William James’s Argument for Free Will

It’s a simple hypothesis: I have the ability to choose freely what actions I will take. Whether that hypothesis is correct — or its opposite is correct, that our choices are determined by external forces — is impossible to prove by reason. Or is it? William James observed that generating […]

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Jean-François Lyotard

A positive answer to the postmodern condition? French philosopher and sociologist Lyotard (1924–1998) was a fierce critic of universalizing theories and “metanarratives” (narratives about narratives). In his book, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (1979), he proclaimed that we have outgrown our need for metanarratives or grand narratives. Metanarratives […]

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The Fake Left (Book Excerpt)

A sure sign of intellectual and emotional maturity is the ability and willingness to think beyond simplistic binaries. Alas, it is something that political extremists are unable or unwilling to do. How could people who claim to be anti-war and anti-imperialist end up supporting an imperialist war? Simple: when their […]

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Book: What Left and Right Mean

What Left and Right Mean: Clarifying the Political Spectrum Understanding the political spectrum and what motivates political actions have never been so vital. Politics is complex, and many political conflicts have considerable effects on our lives. We are all so used to the terms “left,” “right,” “liberal,” and “conservative” that […]

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Buddhism Is Wrong

Okay, that headline is unfair because “Buddhism” is not a discrete entity but has many forms. However, that is part of my point. Read on, please. I saw a video address using a Hollywood celebrity to promote a particular school of Buddhism. “I realized all my thoughts are illusions,” said […]

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Danny Kaye on Travel

A Philosophy of Travel

The idea of travel has a romantic mystique. Travel is something out of the ordinary, beyond the mundane. We don’t say we travel to work, we say we commute. Travel appeals to a deeper sense that many of us have for something more—to experience something more and hopefully better. People […]

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