Articles from 05/2012

2 May 2012

Counsellor – 22

Flossarian, a research postgraduate in philosophy at Rio Tinto University, had a problem, a dilemma. He hesitated in the corridor, listening to the bursts of manic laughter that came from Lionel Cashcard’s room. He waited for the student counsellor to pause for breath before knocking.

“Come in!” said Cashcard, looking up from his expenses form and creaking in his leather jeans. “What can I do for you?”

“I’ve got a problem, a dilemma,” said Flossarian.

The counsellor, writing furiously, gestured to a plastic…Read

It’s all in the Imagination

When he said “Imagination is more important than knowledge”, Albert Einstein implied a contrast between fact and possibility. I should like to suggest that there no distinction in kind between the two, but that many people mistakenly accord too much importance to the idea of reality, that is, to what they think we can know for certain. Let us begin, then, with something that seems to combine the real and the unreal: fictional drama.

In discussing drama with students, I have found that many of them, to start with, invoke realism as the yardstick. The…Read

A Job For Philosophy

D r. Shenkman writes a letter saying “Please Philosophers, tell me how we can survive in such a hostile environment as our universe”. He asks philosophers to tell him ‘what we are’ and ‘how we should behave towards others’. He describes what he has seen of philosophy so far as the “behaviour of a headless chicken” referring I suspect to the fragmented and specialised nature of the subject as it is practised today. It might be just to accuse modern analytic philosophy, unlike philosophy in other periods of history, of having…Read

Editorial, May 2012

Google recently announced that they have built goggles which allow human beings to hook their brains up to an online feed, giving them constant bursts of information. Like a smart phone for your mind, these ‘augmented reality glasses’ respond to your voice commands and fill your field of vision with constant reminders, directions and suggestions about where to have lunch. It is not far from the scenario depicted in M.T. Anderson’s satirical novel Feed in which just about everybody has a chip installed in their brain which is permanently hooked up to the Internet.…Read