Ep 26: HP Lovecraft and Epistemology; What Shouldn’t We Know About Knowing?

Welcome one and all to Professor Metal’s Irate Debate and Calamitous Commentary with The Philosophical Chain Gang

Today’s Episode is HP Lovecraft and Epistemology: What Shouldn’t We Know About Knowing?

Sean and Bruce briefly explain Epistemology as a field of philosophical study

Ryver discusses how these ideas tie into the mythos of HP Lovecraft

The Philosophers talk about the theory of knowledge within the Lovecraft Mythos (commonly referred to as the Cthulhu Mythos), and how certain knowledge can be dangerous within that context

Ryver and Sean bring up that that many of the characters in Lovecraft’s stories who come across this dangerous knowledge are people for whom knowledge is a goal in itself: scientists, researchers, and the like

Sean talks about the role Hubris plays in acquiring this harmful knowledge

The Philosophers explain the differing roles people play in relation to dangerous knowledge within the mythos

Ryver explains the role of the book known as the Necronomicon in both Lovecraft and similar stories

Sean and Bruce discuss the downfall brought about by human curiosity in several stories and media

Bruce and Ryver discuss the differences and similarities between the Gods/Monsters of the Cthulhu Mythos and the monsters of other types of horror stories

The Philosophers break down the ideas and theory behind the dangerous knowledge within the mythos

Sean and Ryver explain the difference in the Cthulhu Mythos between knowing something and Knowing it, and how hubris plays a part in seeking the knowledge the character is warned against finding

Bruce brings up our modern tendency to move forward in some fields of knowledge without fully understanding the possible consequences.

Sean frames these things in the context of Lovecraft’s time

Bruce takes these ideas a little farther back and touches on the idea that once knowledge is in the world, there is little or nothing that can be done to remove its influence

Ryver expands more on these points and ties in related works, both in Horror and Science Fiction

Sean talks more on the history of stories about hubris, and how those have changed as we enter the earlier 20th century, in that source of the consequences ceased being gods or otherworldly forces and became a thing that humans themselves were doing

Bruce and Sean discuss the differences between monsters in many other stories and the Elder Gods of the Cthulhu Mythos, and how this relates to the changes we saw in warfare in World War I

Ryver relates this to the one exception to the uncaring nature of the Gods of the Cthulhu Mythos: Nyarlathotep, the Crawling Chaos.

The Philosophers discuss the frightening idea of needing to retreat into ignorance in face of these dangers, and how one can avoid the folly of hubris in the world of HP Lovecraft

Ryver and Sean relate this to the detonation of the first nuclear bombs

Sean takes the last word to talk about how we, as individuals, approach, understand, and interact with knowledge. He also discusses the idea of whether or not certain knowledge is really worth having

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