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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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Sanskrit – Does God have a special language?

Sanskrit (samskrta = cultured, perfected, in contrast to prakrta = uncultured, popular) is the sacred, ancient language of Hinduism. One school of thought believes that an early form of Sanskrit originated with Aryan invaders and their Vedic hymns around 2,000 … Continue reading


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Pali – Language of the ancient Buddhists

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, presenting the Presidential Award to the Scholars of Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian & Pali/Prakrit & Mahrshi Badrayan Vyas Samman for the year 2014 at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Pali is an ancient language derived from Sanskrit, used … Continue reading


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Postmodernism – Not necessarily absurd or without wings

The term postmodernism became popular in the 1970s and 80s but has roots reaching back through the centuries. Social theorists usually try to define concepts through a key set of ideas and parameters. Postmodernism challenges conventional perceptions of “the definition” … Continue reading


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Peter, Paul and Women – Another look at the Early Church

Among Christians, St. Peter is often compared to St. Paul. Peter is seen as the rule man. Paul, the innovator. Together, they are usually cited as the two most important early Christians after Jesus Christ, himself. Women in Early Christianity Feminists … Continue reading


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Wave-Particle Duality – Micro concept with macro implications

The wave-particle duality refers to a contradiction that arises when we try to understand the nature of light. Light can be either a wave (energy) or particle (matter), depending on the way we observe and interpret it. Some even try … 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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Quiddity – What is?

Embed from Getty Images Quiddity (Latin: quidditas = whatness) is a medieval scholastic term referring a thing’s essence (primary substance) in contrast to its observable form (secondary substance). This kind of distinction goes back to Plato and plays an important … 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