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 Post subject: Last Article/Essay/Interview You Read (And Rate It)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:49 pm 
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I thought this thread had a lot of unfulfilled potential on the old forum.

Here's an interview I read about poetry and the left/right brain interaction. They go pretty deep, though the interviewer may be a bit more prominent than she should be. I guess it's just a really good conversation.

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/journal ... ?id=240250


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 Post subject: Re: Last Article/Essay/Interview You Read (And Rate It)
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:12 pm 
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I just read Paul Churchland's "Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes" for my philosophy of mind class. It's interesting, for sure, but god fucking damnit philosophers need to actually provide some reason to accept their sweeping judgments sometimes (see: Churchland calling folk psychology poverty-stricken and thus ripe for elimination by neuroscience). Ultimately, I got the sense that Churchland didn't really understand science all that well, and it seems like his attempt to eliminate functionalist programs (functionalism is the only philosophical view that does a half-decent job of unifying the mental and the physical) ultimately ends up destroying language and thus defeating itself (for how can you express something in language if what you express denies the power of language). The reason for this is that language itself is functionalist: words fill functional roles in language games (a la Wittgenstein's exposition of the view that use determines meaning). And lots of everyday objects are functionalist as well, e.g. doors (doors fill a functional role in a house). Churchland's strong reductionist program basically means that doors don't pick out natural physical kinds and thus all statements about doors are woefully misguided. (At least, I think it leads to this, even if he'd argue that it doesn't).

So basically, the article just comes across as a really long-winded way for Churchland to tell his wife that he doesn't love her and never did.

5/10 I guess.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Article/Essay/Interview You Read (And Rate It)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:46 pm 
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Location: They don't think it be like it is, but it do.
Matt's Taibbi's Tea Party piece from RS.

9/10


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 Post subject: Re: Last Article/Essay/Interview You Read (And Rate It)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:42 pm 
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A collection of short objectivist responses to pragmatism.

Fail/10


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 Post subject: Re: Last Article/Essay/Interview You Read (And Rate It)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:37 pm 
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Is it online? Link.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Article/Essay/Interview You Read (And Rate It)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:42 pm 
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http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/pragmatism.html

Ayn Rand wrote:
To give you an example: if a building were threatened with collapse and you declared that the crumbling foundation has to be rebuilt, a pragmatist would answer that your solution is too abstract, extreme, unprovable, and that immediate priority must be given to the need of putting ornaments on the balcony railings, because it would make the tenants feel better.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Article/Essay/Interview You Read (And Rate It)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:50 pm 
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That might be the worst collection of sentences in the English language I have ever read, after Anselm's formulation of the ontological argument. Further proof that Ayn Rand not only couldn't think, but that she couldn't even read.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Article/Essay/Interview You Read (And Rate It)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:14 pm 
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I couldn't take my school's epistemology course this semester due to conflicts with a required class, so I bought the book and am working my way through it (the contemporary readings, at least). I just read William James' "The Will to Believe," and it's a pretty easy 9/10. While I obviously disagree with him that religion is seriously viable as a live option, I think that the distinctions he draws are generally informative and crucial to understanding our relation to knowledge. Especially the distinction between acquiring truth and avoiding error, and the choice this leaves us with.

I see a connection to Lakatos' idea that scientists can rationally persist in defending what he calls "degenerating research programs" so long as they recognize that they are degenerating.

And I wonder what James would think of Feyerabends comment that, "And it is of course not true that we have to follow the truth. Human life is guided by many ideas. Truth is one of them. Freedom and mental independence are others. If Truth, as conceived by some ideologists, conflicts with freedom then we have a choice."


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 Post subject: Re: Last Article/Essay/Interview You Read (And Rate It)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:52 pm 
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Richard Rorty - "The World Well Lost"
Hilary Putnam - "Why There Isn't a Ready-Made World"

Easily the best Rorty I've ever read, and maybe the best Putnam I've read. Both reject metaphysical realism and correspondence theories of truth, but Rorty gets at it by considering the possibility of "alternative conceptual frameworks" and Putnam gets at it by attacking metaphysical materialism.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Article/Essay/Interview You Read (And Rate It)
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 5:05 am 
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I'm about to read "Elevated Calcium and Nitric Oxide Levels Mediate Sperm Motility Defects in Jam-A Null Mice."

It's my girlfriend's thesis.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Article/Essay/Interview You Read (And Rate It)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:22 pm 
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On personality and piloerection: Individual differences in aesthetic chills and other unusual aesthetic experiences by Paul J. Silvia and Emily C. Nusbaum
-http://www.mediafire.com/?59d5ktcke57ypdf

Awesome.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Article/Essay/Interview You Read (And Rate It)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:26 am 
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Not sure if this is the exact thread I want but didn't know where else to post it, just, holy shit:

John Steinbeck wrote:
Literature was not promulgated by a pale and emasculated critical priesthood singing their litanies in empty churches - nor is it a game for the cloistered elect, the tinhorn mendicants of low calorie despair.

Literature is as old as speech. It grew out of human need for it, and it has not changed except to become more needed.

The skalds, the bards, the writers are not separate and exclusive. From the beginning, their functions, their duties, their responsibilities have been decreed by our species.

Humanity has been passing through a gray and desolate time of confusion. My great predecessor, William Faulkner, speaking here, referred to it as a tragedy of universal fear so long sustained that there were no longer problems of the spirit, so that only the human heart in conflict with itself seemed worth writing about.

Faulkner, more than most men, was aware of human strength as well as of human weakness. He knew that the understanding and the resolution of fear are a large part of the writer's reason for being.

This is not new. The ancient commission of the writer has not changed. He is charged with exposing our many grievous faults and failures, with dredging up to the light our dark and dangerous dreams for the purpose of improvement.

Furthermore, the writer is delegated to declare and to celebrate man's proven capacity for greatness of heart and spirit - for gallantry in defeat - for courage, compassion and love. In the endless war against weakness and despair, these are the bright rally-flags of hope and of emulation.

I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man, has no dedication nor any membership in literature.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Article/Essay/Interview You Read (And Rate It)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:10 am 
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Location: "He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else."
THE PHILOSOPHY OF COMPOSITION (1846) Edgar Allen Poe
http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/poe/composition.html
(melancholy and The Raven)


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 Post subject: Re: Last Article/Essay/Interview You Read (And Rate It)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:41 am 
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The Folly of Scientism

I have lots of little quibbles, both in some of the arguments he makes and in his understanding of certain philosophers (I don't think he could possibly have gotten van Fraassen, the most sophisticated scientific anti-realist alive today, more thoroughly wrong), but I think this is mostly quite good. Many, many bonus points for calling utilitarianism an offshoot of scientism.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Article/Essay/Interview You Read (And Rate It)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:42 pm 
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Georg Simmel - "The Metropolis and Mental Life"
http://www.esperdy.net/wp-content/uploa ... mel_21.pdf
110 years later and still relevant/10


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