Sunday, April 24, 2011

Eyes Cannot See Him...

Eye cannot see him, nor words reveal him;
by the senses, austerity, or works he is not known.
When the mind is cleansed by the grace of wisdom, he is seen by contemplation--the One without parts.
Mundaka Upanishad

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The PhilosophyTweet Anti-Library

Taleb's The Black Swan: "Read books are far less valuable than unread ones." (He attributes the "anti-library" to Umberto Eco.

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

Correlates of The Law of Identity

The Principle of Excluded Middle, along with its complement, the Law of Contradiction, are correlates of the Law of Identity; the first principle of thought (reason). Because the principle of identity intellectually partitions the Universe into exactly two parts: ‘self’ and ‘other, it creates a dichotomy wherein the two parts are ‘mutually exclusive’ and ‘jointly exhaustive’. The principle of contradiction is merely an expression of the mutually exclusive aspect of that dichotomy, and the principle of excluded middle is an expression of its jointly exhaustive aspect.


Ataraxia was synonymous with the only true happiness possible for a person. It signifies the state of robust tranquility that derives from eschewing faith in an afterlife, not fearing the gods because they are distant and unconcerned with us, avoiding politics and vexatious people, surrounding oneself with trustworthy and affectionate friends and, most importantly, being an affectionate, virtuous person, worthy of trust.