Author Archives: Huenemann

About Huenemann

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

Justin E. H. Smith, “Garbage, Human Beings”

“Social media have gutted institutions: journalism, education, and increasingly the halls of government too. When Marjorie Taylor Greene displays some dumb-as-hell anti-communist Scooby-Doo meme before congress, blown up on poster-board and held by some hapless staffer, and declares “This meme … Continue reading

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Go ahead and speak nonsense

[…] Somehow, through our language, culture, and shared projects of both construction and destruction, we manage to invent a spirit-world of fictions and concepts that paper over whatever-it-is-that-really-is-there, and we think and act in that spirit-world. It is nearly impossible … Continue reading

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3QD: What you know is a policy to live by

Philosophers are prone to define knowledge as having reasoned one’s way to some true beliefs. The obvious kicker in any such definition is truth; for how am I supposed to determine whether a belief is true? If I already know … Continue reading

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Thinking about being stupid

“None of this – being imprecise, not quite understanding the import of what one is saying, not being as secure in one’s knowledge as one wishes or thinks – comes close to being anything like the condition of radical intellectual … Continue reading

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3QD: Don’t be so sure

[By the way, this is my 50th 3QD essay, by my count. I have encountered many interesting ideas and intelligent and gracious people through the site. It’s been a wonderful partnership.] Luxuriating in human ignorance was once a classy fad. … Continue reading

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3QD: Lots Of Things Exist, But You And I Are Not Among Them

Of course, it pays to be cautious when you read philosophers writing about what exists. They are slippery, weaving in and out between “in one sense” and “in another” like clever eels wearing togas. The fact that we can talk … Continue reading

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To hell with “culture”

[WARNING: This post reads suspiciously like an old man’s grumping.] I think that among many of today’s “content generators” there is a supposition that there is a big conversation going on, among many intellectual people, across the globe, about a … Continue reading

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3QD: How To Make Rational Mammals

Suppose you are Father God, or Mother Nature, or Mother God, or Father Nature — doesn’t matter — and you want to raise up a crop of mammals who can reason well about what’s true. At first you think, “No … Continue reading

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Kant, Hegel, and how to be enlightened citizens

[Reflections on reading Robert B. Brandom, “Some Pragmatist Themes in Hegel’s Idealism”, in his book Tales of the Mighty Dead (Harvard UP, 2002).] Both Kant and Hegel were writing in a time of thorough-going Enlightenment. For the most part they … Continue reading

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3QD: What is living and what is dead in the Enlightenment?

Talking about “The Enlightenment”, when understood as something like “an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries” (thanks, Wikipedia), is like talking about Batman: do you mean classically heroic comic … Continue reading

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IAI: The self in the cloud

…But these scientists and philosophers are forgetting about locks. Just as keys have the shapes they have because of the locks they fit, people have the selves they have because of the lives they fit. My memories and beliefs are … Continue reading

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3QD: Living through lives of others

Observations are laden with theories, or so we are told, and theories are laden with cultures. There’s a good reason for thinking this. Theories, after all, spring out from people’s heads. But people’s heads grow within languages and cultures, along … Continue reading

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3QD: Science and the Six Canons of Rationality

Philosophy of science, in its early days, dedicated itself to justifying the ways of Science to Man. One might think this was a strange task to set for itself, for it is not as if in the early and middle … Continue reading

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Twilight of the idols of good writing

For a long time I have thought of my job as mostly a teacher of writing. I teach philosophy too, but most of what I teach in that domain is soon forgotten. What my students will keep with them (or … Continue reading

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3QD: Monkeys in our treehouse

How we are able to talk — the surprisingly effortless channeling of thoughts into words made available for public consumption — is a startling mystery. The next time you find yourself jabbering, see if you can direct some unemployed part … Continue reading

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