Why Stoicism

From Medium: The Inadequacies of the Invincible–On the Failure of Stoic Ethics Stoicism is not perfect–no philosophy is–but it works because it’s practical and realistic (wouldn’t it be awesome if one could make society conform to their own expectations, at whim–oh wait, Stalin tried that–apparently, when one tries to impose their values, it means others… Continue reading Why Stoicism

Postmodernism: not just for liberals

This article went viral: Don’t Major in Literature The author, Max Diamond, although mostly correct, despite the pretense of intellectualism, offers a reductionist conclusion: that postmodernism and nihilism are leftist constructs and are always wrong. I don’t think it’s that simple. Foucault, an exponent of the blank slate, denies the existence of an innate human… Continue reading Postmodernism: not just for liberals

Notes on Philosophy versus Politics

Why are philosophical opinions and philosophers more complicated than political opinions and politicians? Seems like a rhetorical question–philosophy is ‘smarter’ than politics. But what do we mean by smarter? My take is, philosophical positions, unlike political ones, don’t really ‘oppose’ each other. Philosophy is much more subtle than politics. For example, Kant vs. Schopenhauer on… Continue reading Notes on Philosophy versus Politics

The Philosophy-STEM alliance

As the Cowen vs. Rationalism spat shows, the harshest critics of rationalism are rationalists. Cowen, Noah, and Wilkinson, all of whom are smart, empirically minded, and Platonists, meet the criteria of being rationalists, and the Rationality community holds them in high regard. That’s part of what makes rationalism unique from other ‘cliques’. You wouldn’t expect… Continue reading The Philosophy-STEM alliance

Saving consequentialism and utilitarianism from the trolley car

From Bryan Caplan What’s Wrong With the Rationality Community,in which he criticizes utilitarianism and consequentialism: The first is consequentialist (or more specifically utilitarian) ethics. This view is vulnerable to many well-known, devastating counter-examples. But most people in the rationality community hastily and dogmatically reject them. Why? I say it’s aesthetic: One-sentence, algorithmic theories have great… Continue reading Saving consequentialism and utilitarianism from the trolley car

The Tyler Cowen-Rationality feud is getting out of hand

A brouhaha has erupted between Tyler Cowen and the Rationality community over comments made in an interview with Ezra Klein, in in which Tyler Cowen, in an uncharacteristic outburst of candidness, lambasted the Rationality community for what he perceives as religiosity and homogeneity: But I would approve of them much more if they called themselves… Continue reading The Tyler Cowen-Rationality feud is getting out of hand

Reactionary Future, MacIntyre, and Communitarianism

This is many months old but deserves mentioning; in his penultimate post, Reactionary Future (RF) retires from bogging, expressing frustration with what he perceives as NRx decaying into just another derivative form of Protestantism/Calvinism in the tradition of Mises, Hume, Adam Smith etc. Here are some pertinent passages: I have become extremely convinced that the… Continue reading Reactionary Future, MacIntyre, and Communitarianism

Guided by the ‘correctness’ of our opinions

Scott’s article GUIDED BY THE BEAUTY OF OUR WEAPONS is going viral. He writes: Yet I have the opposite impression. Somehow a sharply polarized country went through a historically divisive election with essentially no debate taking place. As shown below, going as far back as 100 years, with the exception of FDR (everyone was united… Continue reading Guided by the ‘correctness’ of our opinions

Materialism and Empircisim are Easy; Idealism is Hard

Empiricism vs Idealism: Empiricism begins with the hypothesis that there is an objective reality independent of humanity and we may use inductive logic to learn about this reality through our senses. We can experiment and test the validity of our ideas. The scientific method is a method of empirical testing to prevent common fallacies and… Continue reading Materialism and Empircisim are Easy; Idealism is Hard

The ‘Universal Person’

Some Desultory Remarks on the Concept of “Universal Person” This superior being, then, imagines himself a disembodied entity made of pure thought, and accordingly, where he positively defines his identity at all, defines it in terms of ideology. His loyalties and allegiances lie not with other people, but exclusively to the Ideal- namely, Universal Democracy,… Continue reading The ‘Universal Person’