Jean-Paul Sartre’s Bad Faith The Id And The Ego In Being and Nothingness, Sartre argues that consciousness is consciousness of its being (what we might call ‘self-consciousness’). He also argues that what consciousness is conscious of – its ‘being’ – is that it is what it is not. What does this mean by this? For Sartre, human … Continue reading Existentialism: Jean-Paul Sartre’s bad faith
The Panopticon – Discipline and Punish In Discipline and Punish, Michel Foucault explores the utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon in idea and in practice. A panopticon is, in its general form, a building structured so as to have one central observation point, like the watch tower in the centre of the panopticon prison, and rooms or … Continue reading Social Theory: Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish – The Panopticon
In The Criqitue of Pure Reason Immanuel Kant sets out to give a systematic account of the metaphysics that underpins empirical inquiry. Kant was operating in the age of the Enlightenment, at a time when scientists like Isaac Newton and his predecessor Galileo loomed large. Empiricism – study based on observation – was making great … Continue reading Metaphysics: An overview of Kant’s project
In What is it like to be bat? Thomas Nagel explores the mind-body problem by asking us to consider the subjective experience of other conscious beings. He compares the mind-body problem to that of other reductive analyses of things like water and lightning. Water, for example, can be reduced from our experience of it (how it looks, … Continue reading Philosophy of Mind: Thomas Nagel’s What is it like to be bat?
Jean-Paul Sartre’s Existentialism is a Humanism sets out the main claims of existentialism, and defends these against some of the criticisms laid against it. He makes two fundamental claims – that God is dead; and that all claims about humanity and the world must begin with human experience. Given that these two claims are true, … Continue reading Existentialism: Jean-Paul Sartre’s Existentialism is a Humanism
For Aristotle, becoming good is a matter of practice. He believed that each of us are born with dispositions towards good things – an inclination towards justice, courage, and kindness, for example – and becoming good requires us to exercise these dispositions regularly so that they become habits. In order to make good actions habits, … Continue reading Ethics: How to become good
A romp through the philosophy of mind (part 2) – Marianne Talbot Anomalous monism is a theory in the philosophy of mind. The philosopher Donald Davidson argues that mental things must have a physical ontology (that is, must exist as/be part of a physical thing) because only physical things can cause other physical things (see my … Continue reading Philosophy of mind: How do mental things cause physical things?