FBI files confirm existentialism’s ideas on the absurd

The FBI files on Jean-Paul Sartre. “From 1945 onwards, J Edgar Hoover’s FBI spied on Camus and Sartre. The investigation soon turned into a philosophical inquiry.” And what did Jean-Paul Sartre have to do with the Kennedy assassination? See also the FBI’s files on Camus and Sartre confirm the utter meaninglessness of it all.

Posts in “The Stone” about free will

The New York Times has a philosophy blog called “The Stone.” A number of posts in the blog have been tagged with “free will.”  All of them are well worth your time. To start with, you might find particularly interesting and helpful Galen Strawson’s “Your Move: The Maze of Free Will” and Eddy Nahmias’s “Is Neuroscience the Death of Free Will?”

McGinn controversies

Colin McGinn (the mind-body problem and mysterianism) has been controversial in different ways. Consider McGinn’s review of Ted Honderich’s On Consciousness: “This book runs the full gamut from the mediocre to the ludicrous to the merely bad. It is painful to read, poorly thought out, and uninformed. It is also radically inconsistent.”

Then take a look at Kerry McKenzie’s review of McGinn’s Basic Structures of Reality: “For all the epistemic faux-modesty that this book purports to defend, the image that persists while grinding through its pages is of an individual ludicrously fancying themselves as uniquely positioned to solve the big questions for us, from scratch and unassisted, as if none of the rest of us working in the field have had anything worth a damn to contribute. It will however be clear by now that I take the reality to be substantially different.”

But a current controversy is different: A Star Philosopher Falls, and a Debate Over Sexism Is Set Off.

Lying to Nazis

Nazis, lies, and videotape. Is it morally permitted to lie to Nazis today to obtain information for the historical record about the Holocaust? “Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah consists in large part of an extensive interview with former SS-Unterscharfuhrer Franz Suchomel who worked at the Treblinka and Sobibor death camps. Lanzmann told him that the interview will be taped but the tape will not be released for thirty years due to the sensitivity of its content. In addition Lanzmann filmed the interview with a secret camera secreted in a briefcase.”