Who would win in a knife fight between all the philsophers. Unlike the United States Presidency, Philosophy has been going on for thousands of years, so instead of 44 contestants there are a whopping 89. Don’t be afraid of the numbers, for I guarantee you won’t get bored; philosophers are a very interesting bunch of people, and the most rewarding part of this post has been researching their lives and finding out how crazy they all are. This will be a wild knife fight. [more inside]
Hysteria and Teenage Girls - How Justin Bieber, The Beatles, Morrissey, Franz Liszt, the Salem Witch Trials and the invention of the vibrator might all be related.
"During his days as Harvard’s influential president, Dr. Charles W. Eliot made a frequent assertion: If you were to spend just 15 minutes a day reading the right books, a quantity that could fit on a five-foot shelf, you could give yourself a proper liberal education. Publisher P. F. Collier and Son loved the idea and asked Eliot to compile and edit the right collection of works. The result: a 51-volume series of classic works from world literature published in 1909 called Dr. Eliot’s Five Foot Shelf, which would later be called The Harvard Classics." (Via) [more inside]
"The whole endeavour of the consciousness studies community is absurd – they are in pursuit of a chimera" - Peter Hacker on philosophy
"In order for somebody to understand something, belief is a necessary precondition." On Descartes vs. Spinoza, the necessity of the suspension of disbelief to the creation of belief, the rarity of skepticism and the myths we refuse to stop telling ourselves. Finance blogger Edward Harrison of Credit Writedowns uses an essay by analyst by analyst James Montier citing the work of Daniel Gilbert to ponder whether we are doomed to be destroyed by distraction, and suggests that " financial calamity and economic collapse are really the only way" to destroy the Efficient Markets Hypothosis.
A letter by Rene Descartes, stolen in 1840s, recovered in 2010 by online detective work. The letter was stolen by Guglielmo Libri, inspector general of the libraries of France, who stole thousands of valuable documents and fled to England in 1848. Since 1902 it's been in the collection of Haverford College, its contents unknown to scholars, and nobody there realized that it was an unknown letter. But because they had catalogued it and recently put their catalogue on line, Dutch philosopher Erik-Jan Bos found it "during a late-night session browsing the Internet". (A Haverford undergraduate thirty years ago had translated it and written a paper on it, in which he recognized that the letter was unknown -- but nobody followed up and the letter had sat in the library since then until it was listed online.) The letter includes some last-minute edits to the Meditations, and some thoughts on God as causa sui. Haverford, whose president was a philosophy major, is returning the letter to the Institut de France.
The Cornell Historical Math Monographs archive has a great many famous papers, including works by De Morgan, Hamilton, Descartes (warning: French) and of course Lewis Carroll. [more inside]
Philosophy (digested). Julian Baggini reads philosophy classics, so you don't have to. Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Ayer (“Sex is empirically verifiable, it’s only love that ain’t”). OK, its a rip-off of John Crace (prev) but at least these are books you should have read.
From the award-winning comic series ACTION PHILOSOPHERS! comes these biographies of the titans of thought! Thrill to the killer koans of Bam-Bam Bodhidharma! Shudder before the noble savagery of Terrible Thomas Jefferson! And enjoy (Or pick apart) tales of Crusher Carl Jung, Nasty Niccolo Machiavelli, Rowdy Rene Descartes, uh, Terribler Thomas Aquinas, The Pre-Socratics, and Gentleman John Stewart Mill!(Scroll down)
I Feel, Therefore I Am. Consider the work of Dr. Antonio Damasio, humanist and neuroscientist, who has turned the Mind and Body debate between René Descartes and Benedictus de Spinoza upon its head--or at least the heads of Phineas Gage and one Elliott--via his research and writings such as The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness, Descartes' Error: Emotion, reason, and the human brain and Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain. He's influenced writers like Ian McEwan and David Lodge, and via his thoughts on the perception of music, inspired a composition. (More Inside)
What on earth does this company do? I've been staring at this sentence for hours and still can't figure it out. "Descartes powers the next generation of collaborative logistics management on a global scale, providing customers with Internet-based capabilities to optimally manage nChain processes." More business babble inside!