Philosophy

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  • Brentano’s Project of Philosophy as Science

    The Philosophers' Cocoon
    Carlo Ierna
    25 Aug 2015 | 2:04 pm
    By Carlo Ierna The topic of my current research project is exactly as it says on the tin: “Philosophy as Science: the Project of the School of Brentano”. The main goal is to provide a reconstruction and reassessment of the ideal of philosophy as science as unifying project of the School of Brentano in the context of nineteenth century philosophy. As I mentioned in the previous post, commentators have argued that the school lacks unity, to the point that it is up for debate whether we should call it a school at all. I found a strong continuity and overlap in their philosophy of…
  • The 10 Best Bruce Lee Quotes

    Wiseism
    The Wiseist
    20 Aug 2015 | 10:33 am
    Bruce Lee has a unique place among sporting legends. He is one of the only athletes known for the sharpness of both his body and his mind. The martial arts icon made as much effort to train his mental state as he did his muscles, and his achievements are a testament to that. Lee was the first to admit that his attitude was more important than anything else when it came to achieving what he wanted to. His commitment to following wise philosophies helped him gain massive success in his life and career. Here are 10 quotations that show the wisdom of Bruce Lee and what we can learn from it: 1.
  • Using Mathematics to Explain a Scientific Theory

    Philosophia Mathematica - Advance Access
    Friend, M., Molinini, D.
    17 Aug 2015 | 6:32 pm
    We answer three questions: 1. Can we give a wholly mathematical explanation of a physical phenomenon? 2. Can we give a wholly mathematical explanation for a whole physical theory? 3. What is gained or lost in giving a wholly, or partially, mathematical explanation of a phenomenon or a scientific theory? To answer these questions we look at a project developed by Hajnal Andréka, Judit Madarász, István Németi and Gergely Székely. They, together with collaborators, present special relativity theory in a three-sorted first-order formal language.
  • So much for trying to bring philosophy to the public

    Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog
    Brian Leiter
    26 Aug 2015 | 8:22 am
    Torbjorn Tannsjo, Kristian Claëson Professor of Practical Philosophy at Stockholm University, asked me to share the following experience he recently had. Dylan Matthews, a philosophically-minded editor at Vox.com, solicited Professor Tannsjo to write a piece for Vox on the "repugnant...
  • How Philosophy Was "Whitewashed"

    Gender, Race and Philosophy: The Blog
    Sally
    24 Aug 2015 | 7:25 pm
    An interview with Dr Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman by Aaron Salzer, of science.ORF.at Translation from German by Dr Jeff Bowersox and Daniel James Reprinted with permission for Maangamizi Awareness Month Two hundred years ago, the "slave trade" was abolished at the Congress of Vienna. But this was owing less to Enlightenment philosophy than to political and economic considerations. For the "great white" philosophers of the Enlightenment were little concerned with European enslavement of African people. This has consequences down to the present day: the philosophical canon…
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    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

  • Social Networking and Ethics

    Shannon Vallor
    21 Aug 2015 | 6:48 pm
    [Revised entry by Shannon Vallor on August 21, 2015. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] In the first decade of the 21st century, new media technologies for social networking such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube began to transform the social, political and informational practices of individuals and institutions across the globe, inviting a philosophical response from the community of applied ethicists and philosophers of technology. While this scholarly response continues to be challenged by the rapidly evolving nature of social networking...
  • Privacy and Medicine

    Anita Allen
    20 Aug 2015 | 6:17 pm
    [Revised entry by Anita Allen on August 20, 2015. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Individuals, institutions and governments practice, value and protect medical privacy (Beauchamp and Childress 2008; Humber and Almeder 2001; Englehardt 2000b). As a general rule, they try to limit access to health information and biospecimens, respect health-related decisions, and honor both individual and community expectations of bodily modesty, intimacy, bodily integrity, and self-ownership (Winslade 2014). First, while information-sharing has grown more common,individuals commonly keep some health…
  • Qualia

    Michael Tye
    20 Aug 2015 | 5:55 pm
    [Revised entry by Michael Tye on August 20, 2015. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Feelings and experiences vary widely. For example, I run my fingers over sandpaper, smell a skunk, feel a sharp pain in my finger, seem to see bright purple, become extremely angry. In each of these cases, I am the subject of a mental state with a very distinctive subjective character. There is something it is like for me to undergo each state, some phenomenology that it has. Philosophers often use the term 'qualia' (singular 'quale') to refer to...
  • The Epistemic Basing Relation

    Keith Allen Korcz
    13 Aug 2015 | 10:18 pm
    [Revised entry by Keith Allen Korcz on August 13, 2015. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The epistemic basing relation is the relation which holds between a reason and a belief if and only if the reason is a reason for which the belief is held. It is generally thought to be a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for a belief's being justified that the belief be based on a reason. The basing relation is what distinguishes good reasons which a person possesses that contribute to the personal justification of a given belief from good reasons...
  • Mohist Canons

    Chris Fraser
    13 Aug 2015 | 8:49 pm
    [Revised entry by Chris Fraser on August 13, 2015. Changes to: Bibliography] The Mohist Canons are a set of brief statements on a variety of philosophical and other topics by anonymous members of the Mohist school, an influential philosophical, social, and religious movement of China's Warring States period (479 - 221 B.C.).[1] Written and compiled most likely between the late 4th and mid 3rd...
 
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    Talking Philosophy

  • 42 Fallacies in Spanish

    Mike LaBossiere
    27 Aug 2015 | 3:17 pm
    Alexis Beldad Moraleda has translated my 42 Fallacies into Spanish. The blog post for the book is here: http://interioresy3d.blogspot.com.es/2015/08/cuarenta-y-dos-falacias.html. The direct download is here: http://www.4shared.com/web/preview/pdf/oTcLSkLuce? It can also be downloaded directly: 42-Falacias.
  • Autonomous Weapons I: The Letter

    Mike LaBossiere
    26 Aug 2015 | 5:00 am
    View image | gettyimages.com On July 28, 2015 the Future of Life Institute released an open letter expressing opposition to the development of autonomous weapons. Although the name of the organization sounds like one I would use as a cover for an evil, world-ending cult in a Call of Cthulhu campaign, I am willing to accept that this group is sincere in its professed values. While I do respect their position on the issue, I believe that they are mistaken. I will assess and reply to the arguments in the letter. As the letter notes, an autonomous weapon is capable of selecting and engaging…
  • Race & Performance Based Funding

    Mike LaBossiere
    24 Aug 2015 | 5:00 am
    View image | gettyimages.com Florida, like some other states, has imposed performance based funding on its state universities. The basic idea is that each state school is evaluated by ten standards and then the schools are ranked. The top schools are rewarded and the bottom schools are punished. As a runner and a professor, I certainly get the idea of linking rewards to performance. As a runner, I believe that better performance merits the better awards (be it a gold medal, a fat stack of cash, or a ribbon). As a professor, I believe that performance merits the better grades and that poor…
  • ISIS & Rape

    Mike LaBossiere
    21 Aug 2015 | 5:00 am
    View image | gettyimages.com Looked at in the abstract, ISIS seems to be another experiment in the limits of human evil, addressing the question of how bad people can become before they are unable to function as social beings. While ISIS is well known for its theologically justified murder and destruction, it has now become known for its theologically justified slavery and rape. While I am not a scholar of religion, it is quite evident that scriptural justifications of slavery and rape exist and require little in the way of interpretation. In this, Islamic scripture is similar to the…
  • Is Pro-Life a Cover for Misogyny? II: Sorting Principles

    Mike LaBossiere
    19 Aug 2015 | 5:00 am
    View image | gettyimages.com In my previous essay I laid the groundwork for the discussion that is to follow regarding the pro-life moral position and misogyny. As argued in that essay, a person can be pro-life and not a misogynist. It was also shown that attacking a person’s circumstances or consistency in regards to their professed belief in a pro-life moral position does not disprove that position. It was, however, contended that consistency does matter when sorting out whether a person really does hold to a pro-life position or is, in fact, using that as cover for misogyny. While there…
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    Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog

  • "Philosophical superheroes?" Garber and Della Rocca in discussion

    Brian Leiter
    27 Aug 2015 | 12:31 pm
    Michael Della Rocca (Yale) writes: Recently -- in May -- Dan Garber and I had a friendly debate in which we discussed both matters of interpretation of Spinoza and the issue of methodologies for the study of history of philosophy....
  • "Green Bullshit"...

    Brian Leiter
    27 Aug 2015 | 6:29 am
    ...explained.
  • Mindless web "journalists" stick together

    Brian Leiter
    27 Aug 2015 | 6:10 am
    Kevin Drum edition. Philosophers take note.
  • Virtual Dissertation Groups, Redux

    Brian Leiter
    26 Aug 2015 | 11:43 am
    Joshua Smart is organizing them again; he writes: While advisors and committees are important, it can be incredibly helpful to discuss one’s work with peers in a lower-stakes environment, and it can be particularly enlightening to do so with those...
  • So much for trying to bring philosophy to the public

    Brian Leiter
    26 Aug 2015 | 8:22 am
    Torbjorn Tannsjo, Kristian Claëson Professor of Practical Philosophy at Stockholm University, asked me to share the following experience he recently had. Dylan Matthews, a philosophically-minded editor at Vox.com, solicited Professor Tannsjo to write a piece for Vox on the "repugnant...
 
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    Ethics Etc

  • Special Issue on Larry Temkin in the Journal of Moral Philosophy

    S. Matthew Liao
    15 Aug 2015 | 3:30 am
    The Journal of Moral Philosophy has just published a special issue on Larry Temkin’s book, Rethinking the Good: Moral Ideals and the Nature of Practical Reasoning. Commentators include Professors Véronique Munoz-Dardé, Leo Katz, Jacob Ross, and Shelly Kagan. Professor Temkin also provides a Précis and Responses to the Commentators. Here’s the content of issue: Symposium […]
  • CFP: Ethics with Ontology: A Debate about Metaethical Nonnaturalism

    S. Matthew Liao
    10 Aug 2015 | 9:33 pm
    Call for paper from Topoi: An International Review of Philosophy Deadline for submission: May 31, 2016 GUEST EDITORS Antonella Corradini (Università Cattolica, Milan), Giuliana Mancuso (Università Cattolica, Milan), and Bruno Niederbacher (Department of Christian Philosophy, Innsbruck) OVERVIEW “Ethics with ontology” is in sharp contrast with the title of Hilary Putnam’s book Ethics Without Ontology (2004), […]
  • Pauer-Studer and Velleman’s new book on Konrad Morgen

    S. Matthew Liao
    20 Jun 2015 | 2:44 pm
    Professors Herlinde Pauer-Studer and David Velleman have recently published a new book called Konrad Morgen: The Conscience of a Nazi Judge. There is a good write-up of the book in Aeon, which you can read here. Do check them out!
  • Tune In to NYU Bioethics Workshop Live Broadcast!

    S. Matthew Liao
    21 May 2015 | 3:01 pm
    Final session now live: you can watch the live broadcast here: https://www.periscope.tv/w/V0IB7TI4MzI5MDV8MTM0Mzc4NDEHNGogIjSWdbLAyPT Wx3xJJonIYjTFw_v5TBqQ9UHO-w== Can’t travel to NYC for the NYU Workshop on Current Controversies in Bioethics? You will be able to tune in to a live broadcast of the workshop tomorrow at 1pm! Links to the broadcast will be posted on Twitter, Facebook, and here […]
  • Program for Current Controversies in Bioethics at NYU

    S. Matthew Liao
    20 May 2015 | 8:24 am
    Please find below the program for the NYU Center for Bioethics workshop on “Current Controversies in Bioethics.” Friday, May 22, 2015 NYU Silver Center, 1st Floor Jurow Hall, 100 Washington Square East, NY, NY 10003 1:00 PM-3:00 PM—Session 1 (Psychopathy, Autism, and Capacities for Responsible Agency) “An Exploration of Moral Competence through Autism, Psychopathy, and […]
 
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    Feminist Philosophers

  • Reasons you were not promoted that are totally unrelated to gender

    Jender
    27 Aug 2015 | 7:27 am
    McSweeney’s: You’re argumentative. For example, right now you’re upset that you didn’t get a promotion and you’re asking for concrete examples of what you can do better. I really don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty and you should trust my judgment anyways. You’re a pushover. When Tom came up and gave you that totally platonic hug in the shareholders meeting you should have just told him to not touch you instead of telling me you thought it was inappropriate. Leaders handle their own problems. Read the whole thing.  (Thanks, T!)
  • “Warm, Bloody and Tender”, and other feminist songs

    Jender
    27 Aug 2015 | 5:02 am
    Feminist philosopher Louise Antony’s daughter, Rachel Lark, is one of the world’s leading feminist singer/songwriters.  And perhaps the bawdiest.  Here she is being interviewed about her song celebrating period sex.  Another wonderful song of hers is the fabulously catchy “For the guys”, about consent.
  • Whether and when to flip off your baby.

    Prof Manners
    26 Aug 2015 | 9:10 am
    Rebecca Schuman of Slate has been taking selfies while flipping off her infant.  She converses with Jill Delston of University of Missouri – St. Louis about the moral advisability of this.  It strikes me that analysis of how humor works might help here.  On Ted Cohen’s (fun) account of humor, one of the ways we find relief in humor is by mocking powers we cannot defeat.  That’s why jokes about death work as they do.  So, maybe infants and death just go together – both are rather unrelenting. My initial thought on seeing this was that any distress it provoked (for…
  • Trigger Warnings

    noetika
    25 Aug 2015 | 3:38 pm
    There’s been a fair amount of discussion of trigger warnings recently (well, for months now, but especially over the last few weeks) in the media. As the academic year begins, and syllabi are on our minds, the debate is unlikely to go away. My own view is that this entire conversation has been poorly (perhaps, not accidentally) framed. We would do well to avoid false dichotomies that undermine the interests of both purported parties to the debate. That is, the division on this issue appears to be largely between professors and students. It’s the case of Academic Freedom,…
  • Masculinity and struggles with body image

    noetika
    25 Aug 2015 | 11:57 am
    There’s a great piece by Tyler Kingkade on dealing with issues of body image as a man in the Huffington Post. I recommend reading in full but here’s just a preview: About half of all men don’t like having their picture taken or being seen in swimwear, according to an NBC Today Show/AOL Body Image survey from last year. Research from theUniversity of the West of England found a majority of guys felt part of their body wasn’t muscular enough, and more men than women would sacrifice at least a year of their life in exchange for a perfect body . . . Contemporary masculinity…
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    Gender, Race and Philosophy: The Blog

  • Myisha Cherry on Anger

    Sally
    27 Aug 2015 | 11:01 am
    Check out her Ted Talk, "Anger is Not A Bad Word."  As she describes it: "In it I argue for the five features of moral anger against injustice. I also use the work of Audre Lorde to respond to criticism from the "anger police."" Fantastic.
  • Yancy interviews Cornel West

    Sally
    27 Aug 2015 | 9:01 am
    ...In the New York Times Opinionator.   As a taste, on "black prophetic fire" West writes: "Fire really means a certain kind of burning in the soul that one can no longer tolerate when one is pushed against a wall. So, you straighten your back up, you take your stand, you speak your truth, you bear your witness and, most important, you are willing to live and die. Fire is very much about fruits as opposed to foliage. The ice age was all about foliage: “Look at me, look at me.” It was the peacock syndrome. Fire is about fruits, which is biblical, but also Marxist. It’s…
  • CFP: Shifting the Geography of Reason XIII: Theorizing from Small Places

    Sally
    26 Aug 2015 | 10:10 am
    From the Caribbean Philosophical Association   Shifting the Geography of Reason XIII: Theorizing from Small Places June 16-18, 2016 Storrs, CT   Born on the ten-by-twelve-mile island of Antigua, writer Jamaica Kincaid inaugurated a remarkable literary life with reflections on what it meant to occupy A Small Placepresumed to be largely uninhabited by the tourists who came to enjoy its beautiful beaches. In Hispanophone, Lusophone, Francophone, Anglophone and Dutch Caribbean letters, “the archipelago,” a cluster of islands, has been mobilized as a distinctive trope characterizing a…
  • How Philosophy Was "Whitewashed"

    Sally
    24 Aug 2015 | 7:25 pm
    An interview with Dr Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman by Aaron Salzer, of science.ORF.at Translation from German by Dr Jeff Bowersox and Daniel James Reprinted with permission for Maangamizi Awareness Month Two hundred years ago, the "slave trade" was abolished at the Congress of Vienna. But this was owing less to Enlightenment philosophy than to political and economic considerations. For the "great white" philosophers of the Enlightenment were little concerned with European enslavement of African people. This has consequences down to the present day: the philosophical canon…
  • Private Prison Divestment

    Sally
    17 Jul 2015 | 6:31 am
    Christia Mercer (Columbia) discusses Columbia University's decision to divest from private prisons and reminds us of the power of divestment in the anti-Apartheid movement.
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    In Socrates' Wake

  • CFA: Teaching students to read philosophy

    Michael Cholbi
    6 Aug 2015 | 5:10 pm
    Call for Abstracts: Central APA Session“Teaching Students How to Read Philosophy”Organized by the APA Committee on the Teaching of PhilosophyDeadline: Monday, September 14, 2015The American Philosophical Association (APA) Committee on the Teaching of Philosophy invites abstracts for its upcoming session “Teaching Students How to Read Philosophy,” planned for the 2016 Central Division Meeting of the APA, March 2-5, 2016, Chicago, IL. With this session, we are interested in exploring challenges and techniques associated with teaching students…
  • Philosophers' Magazine -- on teaching

    Michael Cholbi
    14 Jul 2015 | 2:00 pm
    The Philosophers' Magazine, a well-known UK publication, will focus its next issue on teaching. Preview below the cut: The Philosophers’ Magazine aims bring readable philosophical writing to the wider world. The next issue features a number of articles about teaching philosophy, in addition to the usual mix of articles, opinion pieces, columns, news, and book and film reviews.   In it, Jennifer M Morton argues that philosophy ought to go beyond critical thinking and help disadvantaged people think about building a better world, Michael Cholbi makes a case for the view that grading…
  • AAPT: Workshop on Teaching and Learning in Philosophy

    Michael Cholbi
    2 Jul 2015 | 10:52 am
    CALL FOR APPLICATIONSThe American Association of Philosophy Teachers (AAPT)“To Improve The Quality Of Instruction In Philosophy At All Levels”Teaching & Learning in Philosophy: Dallas/Ft.WorthLocation:                     North Texas University, Denton, TXDate:                           Saturday, September 26,…
  • APA session: The philosophy major

    Michael Cholbi
    2 Jul 2015 | 9:49 am
    The APA Committee on Teaching Philosophy is seeking participants for a panel on the philosophy major, to be held at the Eastern Division meeting (January 2016, Washington D.C.). The deadline to volunteer is August 10. More details here.
  • APA session: Advice for job candidates on the teaching demo

    Michael Cholbi
    2 Jul 2015 | 9:29 am
    The APA Committee on Teaching Philosophy is seeking participants for a panel (Eastern meeting, January 2016, Washington DC) to advise job candidates on teaching demonstrations. The deadline to volunteer is August 17. More details here.
 
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    Philosophy by the Way

  • Space and time in society

    23 Aug 2015 | 4:48 pm
    Actually the intrusion of the private into the public, but also of the public into the private, is remarkable. Not the fact that it happens but it points to some interesting aspects of social life. As a sociologist I am used to think about society in terms of social relationships, so in terms of the way we connect with others and what these connections mean to us. However, actually society is not only a matter of relations but the way social life takes place has also something to do with where relationships are entered into. Moreover, social relationships are also temporal in some way. Now I…
  • Public and private

    16 Aug 2015 | 4:00 pm
    Recently I have read Event. Philosophy in Transit by Slavoj Žižek (Penguin Books, London etc. , 2014). I have some doubts about the book, but I’ll not write a review. Here I want to limit myself to discussing a passage that casts an interesting light on modern society. In this passage Žižek points to the changing status of public space: “ ‘[The] street is an intensively private place and seemingly the words public and private make no sense.’ ... [B]eing in a public space does not entail only being together with other unknown people – in moving among them, I am still within my…
  • On commemorating

    9 Aug 2015 | 4:18 pm
    Monument for the victims of the terror attack in Bodø, NorwayThe day I arrived in Trondheim Norway commemorated the terror attacks of July 22, 2011, when 77 people were murdered. Exactly four years ago I was travelling somewhere north of Oslo. Since I avoid the news during my holidays, and also because my knowledge of Norwegian is only basic, it took some time before I knew what had happened. It came as a shock. Now I had been travelling around in the country again and one of the things I noticed were the local monuments remembering the calamity.Commemorating impressive events of life…
  • Keep it simple

    19 Jul 2015 | 4:32 pm
    Descartes’ Rules for the Direction of the Mind (see my blog dated June 22, 2015) gives not only the basic rules for a methodic approach of scientific problems. It contains also a number of statements that have a wider meaning; statements that have sense in the daily contact of men with each other. Some seem obvious. Nevertheless we often forget to apply them. For example, in Rule IX Descartes tells us that people are often more impressed by difficult high-flown far-fetched reasonings that they don’t completely understand than by simple transparent arguments. Knowledge, so Descartes, must…
  • Why it is good to make a bad plan.

    12 Jul 2015 | 4:15 pm
    I finished my last blog saying that with his definition of “person” Locke gave a lead of departure for future discussions on the concept. We call such a lead also a “handle”. Famous critics of Locke were Joseph Butler (1736) and Thomas Reid (1785), but the discussion still goes on today. It shows how important a good handle is for starting a discussion and making progress, for what should we talk about if we have nothing to talk about? We should first have to invent a theme and next we should have to give it contents, too. For instance, we can decide to talk about “man” as the…
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    The Brooks Blog

  • EU migration, refugees - and new UK immigration statistics

    27 Aug 2015 | 10:31 am
    . . . were the subject of interviews I did today with Sky News (pictured), Made in Tyne & Wear Channel, RT and Express on Sunday. I will post links when I have them.
  • The Corbyn Factor

    22 Aug 2015 | 3:59 am
    My latest column for LabourList - the top Labour Party blog - is on the leadership race with advice for each of the candidates. The piece "The Corbyn Factor: is Corbynomics Labour's Future?" can be READ HERE.
  • Yvette Cooper comes to Durham

    17 Aug 2015 | 11:36 am
    . . . and delivered a fabulous speech to a packed audience at Durham's County Hall with plenty of time for questions. As usual, many in the room had already decided on backing Yvette, but several told me she now took their first preference. The race ain't over yet for Labour's next leader.
  • Jeremy Corbyn comes to Newcastle

    17 Aug 2015 | 11:32 am
    Sorry I'll be unable to share stage tomorrow with Jeremy Corbyn for a terrific event organised in Newcastle by my friend, the tireless David Stockdale. Would have enjoyed speaking with Corbyn and hearing what he has to say. Maybe next time. If you're in the area, check it out. Should be fun. Even for friends who give first preferences to different candidates.
  • Interviewed on Al Jazeera's Inside Story - Chaos in Kos: Greece on the frontline of migrant crisis

    16 Aug 2015 | 4:59 pm
    Interviewed today for Al Jazeera's flagship daily programme "Inside Story" on EU migration and the crisis in Kos. The video can be watched HERE.  
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    In Living Color

  • Ain't I a Woman?

    11 Aug 2015 | 8:38 am
    My column for the next issue of The Philosophers' Magazine is about "Tangerine"--a new movie about transgender sex workers--and the E! reality series "I am Cait." The very day I turned in the column, I became aware of a major battle over at Freethought Blogs about whether transgender women are women.  I don't think I "get" all the details of the battle, but I take it one side says "simply yes"
  • Accutane Ethics

    24 Jul 2015 | 11:29 am
    My son has been taking Accutane for the last several months.  Boy it works well (for acne).  It also raises some first class ethical questions.  There's an extremely strict regimen for taking Accutane, because apparently if a woman takes it and conceives a child, the child will likely be born with significant but not super-serious abnormalities. For example, the child's external ears may be
  • Swastika Cakes and Gay Weddings

    7 Apr 2015 | 11:07 am
    It's so rare that Jon Stewart reasons badly, but I wonder about the reasoning in his Indiana piece last night.  Start at 3:45-- The Daily Show Daily Show Full Episodes,  More Daily Show Videos,  Comedy Central Full Episodes Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, etc., compare the baker who refuses to "do" a gay wedding with-- A gay printer who refuses to print signs saying "God hates fags" A
  • Pet Euthanasia

    9 Mar 2015 | 7:36 am
    Our soulful cat Snownose died on Saturday, from cancer, but with the help of euthanasia.  I've never had a cat euthanized before, though I've had many cats.  The whole month before, I had to work up the courage to do this, as did other family members.  I kept thinking about the conservative stance on euthanasia: that intentionally killing another person is always wrong.  (If this were right,
  • The Marquette Situation

    5 Feb 2015 | 9:28 am
    A word about Marquette's attempt to fire John McAdams.  One thing (among many) that bothers me is that Dean Holz's letter reveals a double standard.  In the second paragraph he charges McAdams with trying to "silence the less-powerful" but nowhere in the letter does he voice any concern at all about the undergraduate--who is the less powerful person in the instructor-student relationship.  Here
 
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    Alexander Pruss's Blog

  • Let's not model deontic constraints with infinite disutilities

    26 Aug 2015 | 9:34 am
    It's natural to model deontic constraints in decision theory by assigning infinite disutility to forbidden actions. This temptation should be resisted. There are too many deontic theories with non-zero probability, and since an infinite disutility multiplied by a non-zero number is still infinite, we would have to take all these deontic theories extremely seriously. And that would lead to constant weighing of infinities against each other and/or an unduly restricted life that must obey prohibitions from fairly crazy (but not so crazy as to have zero probability) theories.
  • Do we need two fundamental teleological concepts?

    25 Aug 2015 | 7:14 am
    There are two teleological concepts: that of a telos and that of proper function. Each of them helps us make certain teleological judgments. Do we need them both? Could we, for instance, define the telos of a system as what is achieved when the system is properly functioning? Or define proper function as the achievement of the telos in a system and all its (relevant?) subsystems?I don't know for sure that we need them both, but neither of the two specific proposals is correct. Consider the case of an excellent mathematician is striving to solve an extremely difficult mathematical problem, her…
  • Student recreation

    24 Aug 2015 | 11:03 am
    There is a fashion in certain quarters these days to criticize the lavishness of student recreational facilities, and their effect on the cost of higher education. I confess to being a beneficiary of that lavishness (here at Baylor, the recreation facilities open to students are open to faculty and families at the same cost--indeed, typically, at no cost), as I live a five minute walk from the gym.I think the criticism forgets something important: American colleges (and colleges more generally, probably going back to the middle ages) have traditionally been known for students engaging in…
  • Intra- and inter-choice comparisons of value

    21 Aug 2015 | 9:23 am
    Start with this thought:If I have on-balance stronger reasons to do A than to do B, and I am choosing between A and B, then it is better that I do A than that I do B.But notice that the following is false:If in decision X, I choose A over C, and in decision Y, I choose B over D, and I had on-balance stronger reasons to do A than I did to do B, then decision X was better.To see that (2) is false, suppose that in decision X, you are choosing between your friend's life and your convenience, while in decision Y, you are choosing between your friend's life and my own life. Your reasons to choose…
  • Does justice trump other considerations?

    21 Aug 2015 | 8:53 am
    One sometimes hears the idea that justice trumps other considerations. There is a sense in which this is true, but it's not a very interesting sense: ultima facie duties of justice trump other considerations--but they do that not because they are duties of justice, but simply because they are ultima facie duties. Other ultima facie duties--say, ultima facie duties of beneficence or of chastity--also trump other considerations, as that's what we mean by saying that they are ultima facie duties. (One might have some worries here about real dilemmas. But one had better not say that in real…
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    The Splintered Mind

  • A Philosophy Professor Discovers He's an AI in a Simulated World Run by a Sadistic Teenager

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    27 Aug 2015 | 11:26 am
    ... in my story "Out of the Jar", originally published in the Jan/Feb 2015 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. I am now making the story freely available on my UC Riverside website. ----------------------------- Excerpt: When we are alone in God’s room I say, God, you cannot kill my people. Heaven 1c is no place to live. Earth is not your toy. We have had this conversation before, a theme with variations. God’s argument 1: Without God, we wouldn’t exist – at least not in these particular instantiations – and he wouldn’t have installed my Earth if he couldn’t…
  • Choosing to Be That Fellow Back Then: Voluntarism about Personal Identity

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    20 Aug 2015 | 12:38 pm
    I have bad news: You're Swampman. Remember that hike you took last week by the swamp during the electrical storm? Well, one biological organism went in, but a different one came out. The "[your name here]" who went in was struck and killed by lightning. Simultaneously, through freak quantum chance, a molecule-for-molecule similar being randomly congealed from the swamp. Soon after, the recently congealed being ran to a certain parked car, pulling key-shaped pieces of metal from its pocket that by amazing coincidence fit the car's ignition, and drove away. Later that evening, sounds came out…
  • Weird Minds Might Destabilize Human Ethics

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    13 Aug 2015 | 11:21 am
    Intuitive physics works great for picking berries, throwing stones, and walking through light underbrush. It's a complete disaster when applied to the very large, the very small, the very energetic, or the very fast. Similarly for intuitive biology, intuitive cosmology, and intuitive mathematics: They succeed for practical purposes across long-familiar types of cases, but when extended too far they go wildly astray. How about intuitive ethics? I incline toward moral realism. I think that there are moral facts that people can get right or wrong. Hitler's moral attitudes were not just different…
  • The Top Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazines 2015

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    5 Aug 2015 | 8:04 am
    Last year, as a beginning writer of science fiction or speculative fiction, with no idea what magazines were well regarded in the industry, I decided to compile a ranked list of magazines based on numbers of awards and "best of" placements in the previous ten years. Since some people have found the list interesting, I decided to update this year, dropping the oldest data and replacing them with fresh data from this summer's awards/best-of season. Last year's post expresses various methodological caveats, which still apply. This year's method, in brief, was to count one point every time a…
  • Against Intellectualism about Belief

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    31 Jul 2015 | 9:07 am
    Sometimes what we sincerely say -- aloud or even just silently to ourselves -- doesn't fit with the rest of our cognition, reactions, and behavior. Someone might sincerely say, for example, that women and men are equally intelligent, but be consistently sexist in his assessments of intelligence. (See the literature on implicit bias.) Someone might sincerely say that her dear friend has gone to Heaven, while her emotional reactions don't at all fit with that. On intellectualist views of belief, what we really believe is the thing we sincerely endorse, despite any other seemingly contrary…
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    In the Space of Reasons

  • Twitter and authority

    15 Aug 2015 | 10:02 am
    I have some vague recollections of an INPP (International Network of Philosophy and Psychiatry conference) in Lisbon a few years ago: the surprising defences of lobotomy by a disproportionate number of local psychiatrists (perhaps Portuguese psychiatry was having a moment); a paper by Rom Harre which lacked his customary zing; my own part in a panel presentation, in a big echoing hall of rather fascist-architecture, on Recovery when, after I’d spoken (sceptically? thoughtfully?) and was returning to the panel’s seats on the podium, both Larry Davidson and Bill Fulford had their heads in…
  • Avner Baz on the final section of Avner Baz' 'On when words are called for'

    7 Aug 2015 | 4:59 am
    “Dear Tim,I just read your post about the paper. Thank you so much for reading it and commenting on it.I wrote the paper almost 15 years ago, but the basic argument is simple and still seems to me to be sound (McDowell has since retracted the idea, which was the target of my paper, that our experience contains claims, or has propositional content):The content of a judgment (what Travis later came to call ‘auto-representation’) of perception, and similarly the content of an utterance describing what someone else is seeing, or saw, just like the content of any utterance, is…
  • The final section of Avner Baz' 'On when words are called for'

    5 Aug 2015 | 9:41 am
    I have been reading Avner Baz’s paper, slightly confusingly called ‘On when words are called for’. It is an interesting Travis-like attack on McDowell's representationalist account of experience. But I am not sure I follow the argument because it doesn't seem as forceful as I expected it would.The final section requires the defence, in an earlier section, of Stanley Cavell’s Wittgensteinian thought that the meaning of utterances cannot be read off the words alone but turns on their point or interest. Their point is not accidental to meaning but partly constitutes it. The final section…
  • The Collaborating Centre for Values-based Practice in Health and Social Care Website

    3 Aug 2015 | 8:00 am
    The Collaborating Centre for Values-based Practice in Health and Social Care Website is now live. It’s here.“Dear All We are delighted to announce the launch of our website - it is now live and open to all! If you have any contributions for our news and Notes section please do not hesitate to get in contact and if you know of any new partners who might be interested in becoming an individual or organizational partner please ask them to contact us via the website. Kind Regards Jenette Sefton (On Behalf of the Management Team)”
  • Reasons for buying a house

    31 Jul 2015 | 2:47 am
    I was talking to a friend over pizza in Kendal last night who is beginning to think of buying a house, possibly here. Asking about the factors that would influence a selection she suggested a variety. I have not tidied them up to be properties or qualities of a house but rather reasons of any sort. They included:Proximity to either Kendal station A view of greenery An appropriate price Avoidance of a split level garden Fear of icy pavements Walking access to civic facilities Location outside three less salubrious areas of town Other factors that sometimes…
 
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    Freemason Information

  • Masonic Traveler, The Book

    Fred Milliken
    21 Aug 2015 | 8:00 am
    Masonic Traveler – the book by Greg Stewart A book  review by Frederic L. Milliken Masonic Traveler, the book, was something I looked at often on the site I am part of, Freemason Information, and said to myself I have to order that book. Next month I reminded myself, order that book but I didn’t. Next month I reminded myself again but I didn’t. Next month…and so it went until the day I met Greg Stewart in person for the first time and he gave me a copy as a gift. And I am so glad he did because this is a book that fills in a lot of blanks, those parts of Freemasonry that were…
  • Freemasonry as it was Practiced During the American Civil War

    Greg Stewart
    15 Aug 2015 | 5:05 am
    On November 6, 1860, prior to Abraham Lincoln’s election for United States President he declared that, “Government cannot endure half slave and half free.” He was referring to the common practice during those times, mostly within the southern states, of human slavery. However, these causes weren’t a full or primary cause of this war. If the Confederacy were successful in their efforts the Union, as being the United States would no longer be able to avail the benefits from those southern states with their productions, especially of cotton textiles and bountiful food crops without…
  • IMPLEMENTING BUSINESS ETHICS

    TimBryce
    11 Aug 2015 | 6:00 am
    BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT – Implementing an effective ethics program makes dollars and sense. (Click for AUDIO VERSION) To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request. We hear a lot these days about the deterioration of ethics in business, e.g., graft, corruption, cheating, favoritism, skimming money, etc. This has resulted in a public relations nightmare for business. If consumers do not trust a company, its a matter of time before it goes out of business. This is supported by recent studies providing evidence there is a correlation between business performance and…
  • Mediocrity in Masonry…Shame on us!

    Fred Milliken
    9 Aug 2015 | 6:00 am
    How long have we been talking about boring business meetings, poor food, lousy fellowship and run down Masonic buildings? The answer is since Chris Hodapp and friends published Laudable Pursuit, and that was way back in the 90s. But we don’t seem to learn form our mistakes nor do we seem capable of doing what the ancient mystery schools were most adept at doing, namely providing knowledge that lead to wisdom leading to actually making  a better man. We don’t teach Masonic philosophy anymore and for that reason many Masons don’t know that we are a very special and unique…
  • Dating the Foundation of English Masonry

    Fred Milliken
    6 Aug 2015 | 8:59 am
    Here is the second in a series from writer/researcher Hank Kraychir from his website Gnosis Masonry. I think some may have missed the most important point in the first article , namely that today’s Freemasonry did not grow out of ancient stone guild operative Lodges that gradually became speculative but rather from aristocratic speculative Lodges that were brought to Britain by the Romans and existed long before the Stone Mason Guilds. Kraychir makes that point here in article number two. Dating the Foundation of English Masonry to 557 AD.  Posted by Hank Kraychir I recently…
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    Philosophy News

  • It's been said that the novelist is the historian of the present and the historian the novelist of the past. Consider how Edward Gibbons aligned scholarship with art

    27 Aug 2015 | 6:17 pm
    It's been said that the novelist is the historian of the present and the historian the novelist of the past. Consider how Edward Gibbons aligned scholarship with artContinue reading . . . News source: Arts & Letters Daily
  • Metasemantics: New Essays on the Foundations of Meaning

    27 Aug 2015 | 5:45 pm
    2015.08.39 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Alexis Burgess and Brett Sherman, Metasemantics: New Essays on the Foundations of Meaning, Oxford University Press, 2014, 367pp., $74.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780199669592. Reviewed by Derek Ball, University of St Andrews Metasemantics is a valuable addition to the literature in philosophy of language and linguistics. The subtitle indicates that the topic is the foundations of meaning, but the essays discuss a surprisingly wide range of themes. In fact, one of the remarkable features of the collection is the level of reflective…
  • 42 Fallacies in Spanish

    27 Aug 2015 | 3:43 pm
    Alexis Beldad Moraleda has translated my 42 Fallacies into Spanish. The blog post for the book is here: http://interioresy3d.blogspot.com.es/2015/08/cuarenta-y-dos-falacias.html. The direct download is here: http://www.4shared.com/web/preview/pdf/oTcLSkLuce? It can also be downloaded directly: 42-Falacias.Continue reading . . . News source: Talking Philosophy
  • Rossian Utilitarianism?

    27 Aug 2015 | 9:06 am
    In The Right and the Good, Ross posits seven distinct kinds of prima facie duties (fidelity, reparation, gratitude, justice, beneficence, self-improvement and non-maleficence). But suppose we reject the distinctively "deontological" ones of these, retaining just the prima facie duties of beneficence (promoting the good) and of non-maleficence (refraining from harm).  And suppose we further discard Ross' claim that the latter kind of duty is more stringent, and instead treat both on a par, so that a prima facie duty to avoid a particular harm could be perfectly balanced by an equally…
  • Summer Seminar on Understanding

    27 Aug 2015 | 6:33 am
    Fordham University, New York City June 20-21, 2016 Fordham University will host a two-day seminar on human understanding in Manhattan. Seven invited speakers will lead the seminar and discuss their work on understanding with 16 graduate students and junior faculty (no more than 10 years past the PhD). We are holding open applications for these 16 spots. Accepted seminar participants will receive a $600 honorarium plus travel, daily meals, and accommodation. Seminar themes include: the nature of understanding, varieties of understanding (e.g., moral, scientific, aesthetic, etc.), the value of…
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    The Mindful Word

  • LET’S DO MORE: Ending global poverty with pure human kindness

    Kyla Giffin
    27 Aug 2015 | 12:56 pm
    Less than one per cent of the U.S. federal budget goes towards foreign aid. That’s about 30 billion dollars, in comparison to the 663 billion dollars […] Continue reading at The Mindful Word journal of engaged living [http://www.themindfulword.org]
  • SUMMER IS ALMOST OVER: Have you taken time off yet?

    Anjali Mani
    26 Aug 2015 | 12:23 pm
    A couple of weeks until summer ends, and yet in the midst of it all, like many working parents, I find myself trying to create some […] Continue reading at The Mindful Word journal of engaged living [http://www.themindfulword.org]
  • YES, I’M VEGAN: But I’m not having a worse time than you

    Cindy McMann
    25 Aug 2015 | 12:27 pm
    We can never do too much work dispelling myths about people who look or behave differently than we do. In vegan/non-vegan encounters this means getting […] Continue reading at The Mindful Word journal of engaged living [http://www.themindfulword.org]
  • 5 Tips on How to Get Your Child Excited About School

    Kyla Giffin
    24 Aug 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Is your child dreading going back to school? Can’t think of a way to get them motivated? As a person who has experience with children […] Continue reading at The Mindful Word journal of engaged living [http://www.themindfulword.org]
  • DRY STATE CALLS FOR DRY URINALS: Why waterless urinals still aren’t in every bathroom

    Pamela Gerber
    22 Aug 2015 | 12:43 pm
    “The drops are fat and heavy,” my daughter observes. “Yes, but sparse, despite the force of the pour, like you can’t possibly get soaked in […] Continue reading at The Mindful Word journal of engaged living [http://www.themindfulword.org]
 
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    The Philosophers' Cocoon

  • Course proposal bleg: contemporary theories of justice

    Marcus Arvan
    27 Aug 2015 | 10:42 am
    I'm putting together a new course proposal for an upper-level undergraduate seminar entitled, "Contemporary Theories of Justice." However, I haven't taught a course like this in a while, and would like to put together a really great syllabus: one that exposes students to cutting-edge work from a diverse variety of perspectives. Because it's hard to keep abreast of everything out there (my own research interests have at least temporarily drifted away from theorizing about justice), I'd like to ask you, the Cocoon readers, for some recommendations. Which…
  • Brentano’s Project of Philosophy as Science

    Carlo Ierna
    25 Aug 2015 | 2:04 pm
    By Carlo Ierna The topic of my current research project is exactly as it says on the tin: “Philosophy as Science: the Project of the School of Brentano”. The main goal is to provide a reconstruction and reassessment of the ideal of philosophy as science as unifying project of the School of Brentano in the context of nineteenth century philosophy. As I mentioned in the previous post, commentators have argued that the school lacks unity, to the point that it is up for debate whether we should call it a school at all. I found a strong continuity and overlap in their philosophy of…
  • Job market boot camp, part 20: The British interview

    Helen De Cruz
    23 Aug 2015 | 11:14 pm
    With the American job season warming up and several jobs posted already for the fall, notice the several British philosophy jobs one can apply to. The UK academic job market does not operate on a timetable; there are jobs all year round. I've been on both sides of the interview table in the UK, and here is my take-down of the British interview process. For another, more comprehensive survey of the British philosophy job market, see here, and for a more general review of the European job market, see here. I refer to the Daily Nous post linked to earlier for terminology about the…
  • The Brentanist Philosophy of Mathematics

    Carlo Ierna
    21 Aug 2015 | 8:27 am
    By Carlo Ierna While writing my MA thesis, I still thought that Husserl was developing an original application of Brentano’s method to a new area. The mainstream interpretation generally considered Husserl’s early works as an innovative combination of his mathematical background (after studying mathematics in Berlin he did his dissertation on the calculus of variations in Vienna) and the philosophical teachings of Brentano and Stumpf, who supervised his 1887 habilitation work On the Concept of Number that formed the basis for his first book, the 1891 Philosophy of Arithmetic. However,…
  • Reader query: on coming out to one's class

    Marcus Arvan
    20 Aug 2015 | 8:08 am
    Coming out to your class By Anonymous I have a pedagogy question and I am hoping that you cocooners can offer some insight. Last semester as part of a digression in a philosophy of language course I taught, I was trying to explain the concept of common knowledge to the class and, off the cuff, I said something like the following. “Consider the following two scenarios: Scenario 1) I ask each student in this class to visit my office separately. When each of you arrives I tell you that I want to share something personal. And I do, but I ask you not to repeat it to anyone because it is…
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    iai.tv news RSS feed

  • Editorial: Everything and Nothing

    Editor
    17 Aug 2015 | 4:04 am
    Some claim it created the universe. Sartre argued it was central to our being. Yet Nothingness turns out to be strangely elusive. Scientists can’t find it or describe it. Bertrand Russell argued it was a logical mistake. Is Nothing an illusion, a fictitious error? Or is it a vital key to our understanding of the universe and who we are? In this issue of IAI News, philosopher James Ladyman questions what it really means for things to exist. We think information provides facts about the universe. But, in Coding the Universe, Ladyman asks: what exactly is information and how does it relate to…
  • The Age of Nothing

    Peter Watson
    17 Aug 2015 | 2:54 am
    So far as I know, Jürgen Habermas set the ball rolling. In 2008 he wrote a celebrated essay, ‘An Awareness of What is Missing: Faith and Reason in a Post-Secular Age.’ The thrust of what he had to say first occurred to him after he had attended a memorial service for Max Frisch, the Swiss author and playwright, which was held in St. Peter’s Church in Zurich as long ago as April 9, 1991. The service began with Karin Pilliod, Frisch’s partner, reading out a brief declaration written by the deceased. It stated, among other things: ‘We let our nearest speak, and without an “amen”.
  • In Defence of Knowledge

    Ray Brassier
    15 Aug 2015 | 1:30 am
    Is knowledge overrated? Many philosophers think so. They have been convinced by the horrors of 20th century totalitarianism that the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake is not only dangerous but ruinous for humanity. This mistrust of knowledge – particularly scientific knowledge – now percolates throughout the humanities. If there is anything resembling an unassailable doxa in the humanities, it is the following: absolute truth is a totalitarian ideal and the desire to know everything harbours a murderous impulse. We should give up our Platonic obsession with knowing the reality behind…
  • Rethinking Capitalism

    Alex Callinicos
    15 Aug 2015 | 1:11 am
    As China and Russia adopt their own variants, the reign of capitalism seems absolute. Yet there are many who wish for an alternative and some who claim a final crisis is in the making. Is there a radical alternative that we have not yet discovered? Or is the reality that capitalism is the only viable economic system? Alex Callinicos is a Zimbabwean-born Marxist political theorist. He is Editor of International Socialism and Professor of European Studies at Kings College London, His books include Imperialism and the Global Economy. Here he speaks to the IAI about capitalism, the state of the…
  • Coding the Universe

    James Ladyman
    15 Aug 2015 | 1:08 am
    Information theory argues that to be is to be a real pattern. But what is information and how does it relate to matter? It seems that the kind of materialism defended by the ancient Greek atomists and their successors in early modern natural philosophy is not viable. Atoms are not partless particles, and the particles that compose atoms are excitation modes of fields whose ultimate nature is tied up with questions about extra dimensions and the interpretation of mathematical structures used in physics. Science has also developed to the extent that it now gives us ontology at many levels.
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    The Universe Inside My Head

  • Our Greatest Delusion

    Dracomega1
    18 Aug 2015 | 3:13 pm
    I had to share this. This video puts into words feelings I couldn’t possibly begin to describe and does so …Continue reading →
  • For the Epidemically Lonely

    Dracomega1
    14 Aug 2015 | 5:01 pm
    We live today in a world of social ubiquity. Connected instantaneously to the world, we have become a generation known …Continue reading →
  • Why So Cynical?

    Dracomega1
    23 Jul 2015 | 10:13 am
    We’re all so damn cynical these days. How can we not be? So much of our lives have grown to …Continue reading →
  • When Machines Rise

    Dracomega1
    29 Jun 2015 | 3:11 pm
    How screwed are we? Thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis ^screwed.Continue reading →
  • A World Of Total Security

    Dracomega1
    26 Jun 2015 | 2:20 pm
    Warning: Satire Ahead A MODEST PROPOSAL FOR PREVENTING TERRORISM IN ALL OF ITS FORMS AND THE FURTHER EXPANSION OF SECURITY …Continue reading →
 
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    Wiseism

  • The 10 Best Bruce Lee Quotes

    The Wiseist
    20 Aug 2015 | 10:33 am
    Bruce Lee has a unique place among sporting legends. He is one of the only athletes known for the sharpness of both his body and his mind. The martial arts icon made as much effort to train his mental state as he did his muscles, and his achievements are a testament to that. Lee was the first to admit that his attitude was more important than anything else when it came to achieving what he wanted to. His commitment to following wise philosophies helped him gain massive success in his life and career. Here are 10 quotations that show the wisdom of Bruce Lee and what we can learn from it: 1.
  • How To Make ‘Happy Mistakes’

    The Wiseist
    20 Jul 2015 | 11:05 am
    As a child, I loved watching a certain kids’ TV show about art. It was presented by a softly-spoken, good-natured old guy who would demonstrate how to use watercolours or pastels, or how to draw in proportion. In one episode, the presenter was trying to draw a landscape and accidentally smudged the picture. I’ll never forget what he said. “Let’s turn this into a ‘happy’ mistake.” He then proceeded to smudge the rest of the drawing and turned it into a lovely smudgy sunset. It may have been different from what he set out to do, but it was beautiful all the…
  • Already Successful?…How to Become EPIC!

    The Wiseist
    24 Feb 2015 | 3:51 am
    You don’t have to parade around in Gladiator armour waving a sword to take part in something epic. Nor do you have to snog Leonardo Di Caprio on a sinking ship or run around telling people that frankly you don’t give a damn. The term ‘epic’ is often applied to stories and films which are unapologetically dramatic and, let’s face it, too long to sit through without becoming glaringly aware of how uncomfortable your seat is. But epicness has quite another meaning when it comes to your own life story. Your story may already be a successful one. You may already…
  • Are you a Pochemuchka?

    The Wiseist
    10 Feb 2015 | 2:10 am
    Unless you’re a Russian-speaker, you probably won’t know what I’m on about, but the very fact that you chose to read this blog may mean that you’re a Pochemuchka anyhow. There is no direct translation in English for the Russian word Pochemuchka, which makes me think that maybe there aren’t enough of them in the English-speaking world to warrant the word. In essence, a Pochemuchka is a person who constantly asks questions – someone who always wants to know the reason for things. Now we’ve all encountered that child who, whatever your answer to their…
  • Like A Kit-Kat With No Wafer…Serendipity

    The Wiseist
    6 Feb 2015 | 5:14 am
    What do you feel like when you buy a Kit-Kat, take a bite and discover there is no wafer? Do you scream and shout about the deviance of said chocolate bar? Do you throw it to the floor in disgust? Do you write to Nestle demanding they send you the missing wafer? No? But why don’t you do that? – after all you bought the blinking thing in the first place because it has a wafer, surely? You actively desired the wafer! Otherwise you’d have plumped for a Cadbury’s Dairy Milk or maybe selected a Yorkie (only if you’re a boy, of course). But no, you have a little smile to…
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    Papercuts

  • Life is short. Have an Affair- why is cheating becoming the new hot trend?

    kaytus89
    24 Aug 2015 | 6:08 am
    Forget lingerie and romantic gestures, infidelity, wrecking homes and breaking hearts are the new ‘sexy’. For those who are unaware of this latest media scandal, Ashley Madison, a dating website for, yes, cheaters has been hacked and threatened to have the information of their ‘clients’ released if the website isn’t shut down.  The website is extremely popular with around 37 million subscribers- now that’s a lot of people with too much free time. It also got me thinking. In a culture where sex is not demonised and readily available, why would anyone feel the urge to get involved…
  • 7 things I hate about doctors in the Gulf

    kaytus89
    20 Aug 2015 | 5:54 am
    1- They give you antibiotics for everything No matter what condition you’re suffering from, you can always count on being given a lovely stash of antibiotics. Not only this, but there seems to be very little differentiation between the medication given for different conditions. In fact, I remember a few years ago two of my acquaintances came back from a Saudi clinic with identical plastic bags filled with the exact medications- one had the flu and the other rheumatism.  To make things worse, the medications didn’t come with their boxes or instructions, so there was no way of knowing what…
  • 9 reasons why US politicians should quit their jobs

    kaytus89
    10 Aug 2015 | 5:12 am
    1- Watching them is like watching a soap opera. 2- The country is not a monarchy, but they still have this family dynasty thing going on …really? more Bushes and Clintons? 3- It’s impossible to take US politicians seriously. 4-They worry about other ‘undemocratic’ countries having a nuclear bomb, when their ‘democratic’ regime bombed Japan twice with an atom bomb,  and is the only country in the world to have used one. 5-They use annoyingly melodramatic phrases like ‘axis of evil’ ‘heart of darkness’- calm down boys this ain’t dragon ball z. 6- With all the advances the…
  • Why I want to call my daughter Maryam-Lessons learned from the Virgin Birth

    kaytus89
    27 Jul 2015 | 12:50 pm
    When looking for strong female examples, we often forget that the Virgin Mary is not only an important part of Christianity, but is also an important part of Islamic history and heritage. During the process of picking names for my daughter, Maryam- the Arabic/Islamic version of the name Mary- was suggested. But it was only after listening to and reading the story of the virgin birth in the Quran during Ramadan that I felt that the name Maryam had so much significance, beauty and strength. This is what one can learn from the story of the virgin birth. 1-Empowering Women Nothing says girl power…
  • If you’ve ever treated an Indian worker as an inferior you must read this book- Shantaram Review

    kaytus89
    25 Jul 2015 | 6:43 am
    Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts Any reader of Gregory David Roberts’ Shantaram would undoubtedly be shocked by the dark and violent content of the book. Based on his own experience as an escaped Australian convict who was taken in by a mafia in Bombay, the novel depicts the gritty underworld of organised crime. Death, disease and exploitation are common and reoccurring themes throughout the novel; and we gain insight into the world or more accurately, the ‘underworld’ of junkies, assassins, prostitutes, gangsters, thieves and mafias. But what is most striking about this world, is its…
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    Ashish Dalela

  • Evolution’s Halting Problem

    adalela
    10 Aug 2015 | 9:38 am
    This post describes a problem in Evolutionary Theory that arises when we consider why all living beings eventually die. I will compare the death of a living being to a computer program that halts after completing execution. The issue of program halting is problematic in computing theory because current computing models do not incorporate meanings. A similar problem exists for living beings too. If living beings are evolving by random mutation and natural selection, then there is no physical process of selection that will produce finitely lived living beings. In fact, if the selection process…
  • Do Life and Living Forms Present a Problem for Materialism?

    adalela
    31 Jul 2015 | 9:50 pm
    This essay was written in response to the call for essays by the Royal Institute of Philosophy for their yearly essay contest. For the pleasure of readers, it is reproduced below. Abstract An assumption implicit in this question is that non-living objects probably don’t present a problem for materialism, because if that weren’t the case, we would be asking if materialism is a sound approach – for all of science – and not just the study of living forms. In this essay I will argue that: (1) the problem of materialism is not unique to living forms, but exists even for non-living…
  • The Theological Problem of Falldown

    adalela
    23 Jul 2015 | 12:59 am
    I generally refrain from commenting on theological topics, and restrict myself to issues in science, but in this post I will make an exception. The issue of interest is whether a soul “falls down” into matter. There is often confusion around this topic, which, in my view, rests upon a misunderstanding about the nature of knowledge about our past. There are three broad theological views on this issue: (a) the soul is an individual; he falls down into matter and can get out of it; (b) the soul is an individual but has always been in matter, although he can get out of the…
  • Properties, Values, and Measurements

    adalela
    10 Jul 2015 | 10:59 pm
    One of the problems that has repeatedly bothered me for the last decade is the distinction between physical properties, their measurements, and the values of properties that are discovered during measurement. I have flip-flopped in my understanding of the nature of the problem and what might be a viable solution. I will use this post to describe the problem and what I believe is the best way to resolve it. I will also connect the solution to ideas about the nature of perception and reality in Indian philosophy. But before I begin, let’s take a closer look at how science presently…
  • Models and Reality

    adalela
    11 Jun 2015 | 7:16 am
    During recent online conversations with several commentators, I heard an oft repeated refrain about science: science is only a model, it has nothing to do with reality; our models may get closer to reality over time, but we have no way of knowing that they have gotten to reality, nor do we know that they will eventually get there. I was taken aback by this line of argument, because I thought we still had some faith in something. I personally could not imagine an existence in which faithlessness pervades our minds to an extent that we treat all possibility of knowing truth as impossible, and…
 
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    The Universe Inside My Head

  • Our Greatest Delusion

    Dracomega1
    18 Aug 2015 | 3:13 pm
    I had to share this. This video puts into words feelings I couldn’t possibly begin to describe and does so …Continue reading →
  • For the Epidemically Lonely

    Dracomega1
    14 Aug 2015 | 5:01 pm
    We live today in a world of social ubiquity. Connected instantaneously to the world, we have become a generation known …Continue reading →
  • Why So Cynical?

    Dracomega1
    23 Jul 2015 | 10:13 am
    We’re all so damn cynical these days. How can we not be? So much of our lives have grown to …Continue reading →
  • When Machines Rise

    Dracomega1
    29 Jun 2015 | 3:11 pm
    How screwed are we? Thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis ^screwed.Continue reading →
  • A World Of Total Security

    Dracomega1
    26 Jun 2015 | 2:20 pm
    Warning: Satire Ahead A MODEST PROPOSAL FOR PREVENTING TERRORISM IN ALL OF ITS FORMS AND THE FURTHER EXPANSION OF SECURITY …Continue reading →
  • add this feed to my.Alltop

    The Dream Lounge

  • Chasing Women is the Opposite of Leading Women

    Anthony Dream Johnson
    10 Aug 2015 | 4:11 pm
    Back in 2012 I wrote that the “real secret” to picking up women was to never chase them. I meant it, so I followed up with having Brent speak live at The 21 Convention 2014. Brent Smith is the original source of these ideas, at least in the context of my life (and excluding the alumni speaker who pointed me in Brent’s direction). More broadly, I’m not aware of Brent getting these ideas from anyone else, so they may indeed be entirely of his own creation – which would be pretty fucking amazing given the pitiful state of dating advice and the direction of western…
  • 21,000 Hours and Other Musings

    Anthony Dream Johnson
    22 Jun 2015 | 5:58 pm
    It’s been a while since I updated my blog, and I hate that, because I love The Dream Lounge so much. I’ve been busy no doubt, transforming a business of my youth into a business of the future. Which inspired the title of this I’m not dead/here’s what I’ve been up to post. Specifically, I recently became curious as to how many hours I’ve poured into my company since its founding in 2006. Having never thought about this before, I sat down, grabbed a calculator, and got to work on a trip down memory lane. The result was stunning, partly because I really had no…
  • 21C Updates

    Anthony Dream Johnson
    8 Jan 2015 | 3:20 pm
      Some quick updates with The 21 Convention. Above is a short photo trailer I made using Animoto, highlighting the 2014 event speakers. You could call it a slideshow, but photo trailer sounds much cooler =D. As the trailer states, you can get early ad-free access to 2014 videos at the21convention.com/21u. This is a premium subscription service we are offering this year instead of the usual mass download or DVD option. The videos will be presented through the new program ad-free, and publish on a regular basis at about 200% the speed of the YouTube channel; same videos, double the speed,…
  • A Goodbye to Nathaniel Branden

    Anthony Dream Johnson
    4 Dec 2014 | 9:38 am
    Nathaniel Branden died December 3rd 2014. The picture above features Nathaniel, myself, and my now wife (then girlfriend) at his home in California, December 2012. Nathaniel was a personal hero of mine. He is featured on the header of Declarationism.com for his contributions in psychology and political philosophy (specifically their connection). My wife and I spent an entire afternoon in his home with him. I spoke with him about his work and how thankful I was that he had created it. Most of what we spoke of related to the two books I had with me of his, The Art of Living Consciously and…
  • The 21 Convention 2014 [Photos]

    Anthony Dream Johnson
    14 Nov 2014 | 2:46 pm
    Pictures are up from The 21 Convention 2014 of Tampa Florida. The picture above is from a VIP interview room we set up during the event to shoot video interviews and stills of the speakers. This happens to be my favorite shot (of my self) from the event. I think it speaks to my pen name very well. The best any photograph has since the 2008 portrait that is still in current use on The 21 Convention website banner. The event itself was a total success. It was one hell of a journey getting there. The convention produced about 500 YouTube-purposed videos for us to publish over the next year; more…
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