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Talcott Parsons (1902-1979) – “To be insulted by these fascists, it’s so degrading…”

Talcott Parsons (1902-1979) was an American sociologist who emphasized the functional role of social stratification, as well as a positive relationship between education and politics. His work clearly rejects communism and fascist totalitarianism. In fact, he was impressed by Max … Continue reading


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Freudian Slips – Glitch in the machine or key to countless possibilities?

Parapraxis, the Freudian Slip Parapraxis is an obscure word for a pretty common idea—The Freudian Slip. The founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, was the first to try to analytically explain its occurrence. In the Psychopathology of Everyday Life Freud says parapraxes are unintentional … Continue reading


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Willard Quine – My unapologetic simplification

Willard Quine (1908-2000) was an influential American mathematician and philosopher who rejected Kant’s analytic-synthetic distinction¹ and advocated a form of holism. Quine argues that empiricism contains “two dogmas.” One dogma is the distinction made between intellectual constructs and facts. The … Continue reading


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The Quakers, past and present

The Quakers (a.k.a. The Religious Society of Friends) are a religious movement founded in England by George Fox (1624-1691). Wikipedia outlines the interesting origins of the appellation, Quakers. In 1650, Fox was brought before the magistrates Gervase Bennet and Nathaniel Barton, on a charge … Continue reading


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Gilbert Ryle – An Oxford man who advocated “ordinary language”

Gilbert Ryle (1900-76) was an English philosopher who taught at Oxford from 1945-68. He edited the journal Mind from 1947-71. Embed from Getty Images Ryle and others like G. E. Moore developed the idea, forwarded by Wittgenstein, that philosophy is … Continue reading


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The Runes – Another window into beliefs about the sacred and profane

Runes are the characters of different Germanic languages dating from 150 CE.¹ The characters gradually took on divinatory and mystical significance as they spread from southern Europe to Britain and Scandinavia. They were replaced by the Latin alphabet when runic cultures converted … Continue reading


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Jean-Jacques Rousseau – Creative genius on the edge

Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) was a French speaking political writer and educator born in Geneva, Switzerland. After taking various odd jobs this self-taught intellectual moved to Paris in 1741, meeting up with Denis Diderot and the Encyclopedists. A kind of … Continue reading


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Rupert Sheldrake and Morphogenetic Fields

Morphogenetic fields is a biological term adapted by the English biochemist Rupert Sheldrake to suggest that evolution is a transference of past habits to present ones.¹ Sheldrake says morphogenetic fields have “physical effects” but “are not made of matter.” In contrast … Continue reading