Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

Ormesson: C’est une chose étrange à la fin que le monde

Friday, January 16th, 2015

The Thread in the Labyrinth One fine July morning, under a pounding sun, I began to wonder where we had come from, where we were going, and what we were doing on this Earth.

A lecture on the meaning of life

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Recommended Reading             Shakespeare, Tragedies             Bible: (Ecclesiastes)             Nagel, T. (1971) “The Absurd.”The Journal of Philosophy 68, pp. 716-27.             Camus, A. (1942) Le Mythe de Sisyphe, Editions Gallimard:Paris Introduction The question of the Meaning of Life is one of those questions that the layman thinks should be at the very heart of the philosophical ...

A Decent Left Book Club

Monday, November 10th, 2014

At Harry’s Place Gene is seeking suggestions for a list of books that are appropriate for the ‘Decent Left’. His readers are an erudite bunch and have come up with a vast number of suggestions. I’ve collected the good suggestions from that post and its comments here. Anne Applebaum, Iron Curtain: ...

On the Question of Yoga as a Religious Practice

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

There is a question whether Yoga is necessarily a religion or whether it is possible to be a practitioner and remain, for example, a good Christian. Now, ‘Yoga’ is the name of a wide variety of beliefs and practices – we might compare it to the Dao of the classical ...

Thoughts arising from the problem of ‘proportionality’ in Just War Theory

Friday, August 29th, 2014

HAMAS vs Israel In the recent ‘war’ between the HAMAS government of the Gaza Strip and Israel, there have been a lot of accusations that the Israeli action is ‘disproportionate’. The principal fact that seems to be motivating this accusation is that the death and injury toll of Gazans claimed by ...

The Rights of Zombies

Monday, February 10th, 2014

An article by Peter at Conscious Entities considers the question of whether philosophical zombies have rights. It seems to me that under most forms of ethical theory that have been attractive to philosophers they would do. Let’s consider them systematically: (a) Teleological theories a.1 – Consequences are Utilities A consequentialist theory – if ...

The Evolutes of Prakriti

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

In the course of researching the Samkhya cosmogony, I noticed that the diagrams indicate a great variety of interpretations. I thought it would be interesting to display them here.    

Is Confucianism a Religion?

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Peter Berger in The American Interest (February 15, 2012) asks: ‘Is Confucianism a Religion?’ It’s an old question and Berger himself goes through some of the issues involved – though he does not much consider the many ways that ‘Confucianism’ (ru jia) changed over time, some of which seemed to ...

Does Mars have Value?

Saturday, February 4th, 2012


How we got Rights

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

In a review (“Utopia Lost” Democracy #19, 2011) of The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History by Samuel Moyn (Harvard University Press, 2010) Yehudah Mirsky begins by noting that “many claim that these rights have a long ancestry in the history of human thought” and that Moyn’s preliminary historical survey shows ...