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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