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Free Will: The False Debate

Replying to this:

This whole debate is so ridiculous. There is nothing in science that could ever say whether choice is voluntary. It could only provide physical explanations for the way choice is constituted. Even if why we choose were said to be socially embedded, or latent, all that could be done, through therapy, is to give a person a heightened perspicuity for this as a phenomenon. It would be the same as giving a student a sense of ethics. To do anything more in this domain is to spread confusion.


The Age of Intoleration is Upon Us

... people misunderstand the times in which we live. They think that their opponents have "flipped a lid." In truth, however, we live now in the age of intolerance. Everyone believes what they do, and do so to the derision of its competition. And I don't mean that they are intellectually derisive; I mean precisely that they are NOT. We no longer know how to understand alternate points of view. For if we submitted to intellectualism FIRST, what would happen is that a large class of opposition could be seen as being reasonable. And this would both silence our own claims to truth as well as mute that class of belief which can only be seen as dogma and orthodoxy. And so, we live now in an age where what is true is what we like, and when others disagree, that is a problem for society, because, well, they are going against the truth.

Was Wittgenstein Right (Horwich)?

... pretty good stuff here.

But here is my only complaint. Characterizing Wittgenstein's negative attitudes about the field of philosophy, Horwich writes:

" There are no startling discoveries to be made ... 'from the armchair' through some blend of intuition, pure reason and conceptual analysis."

But was Wittgenstein himself doing philosophy? Because, if he was and he was right -- both of which seem true to me -- then philosophy did not fail; it merely ended. In fact, if Wittgenstein is right, philosophy was a success. It just took history's best thinker to put things we already knew in the right arrangement and the right light. This is an important distinction because it means that philosophy is far from worthless. It is simply a bunch of "thinking exercises," which, if contemplated properly, ends with the fly leaving the bottle. That is, it makes you smarter. I want to say: it was Wittgenstein who allowed us all to graduate.


First Three Substantive Course Topics are Up

.... Finally have 3 substantive topics up in my American political development class. Taking forever to do this.

Feudal Economics
Rise of Capitalism
Debt, Power & Risk

Dershowitz on Academia and Free Thought

... Alan Dershowitz on college campus, administrators, free speech & intellectual diversity.