Learning to fall apart

Ritual, OCD, and self-identity.  “We believe that deep down, there is some kind of solid, stable bedrock to our identity, some unshakable foundation that provides us with the capacity to control significant portions of our experience: to be who we really are, to be true to ourselves.  … But that worldview isn’t true. It isn’t possible to keep ourselves together, because we aren’t one coherent thing. Instead, we are a kind of flux, a series of patterns and surprises, inextricably interwoven into the larger field of phenomena that we call reality.” Doesn’t this fit with Hume’s “bundle of perceptions”?


Philosophy defended as conceptual analysis

Philosophy is not a ‘ridiculous’ pursuit. Philosophers work with and on concepts.  Concepts “are the hinges or links of reasoning processes. They describe those aspects of thought that enables it to make the right connections: connections with the rest of the world; with other thoughts; and with actions. I use the word ‘right’ here to indicate the possibility of getting these connections wrong.”

The Singer solution to world poverty

Bob, his Bugatti, and what we owe others. Peter Singer’s 1999 New York Times article asking: “Now you, too, have the information you need to save a child’s life. How should you judge yourself if you don’t do it?” Many more articles by Singer, including “What Should a Billionaire Give – and What Should You?”

And what about the Bugatti? Bugatti: 1,001 horsepower, $1.24 million and 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic sells for a record $30+ Million.

Philosophy … the great conversation

Talk with me.  “Western philosophy has its origins in conversation, in face-to-face discussions about reality, our place in the cosmos, and how we should live. It began with a sense of mystery, wonder, and confusion, and the powerful desire to get beyond mere appearances to find truth or, if not that, at least some kind of wisdom or balance. Socrates started the conversation about philosophical conversation. … The point of philosophy is not to have a range of facts at your disposal, though that might be useful … rather, it is to develop the skills and sensitivity to be able to argue about some of the most significant questions we can ask ourselves, questions about reality and appearance, life and death, god and society. As Plato’s Socrates tells us, ‘These are not trivial questions we are discussing here, we are discussing how to live.'”

Peter Singer’s utilitarianism in action

Join Wall Street to save the world.  “Jason Trigg went into finance because he is after money — as much as he can earn. [H]e goes to work each morning for a high-frequency trading firm. It’s a hedge fund on steroids. He writes software that turns a lot of money into even more money. For his labors, he reaps an uptown salary — and over time his earning potential is unbounded. It’s all part of the plan. Why this compulsion? It’s not for fast cars or fancy houses. Trigg makes money just to give it away. His logic is simple: The more he makes, the more good he can do.”