The terror of death, and how to overcome it
The title of this week’s program makes at least three assumptions that deserve to brought into the light of critical reflection: that death is terror-inducing; that being terrified of death is a bad thing; and that overcoming the terror of death would be a good thing. One can take issue with each of them.Read more
Gandhi as Philosopher
Most revolutionaries – or whatever exactly Gandhi was – are utterly and inalterably convinced that they have morality wholly on their side. Though Gandhi was a deeply principled man who constantly strove to be on the side of morality, he wasn't big on claiming to know the moral truth. And he actually thought that the ethical condemnation of one's opponent was itself a form of violence. And he rejected all forms of violence.Read more
Philosophy for the Young: Corrupting or Empowering?
The charge that philosophy actually corrupts the young is nearly a old as philosophy itself. Over 2,400 years ago, in one of the most famous trials of all times, Socrates, one the founding fathers of Philosophy, was condemned to death for corrupting the youth of Athens. Now I have no doubt the young men who followed Socrates all around Athens being tutored by him were royal pains for the authorities. But Socrates didn’t corrupt the young; he empowered the young.Read more
Why Self-Deception Research Hasn’t Made Much Progress
I’d like to talk frankly about why research on the topic of self-deception hasn’t made much progress—as far as I can see—despite a steady-stream of on-going interest. There’s been some excellent work, but it doesn’t seem to me that the topic on the whole has moved forward all that much. In both philosophy and psychology there has been a tendency to talk about self-deception as if it were one thing. If it’s one thing, we can just figure out what that is. Right?Read more