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”?
The new science of the mind. “… increased understanding of the physical workings of our brain will provide us with important insight into brain disorders … [and] us new insights into who we are as human beings.”
Robert Talisse on Pragmatism. “Pragmatism is a philosophical movement that has dominated philosophy in America from the early 1900s to the present day, argues the philosopher and political theorist. He chooses the best books on pragmatism. “
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.”
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.
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.'”
Question conventional wisdom … love the real thing. A pamphlet about the philosophy major at University of Missouri-St. Louis with some very useful and interesting points about studying philosophy, including famous philosophy majors like Stephen Colbert, Steve Martin, and Supreme Court justices.
Matters of life and death. David Edmonds’ excellent review of the runaway trolley and its many variations. “Interest in ‘trolleyology’—a way of studying moral quandaries—has taken off in recent years. Some philosophers say it sheds useful light on human behaviour, others see it as a pointless pursuit of the unknowable.”
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.”
The moon’s appearance and reality explained … or not.