Friday, December 30, 2011
The concept has been given an axiomatic mathematical derivation in probability theory, which is used widely in such areas of study as mathematics, statistics, finance, gambling, science, artificial intelligence/machine learning and philosophy to, for example, draw inferences about the likeliness of events. Probability is used to describe the underlying mechanics and regularities of complex systems.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
We usually become this way through "trying to get along." We do not have the moral courage to "lead our own lives" and set up our own projects. Instead, we drift from thing to thing, being "controlled," so we think, by external circumstances.--Sartre
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Friday, December 23, 2011
In contrast to telos, techne is the rational method involved in producing an object or accomplishing a goal or objective; however, the two methods are not mutually exclusive in principle.
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Read more: http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Buddhism/Galleries/What-Do-Mahayana-Buddhists-Believe.aspx?p=2#ixzz1h9lJdfX9
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Saturday, December 17, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
--The Eumenides, Aeschylus
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011
No one talks about the possibility that advertising is detrimental to society because it distracts people from achieving a higher human potential?
Friday, December 2, 2011
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Saturday, November 26, 2011
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Friday, November 25, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
The Pythian Oracle (Oracle of Delphi) reportedly answered the question of "who is the wisest man of Greece?" with "Socrates!" Socrates defends this verdict in his Apology to the effect that he, at least, knows that he knows nothing. As is evident in Plato's portrayals of Socrates, this does not mean Socrates' wisdom was the same as knowing nothing; but rather that his skepticism towards his own self-made constructions of knowledge left him free to receive true Wisdom as a spontaneous insight or inspiration. This contrasted with the attitude of contemporaneous Greek Sophists, who claimed to be wise and offered to teach wisdom for pay.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Culture jamming is often seen as a form of subvertising. Many culture jams are intended to expose apparently questionable political assumptions behind commercial culture. Common tactics include re-figuring logos, fashion statements, and product images as a means to challenge the idea of "what's cool" along with assumptions about the personal freedoms of consumption.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
The early 19th century philosopher Søren Kierkegaard is regarded as the father of existentialism. He maintained that the individual is solely responsible for giving his or her own life meaning and for living that life passionately and sincerely, in spite of many existential obstacles and distractions including despair, angst, absurdity, alienation, and boredom.
Subsequent existentialist philosophers retain the emphasis on the individual, but differ, in varying degrees, on how one achieves and what constitutes a fulfilling life, what obstacles must be overcome, and what external and internal factors are involved, including the potential consequences of the existence or non-existence of God. Many existentialists have also regarded traditional systematic or academic philosophy, in both style and content, as too abstract and remote from concrete human experience. Existentialism became fashionable in the post-World War years as a way to reassert the importance of human individuality and freedom.
Existentialism is sometimes referred to as a continental philosophy, referring to the continental part of Europe, as opposed to that practiced in Britain at that time, which was called analytic philosophy, and mostly dealt with analyzing language.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Philosophers such as Plato (427-347 BCE) and his student, Aristotle (384-322 BCE), believed that leisure was necessary for the citizen to realize his excellence and his full humanity in service to the polis (the association, community, city-state such as Athens or Sparta). They believe that the polis needs leisured citizens to exercise leadership, labourers being too degraded and distracted by their occupations to perform this role. The discourses of these philosophers are largely directed to a leisured class of men who ‘rule and are ruled in turn’ (Pol. 1252a16-17).
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
To every man there openeth
A way and ways and a way;
And the high soul climbs the high way,
And the low soul gropes the low;
And in the misty flats
The rest drift to and fro;
But to every man openeth
A high way and a low;
And every man decideth
The way his soul shall go.
- John Oxenham
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
Probability is a way of expressing knowledge or belief that an event will occur or has occurred. The concept has an exact mathematical meaning in probability theory, which is used extensively in such areas of study as mathematics, statistics, finance, gambling, science, artificial intelligence/machine learning and philosophy to draw conclusions about the likelihood of potential events and the underlying mechanics of complex systems.
Monday, June 20, 2011
"Modern analytical empiricism [...] differs from that of Locke, Berkeley, and Hume by its incorporation of mathematics and its development of a powerful logical technique. It is thus able, in regard to certain problems, to achieve definite answers, which have the quality of science rather than of philosophy. It has the advantage, as compared with the philosophies of the system-builders, of being able to tackle its problems one at a time, instead of having to invent at one stroke a block theory of the whole universe. Its methods, in this respect, resemble those of science. I have no doubt that, in so far as philosophical knowledge is possible, it is by such methods that it must be sought; I have also no doubt that, by these methods, many ancient problems are completely soluble."
Legal positivism is a school of thought of philosophy of law and jurisprudence, largely developed by nineteenth-century legal thinkers like Jeremy Bentham and John Austin. The principal claims of modern legal positivism are that:
There is not any inherent or necessary association between the validity conditions of law and ethics or morality.
Laws are rules made, whether deliberately or unintentionally, by human beings.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
"First, individual rights cannot be sacrificed for the sake of the general good, and second, the principles of justice that specify these rights cannot be premised on any particular vision of the good life. What justifies the rights is not that they maximize the general welfare or otherwise promote the good, but rather that they comprise a fair framework within which individuals and groups can choose their own values and ends, consistent with a similar liberty for others."
— Michael J. Sandel (Liberalism and Its Critics)
Did you read this New York Times article by Thomas Friedman: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/15/opinion/15friedman.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha212
Should David Letterman be paid 700 times more than a school teacher?
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
In common law legal systems, a precedent or authority is a legal case establishing a principle or rule that a court or other judicial body may utilize when deciding subsequent cases with similar issues or facts. Black's Law Dictionary defines "precedent" as a "rule of law established for the first time by a court for a particular type of case and thereafter referred to in deciding similar cases."
The categorical imperative is the central philosophical concept in the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant, as well as modern deontological ethics. Introduced in Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, it may be defined as a way of evaluating motivations for action.
According to Kant, human beings occupy a special place in creation, and morality can be summed up in one ultimate commandment of reason, or imperative, from which all duties and obligations derive. He defined an imperative as any proposition that declares a certain action (or inaction) to be necessary.
"Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law."
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
Competition is a contest between individuals, groups, animals, etc. for territory, a niche, or a location of resources. It arises whenever two or more parties strive for a goal which cannot be shared. Competition occurs naturally between living organisms which co-exist in the same environment. For example, animals compete over water supplies, food, and mates, etc. Humans compete for water, food, and mates, though when these needs are met deep rivalries often arise over the pursuit of wealth, prestige, and fame. Business is often associated with competition as most companies are in competition with at least one other firm over the same group of customers.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Eternalism (philosophy of time)
Eternalism is a philosophical approach to the ontological nature of time, which takes the view that all points in time are equally "real", as opposed to the presentist idea that only the present is real. Modern advocates often take inspiration from the way time is modeled as a dimension in the theory of relativity, giving time a similar ontology to that of space (although the basic idea dates back at least to McTaggart's B-Theory of time, first published in The Unreality of Time in 1908, only 3 years after the first paper on relativity). This would mean that time is just another dimension, that future events are "already there", and that there is no objective flow of time. It is sometimes referred to as the "Block Time" or "Block Universe" theory due to its description of space-time as an unchanging four-dimensional "block", as opposed to the view of the world as a three-dimensional space modulated by the passage of time.
Two contrasting viewpoints on time divide many prominent philosophers. One view is that time is part of the fundamental structure of the universe, a dimension in which events occur in sequence. Sir Isaac Newton subscribed to this realist view, and hence it is sometimes referred to as Newtonian time. Time travel, in this view, becomes a possibility as other "times" persist like frames of a film strip, spread out across the time line. The opposing view is that time does not refer to any kind of "container" that events and objects "move through", nor to any entity that "flows", but that it is instead part of a fundamental intellectual structure (together with space and number) within which humans sequence and compare events. This second view, in the tradition of Gottfried Leibniz and Immanuel Kant, holds that time is neither an event nor a thing, and thus is not itself measurable nor can it be travelled.
Temporal measurement has occupied scientists and technologists, and was a prime motivation in navigation and astronomy. Periodic events and periodic motion have long served as standards for units of time. Examples include the apparent motion of the sun across the sky, the phases of the moon, the swing of a pendulum, and the beat of a heart. Currently, the international unit of time, the second, is defined in terms of radiation emitted by caesium atoms (see below). Time is also of significant social importance, having economic value ("time is money") as well as personal value, due to an awareness of the limited time in each day and in human life spans.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Saturday, May 21, 2011
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Friday, May 20, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe
The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom
During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life.-Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding,by David Hume:
Friday, May 13, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
The writer Umberto Eco belongs to that small class of scholars who are encyclopedic, insightful, and non dull. He is the owner of a large personal library (containing thirty thousand books), and separates visitors into two categories: those who react with 'Wow! Signore professore dottore Eco, what a library you have! How many of these books have you read?' and the others - a very small minority - who get the point that a private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means, mortgage rates, and the currently tight read-estate market allows you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menacingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary.
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Sunday, April 10, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Philistinism is a derogatory term used to describe a particular attitude or set of values. A person called a Philistine (in the relevant sense) is said to despise or undervalue art, beauty, intellectual content, or spiritual values. Philistines are also said to be materialistic, to favor conventional social values unthinkingly, and to favor forms of art that have a cheap and easy appeal (e.g. kitsch).
Goethe had several comments on the type. "The Philistine not only ignores all conditions of life which are not his own but also demands that the rest of mankind should fashion its mode of existence after his own", and "What is a philistine? A hollow gut, full of fear and hope that God will have mercy!"
Philistinism affords a contrast to Bohemianism, as the character of a smugly conventional bourgeois social group perceived to lack all the desirably soulful 'bohemian' characteristics, especially an artistic temperament and a broad cultural horizon open to the avant-garde. The 'Philistines' embodied a smug, anti-intellectual threatening majority, in the 'culture wars' of the 19th century.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Emerson gradually moved away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating and expressing the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his 1836 essay, Nature. Following this ground-breaking work, he gave a speech entitled The American Scholar in 1837, which Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. considered to be America's "Intellectual Declaration of Independence". Considered one of the great lecturers of the time, Emerson had an enthusiasm and respect for his audience that enraptured crowds.
Emerson wrote most of his important essays as lectures first, then revised them for print. His first two collections of essays – Essays: First Series and Essays: Second Series, published respectively in 1841 and 1844 – represent the core of his thinking, and include such well-known essays as Self-Reliance, The Over-Soul, Circles, The Poet and Experience. Together with Nature, these essays made the decade from the mid-1830s to the mid-1840s Emerson's most fertile period.
Emerson wrote on a number of subjects, never espousing fixed philosophical tenets, but developing certain ideas such as individuality, freedom, the ability for man to realize almost anything, and the relationship between the soul and the surrounding world. Emerson's "nature" was more philosophical than naturalistic; "Philosophically considered, the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul."
While his writing style can be seen as somewhat impenetrable, and was thought so even in his own time, Emerson's essays remain one of the linchpins of American thinking, and Emerson's work has influenced nearly every generation of thinker, writer and poet since his time. When asked to sum up his work, he said his central doctrine was "the infinitude of the private man."[
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Main article: The Prince
Lorenzo di Piero de' Medici to whom the final version of the Prince was dedicated.
Niccolò Machiavelli’s best-known book concentrates on the possibility of a "new prince", rather than the more traditional subject of a hereditary prince. To retain power, the hereditary prince must carefully maintain the socio-political institutions to which the people are accustomed; whereas a new prince has the more difficult task in ruling, since he must first stabilize his new-found power in order to build an enduring political structure. That requires the prince being concerned with reputation but also being willing to act immorally. As a political scientist, Machiavelli emphasises the occasional need for the methodical exercise of brute force, deceit, and so on.
Notwithstanding some mitigating themes, the Catholic Church proscribed The Prince, registering it to the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, and humanists also viewed the book negatively, among them, Erasmus of Rotterdam. As a treatise, its primary intellectual contribution to the history of political thought is the fundamental break between political Realism and political Idealism — thus, The Prince is a manual to acquiring and keeping political power. In contrast with Plato and Aristotle, Machiavelli insisted that an imaginary ideal society is not the model for a prince to orient himself by.
Concerning the differences and similarities in Machiavelli's advice to ruthless and tyrannical princes in The Prince and his more republican exhortations in Discourses on Livy, many have concluded that The Prince although written in the form of advice for a monarchical prince, contains arguments for the superiority of republican regimes, similar to those found in the Discourses. In the 18th century the work was even called a satire, for example by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. More recently, commentators such as Leo Strauss and Harvey Mansfield have agreed that the Prince can be read as having a deliberate comical irony. Other commentators have not seen the irony as deliberate comedy, but most commentators agree that the Prince is republican to some extent.
Antonio Gramsci argued that Machiavelli's audience for this work was not even the ruling class but the common people because the rulers already knew these methods through their education.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure ("I loved that meal") to intense interpersonal attraction ("I love my partner"). "Love" can also refer specifically to the passionate desire and intimacy of romantic love, to the sexual love of eros (cf. Greek words for love), to the emotional closeness of familial love, or to the platonic love that defines friendship, to the profound oneness or devotion of religious love. This diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, even compared to other emotional states.
Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.