Cosmic Philosophy

Two books encountered at an impressionable age inspired me to pursue my philosophical vocation: The Story of Philosophy by Will & Ariel Durant, later thoroughly dissed by my urbane and mysterious Teutonic tutor at Mizzou as hopelessly lowbrow and superficial… LISTEN: CosmicPhi (recorded 8.31.18 @dawn)

and The Cosmic Connection by Carl Sagan.
Sagan’s critics said similar things about him, and it’s true that he was a committed popularizer. He was, though, anything but lowbrow and superficial. He was a serious scholar and scientist who was passionately invested in William James’s “really vital question for us all-what is this world going to be, what is life eventually to make of itself?” His was a cosmic philosophy not only in the astrophysical sense but in the Jamesian sense in which all philosophy is cosmic: not technical, barely articulate, just the way in which each of us assimilates and expresses what it’s uniquely like to feel “the total push and pressure of the cosmos.”
We’ll discuss it Tuesday in CoPhi.

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