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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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Plato – One of the most esteemed thinkers of all time

Plato (427-347 BCE) was a Greek philosopher born into an aristocratic Athenian family. Over the centuries he has come to be regarded as one of the most influential philosophers of all time, especially within Western philosophy. Plato’s quick wit and … Continue reading


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Bertrand Russell – Temporarily lost his job for advocating peace

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was a Welsh philosopher, mathematician and activist. Russell taught at Cambridge in 1895, published Principles of Mathematics (1903) and, with A. N. Whitehead, wrote Principia Mathematica (1910-13). He was let go from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1916 … Continue reading


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The Rosetta Stone – An important key to understanding the ancient world

The Rosetta Stone is a large gray stele naturally tinted blue and pink measuring almost four feet high, over two feet wide and almost a foot thick. It is a fragment of a larger, original stone, and was discovered in … Continue reading


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The Renaissance – Some were punished, others outsmarted authoritarian powers

A term that literally means “rebirth,” the Renaissance brought on a flowering of the arts, architecture, music, literature, philosophy, religion, science and scholarship. Prefigured in the 12th century, what some call the High Middle Ages, most agree that the Renaissance began … Continue reading


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Realism – What is real, anyhow?

Realism is a term with several meanings. Here are three: 1- Creative work in arts and culture, known as “representations” that appear natural and accurate. The accuracy can be poetic or blunt, and may carry a political message. Like most … Continue reading


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James Randi – Skeptic, debunker of the paranormal

James Randi (1928-) is a Toronto born American citizen known for his skepticism and enthusiastic debunking of paranormal truth claims. In the past, Randi has demanded scientific evidence of paranormal abilities using science as he defines it. This was evident in … Continue reading


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Suttee – A violent and cruel remnant of Hinduism that continues today (without any attempt to legitimize it spiritually)

Embed from Getty Images Sati handprint on the entrance to Junagarh Fort. Sati was the practice where a woman burned herself on the her husband’s funeral pyre or when her husband died in battle defending the fort. Suttee or Sati (Skt. … Continue reading