Traditions

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... -

Read More @ Wondering Aloud: Philosophy With Young People

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 way. The philosopher Simon Blackburn, for example, complains about the “religious appropriation of the sacred” and says that “to regard something as sacred is to see it as marking a boundary to what may be done.” That’s true, but there are many ways of drawing boundaries without marking out... -

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The Creativity of Philosophy

“I think of philosophy as partly a creative process and discipline, and I think it would be a tremendous shame if we lost sight of that part of things.” ¶ That’s Michaela McSweeney, assistant professor of philosophy at Boston University, in an interview at the Blog of the American... -

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AE against Conscription

“Conscription for Ireland – A warning to England” – a pamphlet reprint of a letter against conscription by AE (George Russell). Held in UCD Special Collections. ¶ On 18th April 1918 the bishops of Ireland resolved to support the anticonscription campaign in Ireland. This was a key event in the... -

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The Creativity of Philosophy “I think of philosophy as partly a creative process and discipline, and I think it would be a tremendous shame if we lost sight of that part of things.” That’s Michaela McSweeney, assistant professor of philosophy at Boston University, in an interview at the Blog of the American Philosophical Association. Interviewer Skye Cleary asked Professor McSweeney, “What topic do you think is under explored in philosophy?” Here is the full answer, from which the earlier... Daily Nous -


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 -


Williams on Plato: The Invention of Philosophy Excerpt from The Sense of the Past: Essays in the History of Philosophy (2007) Plato invented the subject of philosophy as we know it. He lived from 427 to 347 bc, and he is the first philosopher whose works have come down to us complete. He is also the first to have written on the full… Man Without Qualities -


Moving to Miami! I'm very happy to say that Helen & I will be joining the philosophy department at the University of Miami next year!We bid farewell to many fantastic colleagues, and will certainly miss daffodil season in York...... but are thrilled to be joining the outstanding philosophical community at UM! Philosophy, et cetera -


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


AE against Conscription “Conscription for Ireland – A warning to England” – a pamphlet reprint of a letter against conscription by AE (George Russell). Held in UCD Special Collections. On 18th April 1918 the bishops of Ireland resolved to support the anticonscription campaign in Ireland. This was a key event in the conscription crisis of 1918, paving the way for the Mansion House Conference, which included representatives of workers and trade unions, the Catholic Church, and political rivals... Irish Philosophy -


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 -


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 -


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 -


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 -


Affronts to human dignity Some evils are not just very bad. They are affronts to human dignity. But those evils, paradoxically, provide an argument for the existence of God. We do not know what human dignity consists in, but it isn’t just being an agent, being really smart, etc. For human dignity to play the sort of moral role it does, it needs to be something beyond the physical, something numinous, something like a divine spark. And on our... Alexander Pruss -


La fin de l’hospitalité reviewed in Critical Inquiry Authored by Guillaume Le Blanc and Fabienne Brugère, La fin de l’hospitalité: Lampedusa, Lesbos, Calais . . . jusqu’où irons-nous? (Paris: Flammarion, 2017) and reviewed by Corina Stan. Here’s part of the take: La fin de l’hospitalité was a prompt response to the mismanagement of the refugee crisis in 2015–2016 in Europe: the surveillance of the Mediterranean, the reinforcement of frontiers, the building of walls, camps, and centers where refugees were categorized, their life projects changed, their immigration... Philosophy in a Time of Error -