Tag Archives: philosophy

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The decline in the arts as a bachelor degree major


Can be seen here: Has the Sharp Decline in Philosophy Majors Hit Bottom? (guest post by Eric Schwitzgebel) – Daily Nous.

It is remarkable how much majors in history and philosophy have declined. I feel we need these things more than ever. That said, my bachelor degree is with a major in computer science. I have studied much philosophy and history since then, but not in an academic setting. It would be good to find a way to study them more formally without the commitment of getting a bachelor degree.

There are so many online sites teaching computer science topics. We need more that teach philosophy and history in the same way.

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Five ways to be more stoical


1. Visualize Your Life Without the Things You Love

“He robs present ills of their power who has perceived their coming beforehand.” —Seneca

2. Memento Mori — Meditate on Death

“Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Let us balance life’s books each day. . . . The one who puts the finishing touches on their life each day is never short of time.” —Seneca

3. Set Internal Goals and Detach Yourself From Outcomes

“Some things are within our power, while others are not. Within our power are opinion, motivation, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever is of our own doing; not within our power are our body, our property, reputation, office, and, in a word, whatever is not of our own doing.” —Epictetus

4. Welcome Discomfort

“Nature has intermingled pleasure with necessary things — not in order that we should seek pleasure, but in order that the addition of pleasure may make the indispensable means of existence attractive to our eyes. Should it claim rights of its own, it is luxury. Let us therefore resist these faults when they are demanding entrance, because, as I have said, it is easier to deny them admittance than to make them depart.” —Seneca

5. Vigorously Pursue Character and Virtue

“Every day I reduce the number of my vices.” —Seneca

via 5 Ancient Stoic Tactics for Modern Life | The Art of Manliness

(Image of Seneca)

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A new book on The Book of Job


The book of Job is one of my two favourite parts of the Bible (the other being Ecclesiastes). If you also have a keen interest in it, there is a new book out on it and The Atlantic has the goods on it, here:  The Book of Job in a New Light.

The new book casts Job in a different light than other interpretations. It’s not a terrible interpretation, and worth thinking upon. After all, that is what the Book of Job is about.

For more on the strangeness that is the Book of Job, see this article.

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Should philosophy be useful?


I don’t know. But if you have thoughts about it, or about philosophy in the 20th century, you should consider this piece: What is truth? On Ramsey, Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle | Aeon Essays

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The math behind why you should take care of yourself

wΔz=cov(wi,zi)+E(wiΔzi)

That equation can be found in this odd article here: Evolution: biologist George Price’s life and death – Vox.

It tells the story of George Price and how his extreme altruism led to his death. Well worth reading, especially if you think self care is bunk.

In short, take care of yourself to some degree, or you end up not benefitting anyone. And if you are not benefiting anyone, you are not being altruistic after all.

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On recent pessimism, or not being born or staying alive


Two pessimistic articles that made a big impact on me recently are this The Case for Not Being Born | The New Yorker  and this I am not always very attached to being alive.

I think there is a strong case for being born (many, in fact) and also many reasons to be attached to being alive. But it is not nonsense to think otherwise. I think those articles bear that out.

I like that image: depending on your frame of mind, it is someone floating and enjoying the water, or someone reaching out for help. No form of thinking is more important than how you align your thoughts; everything follows from there.

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The problem with falsificationism

An interesting critique of it here:  Why falsificationism is false