All posts by John Messerly

Arthur C. Brooks: “Three Equations for a Happy Life”

The Three Equations for a Happy Life, Even During a Pandemic” in “The Atlantic.” I generally don’t like his work as he is a  religious and political ideologue. He was president for a decade of the ultra-conservative American Enterprise Institute, and he was converted to Catholicism after he believed the Virgin Mary appeared to him. I’m not kidding. Continue reading Arthur C. Brooks: “Three Equations for a Happy Life”

Critical Thinking & COVID-19: Argument Against Expertise

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Critical Thinking & COVID-19: Argument Against Expertise
by Professor

In a previous essay, I went over the argument from authority and the standards to use to distinguish between credible and non-credible experts. While people often make the mistake of treating non-experts as credible sources, they also make the mistake of rejecting credible experts because the experts are experts. Continue reading Critical Thinking & COVID-19: Argument Against Expertise

Philosophy cannot resolve the question ‘How should we live?’

</p> <p>Medical workers in Wuhan embrace. 8 April 2020. <em>Photo by Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty</em></p> <p>

The question How should we live? is one that many ask in a crisis, jolted out of normal patterns of life. But that question is not always a simple request for a straightforward answer, as if we could somehow read off the ‘correct’ answer from the world. Continue reading Philosophy cannot resolve the question ‘How should we live?’

Critical Thinking & COVID-19: Argument from Authoritarianism

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Critical Thinking & COVID-19: Argument from Authoritarian
by Professor

While it would be irrational to reject medical claims of health care experts in favor of those made by President Trump, there are those who do just that. Considerations of why people do this is mainly a matter of psychology, but the likely errors in reasoning are a matter for philosophy. Continue reading Critical Thinking & COVID-19: Argument from Authoritarianism

Everything Is Meaningless – But That’s Okay

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(Originally published at 3 Quarks Daily. Reprinted by permission.)
by Charlie Huenemann

What would it be for life to have a “meaning”? What does it mean when people say life is meaningful? I’m not sure, so let’s start with smaller, more obviously meaningful things. Better yet, let’s start with some meaningless things. Continue reading Everything Is Meaningless – But That’s Okay