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. Thoreauly Ponderous

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    The smoke and noise of 19th century steam engines seem quaint now that we measure annual carbon emissions in billions of tons.

  4. Emersonian America

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    Emerson, philosophical mysticism, and Jamesian pragmatism all make the same basic assertion about the relation between concepts and the immediacy of lived experience.

  5. Emerson on the Over-Soul

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    A walk through Emerson’s essay “The Over-Soul.” We learn a lot about how the Divine is supposed to affect us if we’re in the proper mood, but get no information about what it actually is.