News Bits

by Luke Muehlhauser on June 24, 2010 in News

I’ve uploaded version 2 of Pre-Socratics: A Painless Introduction, featuring dozens of improvements.

Totally awesome new Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article by John Bishop: “Faith.”

New journal: Religion, Brain, and Behavior.

Damn it, I just lost half an hour to Mystery Guitar Man. Who, for some reason, reminded me of these two tracks. Which brought me to the beginning of this track, which has always been metal since Bach wrote it in about 1705. Which reminded me that Yngwie Malmsteen exists. And I was happy.

Stephen Law on “Playing the Mystery Card.”

I had an atheist wedding.”

Pat Churchland on eliminative materialism for Philosophy Bites. I love how she sounds like Sarah Palin’s mother, and her name contains “church,” but her work trashes “folk” concepts like Jon Stewart trashes FOX.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Heuristics June 24, 2010 at 10:52 pm

>Pat Churchland on eliminative materialism
Thanks for the link. Interestingly she labels desires as folk psychology (i.e a candidate for elimination) :)

The plot thickens.


Justfinethanks June 25, 2010 at 4:59 am

“I had an atheist wedding.”

I was married by this fine lady.

“Your fairytale wedding without the fairy tale.


lukeprog June 25, 2010 at 9:26 am


Yup. The thing is, I think the project of eliminative materialism is probably the right one. Like she says, it’s almost inconceivable that all of our folk concepts are correct. We’ve had to abandon lots of them already. And that’s why Alonzo and I think this kind of concern about the existence of desires is actually the greatest objection to desirism we’ve encountered so far. Nearly all the other objections we’ve heard are misunderstandings, or objections from highly implausible claims we reject (like the claim that morality comes from divine commands or intrinsic values, or that our moral intuitions can be used to reject desirism).


Heuristics June 25, 2010 at 10:16 am


I see.
For me: If only pain didn’t hurt, if red didn’t appear to me with such deep redness, if experience wasn’t so.. clearly vivid, present, alive and seemingly dissimilar to mechanics I would be an eliminative materialist as well. Physics works after all (though, I might be a zombie with regards to belief and knowledge, those do not seem to be in existence like pain is and might very well not exist. Perhaps desire is the same way, it is a little hard for me to pin down in the mind).

Anyways, around this point in time it is tradition to do the standard apologetics for the alternative view and recommend David Chalmers (don’t worry, he’s an atheist) book: “The conscious mind”.


JS Allen June 28, 2010 at 10:50 am

I love that article. A very good line:

“Whether the desire to grasp more truth about the real than science can supply is a noble aspiration or a dangerous delusion is at the heart of the debate about entitlement to faith on this supra-rational fideist doxastic venture model.”


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