November 2005

Storytelling Creatures

Why did human beings develop traditions of storytelling? Of course, any answer to this question is going to be speculative. But it might be reasonable to assume that the capacity for imagination is adaptive (I need to be able to predict what is going to happen as a result of different courses of action), and that engagement with fictions helps to hone the relevant skills.

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What's to be Done?

The journal Topoi has asked a number of philosophers to write essays on the current state and future prospects of philosophy, under the title "What's to be Done?". I thought Philosophy Talk bloggers and bloggees might be interested in my essay, so here it is.Topoi provides an excellent expression of a view of philosophy that I share:

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The Philosophy Talk Magical Mystery Tour

The Philosophy Talk team just finished a brief stint "on the road." On October 27th, we taped a show in front of about 200 Stanford Alums up in Sacramento on behalf of the Stanford Alumni Club of Sacramento. The topic was "Progress and the Environment." Our guest was Terry Tamminen, formerly head of California's Environmental Protection Agency and currently Cabinet Secretary (Chief of Staff, roughly) to our beloved Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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