“All Are Ennobled by Truth” Quote by al-Kindi

The first Arabic philosopher, 9th century thinker al-Kindī, said that truth and wisdom are valuable regardless of where they come from. What did he mean?

Creation Tale or thoughts after reading The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien

Beginnings are a good time to remember how it all started, how you came to where you are now. Here, I revisit one of my first articles posted on humanfactor.blog back in August 2019.

humanfactor

This book tells the tale before the popular Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Saga. How it all began, where it all came from and why things developed the way they did. It is a Creation Tale and it reminds the reader that no creation can take place without destruction. The chaos and order, the decay and hope, the fall and the rise – they are all parts of One, the Whole that contains all seemingly incompatible multitudes. And they all are ever-shifting, fluid, nothing remains unchanged forever. The only exception might be Change itself. The cycles build upon each other and sometimes break up, get lost or reappear. What we cannot perceive here and now may become clear after hundreds or thousands of years. That might not feel just to us, yet only if we cling too much to our human wish to control our environment. Viewed from a…

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Don’t Discard Your Ideas

One of the practical things I have learned during my philosophy studies is that it is wise not to judge your ideas immediately when they come to you. There is a real risk of creating a habit of suppressing your creative thought. Our minds are adaptive and learn to respond to the environment. So, if …

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How beliefs are different from actions?

In our daily lives, it is common for us to think and talk about actions in normative terms. I should do this, I'd better not do that, for different reasons, depending on the situation. Actions are amenable to such regulating, normative attitudes because we can choose how to act, we have control over our actions. In other words, our …

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Musings on the Ends Justifying the Means

Photo by Bradyn Trollip on Unsplash The controversial idea that the end justifies the means is well known. Many would claim they do not agree, some might say that it's the only way how to get anything done, others prefer the middle way. Yet, it is during times of crisis that our purported convictions are …

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Is Transhumanism Very Human?

"Transhumanism, social and philosophical movement devoted to promoting the research and development of robust human-enhancement technologies. Such technologies would augment or increase human sensory reception, emotive ability, or cognitive capacity as well as radically improve human health and extend human life spans. Such modifications resulting from the addition of biological or physical technologies would be …

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Self-Knowledge Through Justification

How do you know that you know something? When does a belief or opinion become knowledge? Often an intuitive response to this is - when I can offer justification, proof, for my belief. Justification seems to play a silent but crucial role in our understanding of what counts as knowledge. However, there is more.  When you justify …

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Explaining Behaviour: Philosophy of Mind

About a year ago, I wrote an article about differentiating between explaining behaviour and describing it. Today, I add another layer to this reflection. What do we want to know when we ask for an explanation of a certain behaviour? For instance, if I wanted to know why John went to the kitchen, would I be satisfied …

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On Being Yourself

''Be yourself, no matter what they say'' is the advice that Sting gives us in his elegant song Shape of My Heart. I agree. But how do we do that? How can we be ourselves? Deeper still, what does it mean to be ourselves? And how do I know who my-self is?  After all, whatever I …

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Timon, Pumba, Existentialism

Here is an interesting example of why it is worth the effort to invest time and energy into self-development and learning. It is an example from personal experience. If I were to ask you, what do Disney movies have in common with philosophy, what would your first thought be? I can say for myself - …

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