We often speak of 'Eastern' and 'Western' philosophy, yet it is not always easy to distinguish the key factors that justify this distinction. This essay explores the very different conceptions of the continuum that underlie these two traditions of thought and knowledge. The views of Hermann Weyl are given and it is proposed that they are correct. Attention is drawn to the mutually-exclusive visions of the continuum that separate the philosophies of East and West, and that give us a way (...) of pinning down a definition of these vague geographical terms so as to give them, in at least one respect, a clear philosophical and scientific meaning. (shrink)
The view that metaphysics is a waste of time appears to be gaining in popularity with every passing day. It is held openly by many scientists and even by many philosophers. I argue here that this is a consequence of the way metaphysics is often done, the futility of a certain approach to it, and not a reason to suppose that there is no useful knowledge to be acquired in metaphysics.
Mysticism claims of its logical scheme that it is Euclidean, that from its first axiom or principle the remainder of its doctrine follows, but it makes this claim in so many languages and in such a variety of obscure and self-contradictory ways that it is difficult to discern how this could be possible, and it is rarely considered a plausible claim in metaphysics. I believe it is plausible, and in this essay I try to explain why. -/- .
We should cherish metaphysics for its power to overcome false views and yet we admonish it for its ongoing failure. Is it possible that this is for the embarrassingly simple reason that we usually ignore Aristotle’s definition for a legitimate contradictory pair?
This essay proposes that metaphysics is best done as lazily as possible, and that a lazy approach, which some would call 'high level', is effective where it means that issues are simplified and unpleasant facts are faced with no wriggling on the hook. It sketches out the solution proposed by Buddhism or more generally mysticism. It suggest that the principle obstacle to a solution for metaphysics is Russell's Paradox, and that it can be overcome.
A tongue-in-cheek marketing review of university philosophy prompted by a slow-down in sales and mounting criticism of the product. These problems are diagnosed as the consequence of an inward-looking culture that encourages a narrow and fixed focus on selling the traditional product while discouraging examination of its competitors.
Some time ago, in an article for the Journal of Consciousness Studies, David Chalmers challenged his peers to identify the ingredient missing from our current theories of consciousness, the absence of which prevents us from solving the 'hard' problem and forces us to make do with nonreductive theories. Here I respond to this challenge. I suggest that consciousness is a metaphysical problem and as such can be solved only within a global metaphysical theory. Such a theory would look very like (...) the information theory proposed by Chalmers, but with the addition of an extra phenomenon that would allow it to become fundamental. (shrink)