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Aesthetics, art, beauty and mind

Netflix goes over the moral cliff (or is it “conspiracism”?) . . .

A pic to ponder, first: In the aftermath of Mr Weinstein, Mr Epstein, Ms Maxwell and others (see here, the MeToo movement and how it helped set up the Kavanaugh hearings accusations), as well as the questions hovering over Prince Andrew of Windsor and others, many have begun to believe there is a lurking network of – promotion of sexual perversities (aka perversion), – sex trafficking (the notorious casting couch is sex trafficking), – grooming and trafficking of minors (there is a reason for age of consent laws),– possibly, networks of blackmail– promotion of pornography and near pornography — often, little more than – prostitution or even rape (Linda Lovelace, if you doubt me) on film or video– tied to Read More ›

Is Christian art an expression of white supremacism?

Overnight, we noted a certain Mr Sean King, aka “Talcum X” who has perhaps 1.1 million Twitter followers: I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down. They are a form of white supremacy. Always have been. In the Bible, when the family of Jesus wanted to hide, and blend in, guess where they went? EGYPT! Not Denmark. Tear them down . . . . Yes. All murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends should also come down. They are a gross form white supremacy. Created as tools of oppression. Racist propaganda. They should all come down. Of course, immediately, Egypt c. 7 – Read More ›

Thoughts on the soul

In the recent discussion on causation, I noted: KF, 72: >>As I think about cause, I am led to ponder a current discussion that echoes Plato on the self-moved, ensouled agent with genuine freedom. Without endorsing wider context, John C Wright draws out a key point that we may ponder as a nugget drawn from a stream-bed: Men have souls [–> that which gives us self-moved, responsible, rational freedom]. Once one accepts that premise, one must accept the conclusions that follow from it: creatures with souls are not evolved from slime, since spirit, being simple and eternal, cannot be brought into being by matter, which is compound, subject to change and decay, nor brought into being by any blind natural Read More ›

Karsten Pultz: The Information Problem, Part Two

My main postulate is that information is strictly tied to an idea, a product, or a message. I cannot see how it is possible to have information prior to the idea, product, or message because information is an abstract representation of those things. How can an abstract representation exist prior to the phenomenon which it represents? Read More ›

Massimo Pigliucci: Feynman was wrong about truth and beauty in science

He starts out well but notice how Darwinism, flung into the works like an old shoe, undermines the topic completely. If beauty is really “in the eye of the beholder” full stop, there is really no such thing as beauty. If the “capacity for aesthetic appreciation” evolved “possibly involving natural selection,” then it is unrelated to the object and best understood in terms of how many children artists have. Read More ›

Physics envy is a terrible thing, especially in economists

John Rapley: That’s something that ‘physics envy’ can’t capture – that the social nature of human beings makes any laws of behaviour tentative and contextual. In fact, the very term ‘social science’ is probably best seen as an oxymoron. Read More ›

Natural philosopher insists, science is deeply imaginative

Okay but the multiverse crowd does not lack imagination. Nor do those who have convinced themselves of panpsychism. The thing about imagination in science is that it must be disciplined. If it isn’t, it ends up competing with fiction, without the style. Read More ›

Churchill on rebuilding the traditional: “We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us”

According to news reports, already over US$ 1 billion has been pledged towards rebuilding Notre Dame: BTW: after the fire, a video tour: In today’s ever so polarised age [currently awaiting the infamous redacted Mueller Report on a two-year investigation into US President Trump], it is unsurprising that we see for example in Rolling Stone: . . . for some people in France, Notre Dame has also served as a deep-seated symbol of resentment, a monument to a deeply flawed institution and an idealized Christian European France that arguably never existed in the first place. “The building was so overburdened with meaning that its burning feels like an act of liberation,” says Patricio del Real, an architecture historian at Harvard Read More ›

Logic & First Principles, 14: Are beauty, truth, knowledge, goodness and justice merely matters of subjective opinions? (Preliminary thoughts.)

We live in a Kant-haunted age, where the “ugly gulch” between our inner world of appearances and judgements and the world of things in themselves is often seen as unbridgeable. Of course, there are many other streams of thought that lead to widespread relativism and subjectivism, but the ugly gulch concept is in some ways emblematic. Such trends influence many commonly encountered views, most notably our tendency to hold that being a matter of taste, beauty lies solely in the eye of the beholder. And yet, we find the world-famous bust of Nefertiti: Compare, 3400 years later; notice the symmetry and focal power of key features for Guinean model, Sira Kante : And then, ponder the highly formal architecture of Read More ›