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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Spreading the Word: A Buddhist And A Neuroscientist In Dialogue

What would a conversation between a Buddhist monk and a neuroscientist look like? And what would they agree and disagree on? In the following conversation, Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk trained as a molecular biologist, and Wolf Singer, a distinguished neuroscientist, offer their perspectives on the unconscious and the role of meditation in resolving conflicts …

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Spreading the Word: Our Access To Reality

One of the oldest debates in the history of human quest for knowledge is whether we can access the objective reality at all. Some think there is no objective reality at all and that "it's all in our minds", others think there is nothing else besides it and that our knowledge directly represents that reality. …

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The Meaning of Objectivity, Reality, Truth – Part II (Final)

In the first part of this article (published last week), I stopped at the appearance on the stage of Plato and his ideas of what is real, as expressed in his famous cave allegory. Now, I jump right in and pick up from exploring Plato`s thoughts on the topic of reality. Afterwards, I offer some …

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The Meaning of Objectivity, Reality, Truth – Part I

Real life. Objective reality. True fact. We all confront these and similar short phrases in our daily lives. They are powerful because they are meaningful to us. Yet, do we really, objectively, truly know the meaning of these words? Do we understand that it is us who endow them with meaning? If we are ready to contemplate …

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