Introduction In The Enigma of Reason: A New Theory of Human Understanding (2017) Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber (M&S) give an evolutionary account of reason. M&S claim that reason is a module that forms intuitive inferences based on reasons. I analyse M&S’s view within the broader debate surrounding modularity. This debate concerns Jerry … Continue reading Do you agree with Mercier and Sperber’s view that reason might be a module?
Introduction Vasubandhu was an Indian Buddhist scholar from the 3rd to 4th Century CE. The final chapter of his Ābhidharmakośa is a treatise called “Refutation of the Theory of the Self” (Refutation). In Refutation, Vasubandhu seeks to prove that a person or self does not exist and that our identities can be reduced … Continue reading In the Ābhidharmakośa Vasubandhu argues that what we call a ‘person’ is not substantially real by showing that the parts are real but a whole is not. Explain his argument and evaluate it by providing your own reasons to defend or object to the argument.
I’ve been quiet with the blogs because I’m working hard at uni. But I’ve been thinking lately that I should devote one day a week to blog writing. And I had an idea today and jotted down an outline. But I sabotaged myself. I like my blogs that have ‘facts’ in them, not simply … Continue reading Michelle
Imagine you have a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder and you know you are getting unwell. You alert the mental health crisis team and they visit you each week. Each week they tell you to raise the dose of your anti-psychotic medication. But, despite this, you fall deeper into madness. You stay at home … Continue reading Can Van Gulick’s higher-order global state (HOGS) theory of consciousness account for thought insertion?
1. Introduction In ‘The Paradoxes of Time Travel’ David Lewis (1976) argues that backward time travel is possible. However, it is not possible for a time traveller to change the past. This would lead to certain paradoxes, such as the Grandfather paradox. Were a person to kill their paternal grandfather before the birth of … Continue reading “Backward time travel entails too many foiling coincidences, in order that the time traveller not change the past, to be plausible” Do you agree or disagree and why?
In 1991 the philosopher Daniel Dennett published a book titled “Consciousness Explained”. There is a running joke amongst some philosophers, who refer to the book at “Consciousness Explained away”. The joke is that Dennett failed to achieve the goal of the title. Instead, he ignored the real problem of consciousness. And this is a good … Continue reading The truth about reality (and madness)
I went to a philosophy workshop the other week, and I sat next to a philosopher I hadn’t met before, named Geoff Brennan. During the lunch break we had an interesting chat. We were discussing the talk we had both just heard, and our discussion moved to self-esteem. Another man was sitting close by and … Continue reading Mental Illness and ‘The Economy of Esteem’
I want to talk about the children of the counter-culture. The counter-culture as I knew it - in Sydney during the late 1980s through the 1990s. Because I don’t think people outside this community understand the decisions we made. From the perspective of the main-stream we were the ‘lost’ youth. We dropped out. We took drugs. We were … Continue reading Why we chose the counter-culture
Why did Marilyn Monroe die? Why did such a beautiful, talented, celebrated performer feel empty inside? Did she die because she felt incomplete? Was it these feelings that led her to shine so brightly? And what would have alleviated these feelings? This is about artists who commit suicide. My question is – why did … Continue reading Candles in the Wind
I was young when I had my psychotic episodes. I was in my twenties, and had the first one when I was 21. I’ve rarely heard people describing what these experiences are like to recover from. The episodes themselves are quite phenomenal. Although they are terrifying they left me with incredibly rich tales that I … Continue reading Recovering from Psychosis