Tags » Thomas Nagel

Can philosophical arguments motivate people?

One reason to do philosophy is so that you can find out, by careful thought and argumentation, the right thing to do– and then do it. 393 more words

Thomas Nagel - "What Is It Like to Be a Bat?" (1974)

Even without the benefit of philosophical reflection, anyone who has spent some time in an enclosed space with an excited bat knows what it is to encounter a fundamentally…

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The Anatomy of Luck

Chance rules us all. — Sherwood Anderson

The philosophers Bernard Williams and Thomas Nagel are known for insightful thought experiments in relation to the role of personal accountability, morality, and the caprice of circumstance. 640 more words

Berkeley and Pascal Read Kant's Transcendental Aesthetic

Kant famously argues that space and time do not belong to objects perceived, but rather are transcendental conditions for the perception of any object. He begins by noting, “That in which alone the sensations can be posited and ordered in a certain form, cannot itself be sensation; and therefore, while the matter of all appearance is given to us… 749 more words


Science and Other Forms of Knowledge

Scientism is alive and well. At least that’s what my most recent discussions with atheists indicate. “Science is the only source of knowledge,” “unless it can be empirically verified in a lab, with repeatable experiments, then it cannot be known,” and this sentiment ad nauseum… Bertrand Russell put it this way: “Whatever knowledge is attainable, must be attained by scientific methods; and what science cannot discover, mankind cannot know.” 739 more words

Alex Rosenberg

"Mind-Changers - V: Out of, Like a Bat" / Memorable Fancies #1267

         A philosopher swapped his mind with a bat’s, just to understand the bat’s subjective experience. The bat itself, now having the philosopher’s mind, was expected to give a highly enlightening seminar on the philosophy of perception, but all it spoke of was – how odd to have wings. 38 more words


Unifying Books

Today I was reading two different books, What Does it All Mean? by Thomas Nagel and The Scientists by John Gribbin. Both books included passages with the word ‘soul’: 250 more words