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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...

July 25, 2018

July 7, 2007.-- Reading The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays, by Camus. Impressive book. Tries to answer the question I was preoccupied with for a while, to wit: given Absurdity, how ought one to live? How can one affirm life while retaining intellectual integrity? Is it possible? The answer I gave was Yes.

           

N.B.: What...

July 13, 2018

[From 2006.] Reading The Alchemist, the novel that has sold tens of millions of copies. “To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only real obligation.” “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” “God has prepared a path for everyone to follow. You just have to read the omens that he left for you.” “There is a force that wants you to realize...

May 28, 2018

[The following thoughts are from this book.]

It’s funny that people often deprecate Marxian materialism as an explanation of society and human behavior, given that virtually no one cares much about ideas. People think they do, but basically they’re wrong. They insist that ideas, ideological motivations, and spiritual matters are very important to them....but then proceed to ignore...

May 6, 2018

Marxism is right, and postmodernism is stupid. That's the thrust of a paper I've uploaded on academia.edu, which actually consists of excerpts from my dissertation on the unemployed in Chicago during the Great Depression. Check out that 'paper' if you want to see why it's absolutely necessary for the sake of understanding and explanation to ground scholarship in the methods of hi...

August 11, 2016

[Old jottings from my journal.] Lenin’s Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, from the selections I’ve read so far, is sensible. (That isn’t the academic consensus, but what do you expect from philosophers? He’s a Commie, after all.) Here’s one of his briefer summaries of George Berkeley’s thought: “Let us regard the external world, nature, as a ‘combination of sensations’ evoked in...

June 21, 2016

[Old notes.] Reading Adorno: A Guide for the Perplexed, by Alex Thomson. I’m not very impressed with Adorno. Continental thinkers literally thought it a virtue for their work to be obscurantist and imprecise: it meant they were mirroring the “dialectical” nature of reality. That word “dialectic” has in the last hundred years been used to justify the most egregious philosophical s...

December 19, 2015

On neoclassical economics.— Milton Friedman wrote a famous article in 1953 called “The Methodology of Positive Economics,” in which he argued that in science, the less realistic or more idealizing the model, the better.[1] A typically simplistic argument. But for a neoclassicist it served the function of making a virtue of necessity, thus allowing him to continue to believe his t...

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