Brief Reflections on Free Will

Free will is one of those philosophical questions that everyone feels strongly about. Before we start reflecting on it, most of us have established opinions about the existence or nonexistence and the extent of human freedom of will. It is almost intuitive. After all, if I do not have any free will, then how can …

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Life in Search of Narrative

The 20th-century French philosopher Paul Ricoeur wrote in his 1991 essay Life in Quest of Narrative that life is "an activity and passion in search of a narrative". Indeed, it is hard to overstate how important the stories are to us, human beings. Narrative is a medium through which we make sense, interpret, understand, identify, …

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Is Self-Development Selfish?

Recently I was engaged in a conversation with someone who wanted to understand my motivation for studying philosophy. When I said it was for my personal growth their first reaction was that it is pretty selfish to focus on self-development without offering something to others. A mutual shock moment followed. I was particularly stunned because …

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Why Interpretation Matters?

As storytelling creatures, we humans interpret words, texts, conversations, and the world all the time. We make sense by interpreting. We learn this early in life and get so good at it that soon enough we stop noticing that we are interpreting, not to mention what results from our meaning-making activity and why we have …

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Philosophical History of Scientific Revolution – Part 2 of 2

This is the second part of the 2-part article where I explore the history of the Scientific Revolution from a philosophical perspective. That is to say - what sort of intellectual currents characterise and shape the shift in the way people viewed and studied nature. You can read the first part of the story in …

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Philosophical History of Scientific Revolution – Part 1 of 2

What was the Scientific Revolution and why did it happen? This is a historical question and history is almost always an interpretation. The 'almost' stands here for the very small part of historical science that can be considered as close to an objective fact as we can get - things like dates and names. Of …

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Cats and the Meaning of Life

"Cats do not plan their lives; they live them as they come. Humans cannot help making their lives into a story. But since they cannot know how their life will end, life disrupts the story they try to tell of it. So they end up living as cats do, by chance."John Gray "Feline Philosophy: Cats …

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William James, Darwin, and Religion

William James, a 19th-century American philosopher, was searching for a way to accommodate science and religion in one whole. In considering this, he placed an emphasis on the human need for something more than natural sciences were focusing on (especially once the arrival of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection seemed to suggest that …

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Tension in Enlightenment Project

One of the more striking incoherences characteristic of the Enlightenment is the struggle to establish a naturalistic foundation for morality and ethics. Given the success of the natural sciences and overall confidence in the human cognitive capacities to understand and explain nature in a purely mechanistic way, the hopes of Enlightenment thinkers must have been …

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Philosophical Notes: Is Kant an Enlightenment Thinker?

There are different views about this question. Some scholars see the 18th-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant as one of the central Enlightenment thinkers, while others claim that in him we can already see the shift away from the self-confident optimism about the power of human reason that marked the Enlightenment age. However, any answer to …

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