I first learned of the idea of a psychopath in Thomas Harris’ thriller, the Silence of Lambs. Hannibal Lecter was a deeply fascinating character, and all the more frightening because he didn’t look like a grotesque monster, a violent & bloodthirsty beast. Instead, Lecter was a charming and intelligent character with a doctorate in psychology, but utterly conscience-free. His hypothetical existence forced me to reflect and sound the depths of darkness within. However, psychopaths remained only a curiosity until this quarter, when I came across the idea of psychopaths again in the works of moral philosophers. In this essay, I shall summarize the main arguments of Nichols and Kenneth regarding the danger that psychopaths pose to moral reasoning. Then I shall argue why neither passes muster, for they remain trapped within the tradition of philosophy as a meta-psychology, and why psychopaths are potential harbingers of the future. Continue reading Psychopaths: Moral Deviants or Harbingers?
This semester I’m taking a graduate course in the philosophy of religion. I already took one as an undergraduate, but under a different professor who was a proficient expert on Hegel. This time, the current professor seems far more culturally informed and global, which leads to an entirely different angle to assess religion philosophically. Continue reading The failure of philosophy of religion
Exposition of Task of a Preparatory Analysis of Dasein, or Bare-Knuckled Brawl with Dasein
In The first division of part I of Being & Time, Heidegger attempts a transcendental analysis by finding the necessary conditions for some phenomenon – the Dasein – much like Kant did in his Critique where he analyzed objective experience.
No self-respecting student of Continental philosophy can speak with any credibility unless they’ve studied the juggernaut of the 20th century Being & Time! I am about to set out on a journey but I may not return the same, if at all. Continue reading Being & Time: Introduction
In a previous blogAll Roads Lead to Ferdinand, I discussed Saussure as an opening of a new paradigm in the human sciences. Today, up at bat is Emile Durkheim, one of the founding fathers of the French social anthropology, who had a revolutionary insight that complements Saussure’s in linguistics. Continue reading Next stop: Durkheim & anthropology
I think both mind/body are incommensurate descriptions that vie for the title of truth of ontology of objects. We aren’t finished with demythologizing our ideas, and by getting rid of the Cartesian self we are de-divinizing philosophy by disposing an underlying substantial metaphysical center that grounds existence. Continue reading So much for the philosophy of the mind
Many people are quick to declare that because we all have our own philosophy of life, because we choose to think, therefore, we are all philosophers. However… the sad & ugly truth is that most people do not really think far enough, deeply or study carefully. Continue reading Everybody is a philosopher!
I view the transcendent concept as the ultimate armchair philosopher’s method of condescending to natural sciences and history and it began with Kant’s conditions of possibility. Whereas physics & history find conditions for the existence of entities by locating temporally prior entities, philosophy achieves such autonomy only as long it escapes time. Continue reading Skepticism of the transcendence of language
This blog explores the radical insights of a Swiss linguist, Ferdinand Saussure, but first I will start with how linguistics changed from its early days as philology to a full-blown human science. By the 20th century, we (Americans) had become comfortable with the notion that man in general is to be defined by his language as opposed to the powers of the mind. Ideas can no longer exist in the mind without words, and nor can anyone reason without the aid of sentences. Man is the unique animal that employs a unique instrument to think with. However, such stipulations were taken further in the works of Saussure. Continue reading All roads lead to Ferdinand