Author Archives: Huenemann

About Huenemann

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

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

Posted in Items of the academy / learning, Meanings of life / death / social & moral stuff | 8 Comments

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

Posted in Historical episodes, Kant and/or Hume, Meanings of life / death / social & moral stuff | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Items of the academy / learning | 18 Comments

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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3QD: Science and magic

I think it is fair to say that we usually see science and magic as opposed to one another. In science we make bold hypotheses, subject them to rigorous testing against experience, and tentatively accept whatever survives the testing as … Continue reading

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Teaching history (and philosophy) of the knowledge of nature and (history of) “the philosophy of science”

I have been teaching university philosophy classes for something like 78 years. (At some point, when you can’t summon the energy to figure out how old you are, and what year something happened, and then do a bit of subtraction, … Continue reading

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3QD: Bigger knowledge, bigger problems

In a slogan: our hard problems require more smarter people than the hard problems of the past. The tightrope we are walking keeps getting steeper and more slippery and higher off the ground – requiring even better tightrope walkers, tightrope walkers “more … Continue reading

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For the sake of discussion

We know all too well how easy it is to write something to someone online that we would never say face to face, and conversely how much more effort it takes to write online with the general kindness we employ … Continue reading

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Mad-Dog Everettianism, probability, and a little bit of Hume

One of the great upsides of the generally miserable or horrific pandemic is that more recordings of fascinating intellectual discussions are being made available to wider audiences. Recently I watched a set of talks hosted by an outfit called the … Continue reading

Posted in Metaphysical musings | 10 Comments