Santayana as pragmatist

I’m largely skeptical of placing George Santayana in the same category as other American pragmatists, but he does have his moments.  I stumbled across this great little nugget, which mirrors the late 20th century American pragmatic thinkers (and, in some ways, post-moderns): [W]e are human beings thinking in moral terms, and we give the name […]

John Dewey’s birthday…

John Dewey was born on this day (20 October, 1859).  Celebrate by trying to develop a creative new solution to an old problem. We thus reach a technical definition of education: It is that reconstruction or reorganization of experience which adds to the meaning of experience, and which increases ability to direct the course of […]

“American Philosopher”, part 2

Short film #2 in Phillip McReynolds‘s American Philosopher series offers a few pieces of information that divide up into histories of the early lives of contemporary American philosophers and the early life of philosophy in historic America. The former, tales about the temptations of philosophy in the early lives of modern thinkers, makes up the […]

“American Philosopher”, part 1

  There are a couple of nice little nuggets I’d like to pull out of this second video of American Philosopher.  First, I was excited to see the late John E. Smith join the video as an interviewee, though he seemed not to be mentioned in the teaser.  Smith was a great distiller of good […]

“American Philosopher”, part 0

There’s a new film (or series of eight rather short films, I guess) by Phillip McReynolds called American Philosopher.  You can watch the whole thing online, and it’s a pleasure that I recommend taking.  Quite frankly, it seems mostly to be a bunch of spliced-together interviews with a few major living (or recently living) academic […]

When is x + x = x more true than x + x = 2x?

Disclaimer: these thoughts are a bit raw and not well explained here, but I need to start posting to develop my thoughts more.  Disclaimer 2: yes, x can be 0. Okay, admittedly, the title of this post sounds like a dumb question.  And while I know that in most cases, the former answer is the […]

A fun set of hypotheticals…

Everyone you know that has watched a commercial for Bob’s NewWidget purchases Bob’s NewWidget and thinks that it is the greatest invention. You are given the opportunity to watch the commercial.  Do you take it? Everyone you know that has taken a certain drug BNW purchases Bob’s NewWidget and thinks that it is the greatest […]

Is there a little paradox here?

Mull briefly on this claim: Any argument which stems ultimately from induction, because it is based on generalizing from a limited observation rather than from the whole set of data, cannot be verified to be true. Is it self-referencing, self-refuting, defensible, or something else?

On Bullshit: Studying for the GRE

I would like to think that there is something meaningful manifest in the fact  that I happened upon Dr. Harry Frankfurt‘s somewhat-philosophical work On Bullshit on the same day that I started doing actual practice essays for my upcoming GRE.  Frankfurt’s piece is remarkably short, and contains a few interesting observations about the supposed nature […]

Apparently, I am reading Wittgenstein

It feels, once again, like time to ping-back to the internet (I’m here, big guy!).  I caught a lot of hype a week ago about abandoned blogs (the New York Times claims 95% are dead!), so I thought I would at least make some feeble attempt at proving to myself that I can keep writing […]