Resistance appeals to me. Camus (mentioned), not Sartre, has always been a favorite. I won't claim to be exploring essay topics, but that could be what my unconscious is up to. That or making sense of philosophy-by-mooc. Could I write 750 words on why I keep taking philosophy courses when I really prefer history? Ethics and applications (pragmatism?) are considerations. I'm trying to decide whether or not to take Michael Sandel's Justice EdX mooc. Haven't done (or whatever verb) an edX yet and am uncomfortable with a "true believer" intensity prevalent among Coursera followers. Brand and superprof loyalty sometimes approaches that of swooning bobby-soxers,
A few weeks ago we linked to an article connecting Sartre’s insights about “authenticity” with recent work in cognitive science. This week, in an essay at the Chronicle of Higher Education, David P. Barash pursues a similar thread connecting existentialism and evolutionary biology, one he thinks shows that “science has not completely destroyed our understanding of free will" .... Barash points out that both evolutionists and “existentialists” from Pascal to Heidegger all see the universe in its sheer indifferent vastness as in some sense “absurd” from the human perspective....then asserts the “uniquely human potential to resist our own genes,” and makes the further claim that it’s exactly this ability that constitutes our humanity, thus making “rebellion” practically a duty. To Barash, that sounds unmistakably like Albert Camus’ “reconfiguring” of Descartes: “I rebel, therefore we exist.”Plus more philosophy links, mostly from more or less main stream popular media, surely a sign of something.
- At Slate, an article on the challenges of teaching computers what truth means.
- See what David Chalmers has been up to lately at his blog, Fragments of Consciousness.
- At The New Republic, Leon Wieseltier defends Thomas Nagel.
- At 3AM, Colin McGinn interviewed.
- Can’t get enough of experimental philosophy? This Friday at N.Y.U., experience X-Phi in 3-D.
- At Huffington Post, what happens when a philosopher watches too much reality TV.
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The Stone Philosophy Links, March 13, 2013 - NYTimes.com