January 5th, 2015
I recently saw Neil deGrasse-Tyson’s list of eight books for intelligent people to read and, though they aren’t all bad, there are much more profound books. So, naturally, there will be some overlap, though probably for different reasons, as well as a variety of topics as my focus also includes being cultured.
Being a member of academia or modern intelligentsia is great but if you don’t get out of your ivory tower and aren’t knowledgable in culture, pop-culture, history, the arts, music, etc. then you’re taking up a small niche of intelligentsia.
Aside from the diversity I just alluded to, my criteria will also include the impact the works have had on society[ies] and may include overlapping books for a single author–particularly if the books are integral to the ideology or thesis being presented.
Without further ado, let the countdown begin:
10. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Part philosopher, part theologian, and part literary genius, Dostoevsky depicts the problem of evil and a world without God in a magnificent way. The book is about two brothers in Russia during the Russian depression and war and one brother is an atheist and one is a Christian. The atheist plots to kill their father while the Christian struggles to convince him that there is objective morality. This is where we get Karamazov’s theorem: ☐(~Eg ⊃ ∀ϕ~Wϕ)
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October 31st, 2014
If you want to get under the skin of a philosopher there are a few ways to irk us. There’s more that just the annoyance of telling someone you’re a philosopher and they respond, “Oh, I took a psychology course in university!” Yes, that type of misunderstanding warrants the philosopher’s incredulous stare… just as these will:
10. “So, how will you make money? What do you do?”
Okay, so I’m not an engineer. I’m not a research chemist for a Fortune 500 corporation and I may not be able to work most blue collar tasks… However, I, and other philosophers, think (but there’s more!). For the philosopher, the act of philosophizing is not a mere intellectual exercise that could exist solely in consciousness. To the contrary, philosophy is a procedure and inquiry to the self, a “discovery and self-liberation.” The intellectual and cognitive acts of philosophy are participatory in their inquiry of the world. This would be very similar to the understanding that Socrates is the philosopher. He not only taught and philosophized, but he understood that the very act of philosophizing was an act of engagement with the world and it was a way of life.
9. The university administration putting philosophy in the periphery
Philosophy departments aren’t typically the big money-makers at university–typically. However, the university system needs to understand that the philosophy faculty, the philosophy students, and the discipline of philosophy in general is an investment rather than a moneymaker. I’ve seen firsthand that a university can divest in the philosophy department. Academia, the provost, the administrators, et al, need to view philosophy as the foundation by which a university is built and sustained.
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August 14th, 2014
In this episode I discuss criteria for making the demarcation between science and pseudoscience–that is, what we should consider science and non-science. I use an example of “Creation Science” as an example and evaluate whether or not it is scientific.
Full Text: sententias.org/2012/02/21/scienc…nd-pseudoscience/
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August 13th, 2014
I recently presented at the Tyndale Fellowship Conference in Cambridge in July. Whilst in attendance I listened to a paper by Max Baker-Hytch on this issue of cultural contingency of religion (or God being a “cultural chauvinist”) from a Reformed Epistemologist perspective. The paper is titled “Religious diversity and epistemic luck” by Max Baker-Hytch (PhD Philosophy, Oxford) and was published in the International Journal for Philosophy of Religion.
This episode of Eavesdropping is the audio recording from his presentation in Cambridge.
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August 12th, 2014
In this episode (Eavesdropping Ep8: Beginner Philosophers) I briefly discuss a few points of advice I have for those who are beginning their personal and/or academic studies in philosophy.
Eavesdropping is conversational, informal podcast that is sometimes a monologue, or dialogue with guests, on various topics including philosophy, theology, science, contemporary events, and random meanderings of a philosopher. The primary focuses are philosophy of science, multiverse scenarios, and Molinism.
Please consider donating via my PayPal (also the yellow donate button on the right column) to help me continue my research and online presence. I’m always very grateful. Thank you.
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August 11th, 2014
I figured it was about time for me to distribute some unsolicited advice (though some have asked for it so there is some wanted solicitation). In Eavesdropping Ep 6 I offer ten points of advice and wisdom that I’ve implemented and learned by using in my own academic career. This podcast is suited for two primary audiences: the students themselves and the family or parents of the students. For the family, brothers, sisters, girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, husbands, etc. that are supporters of their student then hopefully this podcast will help you help them stay on track.
I haven’t always been successful in my academic career so I may not be an authority here. However, that’s not to say that I haven’t done well either. I wanted to share my scholastic habits with those university students who want to take their education seriously. I cannot offer guarantees but it’s my hope that you do what works for you and practice the habits that will produce a successful academic career.
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August 23rd, 2013
I figured it was about time for me to distribute some unsolicited advice. I haven’t always been successful in my academic career so I may not be an authority here. However, that’s not to say that I haven’t done well either. I wanted to share my scholastic habits with those university students who want to take their education seriously. I cannot offer guarantees but it’s my hope that you do what works for you and practice the habits that will produce a successful academic career.
- Education is a joy. The greatest trick the schools have ever pulled on us is to make us think education is purely pragmatic. Education is merely to accomplish an end for financial gain or the requirements to get into a good sports team, etc. Those who have bought into this idea have fallen prey to anti-intellectualism.
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April 12th, 2012
I have recently added a new feature to the website, Academic Alley, the store here at Sententias. I’ll be developing and adding more stuff later on but I have a partnership with Amazon, which allows me to do this. There will be two major sections to the store: the academic aesthetics and books. The academic aesthetics has items similar to what I have and use that add to the picturesque academic persona and atmosphere. For instance, in me office at home I have a desk surrounded by bookshelves with my personal library. Some decor I have in the office is some large canvas paintings (say, 5′ x 4′), two different types of globes (I’ll keep one in the office and the other one elsewhere in the house), a recliner off to the side with a lamp for some casual reading, a love-seat and coffee table for a comfortable atmosphere, my wife’s desk, and seven tobacco pipes on a pipe rack. The pipes simply add to the atmosphere and actually keep that rich smell in the air.
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February 17th, 2012
I’ve seen Dr. Dan Wallace’s article on a possible copy of Mark dating back to the first century float around the blogosphere, Facebook, and Twitter.
These fragments now increase our holdings as follows: we have as many as eighteen New Testament manuscripts from the second century and one from the first. Altogether, more than 43% of all New Testament verses are found in these manuscripts. But the most interesting thing is the first-century fragment.
It was dated by one of the world’s leading paleographers. He said he was ‘certain’ that it was from the first century. If this is true, it would be the oldest fragment of the New Testament known to exist. Up until now, no one has discovered any first-century manuscripts of the New Testament. The oldest manuscript of the New Testament has been P52, a small fragment from John’s Gospel, dated to the first half of the second century. It was discovered in 1934.
Not only this, but the first-century fragment is from Mark’s Gospel. Before the discovery of this fragment, the oldest manuscript that had Mark in it was P45, from the early third century (c. AD 200–250). This new fragment would predate that by 100 to 150 years.
This is certainly exciting for Christians but I want to give a word of caution. Many people may have quickly read this sentence in the article: “How do these manuscripts change what we believe the original New Testament to say? We will have to wait until they are published next year… [continues on about what we can know now]” There are certain things we can derive from this manuscript but let’s not get overconfident about this. We need to let this be reviewed over and over. We need to let the scholars write papers, review the work, and debate these things. New information, especially like this, need to be reviewed and go through the process. Let’s use what we can know from it but we need to allow the process to take place before we go wild about it.