Meditations on the Tao Te Ching: Chapter 29

Do you think you can take over the universe and improve it? I do not believe it can be done.   The universe is sacred. You cannot improve it. If you try to change it, you will ruin it. If you try to hold it, you will lose it.   So sometimes things are ahead […]

“It’s Good but I Don’t Like It”; on Objective Evaluations of Art

People sometimes say that some piece of art (“art” in the broad sense, including the likes of movies, books, vidogames, music, etc.) is good, but they don’t like it, or that it’s bad, but they still like it. Statements such as these try to draw a distinction between an objective and subjective evaluation of art. […]

Neitzsche’s Metamorphoses, Taoism, and the Paradox of Nihilism

In Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche presents the idea of the Three Metamorphoses. He describes a transformation of a spirit into a camel, which strives to live by the set of values it has been given, until it grows overburdened with these values that are foreign to it and seeks to get rid of them. The […]

Meditations on the Tao Te Ching: Chapter 24

He who stands on tiptoe is not steady. He who strides cannot maintain the pace. He who makes a show is not enlightened. He who is self-righteous is not respected. He who boasts achieves nothing. He who brags will not endure. According to followers of the Tao, “These are extra food and unnecessary luggage.” They […]

Never to Have Been? A Critique of Benatar’s Antinatalism

David Benatar, author of Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence, is an antinatalist. He believes that coming into existence is a great harm, and that it would be best if everyone were to stop reproducing so that life could disappear altogether. Benatar’s writings are perhaps the most influential antinatalist texts, […]

Meditations on the Tao Te Ching: Chapter 18

When the great Tao is forgotten, Kindness and morality arise. When wisdom and intelligence are born, The great pretense begins. When there is no peace within the family, Filial piety and devotion arise. When the country is confused and in chaos, Loyal ministers appear. -Translation by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English When something no longer […]

Meditations on the Tao Te Ching: Chapter 17

When the Master governs, the peopleare hardly aware that he exists.Next best is a leader who is loved.Next, one who is feared.The worst is one who is despised.If you don’t trust the people,you make them untrustworthy.The Master doesn’t talk, he acts.When his work is done,the people say, “Amazing:we did it, all by ourselves!”-Translation by Stephen […]

A Critique of Gettier’s Problems

Gettier problems are a type of hypothetical situation which aims to  present beliefs that could be called knowledge under the “justified true belief” (JTB) definition while also conflicting with our intuitive notions of what should be called knowledge. These problems are used as evidence against the JTB definition of knowledge. They are named after Edward […]

Meditations on the Tao Te Ching: Chapter 15

The ancient masters were subtle, mysterious, profound, responsive.The depth of their knowledge is unfathomable.Because it is unfathomable,All we can do is describe their appearance.Watchful, like men crossing a winter stream.Alert, like men aware of danger.Courteous, like visiting guests.Yielding like ice about to melt.Simple, like uncarved blocks of wood.Hollow, like caves.Opaque, like muddy pools.Who can wait […]

Free Will: Incompatibilist “Freedom”

This post is my attempt to put into words those realizations which some 3 years ago led me to my current position on the existence and nature of free will. Though I have written much on free will in online forums since arriving at my current beliefs, I’ve said little regarding these core realizations that […]

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