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All articles with the Intermediate-Phil. tag

Philosophy articles that make my head spin a little.

Arguing with atheists about Einstein

Posted November 12th, 2008 in Philosophy. Tags: , , , , .

I once noticed a (presumed) atheist make the following statement during an unrelated discussion about Buckminster Fuller:

Fuller did contribute some interesting stuff but some of his ideas were unworkable. That’s pretty common for most contributors/geniuses. Look at Einstein: some cool research, but he was highly disruptive in other areas (eg. quantum mechanics or putting religious beliefs before science).


Einstein was one of my childhood heroes so I wasn’t about to let that go unchallenged: (more…)

Can art be evaluated objectively?

Posted October 21st, 2008 in Philosophy. Tags: , .

Art is “good” or “bad” only in a subjective sense, or so I’m always told. But is there really no objective measure by which to judge the merits of a work of art? I believe that there is a limited sense in which art can be objectively evaluated, provided certain definitions are agreed upon.

I think all acts of artistic creation are motivated by a universal human desire for personal expression. Therefore, I propose the following definition for art: “A work of art is an object or performance which is created primarily as an outlet for creativity.” For example, a bucket isn’t a work of art because it’s simply a tool designed to carry water. A painting, on the other hand, is created to capture an emotion or reproduce a scene; it isn’t useful in any utilitarian sense and can therefore be classified as art. (more…)

Levels of doubt

Posted November 26th, 2008 in Philosophy. Tags: , , , .

I don’t believe in anything with absolute certainty; I always allow room for doubt. How much doubt, though, depends on the type of statement:

Level 1 – Least doubtful

In my opinion, Descartes uttered the least doubtful statement ever: “I think, therefore I am.” I’d have no sense of self without making this assumption, so I definitely couldn’t inquire about anything else. (more…)

My theological journey

Posted November 28th, 2008 in Philosophy. Tags: , , .

I grew up in the southern United States, a region famous for religious fundamentalism. My parents are Roman Catholics, and nearly all of my extended family identifies as Christian. I went to a Catholic primary school and later attended a Catholic high school.

Given that history, you might be surprised to learn that I’d always found the concept of God confusing. I was 10 years old the first time I recall thinking about this subject. These thoughts usually took place at the top of an oak tree (more…)

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