My Rick inspired rant for a free online educational system here Bob start the debate:

Reply to Russell Spears
August 04, 2008 - 09:47
TRy MIT OPEN courseware there's a ton of free stuff out there

basically a bachelor's degree is reading 32 books you can do it at any library
July 25, 2008 - 18:17
Thanks for the page & the lectures! It's been 2 months now since my stepping into 'The Self Under Siege'. I'm from Poland, Europe, and knowing Texas mostly through its popular culture representation, I wondered what philosophy out of cowboy state would be like . Soon, though, all the bias waned as I became possessed by Rick Roderick's philosophical narrative.
What I found most inspiring was RR's account of contemporary culture and human condition, and - me being a psychology studies graduate - his comments on psychotherapy, which all too often ignores fundamental questions of existence. Finally, RR's use of popular culture and everyday experience to make himself clear made me suspect that Zizek must have heard the tapes!
No doubt Roderick was one of those teachers who can make you realize that gaining knowledge may be a great adventure. Respect, professor. RIP
August 04, 2008 - 09:27
Hi, Just wanted to say thanks for posting these lectures and hosting this site. I am a disciple and have bought the 'self under siege ' series at least twice and have tried to propagate it. This page will help greatly in creating a new following for Roderick. He was an iconoclastic firebrand who was extremely intelligent, witty and eloquent. He could see through the bullshit and give us laypeople a hint on what to watch out for. We should attempt to get his word out, which, today is as relevent as ever. A modern day Socrates to be sure, I would urge his sons to write his story and present it to a whole new generation as the people's philosopher. mike
August 04, 2008 - 09:42

I started the lecture that you couldn't get through. Rick's style does have to grow on you. Try Lecture one again, I'm on my 4th pass before moving to #2. There seems to me many great insights and nuggets of knowledge. One example is when he talks of Socrates trying to investigate meanings of important concepts, which in our culture have been co-opted by the mass marketing machine to brain wash consumers. Give it at least 5 passes the report back. mike
August 05, 2008 - 07:23
Hey, I'd like to get something going on this site !!!! IT'S August 2008 Let's start with the 1st Lecture of his - Philosophy and Human Values series, try to email who you can to participate and listen to it at least a coupla times and comment and discuss it here, Let's concentrate on his one for the rest of August 08 until we see if this comes together and decide on pacing for the balance of his work !!! So Socrates was credited for turning the world's thought inward ? Know thyself, Mike

1) Socrates and the Life of Inquiry
August 05, 2008 - 08:59
Rick Roderick - Philosophy and Human Values

Socrates and the Life of Inquiry

Seperating philosophy from science. The Cosmos without verses the Cosmos within, Socrates directs the inquiry toward human beings. A Polis is where the arguments between free citizens take place in direct contrast to the Bush-Cheney clandestine coven.
Russell Spears
August 05, 2008 - 17:12
We need to make sure everyone has a copy of the lecture that wants to contribute. The worst thing we can do is start posting a bunch of comments. We should try to develope an abstract of each part of the lecture. Then post. But we should be willing to agree to some formating rules so that everything can be put together in the end.
Reply to Russell Spears
August 06, 2008 - 03:20
By abstract do you mean an outline, Sure anything you've got in mind I'm game, Let me know. But the times I've attempted things like this it's very hard to pull off. That's why I say we just start with that first lecture and start NOW but let that ONE lecture run throughout AUGUST so we can discover the interest and recruit as we go and you can establish a cohesive system that makes sense to you. this site and this software seem like a logiical place. mike
August 06, 2008 - 02:43
I would be very interested in participating in a discussion of Rick's lectures. I don't have copies yet, but I only recently resurrected my computer from the dead.

On a personal note, Rick was my advisor when I was a philosophy major at Duke. I'd like to think that we were friends as well. Marshall, I found the poem by ee cummings especially poingnant. When I graduated, Rick and I exchanged gifts--I gave him a book of ee cummings' poetry. I think I got the better part--he gave me a tape of some of his favorite blues songs. The tape of the protest you mentioned was one that happened while I was at Duke. A long, if not interesting, story.

It was because of Rick's introduction that I had the opportunity to study with Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt in France after I graduated. We kept in touch through my time in graduate school, but it was only when I moved to California that I learned he had died.

I'm sure I still have lecture notes somewhere from some of Rick's classes. Occasionally I would jot down something he said that struck me as funny. The only one I remember offhand is, "Sometimes opium is the opiate of the people."
Reply to Rab
August 06, 2008 - 09:22
Great! You cab find the lectures above start with the Socrates,

Yeah I remember when he corrected Marx's 'religion is the opiate of the peole'
August 07, 2008 - 05:44
Lecture I

'the problem with the past is it's a lot like the present we don't know what's going on'

I got a little problem with him comparing Socrates' search for meaning with a yuppie, maybe himself would have been a better analog.

he lays out his populist goals : to make philosphy look like an attractive scarf at a flea market

the sophists were paid to teach and when they moor to that ship called money we need to hold a skeptical eye just look at the price of these textbooks and some classes require 3 (someone need to investigate this stuff)

he believes passionately that his passionate beliefs could be wrong even that one

they way we define and label ourselves is tied to our set of beliefs and way of life

my copy of the lecture expired early
Reply to mike
August 10, 2008 - 09:41
Last Pass - Lecture 1 - - - Socrates and relativism

pythagoras - 'man is the measure of all things'

'There are no universal truths' well is that statement universal ?

How's about this there is ONLY one absolute truth "And that was it"

cynical reason prevails while these words sounds like advertising slogans
(you could smoke the truth at one time)

crucial for Socrates to get at the meaning of these words

Socratic dialogs 'What is X' (politics, courage, truth....)

What are YOU Doing ? Looking for meanings that transcend the here and now

'the greeks' - largely 19th century german scholarship were impressed

inculcations from our society would make theirs incomprehensible

don't you have a dictionary ?

no space for the socratic inquiry.... only when a society is in upheaval
when the questioning of these life defining terms is possible

as opposed to be a woman in 1954 when role seemed more clearly defined

tried to broaden out philosophic interest, What does it mean to be human ?

Critical inquiry with passion, What's important about being human ?

'He knew he didn't know anything' Socrates metabelief

Philosophic inquiry - the opposite of a TV interview where limits are obeyed
August 08, 2008 - 02:56
Emerson on Roderick

Anyone know what Rick's take on Ralph Waldo Emerson was ? I know Nietzsche never went anywhere without his essays.

I'm reading Emerson's essay 'The Poet' right now and I think he's describing Roderick throughout much of it, I'll post a few specific quotes from it when I get the time.
Reply to mike
August 13, 2008 - 09:12
As promised I'm back to quote Emerson on Roderick

'We study to utter our painful secret'

'.....watches for the arrival of a brother who can hold him steady to
a truth, util he has made it his own.'

'...the poet turns the world into glass ...'

'... his speech is thunder, his thought is law....'

'...the poets are liberating gods...they are free and they make free.'

just a sprinkling from Emerson's 'The Poet' that brought Rick to mind
Reply to mike
November 12, 2008 - 07:32
all I know is I have his old copy of 'selected writings of ralph waldo emerson' complete with a lot of underlining and a sheet of notes stuck in the middle. I'll be sure to transcribe what I can, when I can.
August 15, 2008 - 09:15
Lectgure 2 - Epicureans, Stoics, Skeptics

Now that we see How well things are going, Let's pick things up a little and get going on the second lecture. um ... Let's say the last half of August 2008
Reply to mike
August 21, 2008 - 10:17
He end this lecture with a philosophical argument to prove god's existence

God is the most powerful being that we can imagine

It is greater to exist in reality than just in imagination

therefore god exists
Reply to mike
August 25, 2008 - 03:58
OK, in Lecture 2 Rick goes through major movements of thought and ways of life coupled with

searches for meaning. Such as the Socratic life of inquiry,

the Greek life of excellence (in many avenues of life at once)

the Roman hedonistic(do what makes you happy)(epicuris) and

stoic(toughin' it out, an egaltarian style shared by slave and king alike)

then subsequently Christian(whose view of this world parallelled the stoics).

Dominant ideas discussed by dominant classes(marx).

Life got meaning from it's relationship with god. Everything was a sign of god even Moby Dick.

Disenchanted world where quantity overrules quality, bureaucratized and rules followed without

August 25, 2008 - 04:01
Lecture 3 - Kant and the Path to Enlightenment - Let's start the Kant last week of August 08
August 25, 2008 - 04:11
Kant's grand formulizable categorcal imperative for ethical decisions, goes something like this. For any action you're about to take; could you make that action into a universal rule for everyone to follow. If so then your action was moral.
Russell Spears
August 25, 2008 - 18:51
Mike you may want to collect your posts into a single post for each tape or for each lecture series and have a link to it. Ricks work is already done for us, so you might find it better to collect his points into individual arguments he makes. At that point everyone can weigh in if they want and this will have a useful affect. Just a comment if you care for it. All of the individual posts can get lost and are hard to follow.
Reply to Russell Spears
August 26, 2008 - 06:55
Well what i was tryin to do s have one thread for each tape, but i misreplied once or twice and began a new thread by mistake. I was just tryin to get a little discussion goin on his work and maybe ressurrect it for some new listeners Oh well it was turning into a solo effort anyway which is what I pretty much expected.

If you ever want to discuss any of his work it's mikeups@gmail.com
August 25, 2008 - 19:18
I agree with Russell here. I appreciate the effort, I really do. But I don't think this is the right forum for this kind of discussion.
Reply to admin
August 26, 2008 - 06:59
see my reply to russell, and if you get a proper forum going let me know i'd be happy to participate, and thanks again for this site and the lectures, mike
August 31, 2008 - 07:06
i was a student of rick's at duke; he was great, and infuriating. i learned a ton from him, which is all one can ask.

as for him not getting tenure: i guess if you think being a good, or great teacher, suffices for tenure at a university, then he deserved it. he did little else, though, that conventionally gets you tenure, though he would think what you do to get tenure is precisely what should get you denied tenure.

i don't think he helped his case by bragging about sleeping with the philosophy dept. chair's wife, though....
Russell Spears
September 02, 2008 - 19:05
Wow, my hero was un-ethical-hardly fits well into an examined life. But he is human.
September 10, 2008 - 07:43
I'd be happy to participate for one.
September 11, 2008 - 06:50
Don't have time to scroll through these comments but was immensely sad to hear about this man's passing. He was a joy and an inspiration. I'll never forget what he used to say to us at the start of every class in 1987: "I'm wearin' my Reeboks; but I caaaaan't get mellow." Such great 1980's humor. And mind-blowingly smart. What a guy. You are missed, Rick.
Tom R
September 16, 2008 - 12:32
I got hold of the Self under siege series recently and listened this week. From this alone you could tell Rick as a truly inspiring lecturer. Covering Baudrillard's Hyper-reality in line with current anglo-american culture such as 'screaming at a nintendo' really helped put that into perspective. An above all, his humorous approach put a smile on my face even when dealing with quite dark or complex themes!
Reply to Tom R
September 17, 2008 - 07:59
Yeah he was great no doubt, I made my son listen to that nintendo segment, Roderick nailed it no doubt and was ahead of his time. That stuff still holds up
To everyone!
October 08, 2008 - 02:06
Hello other fans!

It's my pleasure to offer a small gift to us all:




All thanks must go to the kind soul that ripped those lectures, I just uploaded them to MegaUpload!

P.S.: The videos are not perfect since they are VHS-Rips, but just to be able to see the man...

P.P.S.: Adm, feel free to add these to the audio ones.
Reply to To everyone!
October 09, 2008 - 00:51
Wow - incredible. Many many thanks for the "Self under Siege" videos.
Upload Of The Year.
I'm really looking forward to this and I'm sure many others will love this too...
Reply to To everyone!
March 06, 2009 - 01:38
Roderick was great. So sad that he's gone but his memory will live on in his lectures. Thanks for posting this.
October 10, 2008 - 15:31
so glad someone could be bothered!
October 10, 2008 - 21:20
i grabbed 3 videos from here. i have only seen the first so far. its a bit out of sync. i bet someone could fix it somehow.

megaupload made me download one at a time with a 45s wait between downloads. sendspace.com is much better imo!

in any case, if its annoying the hell out of anyone else, someone made a torrent
October 11, 2008 - 21:04
Thanks for putting this site up. I had wondered about the guy and considered trying to contact him. Sorry to see he passed. It's funny, I had considered him very resonant with Bill Hicks, my favorite comedian/philosopher, and if I don't remember incorrectly I once called him "the Bill Hicks of philosophy" myself, in a conversation with a friend. But it was so long ago...
October 12, 2008 - 11:32
this torrent is very well seeded:

but if you can't work out torrents, you can download the videos for free from here:
October 12, 2008 - 18:32
Thanks for the videos, and the extra links to download them. This guy was unconventional to say the least.
October 21, 2008 - 03:29
I think that lecture "Sartre and the Roads to Freedom" is different in audio and video version.

and thanks a lot for the video lectures!
October 21, 2008 - 04:00
Incredible Stuff

Has there ever been a better philosophy Lecturer ?
November 12, 2008 - 07:09
hi guys

I don't have a lot to say right now... I haven't read my father's book or seen any of his lectures yet. Oh, uh, I'm his youngest son, max. but I have in my possession his unfinished autobiography (which I just finished reading) and a scrapbook of half-written songs from the two years after the autobiography cuts off... (the final line resonated eerily with me - "And so the dead call to the living and lay their claim upon them.")

I want to write his biography someday. I probably knew him the least of his friends and family... but I think that will lend to the story in a way he'd whole-heartedly approve of. if anyone has any anecdotes, or anything he wrote that's not already here, I would love for you to contact me at untitled.rtf@gmail.com
John Caldwell
November 13, 2008 - 18:53
I just came across this site dedicated to Rick Roderick and I couldn't resist putting in a comment. I have derived much joy and enlightenment from listening to the Teaching Company Lectures since discovering them in the 1990's, but no single instructor has ever left as great an impression upon me as Rick Roderick. What a refreshing approach to philosophy! And his sardonic wit was a gem. I am so happy to see that his lectures are available on this site - I was afraid that they had been lost forever. I have to also say that I've long suspected that Professor Roderick left a deeper impact on our culture than he or the general public may have ever realized. I have always found it highly suspicious that movies like "The Truman Show", "Wag the Dog", and "The Matrix" were created not too long after his lectures became popular. I suspect that their creators were inspired at least in part by his bold views on the manufacture of reality and how our civilization seems to be inexorably evolving to one that is more "unreal". Bless you, Rick, and may your memory last at least as long as our tenuously real civilization.
Kurt Volk
November 20, 2008 - 08:38
Wow! I'm so sorry to hear of Rick Roderick's passing and also amazed to find this site.

I bought Rick Roderick's 'Teaching Company' lectures in 1991 and have listened to them dozens of times. I've always thought he was a truly great lecturer and certainly the best in the series.

Ironically, I've been 'ripping' all my cassette tapes to computer files and tonight started on Professor Roderick's lectures. Enjoying his wonderful presentations, once again, I thought I might send him a note. 'Google' brought me to this site.

I don't want to make this too long, since I'm 'in the middle' of his Kant lecture. So, I'll be back.

My copy of his teaching company lectures are clean and now 'ripped' to flac. If this site wants a copy, I'll try to make them available.

I didn't know Professor Roderick, but his lectures have had a profound influence on me.

Sincerely, Kurt Volk
Reply to Kurt Volk
Russell Spears
November 20, 2008 - 23:10
Kurk, I would love to have a copy of the Mp3 files. We should make all of the lectures this common file type. Kurk I have a brand new copy of Self Under Seige. russpears@hotmail.com
Reply to Kurt Volk
Bryce McLafferty
December 04, 2008 - 07:21
That would be terrific if you would be so kind as to post a copy of your freshly ripped copies of Rick Roderick's TTC lectures. I know that my copy of the lectures from "Philosophy and Human Values" cut off abruptly at the end, and so I'd greatly appreciate having them in their entirety.
G Hall
December 08, 2008 - 14:35
Brilliant lecturer.
December 16, 2008 - 18:31
A brilliant pessimistic arrogant lecturers that stands for his ideas.
Russell Spears
December 16, 2008 - 19:27
I recovered much of the Nietzsche and the Postmodern Condition as fair audio files from old tapes I recorded in the early 90's. This lecture are missing parts, but my Self Under Siege lecture came from new tapes and are great CD quality. Between Kurt and myself I think we have a good collection of all the lectures that fit on one standard CD. The rar file thing did not work for me and I do nto know why, but now I have a good set. Thanks Kurt!!!!!!

I just wish TTC would reconsider selling the tapes sets. This is really wrong of them to not make it avaliable for us that admired Ricks work. These thinks are like gold to many of us.
Russell Spears
December 16, 2008 - 19:28
I recovered much of the Nietzsche and the Postmodern Condition as fair audio files from old tapes I recorded in the early 90's. This lecture are missing parts, but my Self Under Siege lecture came from new tapes and are great CD quality. Between Kurt and myself I think we have a good collection of all the lectures that fit on one standard CD. The rar file thing did not work for me and I do nto know why, but now I have a good set. Thanks Kurt!!!!!!

I just wish TTC would reconsider selling the tapes sets. This is really wrong of them to not make it avaliable for us that admired Ricks work. These thinks are like gold to many of us.
Russell Spears
December 16, 2008 - 19:28
I recovered much of the Nietzsche and the Postmodern Condition as fair audio files from old tapes I recorded in the early 90's. This lecture are missing parts, but my Self Under Siege lecture came from new tapes and are great CD quality. Between Kurt and myself I think we have a good collection of all the lectures that fit on one standard CD. The rar file thing did not work for me and I do nto know why, but now I have a good set. Thanks Kurt!!!!!!

I just wish TTC would reconsider selling the tapes sets. This is really wrong of them to not make it avaliable for us that admired Ricks work. These thinks are like gold to many of us.
December 16, 2008 - 19:44
The Teaching Company will not send me any of the old sets of tapes or sell them to me either. Our copies were fire damaged, so thank god for this site. I have a couple of analog tapes of other material that I need to digitize but don't have the equipment yet to do so.
Russell Spears
December 17, 2008 - 03:46
Audacity freeware and a PC is all I used as Kurt suggested. It worked great but the files were big I used Microsoft Plus audio converter to make a smaller audio file.

Of all people TTC did not give you a good version, there has to be an attempt to shut out his work from the general public as it really is the most dangerous ideology-Rick was onto something.
I can send you a copy of the final collection-add to it if you can. Your fathers affects on all our lives is worth giving to the future. His real hope was that some postmodern phenomena would reproduce us as more human and his work went a far as any other I know.

Send me your address and tomorrow I will send you the CD. We should all try to collect Ricks work as best we can and for sure it should go to you!!!
December 18, 2008 - 03:04
Yeah, it was crazy. I have asked multiple times, my mom has asked, and we get nothing but lip service. I even said I would pay for them, but still no luck. Not sure what the issue is and how they wouldn't have extra sets. I have an email that I don't mind if the spammers get: yoyodyne.propulsionsystems at yahoo dot com. shoot me an email there and I'll give you my address.
Reply to Marshall
Marsha Draman
January 26, 2011 - 01:32
Marshall, I'm living in the LA area and got an urge to goggle Rick and found this site. I have 'The Self Under Seige' tapes and would love to pass them on to you. If Irene is at the same location I'll drop them by the next time I'm in Austin. Rick was a true friend that I'll always miss.
December 18, 2008 - 06:59
Well Marshall, Rick gave me two sets of the TTC VHS tapes -- originals. I'm not sure if the police stole them or not. The bastards REALLY helped themselves to all sorts of goodies when It All Came Down: my collector's items (GI Joe, Six Million Dollar Man), my passport (with the Dalai Lama's autograph in it), my Ace Frehley picks GIVEN to me by Ace, and all my photos and VHS tapes. (All this is illegal, BTW. The dolls and autographs went to their kids or were sold on eBay. But my freaking childhood photos? Photos of the monks in India and of all my girlfriends? Photos of Rick and you guys? My life-highlights? GONE. The anger I feel is unbearable. The one therapeutic thought is remembering that Rick burned all of his personal photos -- except that one where he's beardless and playing poker. Must ... learn .. to ... let ... go. If he can do it, so can I. Then again, he did cherish other material objects, like his tapes and books, which he quite properly never lent out.)

The good news: after my diss is done, Mom and Dad will send all my crap and we'll see which (if any) of my TTC tapes are there.

I also have (and this is certain) ALL my audio recordings from Rick's classes. These are:

* Hegel Seminar (Fall '90)
* 19th Cent Phil class (Spring '91)
* 20th Cent Continental Phil class (Spring '91)
* Marx Seminar (Fall '91)

I promise to eventually digitize these and bring them by or upload them.

I'm delighted that so many people recognize Rick's awesome gifts and have converted his TTC lectures into mp3s and provided links for free downloads. All three sets are on my iPod so the power of Rick can compel me in my car. I miss his joyful strength more than ever.
Reply to Scott
John Ymer
October 01, 2009 - 11:44
Hello Scott.
I would be very interested to know if you have digitized the recordings and if they are uploaded somewhere?
It would be a gift to humanity.
Thank you
December 18, 2008 - 07:58
Scott, if you could do that it would be the nicest thing anyone could do for me at this point.

Still haven't recovered from his death on a personal level.

And never knew how to connect with you after what happened. Email me at the email above. Can't help you with letting go, though.
Reply to Marshall
December 19, 2008 - 23:19
Marshall! I sent "you" a huge letter two days ago "at the above email" and I've been waiting for "your" reply. Well, I just got one from the site admin (rodericksite@gmail.com) saying he's not you!

You can email me at chico_che@mac.com and then I can reply to you.

December 18, 2008 - 16:00
Just yesterday listened to the Rick Roderick - Philosophy and Human Values mp3's. Didn't know it who is was tho, just downloaden some audio files and put them on my iPod. But is was mind-boggling, is listened the whole thing through at once. I was convinced it was a recent lecture, the amount of critique he has, especially for a west-texan, couldn't believe it's so old already.
Off to the next two : )
December 19, 2008 - 06:38
Hello there, I've been listening to Rick's TTC lectures for the last 3 or 4 months now, alongside ones by Lloyd Kramer, Robert Solomon, John Searle to name a few and I certainly hope that he is not alone amongst University professors in identifying the sources of our current malaise. I have a couple of questions; firstly, in the Self Under Siege lecture on Sartre (audio version) he mentions a film, about 26 mins in, that sounds like "John Sell's Make One". Now I don't know if I've completely misheard him but I've bourne in mind the fact that he's West Texas and I'm about as East Hampshire (UK) as they come, but I think if anyone knows what film he's referring to, someone on this board will!

My second question is that I was considering (being a budding philosopher and author myself) transcribing Mr Roderick's Self Under Siege lectures and annotating them (which is why I need to know the name of the film he refers to!) and I understand that Max has had some issues with the Teaching Company and am wondering whether this would be a serious block to such a project, depending on who holds the copyright...?

On a side note, I have recently acquired a copy of his Habermas text, which I am in the process of reading.
Reply to Byron
December 19, 2008 - 06:41

He quotes James Earl Jones' line from the famous pep-talk scene in the tunnels.
Reply to Byron
December 19, 2008 - 15:37
Unfortunately it won't let me reply to your post Scott so I'll have to reply to my own! Thank you for the info, shame google doesn't have a 'sounds like' search option! :p
Reply to Byron
July 15, 2009 - 21:41
I believe he is referring to the film, "John Sayles's Matewan." I could be wrong.
Russell Spears
December 19, 2008 - 15:46

Why wait a few months, just get Adobe's software to transcribe his audio or video lectures and use other computer programs to re-interpret Rick for us? Then we can bring the Re-interpretation of Rick, and his dangerous project to a close. However, Sartre would also warn against this story having a narrative structure-since that in-itself would a have more of a fictional character, but please do make it interesting to read. And finally, try to capture a bit of his wit, that should sell more copies.

Actually, Bryon, I find this man's work inspiring; but please look for a voice that is your own and I know that will not be easy for anyone. I am sure Rick might have been concerned himself about shifting through the cannons of literature one needs to to be informed and giving that information time to set within the human mind. And finally, however you may want to make use of Rick's work it should not concern copyrights. We have already seen how TTC has made use of that...

Russell Spears
December 19, 2008 - 16:33
Bryon, since you have read or listened to John Searle, try to balance it out with David Chalmers "The Conscious Mind" the way that he has posed the Hard Question for us is revolutionary in my opinion for a number of reasons: One, it proves that our sciences are fundamentally wrong even if it “holds up” to higher degrees, Two, that whatever we may think about human subjectivity-as a pure cultural construct, the most important feature of human existence it the phenomenal experience (the what-it-is-like-to-be) that may be the most important key, Lastly, it points to a technological future we cannot even imagine since it may become the very phenomelogical basis of life were we encounter everything, both imagined or real. Rick made the cultural world understandable, but we are moving in a different direction altogether-one that even Jean Baudrillard could not have see coming.

Now, if it is a political cause you are after, write about how our Educational Monopoly has constructed the greatest concentration of power to date one that holds no opposition and is sucking 850 billion plus of American resources. Even the need for a free online university for the working poor, thought possible years ago, is not even suggestible in our media even by honest politicians.

More of my thoughts are here and is at the heart of many struggles we face today.

Bob #2
January 16, 2009 - 17:37
I agree with Bob.
I am listening to his Nietzsche course. Anyone who isn't a Marxist should find this guy to be quite obnoxious...
Reply to Bob #2
Matthew M Perry
March 01, 2009 - 09:58
I'm not a Marxist, and I find him both entertaining and challenging.
Reply to Bob #2
March 19, 2009 - 07:49
Russell Spears
January 16, 2009 - 19:06
Well "Number 2" I guess I'll just leave my comment to this.
February 20, 2009 - 02:01
I've been a fan of Rick's since first hearing "Self Under Siege" back in the early 90s, when it first came out. That it's no longer being published testifies, for me, to its power and authenticity.

I wish I'd had the pleasure of meeting the man. He is an inspiration, and will always occupy a space of honor on my iphone.
Daz Medrano
March 04, 2009 - 05:11
Hi there, i found Rick's lectures about 3 years ago and they've left a deep and permanent mark in me. Even though i never met him, i respect him profoundly and hold him very close to my heart. And it's really great to see that Rick's vision of philosophy, reality and the world has spreaded all over the world, he was def an special character with unusual teaching abilities and im really happy so many people can see that.

Thank you to all of those sharing their first hand experiences it's been a delight reading and knowing more about Rick as a person. And thank you Marshall for being so kind and giving us a more intimate look at Rick's life. You should be very proud of your father and i konw you are.

Keep this page alive and thanks again fro all the info and material, this is awesome.

Greetings from Venezuela...
March 09, 2009 - 16:15
Oh, I just happened to be thinking about Rick Roderick today and found this site. I had him as an undergrad at Duke in the late 1980s ... I think I was in some of these classes that people have talked about above! He was the most memorable (engaging and eye-opening) professor I've ever had, and after Duke I went on to get both a JD and PhD, so I've had many. Does anyone remember when he screened Blade Runner for our class and we had a mind blowing conversation about it (circa 1989)? I'm not a Marxist either, but I loved Rick Roderick!
Lester Burnham
March 10, 2009 - 00:53
Hey all,

I know a lot of you wanted to get the "Nietzsche and the Post-Modern Condition" video, not just the audio. Well, good news. There's 33 libraries that have a copy of the VHS Tapes.

You can view them here: www.worldcat.org

The nearest one to me is about 300 miles away, and I have submitted an order to get a library loan, but its been a few weeks and I have a feeling my request has been lost in the bureaucracy. Please check that list and see if any of those libraries are near you! If you can rip those VHS's to a digital video format, I know there would be a lot of very, very happy Rick fans. I can even host the files if you can get them ripped. Should I get the tapes myself, that's my plan.
Reply to Lester Burnham
John Salmond
March 21, 2009 - 13:24
Hope this project goes ahead, Lester
greetings from Canberra, Australia, where we are still apprehensively awaiting the full effects of your economic meltdown (we were protected at first by being a massive seller of materials to China to be turned into iPods and Barbie dolls and tanks to cower Tibetans) -- I reckon Rick would have had something interesting to say about the comeuppances of off-the-wall capitalism; in fact he DID say lots that is relevant to all that. . .
Reply to Lester Burnham
March 22, 2009 - 02:38
Like when he spoke about people going bankrupt but not the banks.... a fine example of what's goin on now. Yeah I wish he had survived to comment on this AIG bailout and Obama, but I guess we'll just have to infer
Ryan Smith
March 18, 2009 - 03:48
Rick Roderick is an ocean of knowledge that continues to inspire...
Rudy Antoncic
March 24, 2009 - 09:24
Reguarding Professor Roderick's prospective view on President Obama: I'm sure he would have been very proud to suppport the man. I rememeber one time after class when students would ask his opinion on political and other matters that the limited time in class did not allow for. A fellow student assumed that he would be a member/supporter of the communist party or socialist left party. He responded that he would encourage voting for the most viable progressive candidate. Furthermore he felt that the communist party as it exists in the United States would be so infiltrated with CIA to render it ineffective. Gimmicks such as running a pig for president as offered by Abbey Hofffman as political theater undercut the serious nature of democracy. But it was ammusing to him and sometimes an existitentially absurd response to an absurd system is totally appropriate
Rudy Antoncic
March 24, 2009 - 10:07
Professor Roderick was definitely "down for the cause" and he was in tune with black conciousness. He lived through the civil rights movement and this likely helped form his rightious indignation when confronted with the right leaning, yuppie, bougiouse compalcency that was prevelent in the students of Duke in the late 80's and 90's. He was a supporter of Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Coalition. He supported another black politician Harvey Gant in his run for office. When asked by a student who assumed that Professor Roderick was just a burned out hippy who would only listen to endless retreaded versions of Grateful Dead songs he suprised many when he said he had been listening to the music of Public Enemy and felt this was the only music worth listening to at the time. He followed sports avidly and unerstood and fought against the commodification of the black athlete. He was never afraid to call a "Tom" a "Tom". Barack Obama is a beautiful human being that I'm sure that he would support and feel proud of as a role model for his own children. As he says in one of his lectures on tape (Hegel) that the work of philosphy is the contemplation of our time in thought. He viewed politics as a natural real world application of philosophy and indeed Hegel may be the last philosopher as Marx inherited and applied Hegalian dialectic to the world aroud him
Russell SPears
March 24, 2009 - 14:32
I believe Rick would have supported Obama but may have warned about the overwhelming Commodification of the then candidate. He would have reservations when the minority voices became too derisive, but would have been interested in the rise in use of the terms like “the republican brand”, “Obama as a symbol” and “Joe the plumber”. He would have admired Obama for his use of alternative media and Machiavellian tactics to connect with the “Evil Doers” and general public.
But I would most want to know what he would think about Dick Cheney’s remarks of late and Obama’s approach to the previous administrations willful acknowledgement of breaking international law and using torture.
Reply to Russell SPears
March 25, 2009 - 07:55
I too, agree that he would have loved to see the status quo shaken up and the slight uptick in this revival of democracy that we've had. As far as him being a communist, I think wehave him on record saying communism is stupid.
Rudy Antoncic
March 25, 2009 - 08:07
Professor Roderick was a Texan with a real Texan accent. The closest approximation to his style of speach and delievery today can be found by listening to Ron White who is on the Blue Collar Comedy series. George Bush however has some sort of chimeric affected Texan / Southern accent. Professor Roderick in 1993 warned of the Republicans plan of running George W. Bush for president. Reguarding Bush he would quote govenor Anne Richards who said that "George Bush was born with a silver foot in his mouth" and "George Bush was born on third and thinks he hit a triple". Professor Roderick had a way of predicting/anticipating way the world would work. He would not usually give too much credit to conspiracy theories and remarked that he world is not run by a group of old white men smoking cigars in a board room. He once voiced that none of these plans are secrete as they are placed on the front pages of the Wall Street Journal. His Marxist sensibilites about how capatilism worked were usually right on. I don't think any of us are suprised by the actions of Dick Cheney or the AIG/ bailout situation. Professor Roderick was fond of reminding people that we do believe in socialism in this country that is "socialism for the rich"
Reply to Rudy Antoncic
March 25, 2009 - 08:31
Yeah, didn't he ask is it just a coincidence that all 100 senators are millionaires ? Mostly white and male .... I like what the one reporter said about AIG. He said he gives more instruction to his kids about their daily lunch money then AIG got about the 165 Billion. And to be shocked at those bonuses after their previous unchecked greed to get us into this mess is like witing a blank check to the pirate of pnnzance and being shocked when they spend it on women and grog.
March 26, 2009 - 03:15
Thanks so much for the downloads. This man is warm,dynamic and engaging!
Rudy Antoncic
March 26, 2009 - 05:06
In the late 80's -early 90's there was a bailout of the SNL's -Saving and Loan Banks after they crashed from a culture of greed which centered around unsustainable real estate development. Neil Bush one of Presidents George HW Bush's famous/infamous sons was involved in this. I remember Professor Roderick commmenting on this at the time that he felt that if the goverment bailed out these banks then the goverment/the people should have control and ownership. He gave example to France of how their goverment had a controlloing interest in Fiat after rescuing that corporation. I guess this is an argument for socialism in which workers and taxpayers would be owners of their labor. This may give some insight about how he would approach this current meltdown made possible by the unchecked power of the market. What was powerful about Professor Roderick's method in his teaching was that he would challenge the unquestioned assumptions of his students at Duke who often came from the privlidged class. Discussion and debate in class was animated and sincere with some students trying their best to defend the bougiouse ideals which likely formed their identiy of themselves. This applied Socratic method with the goal to "know thyself" is what keeps philosophy relevent. Professor Rodrick's work as a teacher was to help people realize that. The criticsm that he spent too much time with his students is one that supports the class/caste system that exists in every university. Professor Roderick's legacy may be his effort and interest in all of these unpotentiated souls
Rudy Antoncic
March 27, 2009 - 02:41
Today on NPR Morning Edition it was reported that John Hope Franklin who chaired and founded the African-American/ Black Studies department at Duke University died on 3/25/9 at age 94. As I mentioned before Professor Roderick was on the right side of history in reguard to the issue of race and was vocal in the effort to get more black faculty into the university. This was a conterversial thing to do in the conservative world of Duke University at the time as it is today as it generates discussion about affirmitive action and forces individuals and institutions to discuss how to create jucstice in an unjust world. Professor Roderick was always willing to challange assumptions of those in power which may not have been helpful in his petition for tenure. He did not hold back on his thoughts about these issues especially when he felt he was on sure ethical footing. To remain quiet with his head down was not his way of living life as a actuated being. One can go through all of high school, college, graduate school,assistant professorship, full professorship, and emiterius professorship and live a life of quiet desperation and fear and be rewarded for it. Professor Franklin had a determined but different style to effect change when compared to Professor Roderick but both were on the same path on the right side of history. The taped lecture "The self under siege" series on Derrida calls philosophy "white mythology" and posits that no one group has a monopoly on truth if that is at all knowable. Therefore examination of thought of those religated to the "margins" is an endevor worth doing and that is what Professor Franklin brought to being. Professor Roderick embraced multiculturalism while not excluding the "cannon" and stood up to give a voice for those who had been denied a voice in the past even if it cost him something personally
Reply to Rudy Antoncic
March 27, 2009 - 07:12
Yeah, It was great when he referred to Richard Rorty calling philosophy the "Conservation of Humanity" and then pointed out how wonderful this was except some people didn't get to talk. Which led to Derrida's "Margins of Philosophy" trying to assess what else might really be happening, other than what mattered to the old white guy with the pen.
Rudy Antoncic
March 28, 2009 - 11:05
In going through the avaliable lectures on "tape" of Professor Roderick's one area of his thought does seem to be missing is his read on Marx and radical struggle. He did have a course at Duke dealing with 19th century German philosophy some of which is included in the Hegel lectures. To make the density of Marx a little more bearable he would suggest a book called "Marx for Beginners" this was a paperback book that was illustrated like a comic book. He also suggested a book called Communists Like Us by Felix Guattari and Antonio Negri. I'm trying to go through my college books to piece together some of the syllabus that he used. Youtube and Wikipedia sites are tools that I wished were avalilable back in the halcion days of the early 1990's when I studied philosophy and reflect a democratic approach to information that Professor Roderick would approve of
April 11, 2009 - 14:03
Fantastic series on Nietzsche, Roderick's interpretation and illustration of the great philosopher is a credit to himself and of infinite value to humanity. Thanks Rick
Joaquin Genet
April 12, 2009 - 04:00
I have fallen in love with Rick Roderick over the past couple years, through the Teaching Company lecture series. It's a shame that the lectures are no longer available through the Teaching Company website. Alongside Jeffrey Perl's lectures on "Literary Modernism," the Roderick series are the best TTC had to offer. Rick Roderick's death should be mourned, but his passing not an occasion for gloominess -- if anybody lived the examined life, it was Professor Roderick. We can all find solace in his West Texas cadences, his wisdom, and his scrupulously tempered optimism. Thank you, Rick!
Joaquin Genet
April 12, 2009 - 04:01
I have fallen in love with Rick Roderick over the past couple years, through the Teaching Company lecture series. It's a shame that the lectures are no longer available through the Teaching Company website. Alongside Jeffrey Perl's lectures on "Literary Modernism," the Roderick series are the best TTC had to offer. Rick Roderick's death should be mourned, but his passing not an occasion for gloominess -- if anybody lived the examined life, it was Professor Roderick. We can all find solace in his West Texas cadences, his wisdom, and his scrupulously tempered optimism. Thank you, Rick!
April 20, 2009 - 18:00
I have just finished listening to Rick Roderick's Philosophy and Human Values. So founding out that he died congestive heart condition in 2002, saddens the soul,crying as I write this small note on a great teacher of philosophy. Shall pass on his lectures to those I meet in life who seek wisdom.
Lester Burnham
May 04, 2009 - 04:44
Great news everyone!

I successfully got a hold of, and ripped, the video lectures "Nietzsche and the Post-Modern Condition"

I don't have a site to host them, but I have uploaded them as a torrent on Demonoid (click to take you to the torrent page):


If someone here wants, they can download the torrent and host it on a regular web site for people who do not know how to use torrents. But it would behoove everyone to figure out how to use torrents!

The videos are in .mov format, which I know some people dislike, but if you run Windows you can either download Quicktime for free, or download a patch for WMP for free.
Reply to Lester Burnham
May 04, 2009 - 04:47
Thanks for the upload! I begged TTC for copies of his lectures (they were destroyed in a fire) and they never came through!

Again, thank you so much.
Reply to Lester Burnham
May 05, 2009 - 18:01
Lester, thanks a lot man! It's wonderful to have those lectures on video!!

Like you did, others could help this project by checking their local libraries to find the missing lectures:

*Philosophy and Human values (video)
*"Mill on Liberty", guest lecture from "The Great Minds of Western Intellectual Tradition" (1st ed), Part IV, Philosophy in the Epoch of Ideology (audio and/or video)

By the way, I found here an old Teaching Company catalogue, featuring an interview with prof Roderick. I scanned it and uploaded to this link below

Lester Burnham
May 04, 2009 - 11:52
It's my pleasure. The world needs to see and know these things, and I'm happy to help out. Lord knows I've downloaded plenty from other kind souls who upload these sorts of things.

Did you ever manage to get a hold of your old tapes or your writings? I'd be happy to digitize them for you if you'd like (I think Scott, or maybe someone else, said he had some too?). I just spent a ton of money on a VHS to DVD ripper, so I'm trying to get some milage out of it.
Russel Spears
May 04, 2009 - 15:27
Rick hoped that as the postmodern continues to erode the very conditions for being human, that there will still be new images that would counter this trajectory and once more recreate the conditions for being even more human. I would argue that as this social structure continues to systematically forget the threat that Rick's work represents, from the outside, his work is still coming together. Capitalism and its many variants of government today, will have to always deal with that particular subjectivity that Rick continues to offer humanity. I would love to see some kind of access to his full body of work someday
May 05, 2009 - 23:58
Bill Martin, in a book called "Theorizing multiculturalism" tells a nice story about a day he and Rick Roderick had at a conference at Loyola University.

It can be read in googlebooks. I don't know how to copy the words, so you'll have to go there...very interesting!

May 07, 2009 - 10:14
OK Thanks for the bit torrent of the nets lectures !!!!

Lecture One, : I assume Rick was left handed ?

As Rick is set to battle the triple neitzsche paradox, I can't help but wonder if some of these paradoxes cancel each other out ?

Why does he wanna strike the joke about someone else comin up to lead the discussion ?

Great Saganesque myth to end the lecture.

OK can someone interpret this for me : The Impossibility of Interpretation

the origins of methodology are cradled in institutional power

which was based on some cascading nascent interpretation

so in this dungeon of existence : find any damn thing that means anything....
Reply to mike
Russell Spears
May 07, 2009 - 21:22
Personally, Ricks reference to the contradiction in Nietzsche's
is all about the status of authority from a post- Nietzschian world and on and the inability of anyone to use the word truth in a way that can make one persons interpretation of a text more legitimate than another.

His reference to institutional power is derived from many thinkers work, Nietzsche, Foucault, etc. These ideas hint at the less vocalized aspects of knowledge: The ones that the university system could not make explicit at the start of every class lecture. “We don’t really know shit, but we are sure glad we got you to pay us $150,000.00 for our diploma” Here the reality is that the institutions , like the university, often function by uses of discursive techniques of punishments, rewards and is the actual basis of what counts as knowledge at any point in history. The university is “right” not because of any rational grounds-because that has been supplanted in the modern philosophical with a kind of live-let-live attitude Rich references many times. The university system and all other institutions are “Right” only because they have defined what counts as knowledge and cast their authority around the power structures of our society-now it the whole world.

His last remark seems the best “find any damn thing that means anything” because it hints at the world that now submerged in a pre-postmodern (as something that is on it’s way) where the very notion of belief is more like a fleeting fixation people have today, that barely impacts the lives of the less than humans we all have slowly become.
Reply to mike
May 08, 2009 - 08:23
ok, so it's not a conspiracy but it's funny the way things evolve in this society, especially when people can make a buck off of it. "tied to that ship called money"
May 07, 2009 - 16:18
nietzsche videos mirrored here:


can anyone be bothered working out how to get them onto youtube?
Reply to chris
May 08, 2009 - 08:13
I believe there is a ten minute limit
Reply to chris
Russell Spears
May 08, 2009 - 15:38
Your on your way Mike.
Reply to chris
Russell Spears
May 08, 2009 - 15:40
This is the best idea of all!!! Get this onto the web!
Reply to chris
May 09, 2009 - 09:49
You can find a free site to host it but they flame out like stars in the night sky
Reply to chris
June 01, 2009 - 16:30
i have youtubed the "self under siege" series in 10 minute chunks:

i can't work out how to split up the .mov files for youtube - perhaps a mac user can sync the audio and split them?

videos can be downloaded quickly from here: wimpywombat.net
May 08, 2009 - 08:28
Reply to mike
May 09, 2009 - 09:56
ok time's up I'll go first....

mutually agreed upon fiction, illusions that we have forgotten that they are

truths and lies are constructed not found

interpretations setforth guidelines as to what can be counted as a fact(like God laid out the mystery like this)

no bare facts without our enculturated interpretations

we all hold theories about the world wheter we can articulate them or not

certain interpretations can out live their usefulness (ie ptolomy's earth centric system)

human beings are in love with what vanishes

truths as products of fictions ,,,, Things that were good for (our life, our society, our way of life)life to believe
May 10, 2009 - 09:01
LECTURE 3 - NIETS AND IMMORALITY (post your comments here)
Lester Burnham
May 14, 2009 - 09:32
More good news!

I ripped and uploaded Rick's "Philosophy and Human Values" lectures!


Again, these are in .mov format, and the quality is still VHS.

I will be without my computer from May 26 - July 26 this summer, so PLEASE keep this torrent (as well as the other one) alive and healthy until I return. Rick would want you to seed!
Reply to Lester Burnham
May 15, 2009 - 17:34
Thank You !!!

You have given new life to Rick's work
Reply to Lester Burnham
May 16, 2009 - 00:25
Lester, a million thanks for these videos!
Best thing: the last lectures of "Philosophy and Human Values" finally in good audio quality!
Reply to Lester Burnham
June 01, 2009 - 16:40
this is very good news. thanks whoever is still seeding. i will mirror this asap.

i'll also upgrade my mp3s
Jackson Rauch
May 21, 2009 - 00:14
Had a class or two with Rick back in the Duke days!! Miss tha guy!!!
Reply to Jackson Rauch
jackson rauch
May 22, 2009 - 18:29
I'll add one tale... In probably 1990 a new "right wing" publication called Duke Review started up at Duke. Rick was definitely one of its targets. In one issue they droped what they thought was a bombshell. They found a letter to the editor to the Durham newspaper from a "Mr. Roderick". with glee the Reviewreprinted parts of the letter, poking fun at Roderick's less than perfect prose and grammar. Problem was it wasn't Rick's letter at all; rather it was written by his son, who probably was a freshman in high school at the time, and for someone of high school age as I recall it was exceptionally well written... anyone remember that one?
May 22, 2009 - 01:18
I am a big TeachCo fan and just two weeks ago I started listening to Rick Roderick.


I won't say more because nothing I say can do the man justice. But just wanted to inform you that I have the videos of all these lectures if anyone is interested.
Reply to Pedestrian
June 01, 2009 - 16:45
i am interested - what format are they in?
Reply to Pedestrian
Russel Spears
July 08, 2009 - 15:22
We need to collect all of Ricks work and make to avaliable to everyone comming here. Consider this.
Reply to Pedestrian
July 09, 2009 - 01:11
i have mirrored all currently available material here:

some of the rips are not perfect, which is why i was wondering if there are other versions floating around.

i have only youtubed the self under siege series so far:
June 02, 2009 - 17:18
Wow, this site is still going strong. I just wanted to add that not a day goes by that I don't see something that makes me realize how relevant Rick's critique of modern life is. Keep this site up, it is a treasure trove of all things Roderick!
June 05, 2009 - 13:38
I'm always interested in alternative viewpoints - and sometimes the less I understand them, the more I want to learn about them. I would describe myself as a libertarian, atheist, capitalist, humanist, freedom-loving person. I want to understand (damn I want to!) why a 'one-world order' is desirable, or why one 'community' is desirable, why socialism is a good thing - why anything that limits human freedom and individual expression is desirable. Maybe the end game is worth the price? I'm as yet unconvinced, but still I'm fascinated.
Reply to David
June 14, 2009 - 04:52
(I'm just replying to David)
Some thoughtful questions you are asking here.
Why sustain a 'world-order' which limits creativity... ? This is a good question and it can just as easily - and it should - be posed against ANY ideology - capitalism, communism, socialism, anarchism et al.
Who wants to live under an order which sucks the meaning from life; makes it dull and bland? Not I.
Capitalism has the - theoretical - advantage of freedom of choice. But freedom to choose what, and within which constraints? What is freedom in the first place and why is it valuable?.?.?
It's not because I want to limit creativity that I am not a libertarian - I'm sure that goes for most everyone.
If you're interested, it might be worthwhile looking into some arguments against why the status quo is limiting and encourages homogeneity. I think Roderick's Self Under Siege series would be good also.
June 09, 2009 - 19:15
This man is my role model and I aspire to be the professor he was. I'm sad he passed away but I'm glad his memory is living strong.
Max C
June 13, 2009 - 01:52
Hi, just wanted to express a grateful Thank You for the site and all the contributors - i just noticed there are videos (!) and am downloading them as i write.. i first listened to self-under-siege somewhere in 2002 - i still go back to them.. ..i let Rick open the windows and let some fresh air in...

he obviously tried walking the perilous path that joins heart and mind - a true teacher...

Thank You
Simon P
June 24, 2009 - 12:25
I've downloaded many of TTC's lecture series. (Illegally but ultimately it's spreading knowledge around the world and I think that Rick would concur). Rick's Self Under Siege are fanatatically interesting, fun and above all relevant to our everyday lives. Rick spurns haughty, rarefied academic language in favour of trying to show how philosophy is relevant to the here and now. Initially it was strange to hear Derrida discussed in his Texan drawl but after a while one really gets into his style. Truly the Bill Hicks of philosophy as someone said. I'm sad to hear that he died as I would have liked to see him host his own TV show (ho, ho).
June 29, 2009 - 08:03
Brilliant, remarkable, and perfected are the words I can use to describe these lectures. We really need to get these into the hands of anyone who values human thought. Keep the work alive.............
July 05, 2009 - 06:05
Emile Durkheim's page at wikipedia needs some expert editing
July 14, 2009 - 07:15
Paying my respects-- I listened (and re-listened) to all the TTC lectures over a year ago and have been saving the interview on googlevideo for a choice time. I don't think i've come across another voice who can move between the worlds with the "intellectual swagger" that Dr. Roderick possessed--just a personal anecdote: was in a long car ride with friends in South Africa--one of whom just married an extremely christian fundamentalist--so we had a lot of contentious conversations along the way--eventually, after a pretty uncomfortable day during a lingering silent stretch my girlfriend suggested we played a lecture, and i picked out the first lecture to the self under siege series where Rick introduces Ricouer's masters of suspicion--the silence continued for a while after the lecture no doubt...
September 11, 2009 - 15:06
he is brilliant!
September 14, 2009 - 16:00
All three video lecture series have been put onto youtube in small chunks. The channel is here:

You can download the original videos of all three lecture series here:

You can download mp3s of the lectures here (the same mp3s available here, with ID3 tags added):
Russell Spears
September 14, 2009 - 17:36
Your SOLUTION to getting everyone Ricks lectures is perfect on Youtube, Chris, your the man!!!!
Carol Mayfield Graham
September 17, 2009 - 19:29
I wnet to Jim Ned High School with Rick. There was never a Fall that Rick did not miss the full week to 10 days of school when the World Series was on television. Rick did not miss a pitch! Rick and Mickey Sansom, his best friend from grade school to graduation, were the class clowns. Not one single teacher got a break from their needling and general misbehavior, but each classroom teacher smiled and shook their heads and could not wait to release our class at the next bell! Good humored, talented in all things, non-chalant, sometimes devious, but always a friend--I miss him.
October 14, 2009 - 13:33
A quick heads up that i have repaired the self under siege video lectures.
The repairs include:
- louder audio
- near perfect audio sync

They can be downloaded from here: wimpywombat.net

Every video but Marcuse had a sync problem. The Foucault one was so bad that I was not able to repair it completely. There is a slight glitch near the end, but the audio has been repaired to be synchronised, clear and continuous.

Here is a fresh youtube clip made from the fixed files: www.youtube.com
I may look at reuploading the resynced self under siege to youtube if there is any demand.
Reply to Chris
October 18, 2009 - 05:14
Thanks a lot for the hard work, Chris!!! Rick's thoughts are now more alive than ever!
Reply to Chris
James Blesher
October 21, 2009 - 02:46
It seems though that file 2 is imcomplete...less than 25mb
October 23, 2009 - 05:02
Sorry about that, James. I discovered a major issue with lecture 2, which I am still trying to fix. It's in sync until about the 33 minute mark, then there is a major glitch. I hope to have it repaired and reuploaded to wimpywombat and youtube this weekend.

In the meantime, a newly sychronised version of "the masters of suspicion" has been uploaded to youtube: www.youtube.com
Reply to Chris
October 24, 2009 - 04:09
Re: Self Under Siege - Heidegger and the Rejection of Humanism video
There was about 21 seconds of tape missing during the glitch. I spliced in the audio from the mp3s available on this page, but the video is obviously blank during that time. There was also 15s of audio missing at the end, which was also restored using the mp3. The result isn't perfect, but it's a hell of a lot better. Enjoy

Bob Hardy
November 14, 2009 - 20:35
I am British - have recently moved to the USA - and was lucky enough to listen to the whole of Prof. Rick Roderick's 'The Self Under Seige' whilst driving with two friends from NYC to Portland OR.
It is my opinion that Prof Roderick clearly 'knew what he was talking about'; and that he was also one of those rare and gifted individuals who could teach with a passion and conviction that is so obviously the result of a deep love of, and clear understanding of, the subject content.
I have also managed to obtain a copy of 'Nietzsche and the Post-Modern Condition' and, once again, his clear, insightful perspective is a pleasure to listen to.
It was a shock to discover that he had died some time ago while still so young

PS In contrast, I have also been (what shall I say) unfortunate enough to also listen to another Texan deliver a lecture on Nietzsche on TTC. This offering was mediocre to say the least! The perspective was weak (in the sense I'm sure that Prof Roderick would have Nietzsche mean that term); and the delivery was so wooden it was (as we say in Liverpool) 'like watching paint dry'.

Many thanks for providing this forum. I shall watch for future comments here with great interest
Andrew Y.
November 24, 2009 - 00:26
Thank you for creating this site preserving the memory of Rick Roderick. I remember being startled by the amount of truth he was speaking in "The Self Under Seige." It's clear from the many comments people have left that as an exemplary public intellectual, he has been a role model for many, including myself. He combined humor, honesty, and challenging concepts of critical theory.
November 24, 2009 - 23:32
I just discovered Prof Roderick. I wanted to write him directly and found that he has passed. So I sit here with the feeling that I want to reach out and take his hand and just say "thank you" but I can only gesture to the others in the darkness.

I am so edified by his lectures, so SATISFIED, like I have eaten after a long fast. That's the metaphor that comes to mind. His salty style and obvious human-ness touch me as well as instruct. So to Prof Roderick I say: your "project" has enriched me, made me feel stronger and justified in my humanity and aversion to reducing my life to my "work". Thank you so much for offering me your insights and lighting my way". Perhaps this seems sophomoric, but its what I feel. His caring is evident as is his courage. He is for me a hero and I will tell everyone I know about him and his work.

Thanks so much for this site.
Jack Bagels
December 08, 2009 - 17:17
Just wanted to chime in and say many thanks for posting these lectures, and a huge thanks to Chris for the video links on his website. I listened to Prof Roderick's lectures a few years back and have kept returning to them for long car rides (especially self under siege!). Never knew there were videos floating around, watching these should be a real treat. Thanks to everyone who helped put this together!
Alex Meyers
December 14, 2009 - 07:34
Listened to all of the series over the last two months. Rick Roderick was a tremendous lecturer. I would have like to know him. My respects.
Byron Turrell
December 25, 2009 - 00:40
Merry Xmas everyone x
January 02, 2010 - 22:04
I'd just like o thank everyone on this site for making available these extraordinary lectures. I came across Rick last year and was intrigued, then hooked by his approach to Philosophical understanding. His many references to contemporary culture are accurate and as timely now as they were in the early 90's. Even his reference t Joy Division show how important it is to look to our own society (not just the classical) times for pertinent answers to universal questions. The song he referenced was "Heart And Soul" from there album "Closer", one of my favorites. All the best from Ireland.
January 22, 2010 - 01:53
Hi to everyone and thank you Dr. Roderick!!! Fantastic stuff from a truly good person.

There are new versions of Rick's 3 lectures up on MegaUpload; links below. The source audio for 1990/Philosophy and 1993/Self was taken from the videos at wimpywombat - *very* good quality audio overall. The source audio for 1991/Nietzsche was the mp3 set at wimpywombat which seems to be slightly better than the "What happened to Rick Roderick" set.

With all 3 sets of source audio, the music and intros were cut (except for 2 in 1991). The music and clapping can throw off audio processing, especially normalization. A 1 second header and 3 second tail was added to each file. And the audio was normalized so the volume levels are consistent.

The audio quality for the 1990 and 1993 lectures is greatly improved. Some of the 1990 mp3s floating around are almost un-listen-able. The new ones are like butter! Plus, the 1991 set is cleaned up and seems slightly better than other versions out there.

If the site admin for "What happened to Rick Roderick" could change out what's posted with these, that would be great. Some folks on the thread above have had trouble contracting her/him so I'm suggesting this here.

Thanks everyone and especially Dr. Roderick!





ps - any issues with the megaupload, please comment here.
Reply to jxf011
February 17, 2010 - 16:46
Thanks for these hi quality versions. The only blocker from me digesting the samples was the quality.
January 22, 2010 - 05:15
Correction: the 20100121 rev of Self Under Siege lacked mp3 tags like the 2 other sets. This link for Self has the tags and is a bit bigger also since it's 224Kbps instead of the earlier revs 192Kbps. Please use the following link:

January 31, 2010 - 00:12
I recently re-listened to Dr. Rick Roderick's three lecture series recorded with The Teaching Company. After thirty years of reading primary sources for both the Continental and analytic schools of philosophy, I have come to realize that Professor Roderick's exposition of post-modernism is one of my foremost resources. His interpretation of Nietzsche's "will to power," of Kierkegaard's "despair," and Heidegger's "clearing" are beacons that unerringly guide as one attempts to navigate the original texts. His references to contemporary culture are indispensable. His courage in the face of transhumanism builds fortitude. The charm and the wit are unforgettable.

This website corroborates what, in life, Dr. Roderick knew to be fact; that in this day and age, the record of his lectures would out-live and out-do his person. To me, he is the Socrates of our epoch; asking the embarrassing questions, battling for and then securing new philosophical territory, all the while garnering a youthful following, only to suffer pitiful rejection by an ignorant and arrogant establishment. The cup of hemlock brought him greater, more long-lasting notoriety than any mere academic career ever could.

His videos obviate the need for a Plato (no ulterior wheedling is a bonus). Posters and re-posters come to know the kind of satisfaction that scholars theorize Plato's early copyists must have felt. Viewers are privy to genuine human experience but of a new kind: telemated authenticity. Contradiction? Very well, I contradict myself. Taken seriously, Dr. Roderick forestalls the urge (if only temporarily) to slam one's hand down on a nail.

Viva la' Rick Roderick!
February 02, 2010 - 08:26
Rick Roderick was great.
February 04, 2010 - 20:15
Rick Roderick *is* great!

As I wrote above, Rick out-does himself through his videos. Consider how his ontological take on comodified life (eg. "what do you do?," not "who are you?") makes for a much better explanation than the standard psychological/sociological account given here:


First, although Reagan was not one of Rick's favorite people, Rick's message forgoes the left-right paradigm. It has to do with the "ontological" part. Left, as well as right, may as well be a lifestyle choice, something sold to us ... a fad.

Then there's his distaste for the types of solutions offered in the article: self-help groups, special-interest groups, any kind of canned, pre-packaged remedy oriented from the outside in. Its as though they are lobbyists vying to control whatever vestige of self we can muster. And they come from both sides of the left-right spectrum.

However, in "Sartre and the Road to Freedom," the third part of the Self under Siege lectures, Dr. Roderick expresses his liking for the man Jean Paul Sarte who at least had this project to live a meaningful life through pursuing philosophy and promoting Marxism. In the context of his entire lecture series, what one realizes is that the appeal to Roderick about Sarte was not the Leftist politics but the authenticity Sartre displayed. Remember, in the late 80's, Sartre had been vilified in academic quarters not just for his politics but primarily for his poor scholarship. (Sartre's "Being and Nothingness" is generally acknowledged to be a critical essay premised upon an incorrect interpretation of Heidegger's "Being and Time." Heidegger himself called the book "dreck," according Hubert Dreyfus.)

Dr. Roderick is a proponent of fallibilism, meaning that he was well aware that the views he espoused could be wrong and yet he believed in them enough to present them in the most hyper-critical of all venues - academia. Rick knew very well that mentioning Sartre in his lectures (much less devoting an entire episode to him) could well taint the series academically, and yet he went ahead anyway because Sartre, in fact, did what Rick working and teaching in America knew in life that he would never be able to do ... continue to televise (and thus effectively share) his philosophy for the rest of his life. (Duke fired him, why not lecture on Sartre?)

My point? Sartre is wrong, and yet Sartre's authenticity appeals. Roderick could be wrong, and yet Roderick slowly shows himself to be genuinely important as a philosopher (which is just a philosopher that people actually listen to). Anyone of us out here as we emerge into the white hot glare of what has become the telemated "clearing," or as Roderick put it "what we used to call 'subjectivity but which is now more properly called 'the terrain of advertising,' anyone may end up "wrong," and yet ...

We must never forget that for all Mozart knew ... he died early and a failure, his huge ambition to be the greatest writer of operas never fulfilled. Yet Mozart is considered to be the most recognizable image, aside from Christ. People everywhere know of him and now can listen to everything the man ever wrote. In a world in which image has come to be the last remaining means by which to achieve meaning, Mozart is near the top. And the king himself was a carpenter. (To paraphrase the New Testament, the telemated will always be with us.)

As people everywhere appear to be losing the ability to be swayed in-person, face-to-face, and as they give up on the idea that their actions in the physical world matter and continue to turn more and more inward, it is likely that statements of social significance of all types (not just art and science) will be made, and made more forcefully, through telemation and "voting with their pocketbooks" than by organizing street demonstrations and bull-horning. People are coming to choose not to buy into the lifestyle choices offered, but rather to seek out new choices.

The Internet is a frontier in that regard. It is fitting that from the land of the vast Prairie, homesteading has been returned to us in the guise of social networking. 'Don't like the one you're being sold? Move on out to the wide-open spaces and build your own. No need to adopt a fad.

This is why the latest attacks have been upon Internet freedom. No Pacific ocean exists to stop the settlers from getting away from the robber barons there. If further harm can come to us in a world in which we are fated to be "zeros that someone painted" (Frank Zappa), it will come via licensing and censorship.

February 12, 2010 - 15:53
A heads up that I have created a new Rick Roderick website:


Currently it is purely a transcription project, with embedded corresponding youtube videos.
If you are interested in helping me transcribe the lectures, get in touch (ctrlshift at g mail dot com)
So far I have transcribed the entire Socrates lecture and a few other fragments.
It took a long time! More to come, slowly...
Reply to Chris
March 14, 2010 - 02:47
Great Resource. Thank you so much for that.
Russell Spears
February 12, 2010 - 16:20
That is great Chris: You really persevered with this and I'll be dammed if you did a great job. P.S. I noticed the irony in the web sites tag line-I wonder what Rick would have thought about that. I will be adding that to my favorites and sharing it with all my friends!!!!
Ian Burzynski
February 22, 2010 - 07:16
thank you and to all commenters for keeping the spirit of mr. roderick's work alive. i have just discovered his lectures after a tedious and brutal period of trudging through the western canon, mired in late capitalist anomie, cynicism and self-doubt. i hope that his career will live on and inspire others far beyond his tragically short stay here on earth.
March 01, 2010 - 00:54
I just can't believe he's dead now
March 04, 2010 - 10:04
Nice one. It was interesting to find out that Rick was given the old heave ho from his job but perhaps not surprising given his politics and project to explicitly lay bare the angst and banalization of late capitalism. Shame though given his enthusiasm, knowledge and insight. I reckon old Rick's having the last laugh though as his brilliant Teaching Company lectures will live on forever and spread across the globe via the net. I personally would never have heard of the fellow if it weren't for stumbling across his fascinating lectures on Soulseek. The Bill Hicks of Philosophy? A fair comparison, both of these Texan mavericks were taken from us far too soon.
March 14, 2010 - 03:02
A true pioneer especially in the context of ´i¸eks role in mainstream philosophical discourse.
April 29, 2010 - 16:06
I thought I should let the internet know that rickroderick.org is pretty much complete now. All lectures transcribed with the corresponding youtube videos embedded. Thanks to whoever made the mp3s and videos available to begin with... I read a lot of the comments and googled around but couldn't track the source.

One really interesting thing I found while doing this is that the vhs/avi and tape/mp3 versions of the Sartre lectures are completely different! So if you only listened to the tapes, or only watched the videos, there's another lecture you haven't heard yet. They are completely different except for the last few minutes. I transcribed both versions, so you can see for yourself.

Sartre (vhs/avi): rickroderick.org
Sartre (tape/mp3): rickroderick.org
Reply to Chris
May 02, 2010 - 11:47
Fantastic work Chris. I love that you linked to Wikipedia. Very useful resource!
May 07, 2010 - 14:34
I dearly love the three lecture series. Isn't there anything more I can delve into? Have any recordings of his lectures at Duke surfaced? Conferences? Anything?
July 09, 2010 - 10:37
I first listened to Rick's lectures a month or so ago after randomly stumbling onto them on youtube (thanks whoever uploaded them). I think the Bill Hicks comparison is right on, although I think Hicks was also a philosopher of sorts. If you're interested in the people Rick talks about, you might want to check out this site:

August 12, 2010 - 09:34
lovin the rick action...especially self under seige

as interesting and professional as some of the other teaching company lectures are, none of them, or any other teacher ive ever encountered can match rick for inspiration and application to real life.

now hes a cultural product i guess i could compare him to one of those films you see at 3 in the morning by mistake, think only you know about and then find out years later its a cult classic.

keep up the good work
August 17, 2010 - 04:51
Thanks very much for these. I like Rodericks laid back charm and easy style-love the accent also!
Russell Spears
August 20, 2010 - 19:40
Rick might respond to an attempt to "Solve" a social issue in a number of ways, But I would think he would first remind us that any attempt to “solve” is its self a questionable pursuit. Since the social conditions within which one might think or act is always within a regime of narratives all of which are discursive and fully banalizable in the media. That any attack on the system must come from and occur within the media. He would remind us about the inability to think rationally to solve the issue and the instrumental reasons that will prevail ultimately in counter institutions that replace it which to would be totalitarian. In the end Rick might find the counter power of this effort to be suspect at best as this too it may in fact become reproduced, commoditized and replicated to reflect the image of resistance and inadvertently offer more images for the media to project to the masses as more evidence of a viable democratic processes at work in our country. Lastly, any real effort to change must confront the human condition in a way that allows those affected to be more active and engaged with hope not certainty of success, since without it would be a hallow victory.
September 10, 2010 - 22:50
His lectures have come all the way to Brazil, via Youtube. He's got fans down here now! Thanks for all the effort gathering the materials, guys!

September 11, 2010 - 10:42
Thank you so much for this!
September 11, 2010 - 12:12
This guy's keeping me up nights listening to lectures when i need to get my rest in order to get back to the rat race and produce so i can afford more technologically generated virtual feelings - thanks a lot Rick.
Reply to paulo
September 11, 2010 - 21:08
Lovely point Paulo! Hes keeping me awake at night also- the lecture on Kierkergaard made me profoundly queasy!
September 13, 2010 - 17:55
Thank you for this wonderfully rich offering!
September 20, 2010 - 00:29
Why be here..

..when you can be here (rickroderick.com) - the official website.

Rick Rocks!
Russell Spears
September 20, 2010 - 01:33
Jonatan really, I do not know this other RIck and hardly understand why you would post this here.
September 20, 2010 - 20:29
Just a bad joke buddy! ..

Honestly though; Rick Rocks!
September 30, 2010 - 11:55
I just got Roderick's book about Habermas, and on the cover its says that he will publish a book about Marx and the revolution soon in the USA (1989) - does anybody know if that book has been published ? Or if the manuscript is somehow available ?
Byron T
October 28, 2010 - 11:01
Just a quick shout out for Douglas Lain and his Diet Soap podcast which can be found here: dietsoap.podomatic.com

He uses clips from Rick's Nietzsche lectures in a couple of recent podcasts and places them very effectively in his audio collages.

@ Russell Spears (Aug 20th) - Great comment, and this is probably why most of the 'great' revolutions of the past 250 years have not radically changed the hierarchical social structure, just rearranged the furniture. I would have loved to hear Rick's take on the internet and how it went from military endeavour, to a haven for freaks and geeks and then was almost completely commercialised in a matter of years, but I guess 1993 was a little too early for that. Perhaps one day recordings from the late nineties will surface - he did continue teaching in LA if I'm not mistaken...?

Byron T.
November 19, 2010 - 14:07
I am a huge fan of these lectures, thanks!
tom burditt
November 24, 2010 - 05:19
i just found this website regarding my dear friend rick roderick. we grew up in west texas together and he was probably the brihtest man i ever knew wit an outrageous sense of humor. i knew how much his students admired his teaching laced with that great west texas accent that i share. rick also taught me many things-how to laugh in the face of adversity,how to stick with your principles even when they are unpopular,and how to embrace the dark side of life with equanimity. i had sat with rick the day before he died and he was still on, screaming, laughing and embracing life in the moment. the next day at his house, he was dead and i wept uncontrollably. at his wake i recounted some funny stories bout rick and wept again. know many of his students are on this blog. be good to hear from anyone who was connected to my old west texas. rick made the world a better place and i feel truly blessed to be his friend.
rich m
December 07, 2010 - 21:19
I just wanted to say how much i have enjoyed Rick's stuff. I'm a sociology teacher from the uk, and to honest a bit of a failed philosopher lol. I did start i phd (kind of) on Zizek. I was first drawn to Rick because he looked so much like Zizek, i just came across him on youtube. All i can say is that i think he is probably the best teacher i have heard since i've been studying 'thinkers', a number of years now. As with most people i like - chris whitley to evan tanner - he is dead, what a shame. All i can promise is that i will use his interpretations of ideas wherever i can. He was something special in a world that is 99% bullsh*t
Michael Guisinger
December 15, 2010 - 22:33
I have a mac and downloaded the first lecture. Then I uploaded Unrarx. Can't open the lecture?
December 18, 2010 - 17:22
About a year ago, during a time of curious fascination with postmodern theory, I first listened to Roderick's lectures on youtube. Even to this day, I continually visit and view the lectures often. I too am very curious about this personal life, but according to wiki, there was no mention of Roderick having any children. I'm a bit doubtful that "Marshall Roderick" is his actual son.
Reply to Bert
December 19, 2010 - 08:16
Hi Bert,
There is a reference to Rick's children and what they are like in lecture two of the Nietzsche series.. I think Marshall really is Rick's son and could probably add more details to the Rick Roderick wikipedia page if her wanted to. A link to a transcription of the lecture accompanied by the snippet I am referring to can be found below.

"You’d have to be almost a child to be close to the realm of bare facts. See what I mean? It would not show that you were developed, mature or intelligent. It would just show that you were so stupid, or… not that children are stupid; actually they are young, pretty and all that stuff. I have got a lot of them, they are also irritating."
Reply to Bert
Taylor Roderick
December 19, 2010 - 08:27
Marshall is his real son. There are 4 of us; Marshall, Travis, Taylor, and Max. We all live in Austin, Texas and most of us are students.

If you want to know about his personal life, here's what I can offer, He was a single dad who loved his family deeply and missed his wife dearly. All of our friends loved him and our house was always a place of learning and debate and laughter. After his death, students of his kept showing up with food and gifts. There are no words suitable to describe the loss such a great mind, but I am very grateful that his words, and i suppose his spirit, remain very much alive.
December 19, 2010 - 08:19
To everyone looking for mp3s and videos of rick's lectures, the best place to download them is here: wimpywombat.net
Embedded youtube videos and transcripts are here: rickroderick.org

December 21, 2010 - 22:12
Very sad to hear that he passed away at a young age. But I am glad that there are people out there who are as appreciative of his ability to communicate complex ideas in a simple manner as I am. Plus, it doesn't hurt that he was a genuinely good person in his daily life as well.

If anyone here knows of other professors from TTC who have a lecturing similar style to Prof. Roderick's, let me know.
little older, little more confused
January 01, 2011 - 22:39

I just want to say thanks so much for the service you have done in providing these lectures and this forum. Found the site through a google search of 'Habermas Anarchism' and will be trying to impose it on anyone with a pulse for the foreseeable future. Some beautiful comments too. I am a tired sociology student, paralysed by myself and the university... and Christmas. Anyway, what a find, reminds me of an observation of Orwell's in his essay, Inside the Whale, on Henry Miller (and inter-generational fads in politics and literature), where he speaks about the joy of reading a book (Tropic of Cancer) and not only feeling you understand the character but that you are being understood. Rare that the "Fancy Dan" entanglings we are prone to in describing the world have such an effect.

Bring on 2011, the Year of the Roderick, much love to you all...
January 14, 2011 - 05:23
Rick Roderick gave me hope for our education system. His lectures have been a thus far endless source of inspiration and contemplation for me. It may sound cheesy, but his Self Under Siege series totally changed the way I thought of myself, and gave me a perspective on parts of my childhood that was immensely enlightening. I really hope that one day someone finds a way to bring the lectures he left behind to a mass audience.

To anyone who knew Professor Roderick – Did he ever mention whether he had read any Neil Postman? It’s one of the million things I’ve often wondered his opinion on, since they had many similar ideas and Postman’s books came out just before Rodericks TTC lectures. I can kind of see their similarities and divergences in their work, but I always wondered if he had ever mentioned or referenced Postman.
Russell Spears
January 14, 2011 - 15:21
Media Smog is fuming up this blog!

I truly love what Rick has left us, but find it a bit ironic that comments in his favor now come attached with advertising in this of all places. Please think before you include stuff like this into your posts. I don't understand it at all and Rick, I am sure, would see this as more or less the same system of threat that he has warned us about.
Reply to Russell Spears
January 14, 2011 - 16:11
hi russell,

these posters you refer to are smart spammers/robots replicating legitimate comments.. they need to be deleted. i get a lot of these style comments on rickroderick.org and spam them all... appreciate the irony

January 27, 2011 - 23:43
Just curious, but have many people read this article on Roderick?


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