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Showing posts from January, 2019

Spreading philosophy for children ASAFP

As I keep pointing out (and for abundantly good reason), philosophy for children is far and away the biggest no-brainer of all time.  Right now people are fighting over crumbs compared to what's at stake here.  Given the nature of philosophical activity, properly conceived - as love of wisdom and therefore organized (and therefore better) living - there is perhaps no human problem that can't be solved by more philosophy.  (It gets even better with Aristotelian philosophy, which may be the best kind of philosophical activity around.  If you haven't yet thought in terms of 'Ultimate living through ultimate philosophy,' then you have some catching up to do.)

The thoroughly-researched Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) entry on Philosophy for Children has an almost fresh copyright date (2018), so it's not like this article has been sitting around for a long time not being noticed on its merits.  What the 2018 copyright date does say is that it took about that…

Do leftists, Dems and "progressives" have a superior moral compass?

I would merely like to break down the logic of this.  It's no secret that leftists, Dems and "progressives"pride[*] themselves on having a moral compass superior to that of their political opponents, i.e., the basket of deplorables.  It's also no secret that leftists, Dems and "progressives" are the majority in big coastal cities (NYC, LA, San Fran, etc.).  Does this mean that, according to leftists, Dems and "progressives," the greater the proximity to a big coastal city, the greater the reliability of one's moral compass?

Something tells me there are some severe Dunning-Kruger issues going on here, among leftists, Dems and "progressives."  (For now, that is.)
More where that came from.
(If they're so intellectually and morally superior, why haven't they discovered and promoted philosophy for children yet?)

[*] - Clearly I'm speaking here of a false pride, not legitimate Aristotelian or Randian pride.

[Addendum: As you listen…

Philosophy for children, cont'd

When you can get philosophers in unanimity on something, you know (or do you?) that it's a no-brainer.  One thing that philosophers can be in unanimous agreement about, once they've read the (thoroughly researched) Stanford Encyclopedia entry at the very least, is the urgent necessity to spread the idea of philosophy for children as far and wide ASAFP.  Once again, a money quote:

Nevertheless, because they lack background in the formal study of philosophy, many teachers are reluctant to encourage the philosophical thinking of their students. Their fears, however, are exaggerated. Familiarity with some of the standard philosophical literature might be desirable, but it is not necessary for bringing Philosophy for Children into the classroom. What is required is the ability to facilitate philosophical discussion. For this, it is much more important that teachers have some philosophical curiosity themselves than a familiarity with academic philosophical literature. Like their stud…

AOC and the toxic twitterized destruction of discourse

It's amazing how no one has drawn the cognitively-available stark connection between these two phenomena yet.
The legendary toxicity that twitter brings to (the destruction of rational) discourse is now becoming gobsmackingly clear to more and more people.  Unlike blogs (see the best one around right now, for instance - see just the output from the past week alone; it's legendary [with more recent posts under the influence of cannabis, giving lie to claims that it impairs productivity]), Twitter is a low-effort, low-thought-demanding medium.  It appeals to people's pleasure centers and encourages them to 'like' whatever satisfies their biases or to 'dislike' whatever would disconfirm them.  (The vast information made available by the internet, absent a philosophical mindset properly drilled into its participants, only means more information that can be ignored, distorted, etc.)  Social media in its present form places pleasure over truth, a problem Socrates,…

Applied philosophy for children: An NFL do-over? (you know, for the kids)

This is part of a new series of blog posts on philosophy for children - far and away the biggest no-brainer in history - and I can't think of a better time for kid-accessible applied philosophy at the present time than the case of the worst no-call of all-time.  It has raised important ethical questions as to whether the Super Bowl is tainted.

In my earlier post I gave my reasons for regarding a Rams-[AFC Team] Super Bowl tainted due to the horrible officiating, and that the Rams in the name of honor and fair play should agree to a quick and easy do-over like the kids could figure out so easily in their street games.  They even admitted to cheating, so why not own up to that in action?  (Just resume it from where the game was assuming the play was called correctly, if the Saints score a touchdown they go the Super Bowl and if the Rams stop them they go.  The poor referee [I know, I've been there, but come on, man, ffs] even gets to save face.)

I mean, let's say the NFL asked…

Trump's border barrier as NOT a racist immorality: a short and simple proof

The barrier(s) would only keep out those who would try to get into the country illegally.  (Q.E.D. in one move?)  How is that immoral?  How is that racist?

Trump should also ask for some funds for that big, beautiful, inviting door for people of all backgrounds and colors, who are willing to learn about and assimilate appropriately into our can-do (etc.) culture, are willing to learn and abide by the laws like the natural-born citizenry, aren't hidden members of our society, become productive and value-adding, etc. etc., who are willing in order words to go through the proper vetting.  Trump should also been over backwards to ensure that the border-detained kids are given as humane a treatment as our cherished vets (where he talks of making heads roll at the VA when they let our amazing veterans down).  Right, Trump & Democrats?

[Note: "ineffective" does not mean "immoral."  "Immoral"means a categorical rejection of the idea, even if it did cost the…

Credit where it's due: Leiter lays the smackdown on academic identity politics (and related mischief)

A case in point for why people should be paying a lot more attention to philosophy blogs and a lot less attention to nitwits and trolls on twitter.

Some context: As anyone who's been observant of such things knows, Brian Leiter, U. of Chicago Law Professor, founder of the Philosophical Gourmet Report for industry-standard ranking of leading university philosophy programs (NYU, Oxford, Rutgers, et al), also runs Leiter Reports, billed as the "world's most popular philosophy blog since 2003."  (Nevertheless, he's a loathsomeleftistloser of the neo-Marxoidvariety, and reckless Rand-basher.)  He is a keen observer of who's who in academic philosophy.  The Ladder Man, as Maverick Philosopher eruditelydubs him (for "his obsession with rankings and status. (One of the meanings of the German Leiter is ladder; another is leader as in Gauleiter.)"), knows whereof he speaks in this area (just not on Rand or capitalism, though; but on Nietzsche, jurisprudence an…

Is the upcoming Super Bowl tainted?

It sure is, in my opinion.

The Rams were almost certainly put into the Super Bowl by shitty officiating.  Now here comes the moral question: if the Rams are honorable, shouldn't they concede the NFC slot in the Super Bowl to the Saints?  Just because the referee fucks up, making the most obviously shitty no-call of all time, that doesn't mean that the Rams just have to accept the non-decision, right?  They know they committed pass interference, so why do they think it's okay to get away with blatant cheating?  Can't exceptions to rigid rule-keeping be made when the injustice of their observance is so obvious in some cases?  Especially when the rules were so obviously contravened in this case?

What lesson is this supposed to say to the nation's youth?  Their soccer team gets screwed by a referee's call but then again remember how arguably the best team in football in 2019 was screwed by the refs, so suck it up, kids.  Something like that?  You want to breed cynici…

Should social media influence be redistributed?

According to the moral code advanced by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other redistributionists of the left, is it morally acceptable for some people to have way more social influence and fame than others?

Take Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for example. She possesses a level of charisma and social-media savvy that a lot of other people don't, and she exploits these talents to maximum advantage while others of greater merit remain relatively obscure.  She has shot to social-stardom levels in a short period of time even though the public could barely name even the most prominent philosophers alive who've put in years of hard intellectual work.  How many of AOC's zillions of twitter followers have even heard of Kripke, Chalmers, Williamson, et al, much less the philosophers who do partake in social media (namely in longer-form, more thought-intensive blogging)?  Philosophers are way more thoughtful and learned than AOC (and their blogs way less toxic than her twitter feed), so why d…

Who can teach children philosophy?

Short answer: just about anyone!

From the Stanford Encyclopedia entry on Philosophy for Children linked previously:

Nevertheless, because they lack background in the formal study of philosophy, many teachers are reluctant to encourage the philosophical thinking of their students. Their fears, however, are exaggerated. Familiarity with some of the standard philosophical literature might be desirable, but it is not necessary for bringing Philosophy for Children into the classroom. What is required is the ability to facilitate philosophical discussion. For this, it is much more important that teachers have some philosophical curiosity themselves than a familiarity with academic philosophical literature. Like their students, teachers unfamiliar with the discipline of philosophy may nevertheless have an aptitude for philosophical thinking—or at least a knack for recognizing when others are engaged in philosophical thought. [emphasis added]
And why should teacher and student alike possess a ph…

Donald Trump, Ayn Rand, and their haters

I have just now arrived at a preliminary formulation regarding a striking parallel between Trump and Rand.  (There is quite a lot of overlap between the haters of these two, most often on the left side of the political spectrum.)  I say this the following in the context of being neither a fan of Trump's nor of Rand's polemics against a lot of other philosophers (which scholars of those philosophers don't or wouldn't take seriously).  The formulation is as follows:

Sure Trump says a lot of dumb things, can be quite the dick sometimes.  But have you seen his haters?  They often behave like absolute pieces of shit.

Sure Rand's polemics leave a lot to be desired, but have you seen how her haters polemicize against her?  They often behave like absolute pieces of intellectual shit.

And I can, if and when I have the time and interest to do so, marshal a mountain of evidence to prove all of this....

Philosophy for children

If this is the last thing I ever write publicly that'll be okay, because it points to the best solution I can think of for society's present ills.

In recent days I've had to take time out of my otherwise top-priority heavy-duty philosophy text research.  (I only just now purchased, and need to read more than the first 50-ish pages of, Parfit's Reasons and Persons, ffs -- a task that one might think long overdue for a sage, which is not something I claim to be, as I am but a fanatical wisdom-seeker.)  Why have I had to put that research on hold?  Because of another topic of research of its own sort: the epistemic criminality run rampant -- also known by the term "toxicity" -- in our public discourse which I find everywhere I look on the internet and other mass media.  It has reached a fever pitch, having something to do with a MAGA-hat wearing President.  I've never seen it nearly this bad (save perhaps for observing Rand-bashers do their thing, which is ab…