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11 views

The 'self' and partitioning of the brain [migrated]

I would be very grateful if someone could direct me towards any literature on the following thoughts: I have always wondered if my brain were split into 2 and separated while being kept alive and ...
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3answers
65 views

Mildly interesting: is the number of objects in the universe at any given time finite?

My guess is yes. Here's my reasoning. There are a finite number of atoms in the universe (the current estimate is about 10^80). In other words, the set of all atoms in the (observable) universe is a ...
2
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3answers
55 views

I have some naïve ideas about utilitarianism. What should I read that might be related?

I've only taken a few introductory philosophy classes, but I'm very interested in philosophy in general. Within ethics, (I think) I subscribe to utilitarianism in some form. I feel as though most (if ...
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0answers
27 views

Moral sense theory / Meaning of life

Moral sense theory is as follows in this tip top wiki article. Presumably ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_sense_theory I was just wondering if anyone says anything similar about the particular ...
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3answers
326 views

Where to begin Nietzsche?

I am a mathematics student, but always interested in philosophical arguments especially on Love and God. I am also currently studying an extra course on philosophy of rationality which discusses ...
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1answer
28 views

An article by Jacob Pandian [closed]

There is an article named "The Dangerous Quest for Cooperation Between Science and Religion" by Jacob Pandian. I could not find it online. The article is also in a book Science and religion: Are they ...
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1answer
132 views

How do I use the “Barbara, Celarent, … etc.” mnemonic?

Medieval logicians memorized this most famous logic mnemonic: Barbara, Celarent, Darii, Ferio ← direct first figure Baralipton, Celantes, Dabitis, Fapesmo, Frisesomorum ← indirect first figure ...
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2answers
89 views

Assuming right and wrong aren't arbitrary [closed]

Suppose that there is an answer to the question "why be moral", such that "it is irrational to be immoral or at least... not irrational to be moral". ...
5
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3answers
169 views

What kind of philospher believes many philospical issues can be reduced to defining words?

I will take Fatalism vs Compatibilism as an example. I hold that the only difference between them is the definition of free will. Namely, I prefer the Compatibilistic definition, that free will is ...
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2answers
47 views

Good introductory reading to skepticism?

In various works that I've read recently, the writers referred to the skeptics several times, and I thought that maybe I should try actually learning something about them. I was hoping for some text ...
3
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2answers
115 views

About the philosophy of physicalism

Other than Mary's Room and maybe Searle's Chinese Room are there any other interesting thought experiments against the ideas of physicalism, and the idea our minds are identical to our brains?
2
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1answer
89 views

Audio lectures of Hubert Dreyfus's 2008 course on Being and Time, Division Two

Apologies for the somewhat sordid nature of this question, but I have spent quite some time looking for this already, with no result. I am looking for audio lectures belonging to a course given by ...
2
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4answers
126 views

Dreams inside dreams

When I was a little med student we had a philosophy lecturer in to talk about ethics and she mentioned the Chinese proverb I think it was about the guy who dreamt he was a butterfly and now wasn't ...
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2answers
66 views

What is the Parable that states “Everything (Probably) Happens for a Reason.”?

I recall a professor of mine once mentioning an economic parable that stated "Everything (Probably) exists/happens for a reason) The parable used the metaphor of a fence in an abandoned field. If a ...
2
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2answers
111 views

Is it impossible to completely understand the human brain using a human brain?

Are (or were) there any philosophers that argue (or argued) that the human brain cannot be understood using a human brain, i.e. that it's impossible for a human to understand the human brain ...
3
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2answers
81 views

To use the limited to pursue the unlimited is foolish?

I have occasionally used an (apparent) quote from Chinese (Taoist) philosopher Zhuangzi's Wikipedia article and am wondering about the original form and where exactly it might be cited from: To ...
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1answer
83 views

Books on logical fallacies

I'm interested in learning and understanding logical fallacies for better skills in debate and discussions and in hopes to improve critical thinking as well. Can you guys please recommend me some ...
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0answers
29 views

Exhaustive studies of states of conscious and how we know what we know?

Have been hunting for a while: Is there a sort of compendium of epistemology out there? Not a who's who in epistemology per se, rather more a what's what that spans all schools of thought, cultures, ...
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4answers
145 views

Books about mind–body philosophies

Are there any well-written books about the "mind vs. brain" problem and related questions like the hard/soft problems of consciousness that are not written by authors that already don't believe the ...
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0answers
35 views

A series and B series of time

I'm still fishing for help I guess with the unreality of time. A theorists are said to think that the A series is not reducible to the B. Are there different forms this rejection of reductionism ...
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1answer
82 views

Sources for the aesthetics of mathematics

Many mathematicians often equate mathematics to art and find a deep beauty in its method, results, and ideas. The classic example of this romanticism is captured by G.H. Hardy's A Mathematician's ...
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1answer
29 views

Autobiography of Roger Scruton?

The current Wikipedia article on English philosopher Roger Scruton (who specializes in aesthetics) makes reference to an autobiography without citing further details: In May 1968, the French ...
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10answers
927 views

Why distrust our senses?

It seems self-evident that the phenomena we sense are accurate and correlate to the real world. What sorts of philosophical arguments might cast doubt on this conviction in the veridicality of ...
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1answer
74 views

Tricks like Loaded Questions

I'm asking as a dilettante and greenhorn, so am interested in applied, informal, practical aids or resources (and not abstract, formal, esoteric papers). Is there a (catholic/general) term that ...
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3answers
67 views

Is there a philosophy of things that could not be discovered?

Excuse me for such nonsensical question, but for some time, the idea of things that could not be discovered bothers me. I guess that this is an interesting object of investigation, and I also guess ...
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2answers
29 views

Can anyone help me find critical published responses to this paper?

Research and discovery of counterarguments has quite a lot to do with philosophy as a practice, and I'm hoping to improve on my technique and see what others can do. In line with this, I have a ...
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0answers
61 views

Are non-human animals capable of fictional thought? [closed]

What studies have shown- if at all and to what extent- non-human animals are capable of fictional cognition (imagination, playful speculation, etc.)? I understand there’s no reason to rule out such ...
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0answers
82 views

The Critical Philosophy Critically Examined

I was given a reference to a book with a title as in the title of this question one time several years ago (in the early 1990s), but I forget the name of the author. The book was published in the ...
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3answers
62 views

Consolation for failure or fear of failure?

What philosophers have specifically explored failure and the fear of failure? What works / passages?
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2answers
2k views

Where did Machiavelli say that “the ends justify the means”?

I have read The Prince, Discourses on Livy and The Art of War. In none of these books did I find the quote oft-attributed to Machiavelli that “the ends justify the means”. Did he say it? If so, where? ...
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5answers
262 views

Since any human language describes objects, does it therefore contain some knowledge of the Nature and laws of its development? [closed]

This question complements the question: Do higher level comprehensive Laws, which govern the phenomena of Nature, exist? One philosophical debate in epistemology and ontology is whether knowledge ...
1
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1answer
169 views

How to self-learn legal arguments, logic, and reasoning?

What are some readable, eloquent (without legalese) books on arguments, fallacies, logic, and reasoning, as applied and used in law? This question is aimed towards a greenhorn/tenderfoot with ...
1
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0answers
37 views

Where is philosophy today [closed]

Basically I'd like to know which are the main philosophical schools today (meaning maybe the last 5-10 or even 15-20 years), where they come from and, if there is a reasonable answer, where are they ...
3
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6answers
355 views

How should people who don't follow the “golden rule” be treated?

I think the value and effectiveness of the golden rule as guide to ethical conduct is self-evident, so far as the individual is recieving equivalent treatment in return among peers. Yet, I have ...
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2answers
173 views

Has the question of after-life been discussed in philosophy? [closed]

There are a lot of debates and arguments about whether a Deity exists or not. Wouldn't it be great if there were more debates about whether an after-life is 'real' or not? As Shakespeare said through ...
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2answers
125 views

Do academic philosophers have a special duty to challenge their government?

This is a question about source materials: I'm hoping someone can point me to a modern treatment of obligations to the state incurred by the act of philosophizing, or even an argument against the ...
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2answers
62 views

Are there any comprehensive undergrad level philosophy books about definitions?

Although I believe that I now have some vague idea about what the fundamental subject matter of philosophy presumably concerns, I (nevertheless) still occasionally come across philosophical writings ...
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2answers
100 views

Is patriotism ethical? [duplicate]

In the 24th lecture of Steven Smiths Political Philosophy class at Yale available on ItunesU, he says that Patriotism is unethical because it implies "a blind deference to tradition" and sums it up in ...
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2answers
233 views

Who are the most prominent Christian philosophers of the 21st century?

The question's title says it all. Who are the most prominent Christian philosophers of the 21st century (if there are any) and why?
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2answers
52 views

Formal philosophy

I heard that there are philosophy classes that teach philosophy in a very rigorous and formal and mathematical manner. Are there books that do this? I would like some recommendations.
2
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1answer
47 views

What are the differences betweeen post-apocalyptic and anarchical or dystopic? [closed]

When I get into the definitions for fictions like novels and movies, I've became a bit confused. For example, there are some post-apocalyptic fictions and when there is an authority in that fiction it ...
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1answer
65 views

The many Utopias [closed]

I am looking for philosophical texts that tackle the subject of Utopia. This is what I was able to find, that wasn't a novel. The Republic (ca. 380 BC) by Plato - one of the earliest conceptions of ...
2
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1answer
35 views

Critique of Korsgaard's polis-comparison?

I am currently reading Korsgaard's Self-Constitution in the Ethics of Plato and Kant (which you can find here). I was wondering if the argumentative step from an injustice in the perfectly arranged ...
0
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2answers
70 views

Why do we formalize conceptions?

Why do we always try to formalize conceptions? Let's take the naive conception of sets, why do we try to write down a list of axioms? what do we earn in doing so? I'm looking especially for ...
3
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3answers
92 views

How to approach study of PPE for the, non-achedemic, layman?

I'm a non-academic type (I left school at 16) who is also dyslexic with attention deficit problems. I've recently become interested in the study of philosophy, politics and economics (To answer ...
1
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1answer
191 views

Difference between implication/conditional and logical entailment?

What is the difference between the implication/conditional truth function and the notion of logical entailment? My naive understanding as a computer programmer is that the conditional is a function ...
3
votes
1answer
123 views

Understanding philosophy from a mathematicians perspective

(I'm new, so please downvote, re-tag, flag, close or delete the question as appropriate. I'd appreciate a comment about why it was done.) I was reading this, and came across the paragraph Working ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

A reference which justifies “The use of Philosophy” [duplicate]

Recently I've got into an argument with a friend of mine about a cliché, "What is the use of philosophy?". Well we didn't discuss it that much but I want to keep the argument based on some ...
6
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1answer
73 views

(Where) did Leibniz write “Sans les mathématiques on ne pénètre point…”?

Sans les mathématiques on ne pénètre point au fond de la philosophie. Sans la philosophie on ne pénètre point au fond des mathématiques. Sans les deux on ne pénètre au fond de rien. The above ...
3
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2answers
468 views

What exactly is metaphysical possibility?

In the literature about the epistemology of modality I stumbled upon various types of possibilities, e.g. epistemic possibility, metaphysical possibility. I have a rough unterstanding of these, but ...