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Concepts, Existence and Social Reality

by Mark English Different kinds of implicit or explicit claims about what exists are best understood, as I see it, in a piecemeal way, by looking at how words are used both in the context of specific disciplines and in ordinary communication. In various pieces published on this site, Daniel Kaufman has elaborated a somewhat different approach, drawing on a […]

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Representations, Reasons, and Actions

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ More and more it seems to me that the way in which philosophy has gone the most wrong is in trying to assimilate human action with the motions of bodies, as understood in the natural sciences.  This effort has made a mess of the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of action, as well as ethics, […]

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No Contest

by Dwayne Holmes Whatever I thought about Muhammad Ali, as a boxer, it all changed when I saw When We Were Kings. (1) For those who haven’t seen it, the movie documents a fight between Ali and George Foreman, which took place in Africa. It was a match I’d heard about, one that I knew Ali had won, but I […]

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Selves and Social Ontology

by Daniel A. Kaufman The ongoing philosophical (and to a good extent, the scientific) discussion of selves is in very poor shape, much like the discussion concerning minds and for much the same reason. We talk as if selves are things, and of course, they are, but the sense of ‘thing’ that most seem to have in mind is the […]

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Bits and Pieces — Truth and Ontology

by Daniel A. Kaufman ‘Truth’ and ‘is true’ The most popular view on truth is some variation on the correspondence theory, according to which saying that a statement is true is saying that it “corresponds” to “reality” or “the facts” or “states of affairs” or some such thing.  The trouble with this to my mind is at least threefold:  (i) […]

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Announcing “Bits and Pieces”

The Editors are please to announce a new feature on The Electric Agora: “Bits and Pieces.” Like our Provocations feature, Bits and Pieces are meant to stimulate thought and discussion, but not with respect to political and other hot-button issues.  Instead, Bits and Pieces will allow authors to address a number of different intellectual subjects and ideas, on which they […]

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The Evolution of Television

My discussion with our own David Ottlinger on his essay, “Medium, Message and Effect.” https://theelectricagora.com/2017/05/30/medium-message-and-effect/ Originally aired June 25, 2017 on the Sophia program, on MeaningofLife.TV, part of the BloggingHeads.TV network. http://meaningoflife.tv/programs/current/sophia    

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Reason and the Post-Human

by Daniel A. Kaufman In “Excessive Reason,” an essay I published in these pages last year, I argued that mainline philosophy is characterized by a pervasive and systematic rationalism, the main characteristics of which I summarized as follows: The acceptability of a belief, activity, practice, institution, etc., rests entirely on whether or not it can be rationally justified. The rational […]

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Poe: A Grammar of the Individual

E. John Winner Introduction As a Buddhist, I’m committed to two essential principles: The Self is the source of all suffering; and the Self can be deconstructed, thus alleviating suffering. These essential principles generate others.  Primarily there is the Eightfold Path, the program by which the Self is deconstructed, including “Right Thought,” i.e., philosophy. Secondarily, there is the need to […]

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