Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth – more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible; thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habits; thought is anarchic and lawless, indifferent to authority, careless of the well-tried wisdom of the ages. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Continue reading Bertrand Russell on Thinking
Martin Hägglund’s, This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom, is one of the most sublime books I’ve ever read—and I’ve devoured thousands of books in my life. It is a work of great erudition and originality; it is carefully and conscientiously crafted; it overflows with thoughtful insights, poetic passages, and sparkling prose. It is, quite simply, a masterpiece. Continue reading Martin Hägglund’s, This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom
My friend Ed Gibney has written on each and every one of the thought experiments in Julian Baggini’s, The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten: 100 Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher. Gibney has also summarized his own 100 blog posts on Baggini’s 100 thought experiments in “What I learned from 100 Philosophy Thought Experiments.” (Here is his summary of, and my brief commentary on, Baggini’s thought experiments.) Continue reading Summary of “the pig that wants to be eaten”
In 1930 the historian and philosopher Will Durant—who was at that time a famous public intellectual—received a number of letters from persons declaring their intent to commit suicide. The letters asked him for reasons to go on living. In response Durant asked a number of luminaries for their views on the meaning of life, publishing those responses in his 1932 book, On the Meaning of Life. Continue reading Finding Meaning in a Life Prison Sentence
Messier 92 in the Hercules constellation.
My friend Lawrence Rifkin MD. published a wonderful piece in Scientific American, “The Logic and Beauty of Cosmological Natural Selection.” Rifkin argues that “The hypothesis [of] cosmological natural selection, and its power, beauty, and logic provide what may be the best scientific explanation for the existence of complexity and life in the universe.” Continue reading What is Cosmological Natural Selection?