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Stories & Philosophy

Stories are fun to read, a part of everyone’ s life and something that is interesting to discuss. Any philosophical analysis begins with a definition and a discussion of the existence of the topic, so I will start there. Stories are a connected series of event(s) involving at least one character. Anything that fits this definition is a story. Some of these stories will be good and many will ...

Disagreement and Self-Evident Truth

Sometimes people disagree over whether or not a truth is self-evident. Some people that the statement is true, but not self-evident. Others believe that the statement is false. In either case, they do not believe that the statement is self-evident. Unless there is a fair and logical way to adjudicate this disagreement, it will not be possible to build a philosophy on top of self-evident truths. If...

The Government and Universities

In my previous post, I explained that we canunderstand the nature of the modern university by understanding how it is used. One of the users of the university system is the government. There are three ways in which the government uses universities. The government funds universities, regulates universities and hires university graduates. The most significant of these influences is government fundin...

Rash Promises

In two of my previous posts on the subject of speech, I have briefly discussed deception and gossip. Rash promises fall into neither category. Rash promises are when we promise what we cannot guarantee to we are able to deliver. Rash promises are wrong because they promise what we cannot guarantee. There is only one thing that we can guarantee when we are speaking. We can guarantee our present int...

Lying and Deception

Lying and deception are distinct activities. If they are permissible, then they are permissible for at least one of two  reasons: whether or not we have the right to know something and whether or not we can weigh knowledge against life. Deception may be permissible, but further investigation is required. Deception is an activity that includes lying, but does not require that we say anything we kno...

Recognition and Concept Formation

In my last post on this series, I explained that thoughts are formed by having one part of our experiences represent other parts. This means that thoughts are just like words. In a different post I claimed that perception is not enough on its own to generate concepts. I also claimed that merely pointing out one particular feature counted as having a concept of that feature. Gaining a new concept i...

Desire and Happiness

What is Important? (January 21, 2012) Happiness and God (January 25, 2012) Potential Happiness? (January 28, 2012) Happiness and Mistaken Judgment (February 1, 2012) Happiness and Irrationality (February 4, 2012) Desire is an attitude aimed at the good in which we believe that we can have but that we doubt that we will have or doubt that we will continue to have. We cannot desire what we securely ...

Intentionality and Reasoning

I have previously shown that rational intentionality is different from natural intentionality. In order to understand how it is different, concepts that are distinctive of rationality must be examined. One of these concepts is that of reasoning. Now all reasoning proceeds by beginning with a fact and moving from that to what is not known. So it is probably best to classify reasoning as another nam...

Theoretical Knowledge

So far, I have distinguished between perception and factual knowledge. Perception is an awareness of what is, while factual knowledge is a knowledge that an affirmation is true. The final form that knowledge can take is theoretical knowledge. Theoretical knowledge is a knowledge of why something is true. A set of true affirmations (factual knowledge) does not necessarily explain anything. In order...

Hume’s Rejection of Substance Theory

Hume did not believe in Aristotelian substance theory. In the Treatise, he explains his reasons for rejecting it. He believes that there are two experiences that people have in regard to things. In the first, some things change. Some things stay the same through the changes that happen to them. So we see both change and sameness in the world. The substance theory of Aristotle is one way of explain...

Substances and Attributes

I said I was going to explain some of the underlying arguments in my argument for the existence of God. One of these is Aristotelian philosophy. One of the primary and ultimate things behind Aristotle’s philosophy is a belief in substances and attributes. A substance is a thing, and an attribute is a way that thing is. Everything in the world is either a substance or an attribute. A substance is a...

What is Philosophy

I have been writing many philosophical posts on this site for a while. When I have asked various people what philosophy was they have given different answers. It is one of those few questions in which the experts in a topic do not agree on what the topic is. So it is not a simple question to answer. We can begin to answer the question by starting with what the philosophical experts do agree on. Th...