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Walker Percy Wednesday 180

The Antinomy of Science Examples of the scientific assertion S is P: The square of the time of revolution of any planet is proportional to the cube of the mean distance from the sun. (Kepler’s third law of planetary orbits) The force of attraction between two bodies is in direct proportion to the product of…

Problems at the Intersection of Aesthetics and Ethics

The very excellent Seth Vannatta in Response: The Digital Journal of Popular Culture Scholarship. I’d suggest that readers also think about Wittgenstein’s idea in the Tractatus that ethics and aesthetics are one — on which much has been written. I’d also refer readers to the collection of essays entitled Aesthetics and Ethics: Essays at the Intersection.   aestheticsAlfred North WhiteheadethicsFurtwänglerHans-Georg GadamerImmanuel KantJohn DeweyLudwig…

Wittgenstein: A Wonderful Life

This 1989 BBC Horizon documentary (see below) is an absolute gem. I must have seen it in the day but viewing it again with the benefit of the intervening quarter century, is so rewarding. It’s television at its best — very tightly presented, it is neither pretentious nor dumbed down as so many programmes on…

Alfred North Whitehead

I notice that my chum Andrew Irvine has given his ANW entry on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy a revamp. Though probably best known (at least to the man on the Clapham omnibus) for the quote that “The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato”…

Bertrand Russell

Born on this day. It just so happens that while writing on Herbert Simon today I was reminded of Russell who, on hearing from Simon about his “thinking machine” that proved theorems from Principia Mathematica, responded: “I am delighted to know that ‘Principia Mathematica’ can now be done by machinery. I wish Whitehead and I had known of this…

Dorothy Emmet

I was reminded by a most prolific chum of mine about Dorothy Emmet who so kindly agreed to my coming up to Cambridge to ostensibly chat to her about Bosanquet. This was in 1990 when she was 86. Taking this opportunity to speak to someone of her calibre and longevity we spoke over a long lunch…