Philosophy

Are you arguing with me? Good. This is the place for it. Steel sharpens steel, so any corrections you offer to the thoughts on these pages is much appreciated.

Heidegger and Postmodernism

 Philosophy  Comments Off on Heidegger and Postmodernism
Jun 282011
 

http://www.stephenhicks.org/2009/11/30/heidegger-and-postmodernism-ep/ Master Eckhart’s comments on seeing angels as devils when you die comes to mind when reading the conclusions Heidegger comes to. Even if his metaphysics and epistemology are correct, does the dread and anxiety necessarily follow? The following conclusions are taken up by postmodern nihilists, but are also very reminiscent of Eastern Buddhist thinking, [more …]

Lonergan on Authenticity

 Philosophy  Comments Off on Lonergan on Authenticity
Jun 282011
 

http://www.iep.utm.edu/lonergan/ …there are four questions, as it were, that GEM (generalized empirical method) proposes for anyone seeking to ground the methods of any discipline. (1) A cognitional theory asks, “What do I do when I know?” It encompasses what occurs in our judgments of fact and value. (2) An epistemology asks, “Why is doing that [more …]

The Biology of Choice

 Philosophy  Comments Off on The Biology of Choice
Jun 282011
 

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/07/the-brain-on-trial/8520/2/ As with Tourette’s sufferers, split-brain patients, and those with choreic movements, Kenneth’s case illustrates that high-level behaviors can take place in the absence of free will. Like your heartbeat, breathing, blinking, and swallowing, even your mental machinery can run on autopilot. The crux of the question is whether all of your actions are fundamentally [more …]

Justice vs. Freedom?

 Philosophy  Comments Off on Justice vs. Freedom?
Jun 282011
 

http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=139221 Interesting topic. I used to think that Freedom trumps Justice, but now I think that Freedom is a part of Justice. It is upon the ground of Justice itself that Freedom rests. Freedom, therefore, must be measured against Justice to be authentic. There is no Absolute Freedom, separate from Justice. I am not free [more …]

Vagaries of Perception

 Philosophy, Spirituality  Comments Off on Vagaries of Perception
Mar 162011
 

Why, Mr. Anderson? Why do you do it? Why get up? Why keep fighting? Do you believe you’re fighting for something? For more than your survival? Can you tell me what it is? Do you even know? Is it freedom? Or truth? Perhaps peace? Yes? No? Could it be for love? Illusions, Mr. Anderson. Vagaries [more …]

 Posted by at 1:39 pm

Notes on Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

 Books, Philosophy  Comments Off on Notes on Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Mar 152011
 

Maintain a constant mildness of temper and a tranquility of mind in all things Remain abstinent from mean and evil thoughts Refrain from fault-finding Practice a constant benevolence in nature Look carefully after the interests of friends Do not esteem yourself too highly; skill in expounding philosophical principles is the smallest of merits Do not [more …]

 Posted by at 2:36 pm

Compassion and Pity

 Philosophy  Comments Off on Compassion and Pity
Jan 192011
 

From the book, Pathology of the Elites by Michael Knox Beran: For compassion, to be stricken with the suffering of someone else as though it were contagious, and pity, to be sorry without being touched in the flesh, are not only not the same, they may not even be related. Compassion, by its very nature [more …]

 Posted by at 4:10 pm

The Brink

 Mystery and Awe, Philosophy, Physics  Comments Off on The Brink
Oct 042010
 

Light and energy, gravity and inertia; these are material mysteries. We cannot explain them. A mystery is not the same as a puzzle. A puzzle can be figured out. A mystery, in the religious sense, cannot. A mystery cannot be figured out, because it defies figuring. We have literally taken lightening out of the sky and made it to sing, yet in a very real sense, we have no real knowledge of it all.

Lonergan and Kant

 Philosophy  Comments Off on Lonergan and Kant
Oct 012010
 

“there is no explicit contradiction in the content of the statement, We are under an illusion when we claim to know what really is. On the other hand, there is an explicit contradiction in the reflective statement: I am stating what really and truly is so when I state that we are under an illusion whenever we claim to know what really and truly is so.”

 Posted by at 9:30 pm

Bernard Lonergan

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Aug 112010
 

To know what is truly so and appreciate what is truly good. The Generalized Empirical Method 1) Be attentive 2) Be intelligent 3) Be reasonable 4) Be responsible Knowing It is not through true judgment that we reach knowledge of existence, it is through knowledge of existence that we know true judgment Ontological causes —————-> [more …]

 Posted by at 2:24 pm

Paradoxical Logic and the Meaning of Meaning

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Jul 052010
 

In referencing paradoxical logic (as opposed to Aristotelian) I think I said, Parmenides, but I meant Heraclitus… ‘In opposition to Aristotelian logic is what one might call paradoxical logic, which assumes that A and non-A do not exclude each other as predicates of X. Paradoxical logic was predominant in Chinese and Indian thinking, in Heraclitus’ [more …]

 Posted by at 5:44 pm

Eckhart

 Philosophy, Spirituality  Comments Off on Eckhart
Jun 282010
 

…Meister Eckhart would not even admit that God was good….Eckhart’s position was that anything that was good can become better, and whatever may become better may become best. God cannot be referred to as “good”, “better”, or best because He is above all things. If a man says that God is wise, the man is lying because anything that is wise can become wiser. Anything that a man might say about God is incorrect, even calling Him by the name of God. God is “superessential nothingness” and “transcendent Being”…”beyond all words and beyond all understanding. The best a man can do is remain silent, because anytime he prates on about God, he is committing the sin of lying. The true master knows that if he had a God he could understand, He would never hold Him to be God.’

Perfect Joy

 Philosophy  Comments Off on Perfect Joy
Mar 282010
 

Is there to be found on earth a perfect happiness, a fullness of joy, or is there no such thing? Is there some way to make life fully worth living, or is this impossible? If there is such a way, how do you go about finding it? What should you try to do? What should [more …]

 Posted by at 7:11 pm

What You Don’t Know that You Don’t Know

 Mystery and Awe, Philosophy  Comments Off on What You Don’t Know that You Don’t Know
Jan 162010
 

He sat up a bit, away from the back of the couch, and faced me directly as he spoke this next thought, carefully measuring out his words.

“There is nothing which you now know, and nothing about what you think you don’t know, that will help you create the success you desire.”

He paused for a moment, and continued.

“The key to your success lies only in what you don’t know that you don’t know. Do you understand?”

“No,” I told him truthfully. “I have no idea what you’re saying. How can I know what I don’t even know that I don’t know?”

“You can’t,” he said. “That’s the secret.”

 Posted by at 11:31 am

Virtue

 Philosophy  Comments Off on Virtue
Nov 022009
 

This is the latest post I am working on for my blog. I am taking notes, writing down my thoughts as I read a book on the great virtues. This is a subject that I have not investigated much, but one which I am now very interested in. Again, I begin with the Greeks and [more …]

 Posted by at 4:44 pm

Words Fail

 Philosophy, Physics  Comments Off on Words Fail
Oct 042009
 

Sometimes when I am having trouble visualizing something, I find that it is the words themselves that fail me. Perhaps a word is too embedded in a concept that just doesn’t fit. This is especially true of words we use very frequently, but whose concepts are anything but well-understood. “Light”, “energy”, “force”, and “gravity” are [more …]

Happiness Hypothesis

 Books, Philosophy  Comments Off on Happiness Hypothesis
Oct 042009
 

I copied this out of a book I read the other day callled “The Happiness Hypothesis”.  The book takes ten good ideas passed down from the sages and examines them with all the modern scientific tools currently at our disposal. So while there is nothing “new” here, it is neat to watch it become a [more …]

I am a Strange Loop

 Books, Logic, Philosophy  Comments Off on I am a Strange Loop
Oct 042009
 

I have not read Douglas Hofstadter very thoroughly, but I have perused some of his work and I enjoy and recommend him. He whets the appetite for something more, which is a good thing. He stirs the passion of the subject… What am I? After reading large chunks of I am a Strange Loop, I [more …]

The Meaning of Life

 Logic, Philosophy  Comments Off on The Meaning of Life
Oct 042009
 

What is the meaning of life? You may have heard this question before. (Have you guessed the riddle yet? – Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland) Of course not. Because this question is actually logically invalid. See category mistake (the philosophical error of putting a thing into a class to which it does not belong). You [more …]

The Ocean

 Philosophy, Spirituality  Comments Off on The Ocean
Mar 202009
 

“Excuse me,” said an ocean fish. “You are older than I, so can you tell me where to find this thing they call the ocean?”

“The ocean,” said the elder fish, “is the thing you are in now.”

“Oh this? But this is just water. What I am seeking is the ocean,” said the disappointed fish as he swam away to search elsewhere.

Stop searching, little fish. There isn’t anything to look for. All you have to do is look.

 Posted by at 6:19 pm