Metaphysics

Being Alone and Being Lonely

I decided to write about another of Arnold Lobels' Frog and Toad stories today. Along with being joyful and charming, Lobel's work is, in my estimation, among the most deeply philosophical of any children's book author. In "Alone," a story in Days With Frog and Toad, Toad shows up at Frog's house to find a note on Frog's front door that reads, “Dear Toad, I am not at home. I went out. I want to be alone.” Toad starts to worry that Frog is sad and needs cheering up, and then begins to question whether Frog's desire to be alone means that Frog no longer wants to be his friend. When he finds Frog, Frog tells Toad that in fact he is very happy and just wanted to be alone to think about how fine everything is, including having Toad for a friend.The story raises questions about the relationship between loneliness and being alone. Are we always lonely when we're alone? Does being lonely require being alone? What does it mean to be lonely? Is loneliness an emotion? What is the relationship between loneliness and sadness? Does friendship benefit from friends wanting time alone?  Can loneliness actually be worse when we are with other people than when we are alone?I talked with a group of fourth grade students recently about this story. Several commented that sometimes they do just want to be alone, but they were not sure that their friends always understand this."I think sometimes people like being alone to think about... -

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ON THE UNDERRATED POETRY OF RACHEL CARSON'S MASTERPIECE

Rebecca Renner at Literary Hub: “There was once a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings.” This is the surprising first sentence of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, the 1962 book that arguably sparked the modern environmental movement as we know it. Rachel Carson was a naturalist and science writer whose early work focused on oceanographic conservation. Her most famous book, however, details the harm wreaked on nature and humans by the rampant use of chemical pesticides. One of Silent Spring’s lasting legacies is the grassroots environmental campaign that it stirred up, leading to, among other achievements, the phasing out of DDT in the United States in 1972. While most people have heard of Silent Spring, even if... -

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Natural Kinds

Natural Kinds A large part of our exploration of the world consists in categorizing or classifying the objects and processes we encounter, both in scientific and everyday contexts. There are various, perhaps innumerable, ways to sort objects into different kinds or categories, but it is commonly assumed that, among the... -

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Best T-shirt ever

Just back from a very enjoyable visit to Southern Evangelical Seminary, where I gave a lecture last night on classical theism.  Many thanks to the very kind folks at SES for their hospitality.  And thanks also for what is probably the best T-shirt I’ve ever seen – SES’s Act and... -

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Best T-shirt ever Just back from a very enjoyable visit to Southern Evangelical Seminary, where I gave a lecture last night on classical theism.  Many thanks to the very kind folks at SES for their hospitality.  And thanks also for what is probably the best T-shirt I’ve ever seen – SES’s Act and Potency T-shirt, emblazoned with an image of Aquinas together with the first of the Twenty-Four Thomistic Theses.  You can pick one up via the SES... Edward Feser -


Natural Kinds Natural Kinds A large part of our exploration of the world consists in categorizing or classifying the objects and processes we encounter, both in scientific and everyday contexts. There are various, perhaps innumerable, ways to sort objects into different kinds or categories, but it is commonly assumed that, among the countless possible types of classifications, … Continue reading Natural Kinds → Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


Being Alone and Being Lonely I decided to write about another of Arnold Lobels' Frog and Toad stories today. Along with being joyful and charming, Lobel's work is, in my estimation, among the most deeply philosophical of any children's book author. In "Alone," a story in Days With Frog and Toad, Toad shows up at Frog's house to find a note on Frog's front door that reads, “Dear Toad, I am not at home. I went out. I want to be alone.” Toad... Wondering Aloud: Philosophy With Young People -


Syria in 2018 is not Iraq in 2003 Muhammad Idrees Ahmad at Al Jazeera: Last Saturday, when the United States, the UK and France launched strikes on three chemical facilities in Syria, the move was met with disapproval in some quarters. The pre-announced spectacle blew up three buildings and took no lives, but some pronounced it a "dangerous escalation". Some spoke of its "illegality". All complained about its disregard for the OPCW investigation. The action, which lasted less than an hour, was an escalation only if everything that... 3 Quarks Daily -


Jordan Peele Uses Machine Learning Tools to Make a Fake Obama Warn Us About 'Fucked-Up Dystopia'   More here. 3 Quarks Daily -


Non-instrumental pursuit I pursue money instrumentally—for the sake of what it can buy—but I pursue fun non-instrumentally. Here’s a tempting picture of the instrumental/non-instrumental difference as embodied in the money fun example: Non-instrumental pursuit is a negative concept: it is instrumental pursuit minus the instrumentality. But (1) is mistaken for at least two reasons. The shallower reason is an observation we get from the ancients: it is possible to simultaneously pursue the same goal both instrumentally and... Alexander Pruss -


Contractualism [Revised entry by Elizabeth Ashford and Tim Mulgan on April 20, 2018. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The term 'contractualism' can be used in a broad sense - to indicate the view that morality is based on contract or agreement - or in a narrow sense - to refer to a particular view developed in recent years by the Harvard philosopher T. M. Scanlon, especially in his book What We Owe to Each Other. This... Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN On Wednesday I met my OLLI [Osher Lifelong Learning Institute] class on Plato.  About fifteen old folks turned out, including enough retired physicians to staff a small hospital and an Anthropologist.  OLLI is a hoot.  Preparing for the class I re-read the Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito and will in due time re-read the Gorgias, the four Dialogues I am covering.  As I think I remarked here earlier, all of us “professional philosophers” [or Sophists, to... The Philosopher’s Stone -


The Pitfalls of Compassion It has been quite a long time since the last time I posted on A Philosopher’s Take. In that time, I have finished my PhD and my partner and I had our first child, Oliver. But I figure it is time I start getting back to it, and I guess there is no better place […] A Philosopher's Take -


Arrival, Interstellar, and the Transcendence of Temporality by Grant Maxwell   If you haven’t seen Arrival or Interstellar, I’d advise you to stop reading immediately and go watch them. What I’m about to say will ... Read more... Blog of the APA -


lick the crickets https://static1.squarespace.com/static/54dd0f40e4b084e8da72e7db/t/5ad76d7f0e2e72aa52f96f88/1524067774141/lickthecrickets_hob.mp3/original/lickthecrickets_hob.mp3 via http://homebrave.com Synthetic Zero -


Truth and Goodness and Rationality: Interview with Anselm Mueller We’re pleased to share this interview with Anselm Winfriend Mueller, our 2017-18 visiting scholar, who is a visiting professor this quarter at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago. He spoke with Johann Gudmundsson, a doctoral student at the Universität Leipzig currently on a research stay at the University of Chicago, where he’s working on his dissertation on moral judgment and practical goodness.       Johann Gudmundsson: For many years, you’ve been pursuing the thought... Virtue Blog -


When Zionism Rubs Up Against Reality Stanley Cohen in counterpunch: “The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated.” With these commanding words, Robert H. Jackson, Chief Counsel for the United States, opened the War Crimes Tribunals at Nuremberg, Germany not long after the conclusion of World War II. Empanelled to hold accountable military, political and judicial leaders for violations... 3 Quarks Daily -


Friday Poem Spring and AllBy the road to the contagious hospitalunder the surge of the bluemottled clouds driven from thenortheast—a cold wind. Beyond, thewaste of broad, muddy fieldsbrown with dried weeds, standing and fallenpatches of standing waterthe scattering of tall treesAll along the road the reddishpurplish, forked, upstanding, twiggystuff of bushes and small treeswith dead, brown leaves under themleafless vines—Lifeless in appearance, sluggishdazed spring approaches—They enter the new world naked,cold, uncertain of allsave that they enter. All... 3 Quarks Daily -


ON THE UNDERRATED POETRY OF RACHEL CARSON'S MASTERPIECE Rebecca Renner at Literary Hub: “There was once a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings.” This is the surprising first sentence of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, the 1962 book that arguably sparked the modern environmental movement as we know it. Rachel Carson was a naturalist and science writer whose early work focused on oceanographic conservation. Her most famous book, however, details the harm wreaked on... 3 Quarks Daily -


Can There Be an Atheist Church? Tim Crane at The Point: The familiar charge that atheism itself is a kind of religion or church is therefore deeply mistaken. Without sacred things, there is no church. But are atheists really excluded from employing some idea of the sacred? While some seem to think that they too are entitled to employ the idea of sacred things, if I am right, they are either mistaken or are using the word in a very different... 3 Quarks Daily -


Natalia Ginzburg and a new template for the female voice Rachel Cusk at the TLS: The voice of the Italian novelist and essayist Natalia Ginzburg comes to us with absolute clarity amid the veils of time and language. Writings from more than half a century ago read as if they have just been – in some mysterious sense are still being – composed. No context is required to read her: in fact, to read her is to realize how burdened literature frequently is by its... 3 Quarks Daily -


Cosmic Consciousness by Richard Maurice Bucke You know the way it is. There’s a book in the barrow going cheap that is often mentioned. And having taken it home to a good home it somehow burrows its way into the obscurer areas of the stack of ‘fully intended to read that but I can’t find it any more’. Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind. Vital, absolutely, must read that. Verdict: bring on my black hanky -... Ombhurbhuva -


The Rational Human Condition 5, Kant, Agnosticism, and Anarchism: A Theological-Political Treatise–Introduction. “The Human Condition,” by Thomas Whitaker/Prison Arts Coalition. Whitaker was on death row for 11 years; his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment less than an hour before his scheduled execution on 22 February 2018. THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION is a five-part, four-book series, including: PART 1: Preface and General Introduction PART 2: Cognition, … [continue reading] Against Professional Philosophy -


Peirce's Speculative Grammar: Logic as Semiotics 2018.04.18 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Francesco Bellucci, Peirce's Speculative Grammar: Logic as Semiotics, Routledge, 2018, 388 pp., $150.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780415793506. Reviewed by Mats Bergman, University of Helsinki Francesco Bellucci offers an erudite exposition of the fundaments of Charles S. Peirce's philosophical theory of signs. His study is both highly ambitious and rigorously delimited, seeking to reconstruct the logical character and systematic development of Peirce's semiotic grammar by means of... Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews -