Pigliucci on Radical Empiricism

For years now the humanities and any non-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields have been in retreat in colleges throughout the world, especially in the US. This retreat is the result of a number of factors, perhaps foremost among them the increasing importation of business-style models into academia and the resulting conviction that if …

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Understanding vs Seeing

 “People nowadays,” Wittgenstein writes in Culture and Value, “think that scientists exist to instruct them, poets, musicians, etc. to give them pleasure. The idea that these have something to teach them-that does not occur to them.” At a time like this, when the humanities are institutionally obliged to pretend to be sciences, we need more …

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Philosophy as Cognitive Therapy

Albert Ellis, the founder of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, was originally a Psychoanalyst but became disillusioned with its results. He turned to the teachings of an ancient Roman slave and philosopher - Epictetus. Epictetus was Greek, and followed the teachings of Socrates and Plato. The Stoic philosophy has a familiar ring because it uses basically the same method …

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A way of life

It's Spring Break (aka reading week), and I've already taken on some reading projects. I'm currently working through Daniel Dennett's Darwin's Dangerous Idea, and considering the validity of the Dawkin's meme concept, especially in relation to ethics and "sociobiology." David Widdicombe, over at St. Margaret's Anglican Church, has an interesting critique of Darwinists who reject …

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Write a Sonnet, per chance?

Given enough time, can monkeys typing randomly come up the works of Shakespeare?…or even just 1 play?….  or just 1 sonnet? The "infinite monkey theorem" has a long pedigree in the history of ideas - starting with Aristotle, and showing up in Jonathan Swift, Bacon, Huxley, Jorge Luis Borges, and Dawkins. There was even a …

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