Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Consciousness Moon poem

Here's the poem I wrote at a recent Consciousness conference

I look at the moon
And I see it cry
I look at the moon

We have a difficult phenomenon
And the moon howls back at me now
Is consciousness is in the night sky
My stars, I look at the moon
I look at the moon

Thanks so much to all the great philosophers at UC Urvine, Bilikent, Otago and Purdue. I have a chocolate bar for all of you with your name on it. I just have to hope little Jocone doesn't "access" it first!

My Dog Jocone

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The Logic (of my experience of) Philosophy (and a Prize Announcement!)

Philosophy is a scientific endeavour. It is also a humanities endeavour. We are learning to question everything. An amazing structure of enquiry is built up before our eyes. Philosophy helps you assess the validity arguments and the underlying reasons for your ideas and claims. This is something I didn't always know. When I began as a philosophy student in Santa Cruz in 1986, I was at the crossroads of an enlightened community, an interdisciplinary experience that I have since recreated in the classroom numerous times. I tell you this because I want you to understand these mysteries of consciousness as well, and it is one of my great commitments in life that I will show you this stunning view, this bright clear perfect night when there is a full moon and we can see the Milky Way.





When I became a scholar, I became enamoured with institutional doctrines, and got mired in small subtle enquiries of I know not what. But then I suddenly built this new model in my head. A painter friend of mine once talked about suddenly seeing things, and I really tuned in to that. Now I am applying that inside my own work, where I am literally examining fundamental ideas of metaphysics and epistemology. This is no joke. I have submitted these ideas to a major journal, and I have authority to note that these patterns are powerful, and this is a comment if you will that needs to me made. So here I am at the big school, and I'm happier than I could imagine.


My empathic response to philosophy has garnered a $1000 prize from the Port Royal Foundation, and I would like to thank PhilPapers, Eric Schliesser, Penelopy Maddie, and Ed Zalta for their contributions. This is a matter which was confirmed to me when my lecturers used to say 'This is an existence predicate, this is a container of truth, so it's part of a subjective logic which we experience without necessarily saying anything about whether anything is, or could be valid'. This deontic logic really excited me. Almost reading my mind, I found a big book saying some of what I had in mind. This was an amazing area, and I am still unravelling the full implications.

What are your favourite places that philosophy has or has not been to yet? And why are your ideas so important? Tell me I'm not just imagining everything here!

Please give full explanations of everything you say in the comments. Some people have made various errors in the past, and this will not be tolerated for much longer. But please, tell us what you have to say!


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Monday, 16 October 2017

A Blog Post on Philosophy, and some ideas!

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Coming to philosophy, I really liked the idea that we could discover some interesting new ideas and truths about the world. 'Hey,' I thought, 'what could be better'? I soon discovered that this was a wonderful subject in which various problems are approached and discussed. Some of it is quite technical, and it's quite different from what you might ordinarily think. Or it can be. And I think that's what's so great about the path of philosophy!

When I was in grad school I had a 4/5 teaching load, and I was a referee for Synthese. My Maltese terrier Jocone was tearing up the floor as I put the finishing touches on my dissertation. This is what it means to be alive. I was now on the cusp of a brilliant time when I could peruse great works and maybe even do a little something of my own. Every time I tried to think about philosophy, new insights came my way.
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I am now telling you a story as if everything is clear, but that has not always been the case. The path to philosophy is strange and telling, but if you read enough Malebranche and Quine you'll get my meaning. I literally had egg on my face that morning, as I read my dissertation to my son.

Philosophy in general, is something of an enigma. Where did this interesting discipline come from, and where is it really going? I challenge you to give me an answer to this problem.

I heartily recommend the delicious joys of philosophical research. It truly is the divine life of the mind that you deserve if that is what you want to do. Oh yea, I even think I'm going to do some right now! Haha, just kidding. Bye.

(Some commenters on past posts have given incorrect answers. Don't be that guy (or girl!) : > ))

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