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]
Please recommended memoirs, philosophy, and/or classics on coping with death, the meaning of life, etc. [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]
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?
It was said by Wittgenstein that a perfectly good work of philosophy could be written which was entirely composed of jokes. Has anyone done it, in analytical or continental philosophy? [more inside]
I'm looking for a copy of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations that isn't in the en face format (German on one page, English translation on the other). I had a straight Anscombe translation in college but have since lost it. Any ideas? Everything I've seen on Amazon is the en face. Thanks for your help!
I guess I'm 39 going on 9 but I need you to explain feelings please, and what I might be able to to about them. Can I stop/manage/fast-track the negative ones somehow? Illustrative example inside but I'd really like to hear broad principles please [more inside]
I'm reaching for a phrase for a short science fiction piece I'm working on. I'd like to know what a Classical-Latin-speaking character would say if they wanted to articulate a particular concept analogous to "I think therefore I am", but expressing instead a monstrous moral conclusion they've reached along the lines of I think therefore none may be / shall be. [more inside]
I'm beginning a project that looks partly at biological classification, primarily in western science. I have no background in this, and so I'm digging around. I'm interested to know more about the current rules for nomenclature, and also to know more about historical, philosophical, sociological, knowledge practice, ethnographic, anthropological, science technology and society (STS), sociotechnical, etc., approaches to the study of biological classification. I'll take monographs, articles, papers, web sites, etc. I have access to a university library. What are some good sources that can introduce me to this? Many thanks!
Is a major in Spanish a good investment? If I buckle down and commit myself to daily study and practice (and spend one semester abroad), can I attain a decent fluency in the language? What kind of career paths could I expect? More details and questions follow. [more inside]
So, I've been trying to hash out my philosophic and intangible beliefs and I realized that the only thing I really, truly connect with in a belief sense is Nothing, the dark. To be clear, I don't mean this melodramatically, I simply mean this in the sense that I find the fact that when I close my eyes at night that the idea that, as Roger Ebert put it, "I was perfectly content before I was born" comes to mind. That there is more that does not exist in this world than does. From John Locke (blank slate ideas) to Nietzche and religion, can you good people point me very broadly in the direction of thoughts on the nothing that surrounds us? Thanks!
Within the past year or two (approx.), there was a book published that laid out (in a somewhat light-hearted, abbreviated manner, for mass market) many various imaginings from religion, folklore, etc., of what life after death may be like. Can anyone recall it for me?
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, 2) 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]
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]
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]
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]
Students of art, lovers of philosophy, can you recommend a book I can buy as a gift for a friend? [more inside]
Looking for recommendations for books on Christian apologetics that take seriously the reality of evolution rather than denying it in favor of the argument from design. [more inside]
Does anyone know of any books for children around the age of 9 (a rather intelligent 9 year old mind you) that explores philosophical concepts, specifically metaphysics and epistemology. I gave him some old philosophy textbooks of mine, but they were a little too much for him I think.
"When she sat across from the philosopher the hour glass flipped in her mind and the sand started to fall." Where is this quote from? [more inside]
Help me find the name of that brief interactive “game” where the narrator (speaking aloud, British I think) describes the actions of the player, marching us toward our inevitable demise… until we decide to disobey his narrative. [more inside]
What does the word "abstract" mean? [more inside]
What does the "principle of dissolvent rationality" mean in Chapter 1 of The Dialectic of Enlightenment? [more inside]
I am looking for one single book, perhaps a college-level read (not much higher), that explains the case for atheism. I'm not looking for any 'new atheist books', though I have enjoyed them -- especially Harris. I have read Bertrand Russell as well. I have a few atheist friends but do not want to talk to them about this as I am a Christian and don't want to give them the impression that I want to change them or judge them. I just want more exposure to it in a sincere and kind fashion without short bumper sticker like explanations. (BTW, I don't look at my friends as "Hey, here come my 'atheist' friends! But mainly here comes "Bob" and "Joe". I just don't think it is right to bug them about their positions or lack thereof. <--Not sure how to state that.) Thanks in advance for your book recommendation.
Identify triads in writing? [more inside]
[ConceptFilter] Is there a word for something that's simultaneously self-sufficient, utility-oriented, and minimalist? [more inside]
Once upon a time on the Blue, I remember reading an article that went into great analytical detail about the social significance of slow versus fast zombies, even citing philosophers like Hume to make its point. However, I can't find the article for the life of me! Help me, MeFites!
I follow politics and current events, especially international politics, fanatically. I know next to nothing about economic systems, philosophy (particularly political philosophy), sociology, and other basics of social science that could be useful when trying to make sense of the world, though. I would like to change this. [more inside]
Can someone recommend me some science philosophy please.. [more inside]
Please help me identify a philosophy book. Title and author are unknown, subject may have been either evil or deception. Ridiculously vague description inside. [more inside]
Where can I read about the philosophies of spiritual or ritualisted drinking and drunkenness? [more inside]
How do I deal with a new therapist with an unexpected philosophical bent? [more inside]
I'm making a mod for Amnesia: The Dark Descent, set in Prussia around the turn of the nineteenth century (late 1700s or early 1800s), and I'm looking to add short written excerpts on the theme of abstract justice versus the collateral human cost of achieving it as notes for the player to pick up. [more inside]
Can you help me understand a little more about Buddhism so I can enjoy both sides of the discussion in a particular book? [more inside]
How can I practice more patience with life? [more inside]
Does anyone know if the international edition of "A Concise Introduction to Logic, Tenth Edition" has the same problem sets as the us version? Alternatively, does anyone have the u.s. version who would be willing to compare? Failing those, does anyone know of a resource online where I could find out?
I'm interested in Philosophy of Law / Jurisprudence. What primary materials should be on a reading list fit for a semester-long 400-level university course? [more inside]
Greeting hive, I want to start in on reading David Hume. Where should I start? Which Hume books or collections should I begin with to ease into his works? And, perhaps more importantly, which editions (I like footnotes:) Thanks! :)
How do I do a good literature review for a research paper in philosophy? I have access to good resources, but I really want to make sure that I cover everything that's been written on the topic. How can I put myself at ease while making sure I don't miss a beat? [more inside]
What books or articles should I read to introduce me to the theology of Cornel West? [more inside]
[PhilosophyFilter] Are there any responses in the 20th/21st century to Bertrand Russel's stance on existence, beliefs, logic, truth, and knowledge, as he presented it in The Problems of Philosophy? If yes, what and from whom? [more inside]
What are some good resources on Buddhism for someone who wants to remain attached to Western scientific rationalism? [more inside]
How is 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' received among professional philosophers? [more inside]
What are the best academic journals in each field? [more inside]
Does Foucault, or do any other another philosophers, expand upon what is said in "Des espaces autres" in any other publication? [more inside]
Can anyone remind me which philosopher has a personal website displaying her beautiful photographs of her university friends and colleagues? [more inside]
What should an extended abstract (in the humanities) look like? This is for philosophy in particular, though I assume it might be a similar style for other disciplines. [more inside]
Looking for a joke by Wittgenstein, something like "Are they crazy?" "No, they're just doing philosophy." [more inside]
Can you ID these short stories and help me find them? I think there were at least two, they were written by Keith Laumer, and they appeared in a paperback IF anthology that I can't find. They are about the right of revolution (one may be titled something like that) and take place on a mining colony on another planet. I think the first is about the miners who revolt and are led by an Ayn-Rand-character-like person (his name is John Ralt or something). The second is about the 'ARcl' person who is now in charge and must deal with dissenters who contest his moral and political authority. And were there any more stories in this vein, or just two?
"How can you say I am not a success? I have not been eaten and I have not failed to eat" (or words to that effect). Trying to find the source of this quote. I was thinking maybe Jonathan Swift, but my google-fu is failing me.
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