Category Archives: Metaphysical musings

Philosophical zombies and 1984

(from today’s “Zombie Zymposium”) I’d like to discuss two things. First, I’ll discuss the quasi-technical use of “zombies” in recent discussions of the philosophy of consciousness. I’ll call these entities “philosophical zombies” since, as we’ll see, they are not much … Continue reading

Posted in Historical episodes, Metaphysical musings | 3 Comments

Idealism and contingency

(Reading Terry Pinkard’s marvelous German Philosophy 1760-1860: The Legacy of Idealism) It may be that the tenability of idealism comes down to the question of history. A resolute idealist discovers that the most fundamental framework of existence is expressed as … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Kant and/or Hume, Metaphysical musings | 1 Comment

Reality is down the hall

“It is therefore worth noting,” Schopenhauer writes, “and indeed wonderful to see, how man, besides his life in the concrete, always lives a second life in the abstract.” I suppose you might say that some of us (especially college professors) … Continue reading

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Learning from strangers on planes

R. G. Collingwood’s principles of history: “All history is history of thought.” “Historical knowledge is the re-enactment in the historian’s mind of the thought whose history he is studying.” “Historical knowledge is the re-enactment of a past thought incapsulated in … Continue reading

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The obstaclean theory of matter

Denying the existence of the material world never goes down well. No matter how clever and compelling the arguments, most of us want to insist that matter exists – and as our insistence becomes more vehement, we start pounding tables, … Continue reading

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On Thinking Schelling’s Absolute

Reading Schelling, or even only about Schelling, helps us understand Hegel’s frustration when he called the philosophy of the Absolute “the night in which all cows are black.” The Absolute covers everything under the sky, and rather than illuminating anything, … Continue reading

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Fichte’s ostensible incomprehensibility

Arthur Schopenhauer did not have much use for Fichte. He thought Fichte’s mistakes arose from the fact that Fichte did away with Kant’s realm of things in themselves, leaving human consciousness free to just spin in any direction without any … Continue reading

Posted in Historical episodes, Metaphysical musings | 3 Comments