October 16, 2018

[Philosophical notes from 2005.] Reading a collection called Contemporary Debates in Epistemology (eds. Steup and Sosa) for class. I'm halfway through the Dretske reading, which argues against the principle of closure (closure = the idea that if S knows that P is true and knows that P implies Q, then, evidentially speaking, this is enough for S to know that Q is true).

I think al...

September 5, 2018

Over the years I've written a lot of reflections on the metaphysical issue of scientific realism vs. anti-realism or idealism. Idealism has always struck me as silly, whether in its Berkeleian form, its Schopenhauerian form, its logical positivist forms, or its more recent postmodernist forms. Here are some relevant thoughts (discussing Charles Taylor and other thinkers) I just p...

August 7, 2018

[Excerpts from this book. See also this blog post, "Excerpts on happiness."]

The meaning of life?— Life is not totally “meaningless.” People’s commitment to their work, to relationships, and to life itself proves that. However, it is hard to deny that life is not as meaningful as we’d like. It is the evolutionary product of “meaningless” random variation and natural selection, no...

July 22, 2018

August 10, 2007.-- Here’s one of the many parallels between Marxism and Meadism [i.e., George Herbert Mead's system of thought]: “Human society, we have insisted, does not merely stamp the pattern of its organized social behavior upon any one of its individual members, so that this pattern becomes likewise the pattern of the individual’s self; it also, at the same time, gives him...

June 11, 2018

[From 2008. Copied here, somewhat irrelevantly, in recognition of the recent suicides that have been in the news.] Read an article in Rolling Stone about Wallace. I see that his whole life was essentially my life between 18 and 25. In other words, it sucked. Right up to his suicide he had the same insecurities, the same thoughts, I had. Consider what he wrote in a letter: “I go t...

June 11, 2018

Phenomenological explorations of consciousness and the self have always fascinated me, and over the years I've taken reams of notes on the subject. Many of them are collected here (and also on this page). Here's a short passage on the desire for recognition, or self-confirmation, that lies at the foundation of the self.

If you deeply appreciate the meaning and the power of the des...

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