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Showing posts from October, 2005

What the hell is wrong with philosophers?

Prior to his roundly discredited and immediately rejected 'Meditations', DesCartes might have passed through history without harming the generalised western intellect. Somehow, despite being thoroughly dismissed even in his own time, this specific work of his has attained some sort of immortality in the so-called collective unconscious of westerners everywhere (though presumably mostly in the west, of course).

For Platocrates, knowledge was true belief. Aristotle, I believe, added that it required justification, as well. From this point on, the traditional view of knowledge stood for nearly two-thousand years without much trouble. And then DesCartes somehow managed to get people to implicitly tack on unsightly certainty as necessary to the beast. Knowledge, in italics and perhaps always with a capital 'K', needs must be certain, whereas there may be some sense in which lower-case, not-italicized knowledge does not--but we desire Knowledge, surely! Ultimate, unmitigated …

"Less or More, More or Less, It is What It is"

Mucking about in photoshop with a recent sketch. The original is also on the information superhighway, but you can tell it needed work. The above altered rendition is meant to allow me to show it online without it either looking ugly or taking far too long to download. Hence the simplification. Anyway, there you go.

In which I, uh, accidentally trample over Kant's grave.

Joyful morality and playful ethics, these have we few. A light approach, a pleasant manner are too whimsical for us, we who know Truth and spurn fantasy. Happiness is to be found in dour reasoning, delight in the forthright application of justice, and damned is he who bars our path.

Why dance when you can glower?

What better way to progress in life than to trample all over one's own desires? Sacrifice, duty, and all else which builds character. This is for your own good. It may even be called selfish, or at least self-interested, to nullify one's own wants.

The noble pursuit of the self, from this millions of times over is a good, capitalist, Christian society built. Each individual sets out to be Adam Smith, and all benefit. Thus we find ultimate altruism in our undesirable, unwanted acts of greed.

So it is with discipline in one who loves it not. So too with study, work, and other rewarding pursuits many might have little part of given their ideal worlds. Quite a journey, life,…

Can non-moral agents have claim to moral rights?

A brief question, to be sure, but one may not answer it quite so quickly. If we consider certain animals or plants to be without moral agency--that is, if they cannot or do not commit moral or immoral acts, or if they should not be judged morally--can we apply rights (conditional or otherwise) to them as we generally do to humans?

Can we allow such creatures (which may include the severely retarded, infants, and comatose among humans) moral consideration without assuming they have moral rights? If so, is there a good argument to be made in favor of others following us in doing so?

I have found it easier this quarter to remain impassive and judge each view or philosopher on its merits than to posit many of my own stances in response. I suppose this is what is expected of me as an undergraduate student of the discipline, but my aim has never been to become a historian of philosophy or even merely a critic. I believe this is a field in which one must typically be involved in order to progr…

Soon, on my other site.

Finally solved the problem of logging in to my server over at my Site of Lacking Badassness, as linked in this column's title. Should have several new comic pages and sketches scanned and up within the week. Keep your ears to the rail.

Joyous, Belated Declarations

So I just figured out, if I four-oh my two philosophy classes this quarter, I'll finally be able to declare for the major. (I could have done this years ago, but would have been dropped, I'm sure, for my delinquent approach to classes from 2001 to 2004, extra-curricular studies in a personal philosophy of neo-nihilism notwithstanding.) This is good news as, since I am a senior, the university has been hounding me to get into a department. If I can get an extension until the end of this quarter and get my slot in philosophy, I should be able to register on classes in the first period and in a timely manner for the first time in four years.

A 4.0 may sound tough. I know it is. Just getting to class is hard for me sometimes. Still, I've aced these types of classes before, and I know I'm doing well in my current courses so far.

Here's to the splinter of hope comprised in my abilities.