Plato’s reading suggestions, episode 106

Here it is, our regular Friday diet of suggested readings for the weekend:

History, totally destroyed.

Why philosophy is so important for proper science education.

The Odyssey and “the Other.”

The future of the Web looks grim, according to its inventor.

The future has not changed much, over the past 100 years.

A brief history of prejudice.

Homelessness and the meaning of hospitality.

Great collectors used to have good taste. Now they simply show off their wealth.


Please notice that the duration of the comments window is three days (including publication day), and that comments are moderated for relevance (to the post one is allegedly commenting on), redundancy (not good), and tone (constructive is what we aim for). This applies to both the suggested readings and the regular posts. Also, keep ‘em short, this is a comments section, not your own blog. Thanks!


64 thoughts on “Plato’s reading suggestions, episode 106

  1. brodix


    Why? What are these issues? Morality? Free will?

    For example, wouldn’t your premise be there is no perfect solution to the “Trolley Problem,” therefore philosophers will argue it to the end of time?
    Yet does that preclude looking at the underlaying issue of good and bad as something other than a cosmic conflict between the forces of righteousness and evil?
    Such as an elemental biological polarity, similar to yes/no, up/down, on/off? That would be able to incorporate the essential fact that pretty much all aspects of life have their advantages and disadvantages.
    Then it really is a matter of weighing the options, rather than assuming moral absolutes and proclaiming anything less as moral relativism.

    Free will? Isn’t will input into determination? Events are first in the present, then in the past. They have to occur, in order to be computed and determined.

    Might there remain underlaying biases a few millennia of philosophers have assumed and operated in?

    You might think not, but can you conclusively prove it?

    Are the fates of all future generations of philosophers already determined?


  2. Philosopher Eric

    I always listen to you, but that doesn’t mean that I always believe you. I am aware that you favor defining philosophy as a form of art rather than an exploration of reality, and if so this would put your perspective in the clear. I don’t see how we can demand consensus understandings from “artists of philosophy” who thus seek something other than effective descriptions of reality.

    In practice however I find that philosophers do seek to describe the function of reality, even if today it mainly provides monuments of human thought. Metaphysics concerns what’s real. Epistemology concerns what’s real. Value concerns what’s real. As a naturalist I consider all of reality connected, and so the aspects of it which philosophers explore will need expert consensus opinion in order for associated topics to be pieced together as well. In effect a philosophical consensus should help hard science some, though I think soft science most.

    I know that you hear me, but you’re invested in your side just as I’m invested in my side. The future should validate one of us in the end, though I always appreciate our discussions!


  3. wtc48

    Eric, I am not optimistic about much. Potentially, widespread information offers a way out for progressive democracy, but the Chinese operation is scary, especially as some of the public supports it.

    “As the government document states, the social credit system will “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step”.”

    I’ve tried to do the right thing all my life, and I am as sure as anything that were I Chinese, I would be among the “discredited.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. brodix


    Which is why it would be useful to have philosophy build a dynamic social model of organic growth, balanced by and pushing outward on the cultural and civil framework, as a necessary function of its healthy rejuvenation.
    Otherwise we have these increasingly rigid frames, backed by absolutist religious beliefs. Then we end up with the sorts of convoluted political alliances there are today. Such as fundamentalist Islam in league with oil money backed mercenaries.


Comments are closed.