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Nicholas Rescher

A belated birthday greeting to Nick still going strong at eighty-nine. Nick is one of the most prolific, wide-ranging, insightful, eclectic and kindest philosophers I have known. See Michele Marsonet’s Internet Enclyclopedia of Philosophy entry for Nick. ConservatismEpistemologyIdealismmetaphysicsMichele Marsonetnicholas rescherphilosophical logicPhilosophyPhilosophy of sciencepragmatism

Conversation Piece

Over the past few months I’ve been listening closely to Heathen and haven’t tired of it at all, despite some minor annoyances. Echoing many others, the interesting thing about this album is that Bowie, finally and for once, consistently makes good on closing out the amazing legacy of his golden years (1970-1980). Heathen (see a couple of…

Identity, Individuation and Substance

After a long break from writing on metaphysics the wonderful David Wiggins has a freely available paper published in the European Journal of Philosophy. Sameness and Substance remains one of the most satisfying  (and most difficult) reads I’ve ever experienced. Forty four years ago I published a short monograph called Identity and Spatio-Temporal Continuity, henceforth ISTC…

Hilary Putnam 1926-2016

It is notable that the so-called “new atheists” never did take on Putnam. Shows how lily-livered they really are, picking on the usual easy targets. Ditto for his critique of scientism. Putnam’s Mind, Language and Reality. Philosophical Papers, vol. 2. remains one of my favorite books. The Guardian obit. Martha Nussbaum on Putnam. EpistemologyethicsfunctionalismHilary PutnamJewish PhilosophymetaphysicsPhilosophy of Languagephilosophy…

Can you really upload your mind?

Radio discussion on ABC’s The Philosopher’s Zone Self/less— a film currently doing the rounds—entertains the idea of digital immortality. It might be a work of science fiction but what it portrays is gaining serious traction in the real world. A number of philosophers, neuroscientists, and assorted futurists believe that by mid century a safe form…

Sameness and Substance Renewed

Below is David Wiggins’ Preface from one of my favourite books. A tough read but well worth the effort. Here also is the Table of Contents and Preamble. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When Sameness and Substance (Blackwell, 1980) went out of print, Cambridge University Press agreed to take over the book. They suggested that the Longer Notes be dropped…