Tag: Philosophy

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Unselfing, Marys and Marthas: Winter of Discontent, or Mind of Winter?

 

“One must have a mind of winter… And have been cold a long time… not to think / Of any misery in the sound of the wind,” the January wind. So says Wallace Stevens in his poem, The Snow Man. Misery and discontent aren’t identical, but a series of small miseries — unrelated to wintry weather — means February snuck up on me this year, almost as if January never happened, so misery must do for my “winter of discontent”. To “the listener, who listens in the snow,” hearing the sound of the wind, the poem promises if he becomes “nothing himself” he’ll “behold[] / Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.” People “cold a long time” can go numb, of course, and numbness is a kind of “nothing” obliterating misery. But numbness seems insufficient for a “mind of winter”.

For our own survival, we see winter’s cold as hostile. Our success as biological beings depends on our sensing discomfort, in order to mitigate risk before it’s too late. Concern for our own comfort is a form of self-regard that isn’t optional, if we care to live. Nonetheless, necessary self-regard is still self-regard. A mind of winter leaves self-regard behind. And so, it sees wintry beauty — the snowy, frozen world lit with “the distant glitter / Of the January sun” — simply because it is there to see, irrespective of what it might mean to the self. Winter in itself isn’t hostile, just indifferent: self-regard makes the indifference seem hostile. A mind of winter is “unselfed”.

More

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Basia and the Squirrel: Scruton’s Tale of Eros Transubstantiated

 

“The apostolic church is a church of the heart. When you steal from it you steal the heart. Hence the theft is easy, and amends are long and hard.” A strange way to sum up a story of erotic love. Nonetheless, it was Scruton’s way, as he described, in the second half of his essay, Stealing from Churches, the thwarted love affair that taught him a “narrative of transubstantiation” transmuting body into soul. In truth, the love affair wasn’t thwarted at all, but one that fulfilled its purpose, a purpose his stubborn young beloved, Basia (pronounced “Basha”), saw more clearly than he did.

Scruton had organized a subversive summer school for the Catholic University in Poland, bringing together Polish and English philosophy students to resist communism. Under the codename “Squirrel” (in Polish “Wiewiorka”, for his red hair) and tailed by at least one jug-eared agent, Scruton had stumbled into more James-Bond mystique than most ginger-haired philosophy dons could hope for. It would be almost cliche, then, for an exotic young thing to throw herself at him. Wry-smiling, stunning Basia was no cliche, though. Or rather, if she were, it would be the cliche in a kind of story too little told these days to count as cliche anymore.

More

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Dialogue on Faith and Reason

 

Phil and Sophy–that’s Phil and Sophy–are talking about faith and reason in this ongoing YouTube playlist. They’re leaving out a lot of Aquinas and some other guys. But they’re doing a great job covering topics like empiricism, the Verification Criterion of Meaning, Hume, Kant, William James, Augustine, Alvin Plantinga, C. S. Lewis, and more. Here’s the first bit:

More

Member Post

 

Nothing is new under the sun. This week’s Kavanaugh smear is just the latest manifestation of Trump-Derangement Syndrome (*broken record scratch*). It’s funny when it drives odd people to start screaming at the sky; it’s concerning when it drives deep state leaks and expensive, fruitless investigations; and it’s depressing and pathetic when it drives the […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. It’s Not True that Empiricism and Religion Are Never the Same Thing

 

I’ve been mostly just lurking around Ricochet lately, a consequence of traveling. Two weeks ago travel and allergens wore me out enough to allow for (probably) a flu, which was followed by the usual sinus infection, which was followed by the usual prednisone and antibiotics. But I felt pretty good about the flu because I felt I had something to show for being completely exhausted: My article “William James and Allama Iqbal on Empirical Faith” was accepted for publication around the time the headache started, with the nicest words I’ve ever received from a blind reviewer. As of this morning, the article is now up at the Heythrop Journal website.

My recommended one-sentence takeaway is: Don’t trust the popular theory that empiricism and religion are never the same thing. And here’s some of the gist of my analysis of two empirical religious philosophers:

More

Member Post

 

Elon Musk announced his Neuralink project this week. As this video explains, the goal of enabling communication and control through thought alone is arguably given some credibility by medical solutions already in use. More

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

Weeks ago, Ricochet members discussed talents and aptitudes. It is generally acknowledged that some people are better than others at particular skills and trades. But there was debate about nature versus nurture; if excellence is available to any practicioner with enough hard work and training. Today, let’s change the focus slightly. Can anyone be trained […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

Many people find semantics boring. But I never did. An ongoing discussion in Ricochet’s Gamers and Geeks group about the definition of roleplaying games (RPGs) reminds me of my philosophy professor’s lesson on semantics. When trying to clearly identify what a thing is, identifying what it is not can be helpful. Our teacher challenged us […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

More

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

I am back after a short hiatus because I finished my Master’s! I am very excited, and I wanted to share an excerpt of one of my major research papers that I thought was relevant. Thank you so much for reading! Today’s sociopolitical landscape has increasingly become more mainstream for the public to learn about, […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

I haven’t posted on here in ages. Lots has been going on. In any case for those who do not regularly follow my various comings and goings we have had @markhemingway on the AK47 podcast twice this season already! So that’s pretty sweet. Also one of our own ricochetti the illustrious @saintaugustine gave almost two hours […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

[This quotation speaks to the differences between the British (1640) and American Revolutions, compared to the French (1789) and Russian (1917) Revolutions] The difference was that the British and American revolutions, led by the Puritans, were inspired by the Hebrew Bible. The French and Russian revolutions were inspired by philosophy. Rousseau’s in the first, Karl […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

When I’m in the mood for political comedy, I often turn to the American Philosophical Association’s blog — a collection of claptrap so crazy that it must be curated by The Onion‘s editorial staff . . . or no editorial staff at all, since its pages are rife with misspellings and grammatical errors. As for its political […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Zeal Without Knowledge

 

The translators of Proverbs 19:2 are in agreement: Zeal without knowledge is dangerous. I’m a little hesitant on the accuracy of this as a translation, since the word zeal apparently does not appear in the Hebrew. (Even the ancient Greek translations lack the word zelos–along with, apparently, the whole verse!)

But I’m not hesitant at all about the idea. It’s a correct idea. Zeal is lauded in the Bible in any number of places, like Psalm 69:9 and John 2:17, Romans 12:11, and Psalm 119:139. But zeal doesn’t create righteousness or wisdom out of nothing. Zeal is meant to be a righteous stand for a truth coming from elsewhere. Zeal is to be built on knowledge; see also Romans 10:2.

More

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

I owe Unsk an apology. Many moons ago, in March, I wrote a piece about the clash between classical liberalism and historic preservation. It occasioned about a dozen comments, all thoughtful. Unsk, an architect, shared a story about his (her? . . . some names are ambiguous) experience with the Secretary of the Interior’s preservation guidelines. According […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

I am currently reading Jonah Goldberg’s “Suicide of the West” and Patrick Deneen’s “Why Liberalism Failed” for a doctoral class. Finding myself about halfway through the former I had the following review retweeted into my timeline this morning and it held exactly the critique of Goldberg’s thesis that was digging at me. I want to […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

“I’ll tell you another story” says Alexi. “It begins with a dwarf coming out of the mountains to trade with the City of Man.” ‘What do you mean it’s just as good as gold?’ asked the dwarf. His eyes squinted out from under bushy eyebrows. His old and lanky ox shuffled idly under it’s burdens. […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

William F. Buckley Jr. was a strong Catholic and probably the most influential conservative of his generation. Recently, Dennis Prager wrote a column titled, Conservatives, too, undergo secular indoctrination. In that column Prager wrote in American terms, the American conservative I most admired, William F. Buckley Jr., the founder and publisher of National Review, was […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

Hey Ricochetti, I’ve been getting published more regularly at The Federalist and so I’ve been ignoring Ricochet unfortunately. Also I’ve launched two new podcasts. More

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

Each day, I begin my morning by silencing my phone’s alarm and scrolling through BBC headlines — arguably an act of supreme masochism. Each day, then, I’m treated to a panoramic view of mankind’s ever-shrinking intuition. Each day, I witness yet more proof of the slow death of common sense. Such articles often remind me […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.