The Friendship of Lapsus and Suada (The Book + 4 episodes of Cafe Philosophy Radio)
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The Friendship of Lapsus and Suada

Conversations and Conversions in Philosophy

About the Book

A book of fiction and creative non-fiction, to be published in series. Expect fixes and revisions to the early installments as the later ones come in. You can help with the process! Please sign up and leave your comments. Lapsus and Suada both need your help!

This is the story of the friendship of Lapsus and Suada. Lapsus is an old man who has just been bitten by the philosophy bug, and now has an infectious curiousity, an insatiable desire to know. Having lived a quite ordinary life till now, and having long since let his learning lapse, he starts from a place of ignorance. Knowing little, he now desires greatly to know. He encounters Suada, an erudite graduate student who has grown jaded, even cynical in regards to the ways of academe. She knows much, perhaps too much, and takes a dim view of ambitions to know. She pities poor Lapsus and agrees to guide him on his quest, though only to disabuse him, as gently as may be, of his vain desire to know. As a novel, the book tells the story of their developing friendship through its surprise twists and turns to its dramatic finale.

But this fictional overlay is only a artful pretext. Really the book is an mix of real and imagined dialogues on ancient and current problems of Eastern and Western philosophy. It takes up issues of self, identity, mind, nature, otherness, culture, value, society and god. The topics span the scope of philosophy, from the ancient Greeks to Confucius, from biblical theology to Yoga, from early modern science to Buddhism and ecology, from depth psychology to the social dialectic. The narrative weaves together a series of lively conversations and monologues, bound by a double string of Doubt and Persuasion personified.

Under Suada's guidance, Lapsus has conversations with real or imaginary psychologists, philosophers, sociologists, mathematicians, clerics, and other veritable sages on a variety of related themes, including the mind-body problem, the nature and function of perception, the relation of self and other, the nature and origin of values, the relation of god to nature and of self to god.

It is not a book of answers, but a book of questions. It is not a book of persuasion, but a book in which Persuasion is a central character. It has an overarching narrative, but no central argument. Instead it does have a plethora of peripheral arguments andfreely opposing viewpoints. It is not a sceptical book, but a book in which Doubt is personified. The book does not argue for a main thesis, but it stands for and represent a philosophy of pluralism (not subjectivism) in regards to truth. So it is a philosophy book, too, not only a novel.

The “real” conversations in this book stem in the main from a series of radio programs I made at college radio station in Victoria. They were self-publised as an audiobook, Café Philosophy, ISBN 0-9686328-0-7). The text, transcribed by the redoubtable Diana Giesbrecht, has been of course wholly rewritten for the present project, which also includes the reworked texts of past public lectures. Guests on the original radio program are identifed in the text and in the indivdual episopdes, which are available alone or in packages via LeanPub.

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About the Author

Michael Picard, PhD
Michael Picard

Member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada.

MSc. and a PhD. in Philosophy from Massachusetts Institute Of Technology, Cambridge.

Author of This is Not a Book, now in print as Philosophy: Adventures in Thought and Reasoning, (2013). Quid Publishing, but co-published internationally with Allen & Unwin in Australia and NZ, by Barnes & Noble in the US, and by Continuum Books in the UK and elsewhere. Translated into French, Greek, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, and Estonian. Over 100,000 copies sold worldwide.

Co-author (with Gary Hayden) of Paradoxes (2013), a revised and expanded edition of This Book does Not Exist (2009). Quid Publishing. Multiple translations; global sales over 70,000.

Experienced facilitator of philosophical dialogue, having run over 600 sessions of public participatory philosophy.

Packages

The Book + 4 episodes of Cafe Philosophy Radio

Get four Cafe Philosophy Radio episodes along with the book, rather than just one. The three additional episodes relate to the early chapters of the book and to the sample. Enjoy!

Includes:

  • extras
    Self and Other

    This is the original interview program I did with Prof. Gira Bhatt. I recall that her unrehearsed eloquence made for very easy editing, compared many of with the other interviews. This conversation goes further into the foundations of social psychology

  • extras
    Mind and Body

    This is the original interview program I made with Prof. Charles Tolman, and most gentle and benevolent sage, who once made it possible for me to teach a graduate course on Visual Perception, my first academic foray into psychology. Produced by Clint L

  • extras
    Perception and Colour

    Cafe Philosophy Radio episode with philosopher Don Dedrick, PhD. The topic is perception, specifically colour perception. Perception is where the individual mind meets its world. The dominant theory of perception is materialist but thoroughly grounded

  • PDF

  • EPUB

  • WEB

  • English

$15.99
Minimum price
$19.99
Suggested price
Beyond the First Four

This package includes the five Cafe Philosophy Radio programs not in the featured package (book-plus-4-audio), in case readers listen to some and regret they did not get all the rest.

Includes:

  • extras
    Values and Environment

    Cafe Philosophy Radio episode featuring environmental anthropologist and activist, Saul Arbess. This conversation looks at the concept of culture from an anthropological viewpoint, and takes up the issue of universal value (e.g. human rights) in relati

  • extras
    Yoga and Truth

    Cafe Philosophy Radio episode with Swami Divyananda Saraswatiji, who appeared as if out of nowhere when I needed a yogi to interview. This conversation explores Eastern dualistic yoga, a philosophy that radically divides nature and self-transcending-na

  • extras
    God and Power

    Cafe Philosophy Radio, interview with a Catholic priest on matters theological. He nicely inverted and side-stepped all the standard philosophical quibbles.

  • extras
    Infinity and More

    Cafe Philosophy Radio episode with the philosophical mathematician, Prof. Gary Miller.

  • extras
    Right to Die

    Cafe Philosophy Radio, an episode not on the original Audiobook. This conversation examines problems associated with death and the right to die, especially in a Canadian context. It examines the cultural influences on our fears of death and conception

  • PDF

  • EPUB

  • WEB

  • English

$7.99
Minimum price
$9.99
Suggested price
The Book

If you pay the full suggested price, the Book comes with one free Cafe Philosophy Radio episode, introducing philosophy and the program series.

Includes:

  • extras
    What is Philosophy?

    This is the first Cafe Philosophy radio program, upon which this the Lapsus and Suada book originally but loosely based.

  • PDF

  • EPUB

  • WEB

  • English

$12.99
Minimum price
$12.99
Suggested price
All the Audio

All Cafe Philosophy Radio programs as a standalone package

Includes:

  • extras
    Self and Other

    This is the original interview program I did with Prof. Gira Bhatt. I recall that her unrehearsed eloquence made for very easy editing, compared many of with the other interviews. This conversation goes further into the foundations of social psychology

  • extras
    Mind and Body

    This is the original interview program I made with Prof. Charles Tolman, and most gentle and benevolent sage, who once made it possible for me to teach a graduate course on Visual Perception, my first academic foray into psychology. Produced by Clint L

  • extras
    What is Philosophy?

    This is the first Cafe Philosophy radio program, upon which this the Lapsus and Suada book originally but loosely based.

  • extras
    Values and Environment

    Cafe Philosophy Radio episode featuring environmental anthropologist and activist, Saul Arbess. This conversation looks at the concept of culture from an anthropological viewpoint, and takes up the issue of universal value (e.g. human rights) in relati

  • extras
    Perception and Colour

    Cafe Philosophy Radio episode with philosopher Don Dedrick, PhD. The topic is perception, specifically colour perception. Perception is where the individual mind meets its world. The dominant theory of perception is materialist but thoroughly grounded

  • extras
    Yoga and Truth

    Cafe Philosophy Radio episode with Swami Divyananda Saraswatiji, who appeared as if out of nowhere when I needed a yogi to interview. This conversation explores Eastern dualistic yoga, a philosophy that radically divides nature and self-transcending-na

  • extras
    God and Power

    Cafe Philosophy Radio, interview with a Catholic priest on matters theological. He nicely inverted and side-stepped all the standard philosophical quibbles.

  • extras
    Infinity and More

    Cafe Philosophy Radio episode with the philosophical mathematician, Prof. Gary Miller.

  • extras
    Right to Die

    Cafe Philosophy Radio, an episode not on the original Audiobook. This conversation examines problems associated with death and the right to die, especially in a Canadian context. It examines the cultural influences on our fears of death and conception

  • PDF

  • EPUB

  • WEB

  • English

$9.99
Minimum price
$12.99
Suggested price
The Book + 9 episodes of Cafe Philosophy Radio

Get all nine Cafe Philosophy Radio episodes along with the book, rather than just one. The additional episodes relate to the other chapters of the book. Enjoy!

Includes:

  • extras
    Self and Other

    This is the original interview program I did with Prof. Gira Bhatt. I recall that her unrehearsed eloquence made for very easy editing, compared many of with the other interviews. This conversation goes further into the foundations of social psychology

  • extras
    Mind and Body

    This is the original interview program I made with Prof. Charles Tolman, and most gentle and benevolent sage, who once made it possible for me to teach a graduate course on Visual Perception, my first academic foray into psychology. Produced by Clint L

  • extras
    What is Philosophy?

    This is the first Cafe Philosophy radio program, upon which this the Lapsus and Suada book originally but loosely based.

  • extras
    Values and Environment

    Cafe Philosophy Radio episode featuring environmental anthropologist and activist, Saul Arbess. This conversation looks at the concept of culture from an anthropological viewpoint, and takes up the issue of universal value (e.g. human rights) in relati

  • extras
    Perception and Colour

    Cafe Philosophy Radio episode with philosopher Don Dedrick, PhD. The topic is perception, specifically colour perception. Perception is where the individual mind meets its world. The dominant theory of perception is materialist but thoroughly grounded

  • extras
    Yoga and Truth

    Cafe Philosophy Radio episode with Swami Divyananda Saraswatiji, who appeared as if out of nowhere when I needed a yogi to interview. This conversation explores Eastern dualistic yoga, a philosophy that radically divides nature and self-transcending-na

  • extras
    God and Power

    Cafe Philosophy Radio, interview with a Catholic priest on matters theological. He nicely inverted and side-stepped all the standard philosophical quibbles.

  • extras
    Infinity and More

    Cafe Philosophy Radio episode with the philosophical mathematician, Prof. Gary Miller.

  • extras
    Right to Die

    Cafe Philosophy Radio, an episode not on the original Audiobook. This conversation examines problems associated with death and the right to die, especially in a Canadian context. It examines the cultural influences on our fears of death and conception

  • PDF

  • EPUB

  • WEB

  • English

$19.99
Minimum price
$24.99
Suggested price

Table of Contents

  • Where We Begin
  • Self and Other
  • Mind and Body

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