A discussion forum (and e-mail list) for the philosophers on the Humanities Commons platform.
Was Swift correct that “reasoning will never make a man correct an ill opinion, which by reasoning he never acquired” (Letter to a Young Gentleman)? If so, what recourse is there to change attitudes especially among those who continue to fervently believe unjustified claims and act upon them in a way that affects other people? I will answer the…[Read more]
According to Manuel Davenport, “The best humorists–Mark Twain, Will Rogers, Bob Hope, and Mort Sahl–share [a] mixture of detachment and desire, eagerness to believe, and irreverence concerning the possibility of certainty. And when they become serious about their convictions–as Twain did about colonialism…they cease to be humorous”. I agree…[Read more]
This chapter will focus on the overlap and benefits of a humorous and philosophical attitude toward the world and our place in it. The first part of this chapter’s title borrows from Kierkegaard and before him the Christian apologist Turtullian, who once quipped about the central contradictory tenets of Christianity, in putatively ironic f…[Read more]
The discovery of mirror neurons in both primates and humans has led to an enormous amount of research and speculation as to how conscious beings are able to interact so effortlessly among one another. Mirror neurons might provide an embodied basis for passive synthesis and the eventual process of further communalization through empathy, as…[Read more]
I argue that the overt subjugation in the system of American slavery and its subsequent effects offer a case study for an existentialist analysis of freedom, oppression and humor. Concentrating on the writings and experiences of Frederick Douglass and the existentialists Simone De Beauvoir and Lewis Gordon, I investigate how the concepts of…[Read more]
In the first part of this paper, I will briefly introduce the concept of incongruity and its relation to humor and seriousness, connecting the ideas of Arthur Schopenhauer and the contemporary work of John Morreall. I will reveal some of the relations between Schopenhauer’s notion of “seriousness” and the existentialists such as Jean Paul Sartr…[Read more]
In this paper I borrow from Maria Lugones’ work on playful ” world-traveling ” and W.E.B. Du Bois’ notion of ” double consciousness ” to make the case that humor can facilitate an openness and cooperative attitude among an otherwise closed, even adversarial audience. I focus on what I call ” subversive ” humor, that which is employed by or on…[Read more]
The majority of philosophers of religion, at least since Plantinga’s reply to Mackie’s logical problem of evil, agree that it is logically possible for an omnibenevolent, omniscient, and omnipotent God to exist who permits some of the evils we see in the actual world. This is conceivable essentially because of the possible world known as heaven.…[Read more]
This paper begins by taking seriously former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass’ response in his What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? to systematic violence and oppression. He claims that direct argumentation is not the ideal mode of resistance to oppression: ” At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed.” I…[Read more]
This paper investigates the relationships between forms of humor that conjure up possible worlds and real-world social critiques. The first part of the paper will argue that subversive humor, which is from or on behalf of historically and continually marginalized communities, constitutes a kind of aesthetic experience that can elicit enjoyment…[Read more]
More and more artists from all over the world are engaging in the production of AI art. Because of this, art historians need to start thinking about how the histories of AI art should be articulated. This paper aims to take part in this conversation by addressing the problem of whether the AIs created by human artists should be considered as…[Read more]
Spanish Abstract: Reseña del artículo de José Luis Pardo ‘El futuro de la Universidad Pública’, donde se medita sobre la finalidad social y sentido último de la Universidad como institución, en el contexto de la reforma española de titulaciones emprendida en 2005. ______…[Read more]
This is perhaps the world’s first book in which a philosopher himself illustrates his own philosophical investigation into hard problems on time, being, solipsism, and life, in the form of “Manga.” This book was originally published in Japanese in 2013 and translated into English by Robert Chapeskie in 2021.
This article explores the nature of remembering as a lake, with a lake, or through a lake; the differential relationships, knowledge, and perspectives contained within; and the potentially troubling implications found at the intersection of scientific and humanistic perspectives on lake being. It also reflects on the totalizing nature of assuming…[Read more]
David I. Backer deposited History of the Reproduction-Resistance Dichotomy in Critical Education: The Line of Critique Against Louis Althusser, 1974-1985 in the group Philosophy on Humanities Commons 2 months, 1 week ago
This paper examines one intellectual and historical premise upon which the foundational distinction between reproduction and resistance rests in critical education: the line of critique against the French communist philosopher Louis Althusser’s theory of education. In the paper, I claim that a particular reading of Althusser coming out of B…[Read more]
“The narratives of the world are numberless”; yet, all stories may be seen as chapters of a single story, the story of universal evolution as uncovered by contemporary science, with processes of human emergence and cultural development as a prominent backdrop to the understanding of any narrative process. Evolutionary approaches to literary and…[Read more]
This issue focuses on philosophical dispensations of seeing the world in a “mooded” way.
D. Gregory MacIsaac deposited The Role of the Digression on the Man of the Law Courts and the Philosopher (172b-177c) in the Argument of Theaetetus in the group Philosophy on Humanities Commons 4 months, 1 week ago
Interpretations of the Theaetetus digression fail to see how it functions in Plato’s argument because they have taken its praise of the philosopher at face value. But this is not the philosopher from Republic. His otherworldliness reflects both Theodorus’ mathematical understanding of philosophy as the study of ‘divine’ objects and the judgeme…[Read more]
This is a critique of the logicist theory of truth and facts set forth in the final section of John R. Searle’s book ‘The Construction of Social Reality’ (1995). Searle’s logicist account, much in the line of his theory of speech acts, is contrasted to a pragmaticist and interactionalist perspective on truth, facts, and discourse. Keywords:…[Read more]
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