Nevil Shute’s _On The Beach_ And Normative Epistemology

The first reading in my Philosophical Issues in Literature class this semester–which focuses on the post-apocalyptic novel–is Nevil Shute‘s On The Beach. I expected, more often than not, moral, ethical, and political issues to be picked up on in classroom discussions; I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the very first class meeting–on Monday–honed inContinue reading “Nevil Shute’s _On The Beach_ And Normative Epistemology”

William James on the Selectivity of Consciousness According to Human Interests

A couple of days ago, I noted humanism‘s affinities with pragmatism, and quoted William James to cement that claim. Today, I want to point to James’ treatment of consciousness to show how fundamental human interests are in his philosophy of mind. (This post is cribbed from Patrick Kiaran Dooley‘s Pragmatism as Humanism: The Philosophy of Willam James,Continue reading “William James on the Selectivity of Consciousness According to Human Interests”

Beware the Easily Defined Philosophical Term

Over the course of my philosophy career, I’ve come to realize I sometimes use technical philosophical terms without an exceedingly determinate conception of their precise meaning. But I do, however, know how to use them in a particular philosophical context that will make sense to an interlocutor–reader, discussant, student–who has a background similar to mine.Continue reading “Beware the Easily Defined Philosophical Term”

The Oscars as Inducers of Cosmic Disillusionment

Many, many years ago, as a mad-about-the-movies young–very young!–lad, I was in the habit of eagerly awaiting the announcement of the year’s Oscars, my cinematic antennae quivering with anticipation as the suspense mounted. My spatio-temporal geographic location being what it was, this enthusiasm manifested itself most visibly in a speedy dash to our front balconyContinue reading “The Oscars as Inducers of Cosmic Disillusionment”