Fallacies, Miracles, and Fun

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1. A two part discussion of David Hume’s argument against miracles. Here.

2. A discussion of fallacies at the SEP.

3. Philosophers’ Breakup Letters Throughout History from The New Yorker (like the one below):

For our entire relationship, I was absolutely and irrevocably miserable. I can see now that you used me purely as a means to an end. Don’t you know how that makes me feel? It is imperative that you reflect on the meaning of universal law, and stop doing that thing you did with your tongue. I hated that.—Immanuel Kant

4. Remember Phineas Cage?

Stretch your horizons

ODIP: The Online Dictionary of Intercultural Philosophy

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Description:

The Online Dictionary of Intercultural Philosophy offers brief and understandable definitions of non-Western philosophical terms. It aims to promote a shift from Comparative Philosophy to World Philosophy enabling a genuine plurality of knowing, doing, and being human. The Online Dictionary of Intercultural Philosophy 1) collects key-concepts from several regions and 2) presents those concepts in a succinct fashion. It is meant to be an inspiring and stimulating resource for philosophers who aim to expand their horizons and think interculturally.


Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

  1. Cosmology: Methodological Debates in the 1930s and 1940s (George Gale) [REVISED: June 4, 2015]
    Changes to: Bibliography
  2. Emergent Properties (Timothy O’Connor and Hong Yu Wong) [REVISED: June 3, 2015]
    Changes to: Main text, Bibliography

    Word Meaning (Luca Gasparri and Diego Marconi) [NEW: June 2, 2015]

  3. Skepticism (Peter Klein) [REVISED: June 2, 2015]
    Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html
  4. Quantum Approaches to Consciousness (Harald Atmanspacher) [REVISED: June 2, 2015]
    Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html
  5. The Revision Theory of Truth (Philip Kremer) [REVISED: June 2, 2015]
    Changes to: Main text, Bibliography
  6. Convention (Michael Rescorla) [REVISED: June 1, 2015]
    Changes to: Main text, Bibliography
  7. Hermann Weyl (John L. Bell and Herbert Korté) [REVISED: June 1, 2015]
    Changes to: Main text, Bibliography
  8. Fallacies (Hans Hansen) [NEW:

Otto was a farmer – repost

wheatMy step-father was a dry-land farmer. He worked with his hands all of his life. He worked with mules, horses, and later tractors. Otto was primarily a wheat farmer. He took pride in his farming. Straight rows [once when my brother was home on leave during WWII, and was new to farming, Otto had him working in a field where he was supposed to drive the tractor at an angle across the face of a hill, Bud’s rows got so crooked that he decided to fix the line by working up and down the hill to correct the line! The result was a disaster as the rows now ran up and down the hill side instead of across its face.], sowing at the right time, cultivating, knowing when to harvest. There was a German Lutheran toughness to him and a real pride in growing crops and beasts to feed the people.

It was a real shock to him when he made his first trip to the east coast. He went up to the top of the Empire State Building and looked out over the city. He noticed barges in the Hudson River that were dumping their loads into the river. He asked what they were dumping. He was told they were dumping excess wheat and also milk. He could not believe it.

Why would they do that he asked. For the futures market he was told. Too much wheat brings the prices down now and in the future.

When he came back to the farm he was changed. Those barges had stolen his life’s purpose.

At about the same time Camus was writing his Notebooks 1951 – 1959. He writes (35) :

According to Melville, the remora, a fish of the South Seas, swims poorly. That is why their only chance to move forward consists of attaching themselves to the back of a big fish. They then plunge a kind of tube into the stomach of a shark, where they suck up their nourishment, and propagate without doing anything, living off the hunting and efforts of the beast.

The remora reminds me of the Wall Street speculators of today. They do not produce any wheat or corn – they merely bet on its price in the future. And they don’t manufacture anything to use for anything – they specialize in gambling. Oh, and gas prices? Betting on the futures is responsible for a large share of the price.

Oh, yeah, and Otto paid his fair share of taxes.

More stories.

Sunday’s Sermon: Professor Douwe Stuurman

historyRemembering Stuurman

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy: they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

RUSSELL: Douwe Stuurman?

HARDIN: Well, he’s one of a kind. He was one of the spearheads of the movement to keep this [UCSB] a small liberal arts campus. He was, as you know, at Oxford–a Rhodes Scholar–and very much a lover of humanities in a traditional sense. I don’t know how one could summarize him. You know plenty about him anyway. He’s quite unusual.

It is appropriate at this time of year to think back on the year and all of the years that have slipped by so quickly, and it is appropriate to begin with a Proust quote, for the subject of this remembrance was a great Proust student: Douwe Stuurman. University of California Professor Stuurman. My MA advisor for my degree in English. A man who influenced generations of students in his long teaching career. A mentor, teacher, friend.

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