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SterlingWhitehead

Episode 110: Alfred North Whitehead: What Is Nature?

On The Concept of Nature (1920). Nature, i.e. the object of our experience, is events, not things, ya dig?

From the blog

  1. Why Substance Matters

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    What matters about matter is that it’s a certain kind of substance, which is to say that matter is refutable and problematic because it is taken as something underlying or standing below (sub-stance) the outward appearances, such as the hardness and heaviness of Johnson’s rock. In other words, “substance” is a metaphysical reality, not an empirical or phenomenal reality. Pragmatists like William James and Robert Pirsig both reject what the latter called “the metaphysics of substance.”

  2. Science, Technology & Society I: Francis Bacon

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    What is science? In general, answers to this question fall between two poles. The first is the traditional view of science–that it is a process of discovery which, performed correctly, faithfully reveals the mysteries of the universe. The second holds that science is a social process which invents, rather than discovers, models of the universe.

  3. How To Survive a Philosopher Attack

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    “I don’t know how many times we’ve been at a philosophy party when I wander back to my philosopher after making the rounds of conversation with other non-philosophers, I discover that he is in heated and angry-sounding discussion with other philosophers. When it’s all over, though, everyone is happy and joking and full of philosophy intoxication.”

  4. The Montaigne Project

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    In 2011, Dan Conley started, and completed, My Montaigne Project: a series of 107 essays, one a day for 107 days, each inspired by one of Montaigne’s 107 Essais. This week, he brought it back to the web with a newly designed website.

  5. Paul Feyerabend and Philosophy of Science

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    The philosopher of science Paul Feyerabend (1924 – 1994) argued that the standard account of science as an orderly, rational, methodical process is a “fairy tale.” In practice, science is a messy business, and this messiness is essential to creativity.

  6. The event(s) of September 11

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    Two years after 9/11, several New Yorkers packed into a courtroom in order to hear a court case on the semantics of the word occurrence. The question was this: Was the attack on One and Two World Trade Center one event or two?

  7. Not trying to hide anything

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    In this review of Philosophy Between the Lines: The Lost History of Esoteric Writing, Francis Fukuyama claims that “It should be clear that the Straussian project has no particular implications for contemporary American foreign policy . . . “

  8. Continue the Discussion and Have Fun Doing It!

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    Join Stephen West and Dylan Casey this Sunday at 1pm Eastern time via Google Hangout to discuss the Whitehead episode. You don’t have to read any Whitehead! Sign up to participate, or watch the Facebook group at the time for the hyperlink to watch it live.

  9. Meta(evolutionary)psychology

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    Human children are quite different from the progeny of closely related animals like chimps. They are much more inclined to cooperate and seem driven to understand what goes on in others’ minds way. What makes humans unique in this way? To address this problem, evolutionary psychologists have borrowed an idea from philosphers: collective intentionality.

  10. Not School Happenings In February

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    Our Not School groups are reading Karl Jaspers, Charles Taylor, Paolo Friere, and possibly Woolf or Nabokov. Don’t forget the upcoming Aftershow discussion of Whitehead too. Come join up!

  11. Metzinger on Spirituality and Intellectual Integrity

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    Intellectual honesty (or integrity) is a special case of moral integrity, according to Thomas Metzinger. While this ideal is admirable, Metzinger narrowly defines intellectual honesty it in a way that is inadequate to current debates concerning religious epistemology.

Go to the Full Blog

Why Are We Here?

The Partially Examined Life is a philosophy podcast by some guys who were at one point set on doing philosophy for a living but then thought better of it. Each episode, we pick a text and chat about it with some balance between insight and flippancy. You don't have to know any philosophy, or even to have read the text we're talking about to (mostly) follow and (hopefully) enjoy the discussion. 

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This argument, from Jean Pierre-Dupuy, sounds like its straight from psychoanalysis (Lacan or Zizek)…

"… what we now call economic behavior is not at all economic in the ordinary sense of the term. Then, as now, if people ceaselessly hunger after material wealth, it is not because what they seek to obtain by means of wealth is the satisfaction of material needs, which afterall could be met with a finite quantity of resources. To the contrary, the unlimited nature of our appetite is an unmistakable sign that its object is immaterial: one always wants more."

"an economy, he says, is governed by desire- and, more particularly, by the individual's desire to be admired by others. Of this kind of admiration, colored as it is by envy, it is never possible to have enough".

"An economy, then… is a piece of theatre in which each player is at once a dupe and a party to his own deception. It is, in other words, and immense lie that we tell ourselves, a collective exercise in self deceit".

… Dupuy claims these are arguments and conclusions are drawn from Adam Smith. I don't know enough about him to affirm or deny, but found the argument intersting to say the least.

Would love to hear some thoughts…
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A traditional conception of a law of nature views that a hypothesis holds necessarily when it takes the logical form:

(P1) All A's are B's

(P2) O is an A

(C) Therefore O is a B.

The large number of external inputs to models proposed in the social sciences often leads to situations where P1 and P2 are true, but C is false. Thus theorists have proposed that laws in the social sciences should be qualified with a ceteris paribus clause (all other things being equal). An objection to this strategy suggests that this leads to a tautology of the form:

All A's are B's, unless not.

My question is: how can one respond to this objection?
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Does Nietzsche have something to say on constantly being on the defensive actually making others your guides/Gods in some way? If I am totally off base, are there any other philosophers who have said something along these lines?

‘The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and you spend twenty years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says you have no art, so you dredge that up. Somebody says you have no kingdoms, so you dredge that up. None of this is necessary. There will always be one more thing.’ Toni Morrison

BY CHALLENGING RACISM: COULD WE ACTUALLY BE PERPETUATING IT?
racereflections.co.uk/2015/02/28/by-challenging-racism-could-we-actually-be-perpetuating-it/?utm_...
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Would you consider this generalization of Eastern vs. Western philosophy as very accurate? ... See MoreSee Less

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“There is no such thing as philosophy-free science; there is only science whose philosophical baggage is taken on board without examination."

—Daniel Dennett

smh, Tyson... You should know better.
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