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Category:
Essays
Created:
04/29/17
Modified:
05/02/17
Words:
2861

The difficulty in understanding Wittgenstein is threefold. First, the easiest way to understand him these days is to start at end of his thought and work backwards. Second, W himself had very little to say on metaphysics and theories of meaning, which has led to totally contrary consequences by other thinkers building on his ideas. And third, which is the point people usually start at, is that he started with a very different conception, then changed his mind half way through his life and recast his earlier thought in a new light. This topic attempts to resolve these difficulties and introduces a new approach to his later theory of language based on the common 'shared key authentication' method for establishing secure network connections.

This algorithm creates a shared 'key' without Alice or Bob knowing each other's secret data, which can help understand how Wittgenstein's idea of language games works.
More: Color, Mysticism, and Shared Secrets in Wittgenstein
Category:
Essays
Created:
04/26/17
Modified:
04/26/17
Words:
1914

When I started at Oxford University in 1979, I was told I'd have to take statistics as a minor for a major in philosophy and psychology. So I nervously went to meet the professor, worrying how I hadn't studied calculus in a long time. But he had been sitting in front of an Apple 2, on a table in the Psychology Dept. lounge, for a solid week. He had read the manuals and written a couple of programs, then he had just sat there looking at it. For a week.

What is it like to be a bat?
More: Computers, Consciousness, and Bats
Category:
Natural Law, Rights, and the Social Contract
Created:
04/16/17
Modified:
05/12/17
Words:
6142

Because Franklin decided to call Jefferson's idea of natural rights 'self evident,' many people believe they understand them perfectly. However, Jefferson based his conclusions about natural rights on empirical theory, not intuition. This topic describes how Jefferson's implementation of positive law provides definitive and immutable answers to basic issues on the extent of Federal and State authority, including solutions to many problematic conflicts that have since been politicized in the USA. The article draws the conclusion that mandatory education in positive law would reverse recent declines in peace and power

The statement of natural rights in the final draft for the Declaration of Independence
More: Applying the Positive Law in Jeffersonian Natural Rights
Category:
Trump's War on Truth
Created:
04/13/17
Modified:
05/02/17
Words:
2673

There’s been much discussion about ‘fake news’ recently, leading to renewed arguments on the nature of truth. In fact, most people are totally disinterested in understanding the nature of truth, but instead only wish to prove their own view irrefutable, which is actually impossible. This topic explains why, via examination of the formal definition of the meaningfulness of 'post truth,' within the context of the truth theories of modern philosophy.

Was this Tweet true because Trump was certain evidence would be found later?
More: Truth Semantics in the Post-Truth Era
Category:
Natural Law, Rights, and the Social Contract
Created:
04/05/17
Modified:
04/05/17
Words:
2668

To answer questions of politics properly, one must understand the theories which produced the questions. Otherwise it is no more than blind stabs into an unknown dark. Most people alive today think that requires no more than some relatively trivial Google searches on political science. But POLITICAL SCIENCE, ultimately, can only describe that which IS or IS NOT, because it is a science rather than art. POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY takes a step beyond, to describe that which MIGHT BE.

Plato's cave: an artistic conception
More: Politics as Science without Philosophy
Category:
Trump's War on Truth
Created:
03/14/17
Modified:
03/27/17
Words:
1422

Last week, Facebook added a ‘disputed news’ metadata tag, the first in a series of expected social media tools to filter out 'fake news' [1]. The appearance of more such tools will be a last-ditch effort to save factual truth on the Internet. But will they work? Although fake news filtering is a great idea, I feel rather obligated to point out, no, it won't work, because they do not address the real problem. First I need to say, I am a retired Oxford scholar of philosophy and prior digital architect for Intel, Apple, AT&T and Comcast products. I have been following this trend for the last ten years, first in 2nd-Amendment social media groups. When I first predicted that Tea Party ethics would take over the government, academics scoffed at me. Last year they were no longer scoffing. So I will explain what I have observed.

Canadian investigative journalists counted and categorized the lies told by Trump in the 18 days before the 2016 Presidential election day: a total of 560, or 20 per day
More: Do Facts and Rational Dialog make any Difference now?
Category:
Natural Law, Rights, and the Social Contract
Created:
03/10/17
Modified:
03/13/17
Words:
4357

This article is not an endorsement of 'either side.' It simply summarizes how radical Islamic terrorism picks up on Augustinian ideas of divine law's precedence over human law (as restated in the Qu'ran), with results exactly the same as from Augustinian doctrine in early Christian history. Then after summarizing how the division between church and state came about in the West, it discusses what's best to do about it. By way of preface, there is a very good explanation why you never heard this before, and it is not because the facts are unsound. A truly neutral analysis is beset not merely by criticism, but rather outright condemnation, from all sides. Immediately after sharing this on Facebook, I was banned from three groups, without even an attempt to open the link. Most others said I was wrong for reasons countermanded in the next paragraph. Also I am obligated to state first, I am an American citizen, a Satipatṭhāna Buddhist, a retired Oxford scholar, and have no affiliations with any religious or political organization.

ISIS reduced this amphitheater in Palmyra (Syria) to total rubble, for the same reason early Christians destroyed most Roman texts
More: Early Christian Doctrine Causes Radical Islamic Terrorism
Category:
Trump's War on Truth
Created:
03/01/17
Modified:
03/24/17
Words:
2086

Trump just called for peace and unity in his first address to joint congress. Fox News anchor Hannity is saying, "what an impressive speech! How could any disagree?"...So I drafted most of this in 20 minutes right then. Within 8 hours of Trump's speech, my comment received more attention on Facebook than any I have ever written before. So I share it here. But I have to start with the answer to all criticisms so far: I am an Oxford scholar, American citizen, and neither liberal nor a democrat.

How Much Clearer Does it Need to Be?
More: Make War, Drugs, Disease, and Disunity Great Again