philosophy

Gone But Never To Be Forgotten

Once again I turn to the subject of Ronald Dworkin, my own favorite great thinker of the the 20th century. Ronald wrote the following in a NY Review of Brooks article: “In my own view, someone who leads a boring, conventional life without close friendships or challenges or achievements, marking time to his grave, has not had a good life, even if he thinks he has and even if he has thoroughly enjoyed the life he has had. If you agree, we...

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A Letter To His Grandfather.

Jacques Barzun is dead. He died late last year at age 104 and his family’s loss is barely greater than our loss. Barzun is one of my heroes and has been that since about 1970 when I first heard of him. His was a gigantic intellect and no one can fail to appreciate his writings if one takes the trouble. His grandson Charles has found a perfect way to communicate with Barzun even now. The letter is both a touching tribute and a...

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Müller-Lyer And Barack Obama

Many of you are familiar with the Müller-Lyer illusion but I will present it anyway because seeing it is useful for my thesis, which I admit is very speculative. Please begin by looking at the diagram. ...

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You Can’t Go Home Again

For some people, the music in this video is the thing. For most of us, I hope, it is an astonishing revelation of the way the world turns. http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=L7N6slVrQeY&vq=medium

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On Vengeance

While I am not a great fan of God, I have to admit that sometimes he gets it right. Consider this one: King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.) Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. There are at least a dozen other versions of this with minuscule differences worthy of biblical exegesis for those with a great deal of time on their hands. All of them...

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I Am A Victim Of The Genetic Fallacy

The genetic fallacy is committed whenever a person thinks he can prove or disprove a point by pointing to its origin and then disparaging the one who makes that point. For example, some people think belief in God is easily shown to be false by saying that the believer holds his view only because his parents told him there was a God. This attack on the believer is entirely irrelevant to God’s existence or nonexistence. Sometimes, in an...

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