Tag Archives | Philosophy

Bruce Lee’s Four Philosophies

bruce-lee-game-of-death

via Bruce Lee: Artist of Life:

1. Aboutism keeps out any emotional responses or other genuine involvement — as though we were things. In therapy, Aboutism is found in rationalization and intellectualization, and in the “interpretation” games where the therapist says “This is what your difficulties are about.” This approach is based on noninvolvement.

2. With Shouldism you grow up completely surrounded by what you should and should not do, and you spend much of your time playing this game with yourself—the game I call the “top dog/underdog game” or the “self improvement game” or the “self-torture game.” Shouldism is based on the phenomenon of dissatisfaction.

3. The Existential (“is-ism”) approach is the external attempt to achieve truth, but what is truth? Truth is one of what I call the “fitting games.”

4. Gestalt attempts to understand the existence of any event through the way it comes about, which tries to understand becoming by the how, not the why, through the all-pervasive gestalt formation; through the unfinished situation, which is a biological factor.

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God, Immortality and the Futility of Life

The Wanderer

This was originally published on Philosophical Disquisitions.

William Lane Craig has a pretty dispiriting take on the atheistic view of life:

If there is no God, then man and the universe are doomed. Like prisoners condemned to death, we await our unavoidable execution. There is no God, and there is no immortality. And what is the consequence of this? It means that life itself is absurd. It means that the life we have is without ultimate significance, value or purpose.

(Craig 2008, 72)

Embedded in this short quote are a number of important claims. The first is that in order to avoid futility and meaninglessness we need our lives to have ultimate significance, value and/or purpose. The second, perhaps more important, is that we cannot have these things unless two conditions are met:

Craig’s Two Conditions for Meaning: Our lives are without ultimate significance, value or purpose unless (a) there is a God (who, among other things, determines objective value, purpose and significance); and (b) we are immortal.

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Should prospective parents have to apply for licences? An Ethical Debate

parent_child-191x300This was originally published on Philosophical Disquisitions.

Should prospective parents have to apply for parental licences? The argument seems obvious. Having children is a serious business. Negligent or irresponsible parents risk causing long-term harms to their offspring, harms that often have spillover effects on the rest of society. A licensing system should help us to filter out such parents. Therefore, a licensing system would benefit children and society at large. QED

Of course, I’m being somewhat facetious here. The idea of prospective parents applying for parental licences will strike many as both absurd and offensive. But there is no idea so absurd and offensive that at least one philosopher has not defended it. And when it involves something as contentious as parent-child relationships, you can rest assured that there will be more than one.

In this post, I want to review the philosophical debate about parental licensing. I start by looking at Hugh LaFollette’s now-classic argument in favour of parental licences.… Read the rest

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Hear Dr. Carl Hart Eviscerate Drug Propaganda

HartPhotoVia Midwest Real

Dr. Carl Hart is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Columbia University and the author of High Price

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Before we were engulfed in a tsunami of boundless digital knowledge containing more truth (and garbage) than we could ever digest in thousands of lifetimes, we lived in an incredibly different world. If you were a child of the 90’s like myself, you were constantly inundated with overly-simplistic catchphrase propaganda– “This is your brain on drugs,” “just say no,” the list goes on. I specifically remember being taught in school that marijuana was supremely dangerous because it was a “gateway drug.” The connotation being that if you so much as tried it, you’d probably wind up a strung-out, do-nothing idiot with a Kentucky-fried brain who’d never amount to anything.

This tireless barrage of indoctrination has forged us into a population that looks to traditional sources of authority with an immense amount of skepticism.Read the rest

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The Laughing Philosopher [Debate]

CroppedImage608342-445-The-Laughing-Philosopher-credit-to-Paul-newman-V3

To be taken seriously is an accolade for the thinker. But from Nietzsche to Derrida, big ideas have been expressed through irony, satire and jest. Might comedy be the best and perhaps only way to convey some truths, or is truth never a laughing matter?

The Panel

Philosopher Julian Baggini, stand-up comedian Katie Brand and continental philosopher John Ó Maoilearca debate the nature of comedy and reality.

Watch more videos on iai.tv

You can find loads more debates and free online courses over at IAI TV.

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Theories, Mysteries and Mistakes: Contradictions in Reality

We assume our theories about the world are gradually uncovering the way it really is. Yet from quantum mechanics to post-structuralism, the reality the theories describe is contradictory. Should we conclude that the world is essentially unintelligible? Or is it simply the theories that are mistaken?

Watch more videos on iai.tv

The Panel

Founder of Loop Quantum Gravity Carlo Rovelli, post-postmodernist Hilary Lawson, and philosopher of mind Jennifer Hornsby confront the limits of our understanding.

You can find loads more debates, articles and free online courses in philosophy, science, politics and culture at IAI TV.

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Crimethinc: Power, Culture, and the Birth of a Free Society (Free Radical Media Podcast)

You can also listen to an audio-only version of this episode via Archive.org.

In this episode, the Free Radical Media crew is joined by a representative of the Crimethinc Ex-Workers Collective, one of the most influential anarchist organizations in existence. The crew discusses the most recent Crimethinc project, the multimedia introductory anarchist manifesto To Change Everything, which replaces their earlier, well circulated “Fighting for Our Lives: an Anarchist Primer.”

The group also discusses the modern anarchist movement, anarchist philosopy, and the nature of power and control, as well as putting forward strategies for building a new world.

You can learn more about Crimethinc via their website.

Free Radical Media can be reached via:
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‘Teach philosophy in primary schools,’ says academic

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

I wholeheartedly agree with this.

Naomi Ackerman writes at The Guardian:

“If we leave questioning the models children have been taught until later in life, it could be too late,” warns Professor Angie Hobbs. “That is why we need to start teaching philosophy in primary school.”

By this the professor means that children should be taught from a young age that there are other ways of seeing the world to the one they are exposed to by their family and social circle.

It’s a pertinent and timely point to make, especially considering the current debate around the risk of ‘radicalisation’ facing young people.

Hobbs is currently the only professor of public understanding of philosophy in the world. She believes that just one philosophy class a week could benefit children’s intellectual and social development.

Her department at the University of Sheffield – along with organisations such as The Philosophy Foundation – are currently pioneering the teaching of ancient Greek philosophy in UK primary schools.

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Ending Aging with Dr. Aubrey de Grey | Midwest Real

aubrey de grey

Via Midwest Real

Dr. Aubrey de Grey is Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer at the SENS Research Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to ending aging. 

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The march of time spares none, neither rich, famous nor powerful. The deep, existential angst that comes part and parcel with that knowledge has, no doubt, haunted mankind from the very first moment we became self-aware. It’s also the one obstacle we’ve encountered as a species we just take for granted as the unassailable natural order of things.

It’s incredible really- we’ve walked the moon, we fly across the world and we transmit words through the air as if it’s trivial. Yet, for some reason when it comes to aging, we yield. Even the most brilliant men among us don’t consider the possibility that we might be able to circumvent becoming old and dying.

Actually, some brilliant men do.

Ending aging has become the life’s work of our guest, Dr.Read the rest

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Thoughts on Bankruptcy by Voltaire

Robert Couse-Baker (CC BY 2.0)

Robert Couse-Baker (CC BY 2.0)

Excerpted from Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary.

Few bankruptcies were known in France before the sixteenth century. The great reason is that there were no bankers. Lombards, Jews lent on security at ten per cent: trade was conducted in cash. Exchange, remittances to foreign countries were a secret unknown to all judges.

It is not that many people were not ruined; but that was not called bankruptcy; one said discomfiture; this word is sweeter to the ear. One used the word rupture as did the Boulonnais; but rupture does not sound so well.

The bankruptcies came to us from Italy, bancorotto, bancarotta, gambarotta e la giustizia non impicar. Every merchant had his bench (banco) in the place of exchange; and when he had conducted his business badly, declared himself fallito, and abandoned his property to his creditors with the proviso that he retain a good part of it for himself, be free and reputed a very upright man.… Read the rest

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