Category Archives: Metaphysics

The Potato Paradox

potato

A 100-gram potato is 99% water. If it dries to become 98% water, it will weigh only 50 grams. Even when working with old-fashioned finite quantities, math can lead to strange results. The key to the potato paradox is to closely look … Continue reading

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What would Wittgenstein say about that dress?

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“What colour is that dress?” The question has been fascinating people all around the world, including Prof Barry C Smith of the University of London’s Institute of Philosophy. We all assume that we see what’s before our eyes, and if … Continue reading

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Popeye the Philosophy Man

popeye

We are in a bit of a whimsical mood today, so we have modified this great Bud Sagandorf illustration of Popeye to give him a more Descartes feel. – Deskarati

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John Searle’s Chinese room thought experiment

john_searle

John Searle is an American philosopher and currently the Slusser Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. Widely noted for his contributions to the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind and social philosophy, he began teaching at Berkeley in 1959. He received the Jean Nicod Prize in 2000; … Continue reading

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Neil deGrasse Tyson Slammed For Dismissing Philosophy As ‘Useless’

On a recent episode of the Nerdist podcast, Neil deGrasse Tyson dismissed philosophy as a useless enterprise, advising students to avoid it. It’s not the first time he’s made such remarks, prompting biologist and philosopher Massimo Pigliucci to write a … Continue reading

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Gödel’s incompleteness theorems

godel

It is not strictly science, but rather a very interesting set of mathematical theorems about logic and the philosophy that is definitely relevant to science as a whole. Proven in 1931 by Kurt Gödel, these theories say that with any … Continue reading

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Proprioception – our sixth sense

Close your eyes and touch your nose. If everything is working properly, this should be easy because your brain can sense your body, as well as its position and movement through space. This is called proprioception. But how does this … Continue reading

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Is philosophy dead?

hawking

An opinion piece from Aljazeera At a recent Google Zeitgeist conference, Stephen Hawking boldly pronounced that “philosophy is dead”. It is dead, he thinks, because philosophy is passé. Hawking believes philosophy is like a guy who shows up at a cocktail … Continue reading

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Arthur Schopenhauer’s Philosophy of the “Will”

Arthur_Schopenhauer

A key focus of Schopenhauer was his investigation of individual motivation. Before Schopenhauer, Hegel had popularized the concept of Zeitgeist, the idea that society consisted of a collective consciousness which moved in a distinct direction, dictating the actions of its … Continue reading

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Is there an afterlife? The science of biocentrism can prove there is

It’s a question pondered by philosophers, scientists and the devout since the dawn of time: is there an afterlife? While the religious would argue that life on earth is a mere warm up for an eternity spent in heaven or hell, … Continue reading

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Omar Khayyám

Omar Khyyam

Ghiyāth ad-Dīn Abu’l-Fatḥ ʿUmar ibn Ibrāhīm al-Khayyām Nīshāpūrī (Wow! Now that is what you call a name – Deskarati) was a Persian polymath, philosopher, mathematician, astronomer and poet. He also wrote treatises on mechanics, geography, mineralogy, music, and Islamic theology. … Continue reading

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The Death of Friedrich Nietzsche

Death of Nietzsche

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philologist, philosopher, cultural critic, poet and composer. Nietzsche began his career as a classical philologist — a scholar of Greek and Roman textual criticism — before turning to philosophy. In 1869, at age twenty-four, he was appointed to … Continue reading

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Logical Positivism

The formalism of philosophy shown by Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein was further developed by a group of philosophers in Vienna and Berlin.  In the early part of the twentieth century, they formed the Vienna Circle and the Berlin Circle with a doctrine … Continue reading

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Will philosophy unlock the puzzle that is artificial intelligence?

Quantum physicist David Deutsch has penned a provocative and must-read article for Aeon Magazine in which he argues that artificial intelligence might someday be possible — but only if a major breakthrough is made in our fundamental understanding of how … Continue reading

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Consciousness

Consciousness is the quality or state of being aware of an external object or something within oneself. It has been defined as: subjectivity, awareness, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive … Continue reading

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Claudius Galen

Galen was a physician, writer and philosopher who became the most famous doctor in the Roman Empire and whose theories dominated European medicine for 1,500 years. Claudius Galen was born in Pergamum (modern-day Turkey) of Greek parents. He studied in … Continue reading

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Why Physicists Need Philosophers

There’s a spat brewing between some theoretical physicists and philosophers of science recently, and NPR’s Adam Frank has all the details. It started when one philosopher of science, David Albert, questioned the notion that the universe came “from nothing,” as … Continue reading

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The Secret to Life

Look people in the eye. Never deprive someone of hope. Give people a second chance, but not a third. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know. Be modest. Don’t burn bridges. Have no regrets Tell someone you love … Continue reading

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Zeno of Elea

Zeno shows the Doors to Truth and Falsity. Fresco in the Library of El Escorial, Madrid. Zeno of Elea (ca. 490 BC – ca. 430 BC) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher of southern Italy and a member of the Eleatic School … Continue reading

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What is Humanism?

Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns, attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. According to Greg M. Epstein, “Humanism today can be categorized as a movement, a philosophy of life or worldview, … Continue reading

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