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Eric Schliesser
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It is well known in the scholarly literature that despite the fact that Boyle's name has become associated with the Mechanical Philosophy, that he defended general providence (and thus the existence of at least one final cause). And, as scholars have noted (and Boyle, too), in his many design arguments... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Digressions&Impressions
I could swagger about Fortitude and the Contempt of Riches as much as Seneca himself.---Mandeville, Fable of the Bees (recall). Far different is the purpose of those who are speech-making and trying to win the approbation of a throng of hearers, far different that of those who allure the ears... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
Those concerned with general problems of philosophy of science and its methodology may find modern economics of considerable interest....Economics is by its nature a softer and less exact science than, say, conventional physics. Now in a hard, exact science a practitioner does not really have to know much about methodology.... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
Thank you for correcting me, Margaret.
If the two biggest economies in the euro zone weren't abiding by the rules, why should anyone else?--Der Spiegel, 2011. Determined to lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe, Resolved to ensure the economic and social progress of their countries by common action to... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
Dear Michael, Thank you for your illuminating comments (I am especially grateful for the second to last full paragraph). However, I am inclined to think that some of the unions I point to also involve *binding and unconditional* commitments with ritualized performative speech acts (e.g., platoons of soldiers) or even oaths (medical types).
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
PHILOSOPHERS conceive of the passions which harass us as vices into which men fall by their own fault, and, therefore, generally deride, bewail, or blame them, or execrate them, if they wish to seem unusually pious. And so they think they are doing something wonderful, and reaching the pinnacle of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
Thinkers have naturally questioned whether the phenomena of uncertainty can be usefully handled by the quasi-mathematical notions of `probability.' Certain subsets of uncertainty those dealing with risks, gambling, insurance, repetitive inventory and quality control of production, and even with tactics of repeated investing are thought to lend themselves better to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
And We said, "O Adam, dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise and eat therefrom in [ease and] abundance from wherever you will. But do not approach this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers." But Satan caused them to slip out of it and removed them from that [condition]... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
Normal individuals, when they expose themselves to the society around them, tend to fit their views to this society. And this is especially so when that society will determine the course of their careers. In a world in which philosophical success, for example, is determined by materialists and Christians, almost... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
A related concern is the potential of the No-Alternatives argument for strategic (ab)use. Scientists whose research agenda is tied to a certain dominant hypothesis H have an incentive to denigrate any emerging to H as 'inacceptable' until they can assert that no alternative hypothesis to H have been found for... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
Rawls, however, starting from the same premises, derives the statement that society should maximize min ui. The argument seems to have two parts: first that in an original position, where the quality of an entire life is at stake, it is reasonable to have a high degree of aversion to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
The APA really does have to take the legal issues seriously. If it's sued, who will pay the costs? We're run on very much of a shoestring budget. In any case, this is at least as much a moral issue as a legal one. The APA is speaking out, is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
The American Philosophical Association (APA) published an "open letter" addressed "first and foremost to victims of sexual harassment within the profession," and "secondly" to all its members. (See here and here.) [See also the excellent, even moving discussion at Inside Higher Education, where several victims give their perspective.] The APA's... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
Christy, I take it that part of Hazony's point is that if we are primarily focused on discerning the communicative intentions of God we may miss out on a lot of important philosophy in the Hebrew Bible (and, thereby miss God-given opportunities).
Avi, since Christianity has had considerable impact on Judaism (including Jewish law to some degree) over the last thousand (plus) years or so, I wouldn't call the New Testament "irrelevant" to Judaism as a living religion.
[C]learer proofs, in the discovery of secrets, and in the investigation of the hidden causes of things, being afforded by trustworthy experiments and by demonstrated arguments, than by the probable guesses and opinions of the ordinary professors of philosophy...And as geometry ascends from sundry very small and very easy principles... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
[T]he principal author of the Bible—the entire Bible—is God himself. Of course each of the books of the Bible has a human author as well; still, the principal author is God. This impels us to treat the whole more like a unified communication than a miscellany of ancient books…. [T]he... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
I am not objecting to the idea that there could be true prophets who are non-Jewish, Yoram. Rather, I am objecting to the idea that accurate prediction is sufficient for true prophecy. For, the Hebrew Bible also insists on a content restriction in one's evaluation of a prophet/prophecy. I suggested that the content restriction is sensible because (a) it accords with the Biblical text and (b) without it, it turns even immoral scientists into true prophets. The problem, as I see it, is that the content description may seem to have its source in a suspect (from Hazony's perspective) epistemic source (e.g., faith or tradition, etc.) I did not offer a full endorsement of Hazony's continuity thesis. I have to reflect more fully on it; I am inclined to agree on the continuity between the Hebrew Bible and philosophy (in lots of dimensions), but less so between the Hebrew Bible and science. (The previous sentence is, itself, a contextually sensitive claim consequent the split(s) between philosophy and science.) On Balaam, I think he is presented more ambiguously than you allow, but about that some other time, perhaps.
Swinburne’s account of revelation reflects a common view of what is taking place when an Israelite prophet tells us he is speaking words that have been taught to him by God. But...this view is mistaken as an interpretation of what is meant by God’s speech in Hebrew Scripture.[15] One obvious... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
[T]hey bewitch our souls...so that I myself, Menexenus, when thus praised by them feel mightily ennobled, and every time I listen fascinated I am exalted and imagine myself to have become all at once taller and nobler and more handsome. And as I am generally accompanied by some strangers, who... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
It is naturally to be expected, therefore, that some one or other of those who are employed in each particular branch of labour should soon find out easier and readier methods of performing their own particular work, wherever the nature of it admits of such improvement. A great part of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
Neil, we agree on the substance. I don't like the travel metaphor very much; too many tourists don't engage genuinely with the peoples they visit.