Category Archives: philosophy

A Mini-Course In Critical Thinking For Writers. Concept 1.7: Distinguishing Best Explanation From Ad Hoc Explanation

I thought I would attempt the first draft of a college-level textbook, writing it directly into my blog, bit by bit. Feedback and recommendations in the thread comments are welcome, either encouraging or critical. The first chapter would be a … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, critical thinking, david hume, education, edward feser, Lucretius, philosophy, reason, rhetoric, science, Uncategorized, writing | Leave a comment

A Mini-Course In Critical Thinking For Writers. Concept 1.6: Distinguishing The Logically Possible From The Actual

I thought I would attempt the first draft of a college-level textbook, writing it directly into my blog, bit by bit. Feedback and recommendations in the thread comments are welcome, either encouraging or critical. The first chapter would be a … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, critical thinking, david hume, edward feser, Lucretius, philosophy, reason, rhetoric, science, writing | 1 Comment

A Mini-Course In Critical Thinking For Writers. Concept 1.5: The Three Laws Of Thought

I thought I would attempt the first draft of a college-level textbook, writing it directly into my blog, bit by bit. Feedback and recommendations in the thread comments are welcome, either encouraging or critical. The first chapter would be a … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, critical thinking, david hume, education, edward feser, philosophy, reason, rhetoric, science, Uncategorized, writing | 2 Comments

A Mini-Course In Critical Thinking For Writers. Concept 1.4: Spanning The Bridge From Logical Possibility To Truth

I thought I would attempt the first draft of a college-level textbook, writing it directly into my blog, bit by bit. Feedback and recommendations in the thread comments are welcome, either encouraging or critical. The first chapter would be a … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, critical thinking, david hume, education, edward feser, Lucretius, philosophy, poetry, reason, rhetoric, science, Uncategorized, writing | 5 Comments

A Mini-Course In Critical Thinking For Writers. Concept 1.3: Worldview

I thought I would attempt the first draft of a college-level textbook, writing it directly into my blog, bit by bit. Feedback and recommendations in the thread comments are welcome, either encouraging or critical. The first chapter would be a … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, critical thinking, david hume, edward feser, Lucretius, philosophy, reason, rhetoric, science, Uncategorized, writing | 6 Comments

A Mini-Course In Critical Thinking For Writers. Concept 1.2: Notice Where Arguments Start And Stop

I thought I would attempt the first draft of a college-level textbook, writing it directly into my blog, bit by bit. Feedback and recommendations in the thread comments are welcome, either encouraging or critical. The first chapter would be a … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, critical thinking, edward feser, philosophy, reason, rhetoric, Uncategorized, writing | 8 Comments

A Mini-Course In Critical Thinking For Writers. Concept 1.1: Good Rhetoric Is In Need Of Critical Thinking

I’ve decided to attempt the first draft of a college-level textbook, writing it directly into my blog, bit by bit. Feedback and recommendations in the thread comments are welcome, either encouraging or critical. The first chapter is a mini-course in … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, critical thinking, education, edward feser, philosophy, reason, rhetoric, Uncategorized, writing | 13 Comments

Pareidolia, Google Deep Dream, Wittgenstein’s Aspect Seeing, and Friedrich Nietzsche

The below YouTube video on Google Deep Dream strikes me as an important reflection, not just on artificial intelligence and art, but on the human condition in the sense that pareidolia (projecting images, moods, ideas onto things) is far more … Continue reading

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Miracle, Mystery, and Authority in the Catholic Land of Oz: Edward Feser vs. Pope Francis on the Death Penalty

Pope Francis is changing the Catechism of the Catholic Church–a summary of Christian belief–to declare that the death penalty is now “inadmissable” for Catholics. Here’s The New York Times: Pope Francis has declared the death penalty wrong in all cases, … Continue reading

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Self Calming: 86 Ways To Activate Your Parasympathetic Nervous System

Below is a concise self calming list I recently brainstormed for myself–and I thought it might be helpful for others as well. I keep a copy on a single piece of paper in my pocket and look at it periodically … Continue reading

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Does Trump Have Dementia–And If So, Should It Be Made Public?

We can probably all agree that Trump is a clinical narcissist. He may even be a sociopath. So when Trump has his physical this month, there is no need to test for these–though, in an ideal world, we would. It … Continue reading

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What Does It Mean For God To Exist, Think, And Act?

It’s always comforting to (seemingly) settle hard questions in thirty seconds. But as a matter of logic, if space-time is the condition for existence, and existence is bound up with space-time (as Einstein proposed), then in what sense could God … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, atomism, david hume, edward feser, Genesis, God, God, Lucretius, philosophy, Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Spring without God (a poem)

SPRING WITHOUT GOD   God gave me a rose, And God is love. The rose made me   Sneeze, and I have Asthma. The rose Landed   Me in hospital, which can’t be right If God is love   And … Continue reading

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Best Explanation, Ad Hoc Explanation, and Occam’s Razor

Best explanation vs. ad hoc explanation. A sign that you may not be seeking the best theory surrounding the truth of a matter, and instead protecting a favored theory—one you want to be true over all others—is if you’re doing … Continue reading

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Scientific Method For Poets: What Is Scientific Method, Exactly, And Can It Be Separated From Our Values?

Scientific method. If we’re not engaging in self-deception, trying to ad hoc our way across the bridge from logical possibility to the actual truth of a matter, we see that we have a variety of genuinely objective tools ready-to-hand to … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, atomism, beauty, david hume, edward feser, Lucretius, origins, philosophy, science, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Jim Jones, Critical Thinking, and the Mass Suicide of the Mind

The problem. 2018 will mark the 40th anniversary of the collective suicide of the Jim Jones cult. In 1978, over 900 people left California, set up a commune in Guyana in South America, and ultimately died there together, notoriously drinking … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, atomism, david hume, edward feser, philosophy, science, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Rhetoric, Critical Thinking, and Checking Your Premises

Rhetoric and critical thinking. In classical rhetoric, the central appeal is not to the emotions (pathos), but to reason (logos), and Aristotle’s rhetorical invention categories—his topoi—are heavily weighted to rational appeals (appeals to logic, evidence, comparisons, definitions, examples, and so … Continue reading

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The Tools of Manipulation vs. The Tools of Critical Thinking

In a recent article at The New York Times (“Why We Believe Obvious Untruths”), two cognitive scientists, Philip Fernbach and Steven Sloman, claim that dispersed knowledge is a ready and overriding explanation for why people profess belief in foolish things … Continue reading

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“A Neutral Color Or Yellow?” A Poem On The Problem Of Fence Sitting In The Age Of Trump

A NEUTRAL COLOR OR YELLOW?   If the emperor Says he has clothes, And has no clothes, Is silence suspended Judgment or cowardice? _____ Per Wikipedia: “On 10 May 1933, in an act of ominous significance, the students burned upwards … Continue reading

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What Time Is It? (Another Poem for Daniela Vargas)

WHAT TIME IS IT?   There are times When silence Does not mean Neutrality, Nor fairness, Nor indecision, Nor open-mindedness, But consent And approval; Indifference And cowardice. Our time is one Of those times.  

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