Final Thoughts of a Disenchanted Naturalist

In Geoffrey Harpham’s first contribution to “On the Human” he wrote,

One of the most striking features of contemporary intellectual life is the fact that questions formerly reserved for the humanities are today being approached by scientists in various disciplines such as cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience, robotics, artificial life, behavioral genetics and evolutionary biology.


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A Suicidal Tendency in the Humanities

There is an interesting question as to why those in the humanities – most notably literary studies – have felt so dissatisfied with their performance as not just to re-invent themselves – which is fine and healthy – but to attempt to destroy their very rationale. I want to examine a tendency amongst some of

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Participants and Spectators


There remains great controversy in philosophy over the issue of how we should make sense of what people do, of their actions, as opposed to explaining what happens to them. Some philosophers believe that if the question is: what distinguishes naturally occurring events like bodily movements in space from metaphysically distinct purposive doings initiated

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Moral Skepticism and Moral Disagreement: Developing an Argument from Nietzsche

By “moral skepticism,” I shall mean the view that there are no objective moral ‘facts’ or ‘truths.’ Moral skeptics from Friedrich Nietzsche to Charles Stevenson to John Mackie have appealed to the purported fact of widespread and intractable moral disagreement to support the skeptical conclusion. Typically, such arguments invoke anthropological reports about the moral views

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Humans and Humanists (and Scientists)

Although humanism itself has often been controversial, until recently there has been a fair amount of consensus about the denotation of “human” among practitioners and critics. This consensus has been notably durable. In the Oxford English Dictionary, the first three senses of “human” distinguish “mankind” from animals, from “mere objects or events,” and from

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Science and the Humanities

At odd moments, often when I’m distracted, it occurs to me that a song or a piece of music has been repeatedly running through my head. It’s an experience nearly everyone has. Sometimes it’s invigorating to realize that you have been striding through the day to the chords of Beethoven, but it’s often quite irritating

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