Random Reflections on Intellectual History, Abstraction and Social and Political Values

by Mark English Complexities Terms like “pragmatism” as it applies to philosophy and the history of ideas – most isms really – are intrinsically vague and useful only to the (necessarily limited) extent that they help to bring out persistent or more fleeting strands or commonalities in thinking within or across populations. Even the views of individuals are often difficult […]

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Notes on Metaphysics, Language and Religion

by Mark English Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein were diametrically opposed in their respective attitudes to science and religion. They had many other profound disagreements, but they were united in one respect at least. They both rejected the metaphysics of Idealism. Metaphysically speaking, Russell was mainly concerned to counter idealist notions and to defend a science-friendly and empirical view of […]

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Knowledge and Reality

by Daniel A. Kaufman EDITORS NOTE:  This essay originally appeared on Dan Kaufman’s previous blog, Apophenia.  We are reprinting it here, as a preface to a video discussion bewteen Dan Tippens and Dan Kaufman on realism, anti-realism, and our knowledge of the world.  That discussion will be posted this Thursday. __________________________________________________________________ If you were to go to the trouble of asking ordinary people about […]

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