Category Archives: Metaphysical musings

Maybe the universe doesn’t exist

It is not clear to me that the universe exists. I’m not saying, of course, that there aren’t a lot of things in existence – my dog, this laptop, Saturn’s rings, and so on. And with any actual list of … Continue reading

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The flux of it all

[An excerpt from Reality: a primer] Heraclitus was one of the earliest known philosophers. He lived in what we now recognize as western Turkey, in the late 6th century BCE. We know hardly anything about him, and his philosophy is … Continue reading

Posted in Historical episodes, Metaphysical musings | 3 Comments

Best argument for dualism?

The best argument for dualism I know is the argument from subjectivity. The first premise is that experience requires a subject – an entity who is having the experience. Now it may be that this entity isn’t what it thinks … Continue reading

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Brains and typewriters

Aristotle was not aware of any mind/body problem. He understood that all (well, almost all) of the things we do with our minds are capacities of the human body. “Thinking is something a human does” – what is especially problematic … Continue reading

Posted in Machines / gadgets / technology / games, Metaphysical musings | Leave a comment

Reality of ideas, again: the navel-gazing perspective

What is an idea? On the one hand, it is tempting to say that there can be no explanation without appeal to a special intensional dimension, a protected pocket of our existence that holds meanings. After all, we think ideas; … Continue reading

Posted in Items of the academy / learning, Metaphysical musings, This & that in the life of CH, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Under the right conditions, ideas matter; but far less than we commonly suppose

In the big picture, ideas don’t matter as much as people like me try to pretend. Obviously, in some broad sense, some ideas matter very much to some people, sometimes. But even in those cases where ideas matter in big … Continue reading

Posted in Historical episodes, Items of the academy / learning, Meanings of life / death / social & moral stuff, Metaphysical musings | 5 Comments

Brandom’s inferentialism

In many works over many years, Robert Brandom has advocated a view called “inferentialism.” It’s a view about linguistic meaning, and it asserts specifically that the meaning of a claim is fixed by what role it plays in the economy … Continue reading

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