Straight from the Humanist’s Mouth

philosophy_discussion

James Croft and Vlad Chituc have both continued to contribute to the discussion of what exactly unites humanists.  Vlad's put up a new post, and James has posted a clarifying comment that I've quoted from below. You seem to think "Humanism" denotes a single, coherent moral system (particularly a metaethical system). He seems to think that it is some sort of equivalent to "virtue ethics" or "utilitarianism" or something.But this is a category error. Humanism, in my understanding, can mean … [Read more...]

Up for a Quest?

dungeons and discourses 1

Scott/Yvain has previously written a truly delightful Dungeons and Discourses game (inspired by these two Dresden Codak comics). Here's an excerpt (which doesn't even include any of the musical numbers or the ingenious solution to Nagel's question: What is it like to be a bat?) In his roundabout way, he identifies himself as Heraclitus, the Fire Mage, one of the four great Elemental Mages of Platonia. Many years ago, he crossed into Origin on some errand, only to be ambushed by his arch-enemy, … [Read more...]

“Give Us More To See”

"But how George looks. He could look forever As if he sees you and he doesn't all at once."

Yesterday, I used Georges Seurat (as imagined by Stephen Sondheim in Sunday in the Park with George) to open up a discussion about the difficulty of pursuing intimacy with God (or, often, other people).  Play!George might approve of my framing a discussion of truth through artifice, since that's exactly how he manages to see and comprehend others in the show.  In "Finishing the Hat" (below), George explains that he can only understand or interact with people from a distance.Entering the wo … [Read more...]

Can you Cyrano de Bergerac your moral philosophy?

school of athens

Yesterday, I linked to Luke Muelhauser's commentary on the inability of philosophers to come to consensus.  He's continued on the topic, proposing a curriculum for building better philosophers in "Train Philosophers with Pearl and Kahneman, not Plato and Kant."His list of recommended topics include Bayesian statistics, machine learning, mathematical logic, game theory, cognitive neuroscience, etc.  (Go to the link to see his syllabus).  When you look over all the prerequisites, you can see wh … [Read more...]

The First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All the Philosophers

"What sat in those three chairs was three men, though hard to recognize as men till you looked closely. Their hair, which was gray, had grown over their eyes till it almost concealed their faces, and their beards had grown over the table, climbing round and entwining plates and goblets as brambles entwine a fence, until, all mixed in one great mat of hair, they flowed over the edge and down to the floor. And from their heads the hair hung over the backs of their chairs so that they were wholly hidden. In fact the three men were nearly all hair."

I know there are some rumblings in yesterday's thread about sin, judgment, and necessity about my being tardy to reply to comments.  When there's such a fast discussion (over 100 comments in 12 hours, I can't pop in and out as much as I'd like to.  I did quite appreciate Steve Schuler's comment that, even though my tardiness was frustrating, "For my purposes the best aspect of Leah’s blog are the comments threads and the overall civil and thoughtful exchanges I am able to read here."  Ag … [Read more...]

The theologians Chris Hallquist doesn’t believe in

uncredible hallq

Chris Hallquist (who blogs in the Patheos Atheist channel as the Uncredible Hallq) is in the process of writing a book tentatively titled Angry Atheists?: Why the Backlash Against Popular Atheism Is Silly. As he writes it, he's posting drafts of chapters on his blog to invite comment, sort out confusion, etc.   The most recent chapter he's revised and posted is to be Chapter Two: The many gods I don’t believe in (yours included).Since I guess I'm in the intended audience for the eventual book … [Read more...]

The Man is Father of the Monster

Careful the tale you tell, that is the spell...

When I saw the National Theatre’s production of Frankenstein, I thought there were two somewhat cliché ideas that were lent additional depth in this staging. Previously, I wrote about Frankenstein learning humanity from his possibly inhuman monster, but there was also an interesting use of a trope as the creature learned to be a man.When the creature confronts Frankenstein’s wife near the end of the show, she marvels at his humanity and his sophistication, but when he lists what Frankenstein … [Read more...]


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