Author Archives: Huenemann

About Huenemann

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

Hobbes and coins

Thomas Hobbes saw humans as purely mechanical devices. External objects press against us in one way or another, setting off a chain reaction of interior pulleys, wheels, and ratchets that engage one another and result in some version of “Cuckoo!” … Continue reading

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What we know when we know particulars

Some reflections on the early sections of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit: If we try to think about what is most obvious in our experience, and what the most basic elements of knowledge are, we turn to sense perception. For it … Continue reading

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Unvatting the Brains: Putnam, Bostrom, and thinking the unthinkable

The worry is familiar. All of my experience comes to me via my central nervous system, which is a biochemical electrical network. It can be hacked. The data coming from my eyes and ears and so on are converted to … Continue reading

Posted in Metaphysical musings, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Minds as predictive engines

(Reading Andy Clark, Surfing Uncertainty (Oxford UP 2015)) I’m no longer sure I know what an “ordinary” theory of mind would look like, but I’m guessing that it would resemble an organized camp of explorers. The explorers, or our senses, venture … Continue reading

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RNZ interview

The Sunday Show of Radio New Zealand interviewed me about my Delphic maxims piece. It was a delight to speak with Jim Mora, the host. You can listen to the interview here, if you like. We vacationed in New Zealand nearly … Continue reading

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A poisoned peace

“I realize that if through science I can seize phenomena and enumerate them, I cannot, for all that, apprehend the world. Were I to trace its entire relief with my finger, I should not know any more. And you give … Continue reading

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On the Other Delphic Maxims

Now up at Aeon. The conclusion: The fact that the great majority of maxims on the list can still serve us today is itself worth further reflection. There is no denying that our lives have changed a lot in the … Continue reading

Posted in Historical episodes, Meanings of life / death / social & moral stuff, Stacks of Books | 1 Comment

Say, whatever happened to Casearius?

Readers of Spinoza’s letters will recall the name “Casearius”. Johannes Casearius lived in the same house in Rijnsburg as Spinoza, and Spinoza taught him Cartesian philosophy, an effort which led in part to Spinoza’s book, The Principles of Cartesian Philosophy. … Continue reading

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Gerry’s soldiers

We have been in the process of sorting through the detritus of my parents-in-law: lots of junk, no longer meaningful to anyone, but occasionally the striking this or that suggestive of a parent’s love, a freakish endeavor, or long afternoons … Continue reading

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Wisdom from Whitman, Camus, and Mae West

I am a body. I have been “designed”, through mishap and random success in an ever- changing environment, for millions of years. The result is astonishing: a pumping heart, breathing lungs, and a bewildering array of chemical processes that allow … Continue reading

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Crowd going apeshit

I’m generally not a fan of pop music, but the recent Beyoncé/Jay-Z video really is masterful:   So many difficult questions are held up for reflection, especially for successful producers and consumers of today’s arts. If you are a successful … Continue reading

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Chronic dysfunctions of systems

W. G. Sebald, in Austerlitz: And several times, said Austerlitz, birds which had lost their way in the library forest flew into the mirror images of the trees in the reading room windows, struck the glass with a dull thud, … Continue reading

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A summer education

Many years ago, I taught a “big ideas” class to a group of summer citizens. These are retired folks who live in Arizona but come up to Logan for the cooler weather in the summer. I taught the course, under … Continue reading

Posted in This & that in the life of CH | 4 Comments

Review of Sloterdijk by Pieter Lemmens

Thank you to the ever-reading Rick Krause, who forwarded to me this excellent review of Sloterdijk by Pieter Lemmens. An excerpt from his conclusion: …Foams is written in a rich and playful style. His tone is jovial and detached, ironic yet … Continue reading

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The Challenge of Being Vertical

Sloterdijk, Peter. You Must Change Your Life, translated by Wieland Hoban (Polity, 2013) We construct for ourselves ideals that taunt us, pull us upwards, and change our lives. This is fixed; but the the nature of those ideals, as well … Continue reading

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