Tag Archives: philosophy

Moving into a Professorship in Philosophy and Some Thoughts on Class Structure

A little bit unusual for my blog, I am posting a personal update, which may interest various people for various reasons.  This next year should be a rather interesting year in my intellectual development: I have taken a post as adjunct professor of philosophy at one of the United States’ largest community college, the Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, PA —a seven-campus college.  I will be at the main campus, the Allegheny Campus.  Since Indiana University’s Department of History and Philosophy of Science doesn’t grant undergraduate degrees, teaching assignments for graduate students are scarce with so few in-department undergraduate courses, especially for grads in their first two years, I felt it important that I find and take on, at the very least, a one-year appointment as a lecturer, hence the desire to take on an adjunct professorship.  Teaching is an important part of the academician’s craft as a whole.  Continue reading

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Filed under Education, Personal, Philosophy

Between Feynman in Babylon and Metaphysics: What the Mathematical Process and the History of Science Can Tell Us Philosophically about the Education Process

Since I have spent the summer studying mathematics at Harvard University with Jameel Al-Aidroos (Ph.D Berkeley), expect that my next few posts, or at least some of them, will be on topics related to mathematics.  I want to take some time, in this blog post, to look at where mathematical thought fits into some of my understandings of I have gleaned from studying the history of science.  The upshot of the historical, philosophical, and mathematical content and musings will be pedagogical, just to give the reader some idea of where I am going.  An important thing to understand, before reading this post, is the distinction between pure and applied mathematics.  “Pure mathematics,” as opposed to “applied mathematics,” is, in its essence, math for its own sake, entirely apart from possible applications.  In many cases, pure mathematics initially has no known application.  Additionally, pure mathematics deals with abstract entities that have been detached from particular entities —and this will prove to be important to what I will say later.

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Filed under Education, History and Philosophy of Science, History of Science, Mathematics, Philosophy, Philosophy of Mathematics

A Philosophical Thought on the Oasis of Life on Mt. Pisgah

If I am not careful, I am going to begin sounding like my friend, Matt Segall —not a bad thing, just this blog post’s content is more his forte than it is my typical fare.  I was recently hiking Mt. Pisgah, which is in North Carolina, and I was struck by some ideas; dualities in reflection, mostly.  Near the top of the craggy trail, which is hardly “moderate,” as at least one website claimed, I chanced upon a tree and shrubbery-like growth that looked like something out of a movie. Continue reading

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Filed under Eastern Philosophy, Personal, Philosophy, Pure Philosophy, Science

Feynman on the Necessity of Philosophy for the Progress of Physics

Serendipity often leads to some of our most fruitful realizations, creative ideas, and understanding —and are even responsible for our most citation-worthy bits of supporting information.  Such is the case to be discussed here.  It so happened that, just after writing the blog in response to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s ignorant position on philosophy, I read Richard P. Feynman’s The Character of Physical Law to unwind.  The Nobel laureate was always notoriously, even devilishly, anti-philosophy. Continue reading

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Filed under Education, Philosophy, Physics, Popular Science, Science

On Argumentation in the Mind-Body Dualism Debate and Mike A. Robinson

There is a fellow by the name of Mike A. Robinson running about and self-publishing just about everything he writes, blogging the rest.  I have yet to find, within the expanse of his writings, anything that is particularly good or well informed.  I stumbled upon one of his blog postings, entitled “The Brain and the Mind Are Not Identical,” and I felt it was closely enough related to my last blog post that I should comment on it.  Originally, my intention was to demonstrate how assumptions made by any side of a debate, such as the free-will/determinism and soul/no-soul debates, make it unlikely that we will ever have a clear and definitive answer; but this blog has turned into a review of Mike A. Robinson, as an author.  I cannot recommend avoiding his writings enough.

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Filed under Cognitive Science, Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind

A Response to “The Brain on Trial”

I want to take a look at an article published in the Atlantic a few years ago, called “The Brain on Trial” by David Eagleman.  (The link to the original article can be found here by clicking on this sentence.)  I will not critique the general legal conclusion that Eagleman pushes for, because I largely agree with him, i.e., the conclusion that neuroscience can be used to determine whether some temporary abnormality can and should exculpate an alleged criminal offender.[1]  What I will address is the sloppy philosophy that Eagleman performs.  I do appreciate that Eagleman is well aware of the intellectual domains of which he speaks, but his craft in each varies widely —his philosophy, in particular, needs critiquing.

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Filed under Cognitive Science, Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Science, Science

Understanding the Role of Kant’s Antinomies in Refuting Transcendental Realism

In one of my first blog posts, I posted the notes for help in understanding the role Kant’s antinomies play in the refutation of transcendental realism.  It was just a skeleton of references and bits of commentary over a secondary sources and the first Critique.  I have recently been impelled to flesh out this skeleton.  The essay presented is a work in progress.  Continue reading

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Filed under Kantian Philosophy, Philosophy, Pure Philosophy