A pretty refreshing book that I would recommend to those that have an interest in Theology, Mysticism or Sufism. Al-Ghazzali, a philosopher, theologian, jurist and a mystic, touches on subjects such as "Knowledge of Self", "Knowledge of God", "The Love of God", "Knowledge of this World" in order to express the quest for happiness. In... Continue Reading →
How tall do you have to be to be tall? How much hair do you have to lose to be bald? How old do you have to be to be old?
It is an unremarkable feature of language that words such as ‘tall’, ‘bald’, and ‘old’ are vague in the sense that it may be unclear whether someone is tall, bald, or old. (Many other words are vague also). However, vagueness plays a crucial role in a range of philosophical issues, including fundamental problems in logic, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of language.
A heap of sand.
1. Vague terms
If Kathryn has no money, then she is clearly not rich. However, suppose $20 is deposited into her bank account every minute of every day for a year. Assuming she did not spend the…
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Stephen Gaukroger writes in his book Objectivity: A Very Short Introduction: "If we perform an experiment or carry out an observation, we usually have a good idea of what kind of result we will get. Sometimes we get unexpected results, and, when we are testing a theory, these results may contradict what the theory predicts... Continue Reading →
Certain philosophers, most notably Giambattista Vico (1668-1744) and Wilhelm Dilthey (1833-1911), have argued that the natural sciences and the human sciences are quite distinct in this respect. In particular, while it might be appropriate to ‘stand back’ from phenomena in the natural sciences to achieve objectivity, this is inappropriate in the case of the human... Continue Reading →
Nathan Sivin, who studies history and technology in China, writes: "Ernst Geller has pointed out a particular way in which the European Scientific Revolution is more than a leap to a new form of knowing. It is natural to assume that in science the crucial test has always been "is it true?" But earlier that... Continue Reading →
It is probable that you have witnessed or read news about how an extremely plain painting that seemingly consumes minimal effort; or a totally abstract painting that "matches the paintings of a toddler" is sold in astronomical figures. Is there something that we can't see on the painted canvas that the buyers see? Is it... Continue Reading →
Happiness is acquired by virtue, and hence by our own actions, not by fortune. In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle regards the highest form of human good as eudaimonia, which would be roughly translated as happiness in English. He further argues that in order to achieve such happiness, one should act with appropriate virtues over the course... Continue Reading →
From Terence Irwin's translation: "The cultivated people, those active [in politics], conceive the good as honor, since this is more or less the end [normally pursued] in the political life. This, however, appears to be too superficial to be what we are seeking, since it seems to depend more on those who honor than on... Continue Reading →
According to Aristotle, there are three species of political system, and an equal number of deviations, which are a sort of corruption of them. The first political system is kingship. And Aristotle claims that deviation from kingship is tyranny. Even though both are monarchies, kingship and tyranny could be considered as two ends of a... Continue Reading →