Monthly Archives: July 2012

Comparing the Great Books of the Western World to the Harvard Classics (Part II): Assessing the Fiction Selections

For all that I took the Harvard Classics to the woodshed in the first part of this series, the Great Books of the Western World shall get their fill in this one.  Let me preface this post by saying that I will not too strongly impose my opinions upon the two sets of books, in the sense that I will only criticize selections on the basis of what I think is within the realm of acceptability.  That is, I will criticize those selections which wouldn’t make my top 100 fiction selections, let alone my top dozen or two.  Also, I will include epics in this discussion, and keep them separate from poetry, at least for the purposes of this post. Continue reading

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Filed under Great Books and Harvard Classics Series, Literature

Personal Statement on Epistemology

While discussing philosophy on a discussion board, I had a discussant levy the claim against me that I am a nihilist.  After telling this person that I am a scientist, a physicist, in fact, he or she flatly said that a scientist could not think as I do, told me to look at what I had previously said on the board, and that was the end of the conversation.  This was not the first time that someone completely failed to understand my position on epistemology, so I have decided to make my position plain.  First of all, I am not a nihilist, so let’s begin with my disposition and what I do believe. Continue reading

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3rd Annual Brian Bolton 2012 Essay Contest Submission

It is doubtful that I will ever again, in anyway, come close to touching upon the topic of religion, on this blog.  That a virtually endless tome would need to be written to properly convey my views —and still not surfeit— is certain.  (My approach to understanding religion is much more from the perspective of understanding the human condition throughout history.)  The essay I offer, here, is not oriented toward religion proper, so keep that in mind.  The subject of the essay is religious institutions.  As much as I will tend to avoid discussions on religion on this blog, institutions are open game.  Moreover, I treat religious institutions and their activities, just as I would if they were banks —and, in fact, all of the ones I have ever been familiar with have been banks, inefficient ones at that, whereof much money is given, little returned, and, like the bankers, its officials are well sartorially endowed.  At any rate, the attached is my entry to the 3rd Annual Brian Bolton Essay Competition essay competition.

In general, please do not leave comments that wander from the paper topic, because they will not make it to the discussion board.  Comments on the function of religious institutions or the relationship of individuals to it (sociological, psychological, and so) are welcome.

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