Recently I attended a talk by Ronnie de Sousa, a philosopher at The University of Toronto, by the somewhat unusual, almost oxymoronic, title of “Love and Reason” (as opposed to, say, Love or Reason). It turned out to be a fascinating tour de force ranging from the Countess of Champagne and her 1176 verdict on the nature of love, to cognitive scientist’s Helen Fisher studies of the chemical underpinning of different aspects of love. Here I will limit myself to a few aspects of de Sousa’s talk (who graciously provided me with his original slides), but Ronnie is finishing a paper on the subject, so stay tuned for much more if what follows happen to sufficiently stimulate your curiosity.
You’ve probably heard of the uproar that has recently been caused by a bill introduced by Texas Representative Lamar Smith, the chair of the US House of Representatives’ Science Committee.
Readers of this blog know very well by now that, despite (or is it because of?) being both a scientist and a philosopher, I have often defended the idea that science and philosophy are distinct disciplines, and I am critical in particular of those who I think display a scientistic (i.e., intellectually imperialistic) attitude in wanting to expand the scope of science to pretty much everything that is worth knowing, usually at the expense of humanistic disciplines, philosophy in particular.
As readers of this blog know, I am not sympathetic to extreme reductionism
, and reject both it and determinism in favor of a robust concept of emergence
There is currently a Twitter survey
going on to establish a list of favorite philosophers of all time, organized by Oxford University Press.
I don’t know the results yet, but my entries would have to be David Hume (1st prize), Aristotle (2nd) and Bertrand Russell (3rd).