Recently I have had come contact with students of philosophy who embrace strange forms of “pop philosophy” in which subjective relativism and irrationalism are presented as solutions to an alleged narrow, limited perspective of the sciences and rational philosophy. Any casual glance at historical and current trends in philosophies shows us that this rush to the irrational is nothing new.
An acquaintance (call him “Bob”) tagged me in Facebook with a set of remarks arguing that random chance and physical processes alone could never explain how the universe came about. I considered his remarks, replied to them, and tried to show why I (like most scientists and rationally-critical people) reject this argument as even remotely close to a good case for an intelligent designer working behind the scenes to bring about the universe
One dictionary definition of ‘therapy’ is the treatment of a disease, physical or mental, by medical or physical means, usually excluding surgery. A more general definition refers to ‘therapy’ as the effort to alleviate some disorder, usually mental in some sense, by some use of a therapeutic method or technique. It is doubtful that the […]
All this talk about virtual or simulated worlds in the brain (or in the head) suggests that that we don’t experience a public world, a common framework that human beings share. Virtual world talk implies that I don’t share the simulated world in your head, nor do you share the simulated world in my head. Isn’t it a mystery how these separate worlds seem to intersect? Of course we don’t need to introduce such a mystery. The obvious and reasonable assumption is that we share a common framework, i.e., the real world, a public world as opposed to a private, simulated world constructed by the brain inside the brain.
“A man on a mission has no time for moderation or for moderates.” Regardless of the cause (political, religious, anti-religious, racial justice), people dedicated to the fight and willing to put themselves on the line tend to be critical of the moderates, who often advise patience, compromise, and negotiation. I was reminded of this when […]
What gives in Arizona? First they reject the celebration of Martin Luther King Day; then the Arizona legislators submit a tough law targeting all who appear to be illegal immigrants; and now Governor Jan Brewer has signed a bill prohibiting the Tucson school district from offering certain types of ethnic studies in the high schools.
But the problem of mass migration of people, with or without proper documentation, is an historical problem and a worldwide problem. Surely it is not one special to the United States. Consider the immigration problems that Western European countries also face. As long as certain regions are poverty-stricken and offer few prospects for a decent standard of life and other regions offer better opportunities for desperate people, there will be migrations of peoples.
Mlodinow calls such events as war, genocide, and economic depression extreme events which can greatly affect the lives of millions of people. But, as he notes, it does not require extreme events to bring out the role that randomness, unpredictability, and chance occurrences play in our lives. Within the context of larger events, extreme or otherwise, there are countless accidents, contingencies, and unforeseen “meetings at intersections” that greatly influence the paths our lives take.
Wittgenstein asks whether the application of a rule makes any sense with regard to a putative private language, one exclusive to the subject alone. How could the private individual, without any objective reference to other speakers or to a rule book or to some standard apart from his own private impressions, make any sense of getting a meaning right or getting it wrong? He argues that this makes no sense when applied to a strictly private context.
I was once calling around for my local area trying to find a doctor to go get a regular checkup. It had been quite a while so I was convinced it was time to get a checkup. Being an entrepreneur there are times when I did not have health insurance because I couldn’t afford it, but at this time I actually did have it. But I didn’t feel like waiting 30 days for a appointment so I figured I can just pay for this one appointment cash, no big deal right?