An iconic taxonomy of bias.
Here’s a sample of readings drawn from the Texts on this site: We open with some “Socratic Lives” – that of Martin Luther King, Jr., and that gadfly on which King in part modeled himself: Socrates. Each in his way, these thinkers were doers. Challengers of the status quo beliefs, they called for rational consistency and for justice. Each in his way created a situation of what King called “constructive tension,” in which we – as individuals and as “society” – must confront ourselves, and respond to the challenges of consistency and justice. (Warning: Carrying such a message can be […]
This section of our text is selected from Book X of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (Εθικη Νικομαχοι). Trans. W.D. Ross.Numerals styled like this are “Bekker numbers” deriving from the 19th century Bekker edition of Aristotle’s surviving works (Corpus Aristotelicum), still standard for references.I indicate where my commentary ends by using our writer’s avatar where the primary text begins:
I hold it to be an impious and an execrable maxim that, politically speaking, a people has a right to do whatsoever it pleases, and yet I have asserted that all authority originates in the will of the majority. Am I then, in contradiction with myself? A general law—which bears the name of Justice—has been made and sanctioned, not only by a majority of this or that people, but by a majority of mankind. The rights of every people are consequently confined within the limits of what is just.
Selections from Descartes’ Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One’s Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences are from Jonathan Bennett’s translation. Some words on his practices: “[Brackets] enclose editorial explanations. Small ·dots· enclose material that has been added, but can be read as though it were part of the original text. Occasional •bullets, and also indenting of passages that are not quotations, are meant as aids to grasping the structure of a sentence or a thought. Every four-point ellipsis . . . . indicates the omission of a brief passage that seems to present more difficulty than […]
This translation of Descartes’ 1641 Meditations is from the 1911 edition of The Philosophical Works of Descartes (Cambridge University Press), translated from the Latin by Elizabeth S. Haldane.1I indicate where my commentary ends by using our writer’s avatar where the primary text begins: Download an imperfect PDF of this page.
Selections from Descartes’ Passions of the Soul is from Jonathan Bennett’s translation. Some words on his practices: “[Brackets] enclose editorial explanations. Small ·dots· enclose material that has been added, but can be read as though it were part of the original text. Occasional •bullets, and also indenting of passages that are not quotations, are meant as aids to grasping the structure of a sentence or a thought. Every four-point ellipsis . . . . indicates the omission of a brief passage that seems to present more difficulty than it is worth. Longer omissions are reported between brackets.”
What Utilitarianism Is
According to the Greatest Happiness Principle… [hilite]the ultimate end[/hilite], with reference to and for the sake of which all other things are desirable (whether we are considering our own good or that of other people), [hilite]is an existence exempt as far as possible from pain, and as rich as possible in enjoyments[/hilite], both in point of quantity and quality; the test of quality, and the rule for measuring it against quantity, being the preference felt by those who in their opportunities of experience, to which must be added their habits of self-consciousness and self-observation, are best furnished with the means of comparison.
Our selections come from the common Jowett translation of Plato’s Republic. For further study, I recommend C.D.C. Reeve’s better, albeit non-free, translation for Hackett Publishing, from 2004.Numerals styled like thisreflect 16th century “Stephanus pagination”, still standard for references.I’ve inserted speaker-labels (e.g., Socrates) to indicate the flow of dialogue — even in cases where Socrates is reporting what the speaker said. Once characters are established, I thin them out.I indicate where my commentary ends by using our writer’s avatar where the primary text begins:
Originally published in The Philosophical Review 60 (1951): 20-43. Reprinted in W.V.O. Quine, From a Logical Point of View (Harvard University Press, 1953; second, revised, edition 1961), with the following alterations: “The version printed here diverges from the original in footnotes and in other minor respects: §§1 and 6 have been abridged where they encroach on the preceding essay [“On What There Is”], and §§3-4 have been expanded at points.” Except for minor changes, additions and deletions are indicated in interspersed tables. I wish to thank Torstein Lindaas for bringing to my attention the need to distinguish more carefully the […]
by Eleanor Rosch, University of California, Berkeley, 1978 Readings in Cognitive Science, a Perspective from Psychology and Artificial Intelligence, Allan Collins & Edward E. Smith, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, San Mateo, California, 1988, pp 312-322. The following is a taxonomy of the animal kingdom. It has been attributed to an ancient Chinese encyclopedia entitled the Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge: On those remote pages it is written that animals are divided into (a) those that belong to the Emperor, (b) embalmed ones, (c) those that are trained, (d) suckling pigs, (e) mermaids, (f) fabulous ones, (g) stray dogs, (h) those that […]
This text is from Thinking Like a Mountain: Toward a Council of All Beings in John Seed, Joanna Macy, Arne Naess & Pat Fleming (New Society Publishers, Philadelphia, 1988). First published in Ecophilosophy 5 (Sierra College, California) and reprinted in Pantheism, Oikos, Awakening in the Nuclear Age, and several Australian journals.
Our text comes from Plato in Twelve Volumes. Trans. W.R.M. Lamb. Vol. 8. Harvard University Press, 1955. The numbered notes derive from the Perseus Digital Library.Numerals styled like thisreflect 16th century “Stephanus pagination”, still standard for references.I indicate where my commentary ends by using our writer’s avatar where the primary text begins:
For at least the next 200 years, weather forecasts predict shitstorms, with global temperatures now set to remain elevated for hundreds of years to come. The latest IPCC report explains that our emissions are nearing the point of no return. Even if industrialized nations switched to solar power overnight, it is now too late to fully reverse the planet’s course. Geologists have officially termed this new epoch, where the human species has irreparably shaped earth’s geological history, the
Anthropocene. Policymakers no longer have the luxury to decide how we might “stop” global warming. Instead, we have to figure out how we’ll manage amidst climate instability.