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The Opium of the Intellectuals

What with the “communisants” (the priesthood and their bureaucratic Stasi-like enforcers) in charge of the academy, Raymond Aron’s classic The Opium of the Intellectuals (the original English translation freely available here), still has resonance. (Want to know more about Aron? — a good place to start is here and here and I’d highly recommend Aron’s wonderfully lucid two-volume Main Currents of Sociological Thought).…

Daniel Dennett’s Science of the Soul

Long write-up in The New Yorker Dennett does not believe that we are “mere things.” He thinks that we have souls, but he is certain that those souls can be explained by science. Andy ClarkCognitive scienceDaniel DennettDavid ChalmersdualismGilbert RyleMaterialismneural correlatesNeurophilosophyneurosciencePhilosophy of mindquineReligion

The Web of Belief

While doing some work on Quine I came across Quine and Ullian’s minor classic The Web of Belief which has been made freely available online. (Another great portrait by Steve Pyke as with the previous post on Parfit). Analytic philosophyJ. S. Ullianphilosophical logicpragmatismquinesteve pykeweb of belief

Jew of Oklahoma

If you appreciate Kinky Friedman then you’ll certainly enjoy Mark Rubin of Bad Livers fame. The seamless confluence of many styles is an authentic distillation that marks this debut out for serious consideration, shot through with a wonderful self-deprecating sense of humor. The interesting/revealing thing is that given the prevailing (crude and superficial) social ontology, i.e., “basket of deplorables” — Mark would easily…

Willard Van Orman Quine

Died on this day. Here’s a terrific resource for all things Quine. I wonder what he’d think about current campus illiberal fuckery? The Guardian The Economist The Telegraph Analytic philosophyEpistemologylogicquine

Chef’s Table

Having viewed each episode of Chef’s Table (season 1) I’m of the view that the collective minds of these six chefs comprise an infinitely more authentic philosophical disposition than is to be found in most current philosophy departments. Here we have chefs that are the philosophers of practice par excellence, they are passionate, they are well and…

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…