July 2005

Caring

I agree with Nussbaum that how we think of future possibilities has a lot to do with our emotions. If I think that X is going to have a root canal, I am filled with sympathy. Well, not filled, but I have some sympathy for X. If I realize that X is me, a whole different set of emotions rise in my breast, or brain, or heart, or wherever emotions are taken to arise these days.

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Descartes

  Tuesday we discuss René Descartes, who lived from 1596 until 1650 -- not very long, by my standards. Descartes was a French philosopher, scientist and mathematician who is the father of analytic geometry in mathematics and modern rationalism in philosophy. Pretty good for someone who died at 54....

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Emotions, Judgments, and Mattering

I am still not fully convinced that emotions are nothing but judgments. Certainly emotions are tied up with judgments, sometimes quite closely. But it just seems wrong to say that an emotion is nothing but a judgment. Judgments can be true or false. Any given judgment, even a judgment concerning my own flourishing, can be made with or without an accompanying emotion.

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Self-Deception and Moral Dilemmas

One thing I do for Philosophy Talk as a member of the Crack Research Team is pre-interview each guest. The point is to give the guest an idea of the structure of the upcoming show—the “story arc”—and to make notes on what the guest thinks to pass on to John and Ken. Last week I spoke with Walter Sinnott-Armstrong about moral dilemmas. At the end of our conversation he said something that dovetails with thoughts I’ve had concerning the area I specialize in: philosophy of mind on self-deception.

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Greetings from Down Under!

You may have noticed that neither John nor I  nor our on-air guests have been blogging much recently.   But we're all about to get back in the saddle.   I've been travelling for the past few  weeks.   I'm in Australia, even as I write.   I gave a paper a couple of weeks ago at the University of Sydney at the annual meeting of the Australasian Associaton for Philosophy.   After eight fun-filled days in Sydney, it was off to Canberra, where I am a visiting fellow at the Australian National University until August 15.  Before hea

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