I've recently become unemployed and am taking this opportunity to rethink my lifestyle. Help me figure out how to build an idle life. [more inside]
posted by 1d2d3
on Dec 8, 2013 -
Charles Babbage was a prominent member of the Analytical Society
, and was at the very least intimately familiar with Leibniz's formulation of calculus. But did he ever read Leibniz's writings on logic
? Did the Ars Combinatoria
, or any of his writings on the "universal characteristic" or "calculus ratiocinator" influence Babbage's thinking about computation?
posted by wobdev
on Nov 3, 2013 -
I am looking for an introductory text (preferably available online) that will outline these concepts for me. Thanks.
posted by PhDStudent
on Sep 18, 2013 -
I'm looking for book recommendations for thorough, engaging, and rigorous histories of Savile Row tailoring and/or books that talk about the history and philosophy of fine men's tailoring and dress. I'm not averse to books with technical information, as well as historical and cultural information. Thank you!
posted by moxie_milquetoast
on Sep 15, 2013 -
I'm looking for a way of diagramming the component parts of ideas and arguments, and their relationships to each other, formally and visually. Does such a thing exist? [more inside]
posted by escape from the potato planet
on Sep 13, 2013 -
I just finished reading Jeremy Adelman's biography of Albert O. Hirschman
. I loved the book because it vividly explained Hirschman's ideas (he was an economist and scholar of political thought) and because Hirschman had a fascinating and compelling life story. Can you recommend biographies of major thinkers in the social sciences and philosophy?
posted by EtTuHealy
on Sep 9, 2013 -
I am teaching Plato's allegory next week, and I would like to use some relatable examples of his ideas represented in recent popular culture. The Matrix is fine but getting well-worn. I am looking for something "newer" to illustrate the restraints of the cave, enlightenment, etc. Most of my students are 19-25 years old. Not owning a TV myself, I am out of touch with what the kids are into these days. Can anyone suggest some other, more contemporary examples -- clips from film or TV that I can show in class?
posted by quixotictic
on Sep 1, 2013 -
In the event that I have any control over it whatsoever, I want to die well. Recent family events and yesterday's NPR segments (1
) on end-of-life issues raise a fresh wave of questions about how to plan now
for the best possible end later on. Is there anything in the works that looks like a living will but allows us in our younger healthier years to document the preference "if a, b or c happen, just guide me to the light with morphine"? I want to be able to die as peacefully and (perhaps almost as) easily as my pets can. And perhaps I should reserve this additional loaded question for a separate post, but what the hell: why do people care so much? [more inside]
posted by AnOrigamiLife
on Aug 26, 2013 -
After years of depression and self-medication I'm trying to live a better life. What should I be doing? [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Aug 25, 2013 -
Most machines are very predictable when in motion- their movement can be graphed in terms of speed, acceleration and jerk quite easily. Generally, the graph flattens out when you get to jerk. Can the same be done with humans? Or are our movements chaotic at a fundamental level? I know that ultimately we exert motion through force (=ma) but is it possible for us to increase the rate at which we increase the rate of force, and even increase the rate of that? Would we be able to register anything on the graph of m/s5? [more inside]
posted by Greener_pastures
on Aug 15, 2013 -
Somewhere in the back of my brain there's a memory of a quote I once read, possibly by a Greek philosopher but just as possibly not. The quote was something about sleep (and maybe dreams?) being the greatest reward in life - that the only reason we toil through the day is to "earn" our sleep at night. [more inside]
posted by DulcineaX
on Aug 7, 2013 -
I'm well-read but pretty uneducated when it comes to philosophy, aside from having a working knowledge of the Post-Structuralists.
I'm looking for philosophical books (it doesn't matter it they're canonical or not--I have not read most of the canon, but I also haven't read a lot of related books) that explore one or more of these areas: beauty, art, or narratives. (I just started Lyotard tonight, so no need to suggest him.) [more inside]
posted by mermaidcafe
on Jul 30, 2013 -
Recently I've been listening to some very interesting podcasts on the mind-body problem
and I've been caught up in the various different approaches that one can take to the problem. I was really excited until, upon further reflection, it seemed to me that most of what we use to attack this problem in America (analytic philosophy) is basically just word games, logic puzzles and thought experiments, with no real basis in reality. Help? [more inside]
posted by Avenger
on Jun 28, 2013 -
How did classical philosophers or ethicists handle the fact that attachment to oaths, creeds, promises, allegiances, etc, can (and often must) evolve and change over time? You swear an oath and uphold it until such time as you discard it for something better or more useful. Did any famous philosopher ever outline how that process should work when it's appropriate?
posted by Cool Papa Bell
on Jun 26, 2013 -
I'm looking for an in-text reference for a concept apparently put forward by Immanuel Kant. I would like to know where in his own writings this concept was actually addressed. [more inside]
posted by heylight
on Jun 18, 2013 -
Hi Metafilter. Recommendations, please?
Recently I had ended a cycle of medication that was likely to affect my memory. It has.
I feel as though I've gone from a quick, engaged conversationalist, to a bit of an observant, less inclined platform of speaking. Mostly, it's because I can't seem to recall things as quickly as before. It's so, so uncomfortable.
I've been told my memory will return over time, but in the meantime, I can read and participate in exercises in an attempt to jar it.
Can anyone offer some comprehensive overviews of religion, history, philosophy, or politics?
Really basic stuff would be just find - Any texts going over the religions of the world, introductions to politic, lists of notable philosophers or historic figures..
posted by thewolfandewe
on Jun 16, 2013 -
I am interested in trying to understand how our ability and inability to understand symbols in relation to their meanings binds people together as well as forming in- and out-groups. I have had a difficult time in finding works that go along with this premise and would be interested if anyone would know of good sources. What follows is a short explanation of what I think currently. Comments and criticisms are highly appreciated. [more inside]
posted by ishrinkmajeans
on May 31, 2013 -
I created an online, open source academic journal website several years ago and it may be near the end of its first life. I'd love to get feedback on what folks here think might work best. I want to reinvent it and breathe new life into old content. Help me, MetaFilter, rebuild something that doesn't have to die into something new and beautiful! [more inside]
posted by christopherious
on May 22, 2013 -
I'm trying to remember a quotation. It might be from an ancient philosopher or a saint. Someone says to him something like, "How do you know how to do the right thing?" And his response is, "I observe the people around me doing the wrong things, and I do the opposite." That's a very rough recollection, and not enough for Google to help. Does this ring a bell for anyone?
posted by southern_sky
on May 2, 2013 -
I am looking for examinations of the Internet and World Wide Web that use the structure and/or history of the city as a metaphor. [more inside]
posted by 0bvious
on Apr 12, 2013 -
I am looking for books investigating the occult as a phenomenon, its history, and its possibilities. Maybe that sounds simple, but I'm also picky. [more inside]
posted by parkbench
on Apr 4, 2013 -
I can accurately imagine sounds of 440hz. I can imagine sounds of 880hz, 1760hz, and so on, and accurately identify octave intervals.
Why can't I keep imagining sounds an octave up, until I am imagining beyond the limits of my hearing?
posted by Jon Mitchell
on Apr 4, 2013 -
I am a scientifically-minded person who is trying to sort out my religious beliefs. I think it would be helpful to read some debates between deism, atheism, pantheism (Spinozism), and/or a scientifically-grounded theism. Can anyone recommend me books or essays that discuss these topics in ways that are engaging, well-thought-out, and thorough? [more inside]
posted by capricorn
on Mar 19, 2013 -
I'm working on a creative project about somebody who gets his brain removed and put in a vat. What should I read? [more inside]
posted by HeroZero
on Mar 15, 2013 -
I'm taking up restoration of mechanical calculators as a hobby. To what extent would repairs/part replacements constitute "restoration", and when does it become "reproduction" instead? [more inside]
posted by jackbishop
on Mar 1, 2013 -
Which works published anytime in the last century are Platonic-style dialogues on philosophical themes?
posted by shivohum
on Feb 12, 2013 -
When you intentionally add bogus features that are expected to be struck down, what is this called? The features are added to serve as a target for criticism and preserve the rest of the software. [more inside]
posted by WCF
on Feb 9, 2013 -
A friend of mine recently quit his job and has found himself with a lot of free time. As a method to explore his mind and world he has set himself a task to write an essay on : -
"The Notion of Freedom and Humanity"
I am no philosophy veteran but I am sure that there must be some great texts already dealing with this subject.
What research and reading material can I recommend my friend for his essay?
posted by Cogentesque
on Jan 15, 2013 -
Human Existence Filter: Does everyone have pervasive "background radiation" of anxiety/fear/worry? [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Dec 19, 2012 -
People don't change. If accepting that reality is the way to peace, how do I reconcile it with being married to someone with whom I'm incompatible in fundamental ways? (I am committed to this marriage because we have a young child who means the world to me and needs me.) Do I need to stop believing there could be core change in another person's outlook on life? [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Dec 4, 2012 -
Help me to philosophically pigeon-hole what I take to be the methodological
views of many professors in my economics department. Then help me to explore that and other pigeon-holes. [more inside]
posted by mister_kaupungister
on Dec 1, 2012 -
Did you leave the office job for a year or more of trying to make it on your own? How did it go? Would you do it again? What would you go back in time and tell yourself? [more inside]
posted by jsturgill
on Oct 31, 2012 -
Kierkegaard's Either/Or, Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, Nathalie Sarraute's Tropisms, Roland Barthes' A Lover's Discourse - what other authors or works consist of this kind of smattering collection of short, plotless, hybrid essay-prose poems?
posted by shivohum
on Oct 16, 2012 -
Are some areas of maths inherently central and others as more peripheral?
Or is any sense of centrality just a human experience, a cultural artifact arising from:
what has had greater application,
what has been studied more,
what produces a greater sense of the sublime in the human mind?
Are some parts of mathematics inherently a more fundamental description of what is going on in the universe, or is it as silly (or correct?) to talk about maths that way as it would be to talk that way about a classical ballet? [more inside]
posted by compound eye
on Sep 30, 2012 -
What exactly is an "arm chair philosopher", and how is that different from a 'philosopher'?
posted by SarcasticSeraph
on Sep 13, 2012 -
What are the best commentaries on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason?
posted by shivohum
on Aug 7, 2012 -
I've seen posts on the current problems of philosophy, but are there any closed/solved questions of (academic/western) philosophy? [more inside]
posted by lhude sing cuccu
on Aug 4, 2012 -
Further science/philosophical reading about human evolution and the woes of our modern life. Looking for suggestions, please! [more inside]
posted by alex_skazat
on Jul 27, 2012 -
Students of art, lovers of philosophy, can you recommend a book I can buy as a gift for a friend? [more inside]
posted by Chichibio
on Jul 25, 2012 -
What is the relationship between the ritual and the algorithm? Are all rituals algorithmic? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious
on Jul 17, 2012 -
ClassicsFilter: looking for a Greek politician (or philosopher?) who makes an analogy between politics and agriculture. [more inside]
posted by j.s.f.
on Jul 9, 2012 -
I'm doing research for an artistic work exploring the theme of suicide, and I seek 1) a particular recent article arguing that life is not worth living and 2) the most provocative, interesting works on suicide from artistic, philosophical, social science, journalistic, religious or medical perspectives. [more inside]
posted by reren
on Jun 30, 2012 -