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William James: Once Born and Twice Born People -
"However this doesn't mean that twice borns are unhappy. The reason is that their attitude often leads to a crisis, experienced as clinical depression, in a desire to understand the meaning of life. But the incompatibility of their desire for making sense of things and their pessimism demands a resolution if they are to love life again. And it is this demand that can lead to rebirth"
"As for the happy life, James said it consists of four main ingredients. First, we must choose to view the world as positive even though life contains sorrow and pain. Second, we must take risks by acting from the demands of our hearts. Third, we must act as if we are free and life is meaningful even though we can't be sure of either. Finally, we should remember that a crisis of meaning often leads to the happiest life."
(This article was reprinted in the online magazine of the Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies, May 28, 2016.)
William-James  religion  philosophy  happiness  psychology 
5 weeks ago by pierredv
Heidegger: The Question Concerning Technology
Links to
heidegger  guide  philosophy  tech 
8 weeks ago by pierredv
Thinking technicity: Cultural Values: Vol 2, No 1 - Richard Beardsworth

The evermore explicit technicization of the world, together with the immeasurable nature of the political and ethical questions that it poses, explicitly defy the syntheses of human imagination and invention. In response to this challenge, how can philosophy, in its relation of nonrelation with politics, help in orienting present and future negotiation with the processes of complexification that this technicization implies? The article argues that one important way to do this is to think and develop our understanding of technicity from out of metaphysics, its destructions and deconstructions. The argument proceeds from the aporia of knowledge in Plato's Meno, situates continental philosophical thought's various articulations of the ‘other’ of metaphysics in relation to the problematic of this aporia and claims that certain understandings of this alterity can be further articulated in terms of technical supplementarity. Working between the concept of ‘arche‐writing’ in the thought of Jacques Derrida and that of ‘epiphylogenesis’ in that of Bernard Stiegler, the article then develops this supplementarity in terms of a play between originary technicity and its historical differentiations, one that both holds to the articulation of alterity in recent continental philosophy and develops it further in terms of its relation to historical determination. This relation, posited through a thinking of technicity, permits, finally, the ‘development’ of an ethics of giving time with which negotiation with processes of complexification can be undertaken in the name of justice. An ethical relation to these processes thereby emerges through the very excess of the human.
philosophy  technology  technicity 
9 weeks ago by pierredv
Only a God Can Save Us
Via Pasulka, American Cosmic

Martin Heidegger, "Nur noch ein Gott kann uns retten," Der Spiegel 30 (Mai, 1976): 193-219. Trans. by W. Richardson as "Only a God Can Save Us" in Heidegger: The Man and the Thinker (1981), ed. T. Sheehan, pp. 45-67.

" SPIEGEL: Fine. Now the question naturally arises: Can the individual man in any way still influence this web of fateful circumstance? Or, indeed, can philosophy influence it? Or can both together influence it, insofar as philosophy guides the individual, or several individuals, to a determined action?

Heidegger: If I may answer briefly, and perhaps clumsily, but after long reflection: philosophy will be unable to effect any immediate change in the current state of the world. This is true not only of philosophy but of all purely human reflection and endeavor. Only a god can save us. The only possibility available to us is that by thinknig and poetizing we prepare a readiness for the appearance of a god, or for the absence of a god in [our] decline, insofar as in view of the absent god we are in a state of decline.27"

"27. In all probability, Heidegger is not using the word "god" here in any personal sense but in the sense that he gives to the word (often in the expression, "god or the gods") in his interpretations of Hölderlin, i.e., as the concrete manifestation of Being as "the Holy." "
philosophy  Heidegger  religion  DerSpiegel 
11 weeks ago by pierredv
John Locke, the Fall, and the Origin Myth of Capitalism
"So begins one of the most significant stages in the development of the origin myth of capitalism. Locke inherited the myth from Hugo Grotius before him and would pass it onto to none other than Adam Smith and a host of later economists, so much so that it would become one of the most important stories ever told under capitalism. Refined and developed in each hand, that myth has become a vital underpinning for the capitalism itself, an ideological justification for a certain view of human nature that is ‘naturally’ predisposed to engage in commercial activity."
John-Locke  politics  philosophy  myths 
11 weeks ago by pierredv
(56) (PDF) Notes on bias in the socio-material realization of AI technologies | Hans Radder -
These notes are a revised version of an 'extended abstract' submitted to, and presented at, the conference on Bias in AI and Neuroscience, 17-19 June 2019, Radboud University Nijmegen.
AI  philosophy  bias 
july 2019 by pierredv
Paul Ricoeur - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
"Self-knowledge only comes through our understanding of our relation to the world and of our life with and among others in time in the world."
"At the end of his three volume study of narrative (Time and Narrative, 1984–88) Ricoeur realized that what was said there pointed to the importance of the idea of a narrative identity. This has to do not just with the identity of the characters in a story or history, but with the larger claim that personal identity in every case can be considered in terms of a narrative identity: what story does a person tell about his or her life, or what story do others tell about it? In effect, narrative identity is one of the ways in which we answer the question “who?” Who is this? Who said that? Did that? Who is that? Who are we?"
StanfordEncyclopediaOfPhilosophy  psychology  philosophy  narrative 
june 2019 by pierredv
Paul Ricoeur and Narrative Identity - Psychology Today, Apr 2016
"French philosopher Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005) developed an account of narrative and narrative identity<> that has been highly influential."
PsychologyToday  psychology  narrative  philosophy 
june 2019 by pierredv
A Celebrity Philosopher Explains the Populist Insurgency | The New Yorker
Via Pierre-Yves Saintoyant

"Peter Sloterdijk has spent decades railing against the pieties of liberal democracy. Now his ideas seem prophetic."

"Reverence for intellectual culture is waning in much of the world, but it remains strong in Germany. Sloterdijk’s books vie with soccer-star memoirs on the German best-seller lists. A late-night TV talk show that he co-hosted, “The Philosophical Quartet,” ran for a decade. He has written an opera libretto, published a bawdy epistolary novel lampooning the foundation that funds the country’s scientific research, and advised some of Europe’s leading politicians."
arts  politics  NewYorker  philosophy 
may 2019 by pierredv
Hume on Is and Ought | Issue 83 | Philosophy Now
"Hume’s idea seems to be that you cannot deduce moral conclusions, featuring moral words such as ‘ought’, from non-moral premises, that is premises from which the moral words are absent. The passage is summed up in the slogan ‘No-Ought-From-Is’ (or NOFI for short) and for many people it represents the take-home message of Hume’s moral philosophy. It is sometimes rather grandly referred to as Hume’s Law. But what exactly did he mean by it? Why did he think that his observation would ‘subvert all the vulgar systems of morality’? Is NOFI (or something like it) true? And what are the philosophical consequences?"
philosophy  morality  ethics 
november 2018 by pierredv
Science isn't everything – and it's not even after the truth | New Scientist 28 Feb 2018, issue 3167
"Although science is an admirable achievement, we look silly when we claim there are no limits to what it can do, say two new books"

"Understanding trumps truth: scientists will generally settle for a less accurate model if it is more cognitively transparent."

"There is no “scientific method”, but there is a collection of tried-and-tested principles: try to use reason, compare theory against experiment, attempt to replicate results, that kind of thing. The precise emphases differ by discipline."
NewScientist  science  scientific-method  books  philosophy 
may 2018 by pierredv
Metaphysics and consciousness | New Scientist Oct 2016
"Despite your metaphysics special (3 September, p 33), philosophy is not in a competition with science to see which can come up with the better answers to the same questions. Philosophy in every area is the art of thinking as clearly and deeply as we can. In science, its task is to understand the nature and scope of scientific investigation. The idea that science can supersede philosophy is therefore ludicrous."
NewScientist  philosophy  consciousness  scientific-method 
march 2017 by pierredv
Perspective: Philosopher’s Corner: The End of Puzzle Solving | Issues in Science and Technology
"This position, however, implies that in important respects the postmodernists have won. From the point of view of the scientific realists the contagion has spread: the autonomy of science has been chipped away, and its status as a uniquely objective view on the world is widely questioned. The politicizing of science, once a distant threat, is today a commonplace."

Young scientists "are also living through the breakdown of what Thomas Kuhn called “normal science.” Kuhn argued that scientists spend the vast majority of their time engaged in “puzzle solving,” working on specific problems within well-established and secure frameworks. But whereas Kuhn recognized the possibility of the occasional revolution in science—think of the shift from Ptolemy to Copernicus, or from Newton to Einstein—such revolutions were at least initially intra-scientific affairs. In contrast, the disruption today is between science and the other mega-categories of life."
Issues  science  policy  philosophy  Jurgen-Habermas  Thomas-Kuhn  Bruno-Latour 
january 2017 by pierredv
Religion for the Nonreligious - Wait But Why
via Linda Chan?
"The goal of personal growth should be to gain that deathbed clarity while your life is still happening so you can actually do something about it."
life  religion  philosophy  WaitButWhy 
september 2016 by pierredv
The Case Against Reality - The Atlantic
"Donald D. Hoffman, a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Irvine. Hoffman has spent the past three decades studying perception, artificial intelligence, evolutionary game theory and the brain, and his conclusion is a dramatic one: The world presented to us by our perceptions is nothing like reality. What’s more, he says, we have evolution itself to thank for this magnificent illusion, as it maximizes evolutionary fitness by driving truth to extinction."
"So while neuroscientists struggle to understand how there can be such a thing as a first-person reality, quantum physicists have to grapple with the mystery of how there can be anything but a first-person reality. In short, all roads lead back to the observer. And that’s where you can find Hoffman—straddling the boundaries, attempting a mathematical model of the observer, trying to get at the reality behind the illusion."
"Gefter: So everything we see is one big illusion?
Hoffman: We’ve been shaped to have perceptions that keep us alive, so we have to take them seriously. If I see something that I think of as a snake, I don’t pick it up. If I see a train, I don’t step in front of it. I’ve evolved these symbols to keep me alive, so I have to take them seriously. But it’s a logical flaw to think that if we have to take it seriously, we also have to take it literally."
reality  perception  physics  philosophy  TheAtlantic  cognition 
september 2016 by pierredv
Albert Einstein and Henri Bergson’s Great Showdown About the Nature of Time
"What Einstein said next that evening was even more controversial: “There remains only a psychological time that differs from the physicist’s.” At that very moment, Einstein laid down the gauntlet by considering as valid only two ways of understanding time: physical and psychological. "
"Einstein’s and Bergson’s contributions appeared to their contemporaries forcefully at odds, representing two competing strands of modern times. Bergson was associated with metaphysics, antirationalism, and vitalism, the idea that life permeates everything. Einstein with their opposites: with physics, rationality, and the idea that the universe (and our knowledge of it) could stand just as well without us. "
"The theory of relativity broke with classical physics in three main respects: first, it redefined concepts of time and space by claiming that they were no longer universal; second, it showed that time and space were completely related; and third, the theory did away with the concept of the ether, a substance that allegedly filled empty space and that scientists hoped would provide a stable background to both the universe and their theories of classical mechanics."
"Bergson found Einstein’s definition of time in terms of clocks completely aberrant. The philosopher did not understand why one would opt to describe the timing of a significant event, such as the arrival of a train, in terms of how that event matched against a watch. He did not understand why Einstein tried to establish this particular procedure as a privileged way to determine simultaneity. Bergson searched for a more basic definition of simultaneity, one that would not stop at the watch but that would explain why clocks were used in the first place."
Einstein  Bergson  philosophy  Nautilus  physics  relativity 
june 2016 by pierredv
America Has Never Been So Ripe for Tyranny -- NYMag, Andrew Sullivan, May 2016
via John Helm
"Democracies end when they are too democratic. And right now, America is a breeding ground for tyranny."
". In the wake of his most recent primary triumphs, at a time when he is perilously close to winning enough delegates to grab the Republican nomination outright, I think we must confront this dread and be clear about what this election has already revealed about the fragility of our way of life and the threat late-stage democracy is beginning to pose to itself."
"Part of American democracy’s stability is owed to the fact that the Founding Fathers had read their Plato."
"Once, candidates built a career through experience in elected or Cabinet positions or as military commanders; they were effectively selected by peer review. That elitist sorting mechanism has slowly imploded. . . . This further widening of our democracy — our increased openness to being led by anyone; indeed, our accelerating preference for outsiders — is now almost complete."
"Sanders, who is sustaining his campaign all the way to California on the backs of small donors and large crowds, is, to put it bluntly, a walking refutation of his own argument."
"But it is precisely because of the great accomplishments of our democracy that we should be vigilant about its specific, unique vulnerability: its susceptibility, in stressful times, to the appeal of a shameless demagogue."
<On Eric Hoffer’s 1951 tract, The True Believer:>
"Hoffer’s core insight was to locate the source of all truly mass movements in a collective sense of acute frustration. Not despair, or revolt, or resignation — but frustration simmering with rage. Mass movements, he notes (as did Tocqueville centuries before him), rarely arise when oppression or misery is at its worst (say, 2009); they tend to appear when the worst is behind us but the future seems not so much better (say, 2016)."
"And so late-stage capitalism is creating a righteous, revolutionary anger that late-stage democracy has precious little ability to moderate or constrain — and has actually helped exacerbate."
"But elites still matter in a democracy. They matter not because they are democracy’s enemy but because they provide the critical ingredient to save democracy from itself."
"In terms of our liberal democracy and constitutional order, Trump is an extinction-level event. It’s long past time we started treating him as such."
politics  democracy  Plato  philosophy  NYMagazine  *  USA  longreads 
june 2016 by pierredv
There's No Such Thing as Free Will - The Atlantic - Stephen Cave - June 2016
Survey of research, experiments, philosophy
"The 20th-century nature-nurture debate prepared us to think of ourselves as shaped by influences beyond our control. But it left some room, at least in the popular imagination, for the possibility that we could overcome our circumstances or our genes to become the author of our own destiny. The challenge posed by neuroscience is more radical: It describes the brain as a physical system like any other, and suggests that we no more will it to operate in a particular way than we will our heart to beat. "
"This research and its implications are not new. What is new, though, is the spread of free-will skepticism beyond the laboratories and into the mainstream."
"his development raises uncomfortable—and increasingly nontheoretical—questions: If moral responsibility depends on faith in our own agency, then as belief in determinism spreads, will we become morally irresponsible? And if we increasingly see belief in free will as a delusion, what will happen to all those institutions that are based on it?"
<experiments by Kathleen Vohs and Jonathan Schooler; Roy Baumeister>
<philosophers Saul Smilansky, Bruce Waller>
"Smilansky is convinced that free will does not exist in the traditional sense—and that it would be very bad if most people realized this. . . . And just as undermining blame would remove an obstacle to acting wickedly, so undermining praise would remove an incentive to do good. . . . Smilansky advocates a view he calls illusionism—the belief that free will is indeed an illusion, but one that society must defend. The idea of determinism, and the facts supporting it, must be kept confined within the ivory tower. . . Illusionism is a minority position among academic philosophers, most of whom still hope that the good and the true can be reconciled. But it represents an ancient strand of thought among intellectual elites."
<neuroscientist and writer Sam Harris, author of Free Will (2012)>
"Harris thinks that, in time, “it might be possible to cure something like psychopathy,” but only if we accept that the brain, and not some airy-fairy free will, is the source of the deviancy. Accepting this would also free us from hatred. Holding people responsible for their actions might sound like a keystone of civilized life, but we pay a high price for it: Blaming people makes us angry and vengeful, and that clouds our judgment. . . Whereas the evidence from Kathleen Vohs and her colleagues suggests that social problems may arise from seeing our own actions as determined by forces beyond our control—weakening our morals, our motivation, and our sense of the meaningfulness of life—Harris thinks that social benefits will result from seeing other people’s behavior in the very same light. "
"For Waller, it simply doesn’t matter that these processes are underpinned by a causal chain of firing neurons. In his view, free will and determinism are not the opposites they are often taken to be; they simply describe our behavior at different levels."
"The kind of will that leads to success—seeing positive options for oneself, making good decisions and sticking to them—can be cultivated, and those at the bottom of society are most in need of that cultivation."
free-will  determinism  psychology  philosophy  theAtlantic  morality  poverty 
june 2016 by pierredv
Quantum Bayesianism Explained By Its Founder | Quanta Magazine
Interview with Christopher Fuchs
"Those interpretations [Copenhagen, many worlds, Bohmian] all have something in common: They treat the wave function as a description of an objective reality shared by multiple observers. QBism, on the other hand, treats the wave function as a description of a single observer’s subjective knowledge. It resolves all of the quantum paradoxes, but at the not insignificant cost of anything we might call “reality.” Then again, maybe that’s what quantum mechanics has been trying to tell us all along — that a single objective reality is an illusion."
Q. How does QBism get you around those limits?
A. "One way to look at it is that the laws of physics aren’t about the stuff “out there.” Rather, they are our best expressions, our most inclusive statements, of what our own limitations are. When we say the speed of light is the ultimate speed limit, we’re saying that we can’t go beyond the speed of light."
"I’ve become fascinated by these beautiful mathematical structures called SICs, symmetric informationally complete measurements — horrible name, almost as bad as bettabilitarianism. They can be used to rewrite the Born rule [the mathematical procedure that generates probabilities in quantum mechanics] in a different language, in which it appears that the Born rule is somehow deeply about analyzing the real in terms of hypotheticals."
QuantaMagazine  QBism  Bayesian  physics  quantum-mechanics  philosophy  interviews 
may 2016 by pierredv
Why can’t the world’s greatest minds solve the mystery of consciousness? | Oliver Burkeman | Science | The Guardian , Jan 2015
"Philosophers and scientists have been at war for decades over the question of what makes human beings more than complex robots" Good description of Chalmers' intervention, the results, and the current inconclusive state of play
consciousness  philosophy  psychology  mind 
january 2016 by pierredv
What Wittgenstein Learned from Teaching Elementary School - Paris Review
"What the philosopher learned from his time in elementary-school classrooms."
ParisReview  education  philosophy  Wittgenstein 
january 2016 by pierredv
A Fight for the Soul of Science - Quanta Magazine Dec 2015
"String theory, the multiverse and other ideas of modern physics are potentially untestable. At a historic meeting in Munich, scientists and philosophers asked: should we trust them anyway?"
QuantaMagazine  philosophy  science  scientific-method  string-theory  quantum-mechanics 
december 2015 by pierredv
Hannah Arendt: thinking versus evil | Features | Times Higher Education - Jon Nixon Feb 2015
"Jon Nixon asks what Arendt’s work can tell us about the value of universities as places of thinking together"
essays  Hannah-Arendt  education  thought  8  morality  ethics  philosophy  * 
april 2015 by pierredv
“Poetry & Truth” by David Yezzi - The New Criterion
"Indeed, it could be argued that this sort of knowledge—the kind regularly imparted by a newspaper column or a search engine—is almost incidental to the real work of the poem, whose ultimate object is the education of the emotions."
NewCriterion  poetry  essays  David-Yezzi  Anthony-Hecht  holocaust  truth  knowledge  philosophy 
april 2015 by pierredv
Why God Will Not Die - Jack Miles, The Atlantic, 17 Nov 2014
"In my 20s, I was a sucker for such stuff. Worse, I was painfully slow to notice my own posing. Only after the passage of some time and the small, salutary shock of having my wallet stolen did I examine these three professions of secular faith and realize, with an inward blush, that what I had wanted was simply closure, a way to stop thinking about questions whose answers were beyond my reach." - "Science keeps revealing how much we don't, perhaps can't, know. Yet humans seek closure, which should make religious pluralists of us all." - "Ignorance was a great human breakthrough, perhaps the greatest of all, for until our prehistoric but anatomically modern ancestors could tell the difference between ignorance and knowledge, how could they know they knew anything? "
philosophy  religion  belief  god  essays  **  theAtlantic  ignorance 
march 2015 by pierredv
How science made an honest man of God – Dallas G Denery II – Aeon
"Until the Scientific Revolution, God’s power included a licence to deceive. How did science make an honest man of Him?"
lying  religion  science  god  moral-philosophy  philosophy  *  AeonMagazine  essays 
march 2015 by pierredv
Liberty, the Left and Lolita | New Humanist - Jonathan Ree
skeptical assessment of Isaiah Berlin by Jonathan Rée – FRIDAY, 17TH JULY 2009 "The 100th anniversary of Berlin's birth is being commemorated this year, but the celebrants will be old friends and intimate colleagues rather than new recruits to the ranks of his disciples. He seems to have been one of those intellectuals who achieve celebrity through the allure of a fascinating personality rather than the lasting power, incisiveness or luminosity of their doctrines."
Isaiah-Berlin  philosophy  profile  people 
february 2015 by pierredv
Is the Many Worlds hypothesis just a fantasy? - Aeon
"Nobody knows what happens inside quantum experiments. So why are some so keen to believe in parallel universes?" by Philip Ball -- article doesn't actually answer this question; it's a critique of many worlds interpretation -- "the Measurement Problem, which really comes down to this: between the rainbow-smear of probabilities in our equations and the matter-of-fact determinacy of everything we can actually measure, what on Earth is going on?" -- "the Measurement Problem, which really comes down to this: between the rainbow-smear of probabilities in our equations and the matter-of-fact determinacy of everything we can actually measure, what on Earth is going on?" -- closest to an answer of the Why question: "Most MWI popularizers think they are blowing our minds with this stuff, whereas in fact they are flattering them. ... The result sounds transgressively exciting while familiar enough to be persuasive."
philosophy  science  AeonMagazine  quantum-mechanics  many-worlds-interpretation  identity  selfhood  ontology  critique  modal-realism 
february 2015 by pierredv
The Man to Know in Ancient Rome - Seneca - The New Yorker Feb 2015
"How Seneca became Ancient Rome’s philosopher-fixer." The compromized and tawdry life "To the end, Seneca maintained his innocence, and he may even have been telling the truth. But, as no one knew better than he, truth was not the issue."
philosophy  Seneca  NewYorker  history  people  profile 
february 2015 by pierredv
Why It’s Good To Be Wrong - David Deutsch - Jan 2015
"The theory of knowledge is a tightrope that is the only path from A to B, with a long, hard drop for anyone who steps off on one side into “knowledge is impossible, progress is an illusion” or on the other side into “I must be right, or at least probably right.” Indeed, infallibilism and nihilism are twins. Both fail to understand that mistakes are not only inevitable, they are correctable (fallibly). "
creativity  fallibilism  philosophy  logic  David-Deutsch  epistemology 
february 2015 by pierredv
25Sep14: Multiverse me: Should I care about my other selves? New Scientist #2988
Very well written discussion of moral-philosophical implications of multiple universes, quoting Tegmark and Deutsch
NewScientist  cosmology  quantum-mechanics  philosophy  physics  religion  morality  parallel.universes  multiverse  probability  risk  *  ethics 
november 2014 by pierredv
Against happiness: Why we need a philosophy of failure | Prospect Magazine
"But the spread of depression is partly a side-effect of our addiction to happiness. Conversely, understanding why we are so miserable should liberate us from being too miserable about it. We can feel good about feeling bad. In other words, we need a decent philosophy of failure to save everyone from thinking what failures they are."
happiness  philosophy 
august 2014 by pierredv
Time to turn cause and effect on their heads - opinion - George Ellis - 21 August 2013 - New Scientist
"The reductionist ideas about causality that pervade science misrepresent the way things happen in the real world"
causality  philosophy  NewScientist  science 
august 2013 by pierredv
Thomas Nagel Is Praised by Creationists -
review of Nagel's Mind and Cosmos. Good inventory of other reviews
books  reviews  NYTimes  philosophy  ThomasNagel  consciousness 
february 2013 by pierredv
50 years of Revolutions: A classic revisited - opinion - 26 October 2012 - New Scientist
"Normal science, then, is characterised by a paradigm, which legitimises the puzzles and problems on which the community works. All is well until the methods legitimised by that paradigm cannot cope with the anomalies that emerge; a crisis results and persists until a new achievement redirects research and serves as a new paradigm. This is a paradigm shift."
physics  philosophy  opinion  NewScientist  science 
february 2013 by pierredv
What Ockham really said - Boing Boing
"Brother Ockham, however, said nothing of the kind. Later philosophers have put these words into his mouth for their own convenience."
philosophy  x:boingboing  quotations 
february 2013 by pierredv
Poll Reveals Quantum Physicists' Disagreement About the Nature of Reality | MIT Technology Review
"For example, in answer to the question “Do you believe that physical objects have their properties well defined prior to and independent of measurement?”, 48 per cent replied “no”, while 52 per cent replied “yes, in some cases”. A further 3 per cent said “yes in all cases”   and 9 per cent were undecided (respondents were able to select more than one answer). "
physics  philosophy  quantum-computing  x:mittechnologyreview  polls 
january 2013 by pierredv
The Power of Negative Thinking -
"Just thinking in sober detail about worst-case scenarios—a technique the Stoics called "the premeditation of evils"—can help to sap the future of its anxiety-producing power." "They practiced instead what Prof. Sarasvathy calls "effectuation." Rather than choosing a goal and then making a plan to achieve it, they took stock of the means and materials at their disposal, then imagined the possible ends. Effectuation also includes what she calls the "affordable loss principle." Instead of focusing on the possibility of spectacular rewards from a venture, ask how great the loss would be if it failed. If the potential loss seems tolerable, take the next step."
x:ws  psychology  philosophy  Stoicism 
december 2012 by pierredv
What truly exists? Structure as a route to the real - opinion - 28 November 2012 - New Scientist
Chemist Eric Scerri on structural realism "For [LSE philosopher of science John] Worrall, what survives when scientific theories change is not so much the content (entities) as the underlying mathematical structure (form)." See also Scerri's book "A Very Short Introduction to the Periodic Table"
opinion  reality  NewScientist  science  philosophy 
december 2012 by pierredv
Truth decay: The half-life of facts -Samuel Arbesman - 25 September 2012 - New Scientist
"Much of what we believe to be factual has an expiration date, but the good news is that we can see it coming" Examples: = 48 chromosomes = smoking: from doctor-recommended to deadly = eating meat = Earth at center of universe = food groups Book: Arbesman, The Half-life of Facts
history  scientometrics  NewScientist  method  philosophy  truth  science 
november 2012 by pierredv
In Defense of Favoritism - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"We confuse our kids and ourselves about fairness. Most of the stories of children's culture pull a sleight-of-hand trick. They regularly address two worthy qualities that every child should cultivate—sharing and open-mindedness (toward people who are different). But while we all approve of the great virtues of sharing and diversity, we are informed that these are matters of fairness and equality—which, in point of fact, they are not."
via:ald  philosophy  phil  ethics  morality  bias 
november 2012 by pierredv
Beyond Coping: I. The Buddha as Doctor, the Dhamma as Medicine
The Buddha as Doctor, the Dhamma as Medicine - inventory of passages in the Pali canon where the medical metaphor is used. For comparison with Nussbaum's book "Therapy of Desire" about Hellenistic philosophy. Interesting quote at the end, by analogy with Four Noble Truths: For a comparison with ancient Indian medical theory: From the >Caraka Sa.mhitaa, 9.19: "The best physician, one fit to treat a king, is he whose knowledge is fourfold: the cause [hetu], symptom [], cure [pras/amana], and non-recurrence [apunarbhava] of diseases."< Per wikipedia, Caraka Saṃhitā or "Compendium of Caraka" is an early Ayurvedic encyclopedia on medicine, datable to the period 100 BCE -- 100 CE
metaphor  accesstoinsight  texts  buddhism  medicine  philosophy 
october 2012 by pierredv
Sometimes science must give way to religion : Nature News & Comment
"Science advocates have been keen to claim that the Higgs discovery is important for everyone. Yet in practical terms, the Higgs is an incomprehensible abstraction, a partial solution to an extraordinarily rarified and perhaps always-incomplete intellectual puzzle. By contrast, the Angkor temples demonstrate how religion can offer an authentic personal encounter with the unknown. At Angkor, the genius of a long-vanished civilization, expressed across the centuries through its monuments, allows visitors to connect with things that lie beyond their knowing in a way that no journalistic or popular scientific account of the Higgs boson can. Put another way, if, in a thousand years, someone visited the ruins of the Large Hadron Collider, where the Higgs experiment was conducted, it is doubtful that they would get from the relics of the detectors and super­conducting magnets a sense of the subatomic world that its scientists say it revealed."
opinion  Angkor  physics  particle-physics  religion  philosophy  NatureJournal 
august 2012 by pierredv
Holes (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
"Holes are an interesting case-study for ontologists and epistemologists. Naive, untutored descriptions of the world treat holes as objects of reference, on a par with ordinary material objects. (‘There are as many holes in the cheese as there are cookies in the tin.’) And we often appeal to holes to account for causal interactions, or to explain the occurrence of certain events. (‘The water ran out because of the hole in the bucket.’) Hence there is prima facie evidence for the existence of such entities. Yet it might be argued that reference to holes is just a façon de parler, that holes are mere entia representationis, as-if entities, fictions."
parody  via:gmsv  philosophy  humor 
july 2012 by pierredv
Roger Scruton: Green philosophy begins at home - opinion - 09 January 2012 - New Scientist
Quote: "All democracies tend to steal from the unborn since they can't vote" New book "Green Philosophy" seems interesting
philosophy  books  environment  conservatism  NewScientist 
march 2012 by pierredv
Owen Flanagan and Alex Rosenberg « Philosophy TV
"Naturalists believe that the world is scientifically intelligible (at least in principle). Thus, naturalists doubt the reality of anything that cannot fit into a scientific worldview. How discomforting are naturalists’ doubts? Can naturalists coherently regard life as meaningful? Rosenberg is happily pessimistic about the answers to such questions. In this conversation, Rosenberg defends his pessimism, and Flanagan resists it. They discuss whether Darwin banished purpose (17:27), why naturalists get up in the morning (34:30), and morality and politics from a naturalist perspective (49:45), among other topics."
philosophy  video  lectures  interviews 
october 2011 by pierredv
How Computational Complexity Will Revolutionize Philosophy - Technology Review Aug 2011
"The theory of computation has had a profound influence on philosophical thinking. But computational complexity theory is about to have an even bigger effect, argues one computer scientist. "
Precis of an article by "Scott Aaronson, a computer scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Today, he puts forward a persuasive argument that computational complexity theory will transform philosophical thinking about a range of topics such as the nature of mathematical knowledge, the foundations of quantum mechanics and the problem of artificial intelligence. "
complexity  philosophy  computing  x:PhysicsarXivBlog 
august 2011 by pierredv
The secret of science's success - opinion - David Deutsch - 26 April 2011 - New Scientist
Laying out the argument that science is more than empiricism. Sustained progress requires alternating guesswork and criticism. But one also needs "testable explanations" (not testable predictions), that are derived from "hard-to-vary theories" essay based on Deutsch's new book, The Beginning of Infinity
books  science  explanation  philosophy  NewScientist  ** 
june 2011 by pierredv
Philosophers Zone - 9 April 2011 - How do octopuses think?
Interview with Peter Godfrey-Smith, Harvard: "probably the closest we'll get to meeting an intelligent alien"
consciousness  philosophy  podcasts 
may 2011 by pierredv
"Charles Schulz's Peanuts comics often conceal the existential despair of their world with a closing joke at the characters' expense. With the last panel omitted, despair pervades all."
comics  cartoons  philosophy  humor  via:mattcorwine 
march 2011 by pierredv
Philosophers Zone - 29 January 2011 - The Philosophical Baby - Alison Gopnik
"babies are like the research and development division of the human species and we're production and marketing" "One of the things I say in California for example, is we put tremendous amounts of public money into educating people between the ages of 18 and 24 and I'm glad we do, because it pays my salary, but we don't put anything like that investment into educating people between the ages of 0 and 5, and we know that that's the time when really the most dramatic learning is actually happening and taking place."
philosophy  philosopherszone  childhood  education 
february 2011 by pierredv
Philosophers Zone - 9 October 2010 - Japanese philosophy - a short overview
Interview with Thomas Kasulis. Nice quote: 'The easiest way to think of the difference between Western and Japanese philosophy is to ask who better knows clay, the geologist or the potter?'
philosopherszone  philosophy  japan  quotations 
november 2010 by pierredv
Free Will is NOT An Illusion | Brain Blogger
By W. R. Klemm, DVM, PhD Explanation of weaknesses in experimental claims about non-conscious decisions actually made before conscious awareness
philosophy  psychology  experiment  brainblogger 
november 2010 by pierredv
Philosophers Zone - 2 October 2010 - The Extended Mind
Richard Menari and John Sutton
"Where does the mind stop and the rest of the world begin? Some philosophers are now arguing that thoughts are not all in the head. The environment has an active role in driving cognition; cognition is sometimes made up of neural, bodily, and environmental processes. Their argument has excited a vigorous debate among philosophers and this week we discover what the fuss is about."
brain  mind  philosophy  cognition  ** 
november 2010 by pierredv
Beyond God and atheism: Why I am a 'possibilian' - opinion - 27 September 2010 - New Scientist - David Eagleman
"When it comes to the big questions, why should we have to either deny God or believe? Surely good science doesn't so restrict us, says David Eagleman" Great quotes, posted to
religion  science  philosophy  NewScientist  ***  quotations 
october 2010 by pierredv
Philosophical sense - 22 September 2010 - New Scientist letter from Peter Reynolds
"Bijal Trivedi reports that use of the vOICe device, which generates soundscapes for visually impaired people, has resulted in some rewiring in the users' brains so that some can now use sound to create qualitative pictures of their environment - effectively seeing with their ears (14 August, p 42) These observations are significant from a philosophical perspective. One of the cornerstones of philosophical inquiry, which hinges on the distinction between perception and reality, is the idea that the senses are distinct." Cf. Buddhist epistemology/psychology, which places great emphasis on the distinct "sense doors" and associated processes. In the light of current science, this is wrong. Just as the finding of blindsight undermines the notion that consciousness is conditioned by the sense door Cf. David Eagleman's opinion column in the same issue, to the effect that "we know ... too much to commit to any religion"
psychology  philosophy  buddhism  NewScientist 
october 2010 by pierredv
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