Another Year Older

I celebrated my 61st birthday yesterday. Lunch with my wife, followed by the theatre, getting me out of the house for the afternoon. A very enjoyable way to spend one’s birthday. Yet as the afterglow of that day fades I am left with the realization that my best days may have passed, physically and perhaps mentally, and I feel mortality creeping up behind me. “Plans that either come to naught […]

The Three Steps

Culturally and philosophically, America is on fire. Terrorism, racism, religious intolerance, anti-intellectualism, extremism, fascism, nihilism; our culture roils with conflict caused by ills long ago demonstrated to be ineffective in creating modern, healthy societies. As should be expected in a nation that reveres freedom of speech, there is a vocal minority who seeks to promote these bad ideas as acceptable for America and the world. The human tendency to discard […]

The Mind-Body Problem: Part 2b – Functionalism

We recently paused our mind-body discussion for a brief look at consciousness, and now we’re ready to move on to the thoughts of Jerry Fodor and that philosopher’s definition of functionalism. This theory states that whatever material the brain is made of (living cells, circuitry, mental or spiritual substance) has no bearing on what states the mind (consciousness, awareness, and thought) might be capable of. In other words, mental states aren’t defined by […]

The Ethics of Donald Trump

Ethical philosophy, as a generalization, attempts to ascertain the meaning of value; what does “good” mean? What serves our striving for goodness Are the intentions or results of our actions indeed valuable? A bank robber finds value in getting away with a robbery; a banker finds value in preventing such robberies, and in aiding police in catching bank robbers. Any questions concerning the behavior of banks and bank robbers, whether pertaining to […]