So Descartes got a lot of things right (and a lot of things wrong), but, arguably, he had vast impact on all science that came after him. He was successful. And, not a ton, but a little bit, he tries to explicitly communicate the method by which he got his results. So, not just the steps he took to get his results, but the method that generated the steps... [more inside]
I'd like references for books that describe the intellectual history of the past 200-odd years in the West, e.g. modernism, postmodernism, and whatever was before and after. [more inside]
It's natural to get comfortable with your day to day reality, which includes routines and norms that we take for granted. How can I push those boundaries (without drugs)? [more inside]
I'm looking for a basic survey or overview text on the History of the Philosophy of Religion. Not an exhaustive text but one that would provide explicitly a kind of syllabus for background on key works in this thread of philosophy. [more inside]
I'm teaching an introductory ethics course, and I'd like to see if the hivemind has better suggestions for short fiction that deals with either the purpose of a social contract, or demonstrates how social contracts go horribly wrong. [more inside]
I"m looking for a more philosophical (political philosophy / legal jurisprudential) work on the Magna Carta. A book that discusses the text and its ideological and philosophical context. For example, on the conflict between feudal customary law and theocratic canon/roman law at the time. Do you have any suggestions of texts or authors that would offer trustworthy relatively academic commentary on the text and context? [more inside]
I am liberal arts (philosophy) major preparing to graduate in one year (spring of 2017). Originally I had planned on going to graduate school, but I have now decided against it in favor of entering the workforce. Help me understand what I should be doing from now until graduation to make sure I am as attractive of an employee prospect as possible, considering my circumstances. More details inside. [more inside]
I remember reading a philosopher say something to the effect of "all art should appear easy" or "all art should be easy to make." Anyone have any ideas who this might have been? I think maybe it's somewhere in Nietzsche or Schlegel.
How can a person not affiliated with a higher learning institution publish ideas of a more abstract nature, but also rooted in reality and science ? Are there any reputable journals that straddle the line between speculative fiction, futurism, philosophy and science that would publish an article from someone yet unpublished in the academic world? I'm not sure what I should google for, that's why I'm asking here. I have some ideas and would like to write an essay.
In the film A Beautiful Mind, John Nash struggles with realistic hallucinations of imaginary people. At one point, a representative from the Nobel Prize approaches Nash, and Nash checks with a student familiar to him to verify that the Nobel rep is real. How would someone in Nash's position know that the student was real? How would such a person establish the reality of anything? [more inside]
Who are some people you guys read who think about the issues in an intelligent way and are unafraid to make a contrarian argument when it makes sense to do so? [more inside]
I'm reading about different manifestations of screaming. I'm familiar with Janov and the primal scream, and I'm familiar with speaking in tongues as well as keening. I would like to find examples in religion or philosophy of screaming, either as spiritual practice/theology or metaphor. Both "religion" and "philosophy" can be interpreted with some leeway.
Does anyone know the source of the dialogue in this strange Mickey Mouse/Donald Duck comic panel edit? [more inside]
I'm looking for a good book on the History of Legal Philosophy, or History of Jurisprudence that covers everything from Greece (Solon), Rome (12-Tables to Justinian Law), Germanic Law, English Common Law, and maybe a bit on 20th Century Legal Though, Legal Postivism, H.A. Hart, etc. [more inside]
In the recent book by Pope Francis, The Name of God is Mercy, I stumbled at the following in chapter VI: "None of us should speak of injustice without thinking of all the injustice we have committed before God. We must never forget our origins, the mud of which we were made." If God made us out of mud (i.e. something base and, literally, dirty), why is it the Christian view that God is upset when we act according to our base and dirty nature, and that we must seek forgiveness for our actions and our nature? [more inside]
I'm writing about lists and would like some examples... [more inside]
Hi guys, I just finished a summer from hell finishing my accounting designation. To round off my degree, I need to finish a rather open ended paper, and I'm almost out of brain cells and motivation. The paper need be only 2000 words, so nothing too in-depth is required. [more inside]
I know that Aristotle mostly faded out after the fall of Rome, and that it was revived when Christian scholars began to translate Arabic editions into Latin in the 12-13th centuries. Fair enough. But what about Homer and the playwrights? Did they similarly disappear, and were they rediscovered alongside Aristotle? Would a 12th century monk have known who Pericles was? Would he have known Herodotus? The Pre-Socratics? If not, how were they recovered? Can someone point me toward some free online material where I can read about this topic? Thanks.
I don't know whether that's the right wording, but it seems that it's common in academia for scholars to have a vested interest in their discipline (or a department, or method, or theory) being considered relevant or important. As a consequence, academics might over-emphasize, sometimes blindly, the importance or relevance of their own disciplines, which can lead those disciplines to continue surviving past their relevant value. My question is - does anyone know of any literature that discusses this phenomenon or better yet, uses quantitative methods to show that it may or may not be happening? [more inside]
Where should I start with Walter Benjamin (and Hannah Arendt and Foucault and bell hooks and...?) (Non-academic but well-read lay person perspective.) [more inside]
I"m looking for an introductory historico-philosophical text on religion and politics, political-theology, or secularism and anti-secularism philosophically? Specifically, I'm interested in understanding, the context and surrounding works which would situate Carl Schmitt's claims regarding the persistence of theological concepts in 20thC political philosophy. [more inside]
I recently read The Monk and the Philosopher and enjoyed it. Any other recommendations for serious books comparing, contrasting, or describing encounters between eastern philosophy and spiritual practices and the western intellectual tradition? [more inside]
I am writing a business plan to start a beverage factory in Thailand, and would like some advice on how I can protect my IP (recipe and methodology). [more inside]
I'm trying to put together a reading list for an introductory philosophy of feminism class, and there's a concept that I can't articulate well enough to find any readings on! Recommendations? Concept inside, of course. [more inside]
I've never been very good at outlining or planning academic papers. My method of attack has consisted of sitting down at my laptop and hammering out prose, then going back and editing draft after draft until I come up with something I like. This method served me just fine in most of my humanities and social science courses in college, but I have a much harder time approaching philosophy essays in this unstructured way. Does anyone have any particular tips or methods that have helped them plan and write academic philosophy essays?
I am trying to find a text that discusses the interpretations of God as "Being" that exist in philosophy (e.g. Spinoza, Hegel, Ancient Greek Philosophy etc) in connection with the common translations of YHWH as "I am". There must be writings on this? [more inside]
Is it moral for me to choose my doctor based on political views? [more inside]
So I'm looking for a text that provides a good summary / overview of the Linguistics and Philosophical (and Psychological?) debates, conflicts, theoretical models of the relations between words, concepts, and things. A good overview that covers the range from Abelard, Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Chomsky, Fodor, etc.. Does such a book exist? [more inside]
Is there a philosophical term for this concept: If something has occurred in the past, but nobody remembers it, can you say with certainty that it happened? Or is this just a variant on "if a tree falls in a forest, and nobody hears it..." [more inside]
I am interested in reading as widely as possible about the concept of children's rights. What resources would you recommend? [more inside]
I've had this concept in my head that I'm pretty sure I picked up in economics/management studies but I can't recall its name: The division of labor between an executive and her direct support staff is that staff can advise the executive about decisions to make, but ultimately she makes the decision and they then have to carry out that directive or policy (regardless of whether it's justified in their opinion). I had assumed I was thinking of the principal-agent problem, but that's clearly something else. What is this concept called?
Is it a waste of time for me to even attempt to read Godel, Escher, Bach when I don't have a very good foundational knowledge of math? [more inside]
I once took a high school class that explained (what I remember as) Lao Tzu's views on the types of leadership in comic form. It's stuck with me in the 20 years since, but I've never been able to re-find it. Can you help me find the comic I remember? More details inside. [more inside]
The single appearance of the footprint in Daniel Defoe's 1719 novel, Robinson Crusoe, is perhaps one of the most famous events in all of literature. I am interested in who has referenced it, and for what ends, especially in critical theory. I also wonder whether Michel Foucault's famous closing lines to 'The Order of Things' is a subtle reference to the appearance of that footprint? Can other allusions to 'the figure of man' and marks in the sand be traced back to Defoe's novel?
I'm looking for YouTube channels that are dedicated to providing education about or insight into interesting subjects. They can have humor in them, but I'd prefer for them to be primarily informative rather than humorous. [more inside]
I submitted a prospectus to my thesis committee last month, but haven't started work on the thesis. Since I submitted the prospectus, I've come to have some doubts about whether or not this is the thesis topic for me. I'd like to take things in a slightly different, but still related, direction. Is is too late for me to do that without coming across as flaky, uncommitted, or reluctant to accept criticism? [more inside]
Please recommended memoirs, philosophy, and/or classics on coping with death, the meaning of life, etc. [more inside]
How is Schopenhauer using the terms "conception" and "predicate", "reason" and "consequence" in the Spinoza section of On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason? (Chapter 2) [more inside]
I've been interested in Theosophy and similar philosophies for a long time and have on several occasions considered joining up here in Auckland, New Zealand. However, I'm not entirely sure whether their activities will be of overall interest to me. [more inside]
I struggle with thinking I "should" do a lot of things, and feel guilty about not doing more for charity and for other people. How can I find a good balance between doing what I want to do for myself, and doing my duty as a good person?
I really enjoy the irreverent yet insightful way deep philosophical issues are explored on Wait But Why. Any other sites or books I should check out? [more inside]
I've been going back over a bunch of Plato's Dialogues lately as a long-term philosophy project and it would be good to also read a few significant readings of particular dialogues as I'm reading them. However, I am having trouble finding what / who has written on each particular dialogue. I am mostly interested in continental philosophy, and mostly 19th / 20th century philosophy. Although any significant Modern Philosopher's readings of Plato might also be of interest. [more inside]
A strange and learned young comedian once told me about a famous Futurist artist who professed that the best way to die was to be be killed by rival artists in the streets of a hyper-competitive future, or some such. He was most certainly paraphrasing. Anyone have a clue who he was talking about and what was actually said? [more inside]
Many moons ago I read a short story about several children who lived in a world that was almost perpetually dark, with the exception of something like 15 minutes of sunlight every 30 years. These children were horsing around outside, and two of them locked a third in a shed. While this child was in the shed, the sun came out, depriving him/her of the only opportunity they'd have in their life to see the light. Does this ring a bell for anyone?
I'm currently doing and MA on Modern Philosophy but feel I need to address a gap in my knowledge of ancient greek philosophy. So I was looking for a good companion to guide me through reading, potentially all of, Plato's dialogues. Basically a book with a chapter on each dialogue discussing key points and insights of the dialogue, controversies and relating it to modern issues. Does such a book exist? [more inside]
I have recently become fascinated by Beethoven’s 9th, 8th and 5th symphonies, partly because I am familiar with some of the historical/philosophical context. I study and am familiar with the history of modern European philosophy (including Enlightenment philosophy and German Idealism) which I suspect could give me a beneficial entryway into the world of classical music. Can anyone recommend a method or approach to appreciating classical music more? Does anyone have suggestions for the best pieces and composers to set out with?
I have recently become interested in the question of what sort of existence or "being" logical laws, reason, mathematical truths, rationality have. That is, what is the ontological basis of logic? Where does the a priori reside? Is it part of the universe or if it is somehow "absolute" then "where" do these truths reside? Who has theorised about this, can you give pointers of philosophers, and books that have tackled this issue? Did Russell or Frege talk about this? Plato's realm of Ideas seems one approach to the problem but what are contemporary theories?
If it means "the love of knowledge," as it is commonly given in dictionaries, why isn't it "sophophilia" on the analogy of Anglophilia, necrophilia, bibliophilia, etc? [more inside]
I have been reading a few primary texts in philosophy on my own. However, I find that its difficult to engage with a text merely by reading it. I'd like to find a bunch of questions or essay prompts for each book I read that I can then think over, write a page or so on, that help me to focus on the important points of a text in the history of philosophical thought. Google searches have not been very effective at finding questions. (I can sometimes find reading lists and syllabi which are useful but not quite what I want). [more inside]
I'm updating a graduate survey course in critical theory that cavasses all the main 'isms' and is quite high level. It includes readings and discussions on feminist and queer philosophies and literary theories but there is currently no section on transgender at all. I'd like to change this. What's the best academic introduction to transgender or transgender theory/politics, the position of transgender within queer theory that you've read? It needs to be scholarly but memoir or personal reflection or journalism could also be okay as further readings. Suitable for Masters students so it can be philosophical/dense/complex. Happy to hear of any ideas for readings that fall outside these requirements if you think I'm going about this the wrong way too. It would need to be a book chapter or journal article not a whole book. Thanks!