Monthly Archives: May 2014

Monod, Solomon’s Secret Arts

Paul Kléber Monod, Solomon’s Secret Arts: The occult in the age of enlightenment (Yale UP 2013). In 1650, scientific thinking could not be separated from fascination for alchemy, astrology, witchcraft, spell casting, and prophecy – for short, “the occult”. By 1815, … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Historical episodes | Leave a comment

On solitary confinement and social media

Last month (April 19, 2014), 3QD’s Robin Varghese linked to an article by philosopher Lisa Guenther on the effects of solitary confinement on the mind. (The original article was published in the online magazine Aeon.) Guenther’s essay is fascinating, as it … Continue reading

Posted in 3QD essays, Machines / gadgets / technology / games, Meanings of life / death / social & moral stuff | Leave a comment

On Neil deGrasse Tyson and philosophical philistinism

A recent post on the internet has outed Neil deGrasse Tyson (or “NdGT,” as he’s been dubbed by the blogosphere) as a philistine in matters of philosophy. True enough: as charismatic as he is, and as beneficial as his public … Continue reading

Posted in Items of the academy / learning | 13 Comments

Anthony Pagden, The Enlightenment and why it still matters

Anthony Pagden, The Enlightenment and why it still matters (Random House, 2013) The overall purpose of the book is to describe the Enlightenment as an intellectual phenomenon, a matter of ideas being thought and books being written, published, and read. … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Historical episodes | 3 Comments

More musings on Humean causality

We expect that causal laws will be the same across all experience. Hume famously claims that this expectation is grounded neither in pure reason nor in experience. Not pure reason: for one can posit a cause and deny the effect … Continue reading

Posted in Kant and/or Hume | 2 Comments