Ten underappreciated philosophers of the Islamic World

On August 27th 2016, OUP published a list of 10 underappreciated philosophers of the Islamic World. The list is not readable on mobile phones (mine at least) and for this reason has been reproduced below. It was compiled by Peter Adamson, who is the author of Philosophy in the Islamic World. The philosophical contribution of Islamic culture often goes unacknowledged, and when it is recognized, it is often reduced to a discussion of Islamic influence on European […]

Science and ethics, through Wittgenstein’s Tractatus

Wittgenstein famously ends his Tractatus with the seventh proposition: “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.” (Ogden trans.) Simple enough, it would seem. Not able to say something meaningful, or add something meaningful to the conversation? Then better not speak at all! But this is not a sufficient explanation – it is precisely what is ‘meaningful’ that is at stake with this proposition. Let us put Tractatus in perspective first. For early (‘Tractarian’) Wittgenstein, […]

Why Tesla will not change the world

Original article published by Tim Urban, on June 2, 2015 – link. Tim is not aware of these comments, so please keep it a secret as I don’t want to hurt his feelings. My comments are in blockquotes like these paragraphs. There might be a pdf of the document some time in the future as well. The comments are divided into three categories: General, Silly, and Serious. Some comments are not exhausted by a single […]

‘Why write?’, or Blanchot’s double paradox of writing, through Hegel’s paradox of action

Hegel’s paradox of action The paradox of action for Hegel is that I can only discover who I am by acting, but acting already presupposes that I know who I am: ‘an individual cannot know what he really is until he has made himself a reality through action’. [The Spiritual Animal Kingdom, in Hegel’s Phenomenology of the Spirit]. This means that he already has to determine the end of his action [that is, the end in […]

Some thoughts on art – part 2 (Arendt)

In an interesting article on freedom, where Arendt posits a different view of freedom that our contemporary liberal ideology can learn a lot from [sidenote: make a post on Arendt’s notion of freedom], Arendt has an interesting passage on art and the role of the artist. In a previous post on art and Zizek, the general line of thought was that for Zizek art seems to have debased the world. As I had concluded there: […]

Descartes’ dream paradox

Descartes, viewed in history of philosophy as the founder of modern philosophy, starts his Meditations with a paradox that has beguiled philosophers since. In very simplistic terms, Descartes points towards the doubts we should have from occurrences we have perceived through our sense. Because our senses can deceive us, we should try to find something else that may substitute for our understanding (knowledge): All that I have, up to this moment, accepted as possessed of […]