Tag Archives: nietzsche

The struggle over consciousness

One of the major themes of Western philosophy since Plato is the elevation and near-deification of consciousness. Conscious thought and reflection have been prized above all else. Suspicion has been directed towards everything that is dark, murky, instinctive, unclear, unreasonable. Spirit has been emphasised above body. Christianity and its penal mechanisms was in no small […]

Science and non-repeatable events

Scientific method is fundamentally concerned with repeatable events. The phenomena that science captures most easily may be described using the following formula: once conditions A have been established, if B is done, then C happens.  This kind of science is a science of reactions, of the reactive. But what about a science of the active? Is […]

Innocent knowing

Knowledge can be associated with weight, heaviness, obligation, cynicism. Depending on one’s attitude, it can be seen as opposed to more “innocent” qualities such as beauty and play in many cases. The more we know of our own history, and the more honestly we face it, the more gloomy we might become about the prospects […]

Scott Aaronson has misunderstood continental philosophy

It is first with delight and then with a growing feeling of sadness that I read Luke Muelhauser’s interview with the computer scientist Scott Aaronson at the Machine Intelligence Research Institute. As a computer scientist, Aaronson has contributed much to our understanding of complexity theory and other areas. He has even written popular science books […]

Teilhard de Chardin, Nietzsche and individuation

On a friend’s recommendation I started reading Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s The Phenomenon of Man. De Chardin was a Jesuit and a paleontologist who in this work attempted to reconcile his Christian beliefs with evolution and natural selection. The result is an intense work of great ambition, rich with vivid metaphors. By chance I was leafing […]