Author Archives: Huenemann

About Huenemann

Curious about the ways humans use their minds and hearts to distract themselves from the meaninglessness of life.

3QD: Give me monotony!

“Monotonizing existence, so that it won’t be monotonous. Making daily life anodyne, so that the littlest thing will amuse.” —Bernardo Soares (Fernando Pessoa), The Book of Disquiet, translated by Richard Zenith, section 171 Senhor Soares goes on to explain that in his … Continue reading

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Knowledge for Humans

I have taught “Epistemology” for many years, but it has always been for me a difficult course to plan. I want to cover traditional philosophical questions about skepticism, justification, induction, and belief in the external world. But then I also … Continue reading

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The argument from design, and the surprising significance of evolutionary explanation

At least on the surface, there seems to be something incongruous in regarding some artifact (like a watch) as clearly implying some kind of intelligent, crafty mind, but then regarding that intelligent, crafty mind as not implying any sort of … Continue reading

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The Thing About Mary

One of the cleanest and most compelling arguments against physicalism in the philosophy of mind is the “Knowledge Argument”. (Here is a quick summary. The response I am going to offer doesn’t show up there, though it fits in as … Continue reading

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3QD: Rat Man? Ewww!

It was announced last week that scientists have integrated neurons from human brains into infant rat brains, resulting in new insights about how our brain cells grow and connect, and some hope of a deeper understanding of neural disorders. Full story … Continue reading

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Psyche: How to Read Philosophy

It might seem daunting to read philosophy. Giants of thinking with names like Hegel, Plato, Marx, Nietzsche and Kierkegaard loom over us with imperious glares, asking if we are sure we are worthy. We might worry that we won’t understand … Continue reading

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3QD: Thinking Big About The Future

I recently listened to a discussion on the topic of longtermism, or the moral view that we need to factor in the welfare of future generations far more seriously than we do, including generations far, far into the future. No one … Continue reading

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Artificial Einstein

There is a set of interesting discussions posted on Scott Aaronson’s blog among Aaronson, Steven Pinker, and others on whether recent text generators like GPT-3 indicate that artificial intelligence is upon us. The discussion is informed, sensible, and well-mannered: these … Continue reading

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3QD: Is The Internet What I Think It Is?

Justin E. H. Smith’s recent book, The Internet Is Not What You Think It Is: A History, A Philosophy, A Warning (Princeton UP 2022) has received plenty of notice here on 3 Quarks Daily, and for good reason. Smith’s books and essays always … Continue reading

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A Thousand Brains

[Reading Jeff Hawkins, A Thousand Brains, Basic Books, 2021] Rene Descartes had an uneasy relationship to academics. He was very well educated, but he never held any academic positions and spent much of his life arguing with professors and theologians. … Continue reading

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3QD: Swarms in the brain

Today is July 4th, a day when Americans reflect on the value of freedom and the costs and sacrifices required for it. So it is an appropriate day to reflect on America’s deepest political aspirations. Nah. Let’s talk about our brains. The … Continue reading

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3QD: CAPTCHAs, Kant, and Culture

…But clearly we do end up with causal knowledge, as Hume himself never doubted, and we manage to navigate our ways through a steady world of enduring objects. We somehow end up with knowledge of an objective world. And we … Continue reading

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The face at the bottom of the well

The most important thing is this: what you experience, what you think, what you believe has no deep connection to what is real. Kant had this single truth exactly right: everything we think we know about the world is mostly … Continue reading

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Knowing in a society

Some people think that knowledge is something in the head. I have a belief, and it has appropriate connections to other ideas and beliefs, all in my head. These connections ensure that my belief has good grounding or justification: I … Continue reading

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3QD: No, Let’s Not Give Up On Liberalism Just Yet

Liberalism has been so successful in promoting a wide range of different ideas that its own name has gotten pretty murky. Many people think it means supporting a welfare state, championing the voices of people usually pushed to the side, … Continue reading

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