Category Archives: Philosophy

Notes for the Book: Simplex, Complex, Multiplex

Several themes are starting to gel, so perhaps I’ll record some of my current thoughts as they now stand. Just the act of writing a blog post helps me organize and clarify them. I still find myself learning: almost every … Continue reading

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Bertrand Russell: Why I Am Not a Christian: Summary and Comments

This is a famous essay/lecture by one of the 20th century’s most influential philosophers. I first read the book containing this essay in 1979, when I was 23; I was thrilled to find someone so eminent unapologetically spell out the … Continue reading

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More on the Enlightenment and Its Critics

An essay by Damon Linker at The Week. (I’ve seen Linker’s work on various website for years; he’s an interesting commentator, though one perhaps without any consistent philosophy; he seems to enjoy playing the contrarian role.) The Enlightenment’s legacy is … Continue reading

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Thought Leaders

A couple days ago I was dipping into Peter Singer’s latest book, Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter, and saw him mention something about his being a “thought leader” according to some German outfit … Continue reading

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Sean Carroll, THE BIG PICTURE

Sean Carroll’s THE BIG PICTURE: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself, just published May 10th, is an ambitious, wide-ranging book not so much about cosmology (Carroll’s specialty at CalTech), as about the perspective we gain through … Continue reading

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Oliver Sacks, GRATITUDE

An even shorter book than Rovelli’s, this is a collection of four short essays written by the neurologist and author after learning he had only a few months left to live, all of which originally appeared in the New York … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Susan Jacoby; Erasure; Boars and the Sixth Extinction; Jerry Brown and Jean-Pierre Dupuy

From last Sunday’s papers, the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. » NYT: Susan Jacoby: Sick and Tired of ‘God Bless America’ Well, of course; this is someone daring to point out the obvious, mostly unmentioned privilege that … Continue reading

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Sean Carroll on Everything

The physicist Sean Carroll has a new book coming out next May that I’m looking forward to: The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself. Carroll blogs about it here, with an outline. A key … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Philosophical principles; social programs; narrative; FDS; religious conflict and the gullible

I’ve belatedly added a link to Adam Lee’s Statement of Principles, a set of philosophical positions that I mostly endorse (I reserve the right to quibble), in the intro to my Provisional Conclusions. \\ And speaking of Adam Lee, this … Continue reading

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Lewis Thomas, The Lives of a Cell

Lewis Thomas was a pediatrician and doctor, who became president of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and who wrote a series of short essays which were first published in New England Journal of Medicine in the early … Continue reading

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