Julian Sanchez header image 4

photos by Lara Shipley

Entries Tagged as 'General Philosophy'

Grasping Reality With Our Gelatinous Meatsacks

March 29th, 2010 · 63 Comments

Will Wilkinson is a little snarky about it, but basically right: Freddie DeBoer’s post on naturalism and the skeptical conclusions that follow from it is fuzzy philosophy. (The Sam Harris TED talk he’s riffing on is worse, but that’s another story.)  Regular readers will recognize this as one of my minor obsessions, an instance of […]

[Read more →]

Tags: General Philosophy

Ten Books

March 23rd, 2010 · 5 Comments

It’s been a while since we had a good blogmeme, but this past week a slew of my favorite writers have been playing the “name ten books that influenced you” game.  Scanning my shelf, the ones that jump out: Code — Lawrence Lessig I can trace my interest in most of the core issues I’ve […]

[Read more →]

Tags: General Philosophy · Language and Literature

Conservative Philosophy Returns?

December 23rd, 2009 · 19 Comments

A long New York Times profile this weekend advances the proposition that philosopher Robert P. George—whose work I first encountered back in college—is now “this country’s most influential Christian conservative thinker.” I have my doubts, but to the extent the profile itself helps make the claim more true, that’ll be welcome.  Andrew Sullivan argues—and I […]

[Read more →]

Tags: General Philosophy · Journalism & the Media

The Illusion of the Illusion of Free Will

December 21st, 2009 · 56 Comments

I’ve written about this at some length before, but I want to quickly repeat the point because I keep seeing reader submissions to Andrew Sullivan’s running colloquy on free will that make a point to the effect that, whatever the metaphysical truth of the matter, we all have this “illusion of free will,” and ordinary […]

[Read more →]

Tags: General Philosophy

Zizek on Hayek

December 11th, 2009 · 17 Comments

This is put a bit more bluntly than anything Hayek says, but I do think there’s a strand of it running through some of his arguments: What Rawls doesn’t see is how [a society based on the Difference Principle] would create conditions for an uncontrolled explosion of resentment: in it, I would know that my […]

[Read more →]

Tags: General Philosophy · Markets

Two Thoughts on Searle at Google

December 9th, 2009 · 30 Comments

John Searle makes a game attempt to give an account—what Nozick would call a “philosophical explanation”—of how there could possibly be free will, of what it would have to look like if there were, in spite of all the familiar problems with the concept. He admits, frankly enough, that it is a loose and sketchy […]

[Read more →]

Tags: General Philosophy

Zizek @ Google

December 8th, 2009 · 12 Comments

What can I say, despite myself, I’ve got a soft spot for the old Marxist.

[Read more →]

Tags: General Philosophy

Counterintuitive or Counterlinguistic?

December 2nd, 2009 · 19 Comments

Will Wilson at Postmodern Conservative suggests that I must have an extraordinarily strong commitment to reductionism if I’m prepared to bite the bullet and accept the “no further fact” thesis about personal identity, which runs “contrary what every fiber of my being tells me.” Apparently my fibers sing a different tune, since I can’t say […]

[Read more →]

Tags: General Philosophy

Sandel’s Justice

December 2nd, 2009 · 5 Comments

Most of Michael Sandel’s series Justice is now up and streaming for your viewing pleasure. In my wildest Tooth Fairy dreams, this show is more popular than American Idol and there are dozens of Twitter hashtags devoted to the issues in each episode that people are collectively mulling. It’s a wonderful introduction to serious moral […]

[Read more →]

Tags: General Philosophy

Don’t Go Lawnmower Man Just Yet…

November 30th, 2009 · 242 Comments

Robin Hanson defends his enthusiasm for silicon immortality against an incredulous Bryan Caplan, whose “I refute it thus” one-ups Dr. Johnson’s stone-kicking with an imagined shotgun blast to the brainpan. I’m sympathetic to Hanson’s response, and I think Caplan’s position is mostly voodoo in philosophy drag, but let’s be clear that there are a couple […]

[Read more →]

Tags: General Philosophy