Ep 18: An Interview with Dr. James Madden: Philosophy & UFOs
Welcome back to The UFO Rabbit Hole Podcast. I’m your host, Kelly Chase.
First of all, I just want to thank everyone who reached out with your thoughts and feedback after the last interview with Dr. Diana Walsh Pasulka. It was such a privilege to be able to share that conversation with you all, and I’m thrilled to see how deeply it resonated.
Because so many people expressed an interest in Plato’s Cave specifically, and in a more philosophical approach to UFOs, in general, I thought it was the perfect time to bring in my friend, Dr. James Madden, to dive into these topics a little further.
Dr. Madden is a professor of Philosophy at Benedictine University. He is a martial artist, fitness coach, and philosopher with particular interest in the philosophy of mind, aesthetics, philosophy of religion, Aristotelianism, and phenomenology.
If you’ll recall from the last episode, Diana mentioned Dr. Madden as someone who shared her “spooky” interpretation of the Cave. I first met Jim when he was a speaker in one of Diana’s classes over the summer on this subject, and I really enjoyed learning from him. He has a really coherent way of placing the Cave within its proper context both within Plato’s Republic and within its historical context that opens up these ideas in inspiring and challenging ways.
So that’s where we’ll start, with an hour-long deep dive into Plato’s Cave, and what it implies for the nature of both reality and the UFO phenomenon. And then in the second half of the interview, we’ll turn to Dr. Madden’s latest philosophical work with regard to the phenomenon including what Heidegger reveals to us about the life and work of Godfather of Modern Ufology, Jaques Jacques Vallée, what Aristotle’s natural theology suggests about the potential nature of non-human intelligence, and how that work is being continued in the modern day by Dr. Jeffrey Kripal of Rice University. And finally, we’ll explore Dr. Madden’s fascinating hypothesis for the origins of the UFO phenomenon through the concept of the “umwelt”.
I hope you all enjoy this conversation as much as I enjoyed having it. This is my longest episode to date because we were having such a blast that I completely lost track of time. And when I went back to listen again, there wasn’t anything that I wanted to cut out. If you enjoy wading out into the deep end of the UFO phenomenon, this episode is for you.
Listen to These Episodes First
If these ideas are new to you, you might find it helpful to go back and listen to the previous two episodes to get greater context.
Find More of Dr. James Madden's Work
You can also find more interviews with Dr. Madden on the Philsophy For The People Youtube Channel including:
Mentioned In This Episode
The Question Concerning Technology by Martin Heidegger
What Is Called Thinking? by Martin Heidegger
Discourse On Thinking by Martin Heidegger
Republic by Plato
A Natural History of Human Thinking by Michael Tomasello
Messengers of Deception: UFO Contacts and Cults by Jacques Vallée
Trinity: The Best-Kept Secret by Jacques Vallée & Paola Leopizzi Harris