Peirce, James, Nietzsche, sceptics & squirrels

Our Fall Break’s over, officially, but Older Daughter’s is just beginning… so we’re in New England, shopping for her next school. (A curious sidebar on Roger Williams University: I wrote an encyclopedia entry about their namesake once. Could that be a harbinger? Don’t know, but I do know that RW was something we don’t encounter so much anymore, back in Tennessee: a Baptist who passionately defended the separation of church and state.)

Meanwhile, speaking of Tennessee: I look forward to reading and discussing all the thoughts and questions everyone in CoPhi will post today and tomorrow on Peirce, James, Nietzsche (LH) and Barry Stroud’s Philosophy Bites discussion of Scepticism. (Notice, class: for some reason the Brits prefer to spell that with a “c”-but I’m still skeptical.)

“Can I trust my senses? Can I tell that I’m not now dreaming?” I’m pretty sure I can. But Maria Popova (who, btw, is also a William James fan) passes along a surprising stat: there’s a 1 in 10 chance that you’re snoozing right now. Wake up and post your questions! (And next Monday, when we talk about Freud, we can also revisit Maria’s past Monday post on Freud and daydreaming.) Be lucid, please.

As for those other guys… I’ve written reams on them all, most delightedly on WJ. [PeirceJamesNietzsche @dawn]

I’m not especially pleased with Nigel Warburton’s take on James, true enough to the letter but not at all to the spirit of his pragmatic conception of truth. More on that later. At least he gets the squirrel right.

And, he rightly (if inconsistently) points out the non-literal intent of Nietzsche’s infamous “God is dead” proclamation. More to come on that too.

But I’ll leave it there, for now. Older Daughter’s impatiently ready to go to college (or should be), and once again– ready or not– I’m the chauffeur on duty.

Thank goodness for  global positioning.

Oh yeah: in EEA they’re plugging away with the McKibben reader. I decided not to assign the Earth in the Balance selection, just because I didn’t want to make even more waves with our resident Gore-aphobe. But I can’t resist at least one quote, and I do think we should all try to absorb the nonpartisan peril implied by that spiking chart on p.209. “The world is once again at a critical juncture… But this time we are invading ourselves and attacking the ecological system of which we are a part.” We really need to stop that.



One Response to “Peirce, James, Nietzsche, sceptics & squirrels”

  1. Edrell(13) Says:

    Pierce wanted to run experiments on everything, James allowed us to find our own truth, and I really enjoyed Nietzsche’s opinion of Christianity. Nietzsche’s point of view has helped me add more information to my mid term presentation about people that blindly follow religious beliefs.

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