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A Realist Walks into a Bar . . .

... looking glum. Bartender: "What's the matter, pal?" Realist: "My nominalist girl friend says we have nothing in common!"


Are robots short-changing us imaginatively? Chat-bots, it seems, might be getting their second (or perhaps their third or fourth) wind. While they’re not exactly great conversationalists, the recent wave of digital assistants demonstrates the appeal of a computer you can talk to like a human being. Some now claim that a new generation of bots […]

The Need for Doxastic Risks

There are truths we are not in a position to know that we need to believe for our own good.

Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien

Attributed to Voltaire. "The better is the enemy of the good." Supposedly from the earlier Italian Il meglio è nemico del bene, attested since 1603. (Wikipedia) The thought is perhaps better captured by "The best is the enemy of the...

The Southern Poverty Law Center Scam

Washington Times editorial. Charles Murray corrects the record. It took the Middlebury mishigas to motivate a response from the mild-mannered Murray.

The Russian Farce

Teaser quotation: From Russia’s point of view, considering their strategic and economic interests, a pliable Obama 2.0 would have been far better than Trump, with his pro-oil-and-gas domestic agenda, his promised defense buildup, and his unpredictable Jacksonian promises to help...

Thinking About Galapagos (10): Finding God in Galapagos

The Charles Darwin Mural on Charles Darwin Avenue in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz IslandOn the last day of our tour, the Cormorant was anchored in Academy Bay, the harbor of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. In the morning, we went to see...Show More Summary

What makes America Great Again? Is America First Christian?

Yes, but not America Only, according to James Rogers. Perhaps President Trump's most appealing campaign plank, in which he takes a page more from Ross Perot than from the traditional Republican Party, is to argue that globalization and international trade agreements has put American workers at a disadvantage. But how far can this be pushed?

The Pyrrhonian as Epistemic Wimp

What is so bad about the strife of systems, controversy, conflict of beliefs? Are they always bad, never productive? Is it not by abrasion (of beliefs) that the pearl (of wisdom) is formed? At least sometimes? Doxastic conflict can be...

Intellect, Emotion, Projection

It takes intellect to discern that people are dominated by their emotions, but the intellectual who is capable of understanding this is often prevented from understanding it by his tendency to project his intellectuality into others. We often have a...

Political Acrimony: Can Sextus Help?

Our beliefs, political and religious beliefs in particular, divide us and ignite sometimes murderous passions. A radical cure would be to find a way to abstain from belief, to live without beliefs, adoxast?s. Is this possible, and if possible, desirable?...

Anti-Pyrrhonian Haiku

The truth we need We cannot know. So we must believe That it is so.

Chesterton on freedom

“The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog.” Chesterton (1935).

Does "Every Even Has a Cause" entail determinism?

Do all causes determine their effects? If determinism is true, then if the cause is present the effect is inevitable. But when we use the word "cause" is this what we invariably mean? Maybe not. Can't we say that smoking causes cancer without saying that if I smoke, I am guaranteed to get cancer. ?

Anger, Guilt, and Agent-Centered Sentimentalism - and Two New Arguments Defending the Minimum Wage

154 days until the first class. The class paper is going poorly. I am not at all happy with my writing on the section that discusses anger and its implications for agent-centered sentimentalist moral theories. The actual problem is, I think that agent-centered sentimentalist moral theories are so wrong that the paper sounds mean. I mean... Show More Summary

E. M. Cioran and Skepticism

I brought Cioran into my latest Pyrrhonian post to lay bare the contrast between the Christian's pursuit of a "peace that surpasses all understanding" (Philippians 4:7) and the Pyrrhonian's peace which is beneath understanding inasmuch as it is predicated upon...

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