1. Why did Bertrand Russell think people are drawn to religion? OR, Who was Russell's "godfather" and what was his influence on Russell's view of religion?
2. What's an example of Russell's Paradox? OR, What puzzled Russell about phrases like "the golden mountain" and "the present king of France"?
3. What did A.J. Ayer think his Verification Principle enabled us to do? OR, What was the title of Ayer's famous book, or of the philosophical movement it helped inspire? OR, What was a "dirty word" for Ayer?
4. The absence of what conditions made statements "meaningless," according to Ayer? OR, What do empirically verifiable statements tell us? OR, Besides metaphysics, what did Ayer attack? OR, Did Ayer's near-death experience change his view about God?
5. Who died before his 27th birthday in 1930, and said we don't need a theory of truth because the concept is "redundant"? OR, What does Hugh Mellor find "irritating" about the idea of an afterlife?
6. Name one of Lakoff & Johnson's book titles OR one of their "three major findings." OR,Name one of the major classical philosophers whose views are challenged by L&J. OR, What did Robert Kaplan write about. (HINT: think Seinfeld.)
7. Who's the neurologist/philosopher Robin Williams portrayed in Awakenings? OR, Who said "gurus" are dangerous? OR, Who was the Unitarian minister who said our most valuable life lessons can be learned in kindergarten?
One of the last of the many legendary contests won by the British philosopher A. J. Ayer was his encounter with Mike Tyson in 1987... Ayer -- small, frail, slight as a sparrow and then 77 years old -- was entertaining a group of models at a New York party when a girl ran in screaming that her friend was being assaulted in a bedroom. The parties involved turned out to be Tyson and Naomi Campbell. ''Do you know who [the bleep] I am?'' Tyson asked in disbelief when Ayer urged him to desist: ''I'm the heavyweight champion of the world.'' ''And I am the former Wykeham professor of logic,'' Ayer answered politely. ''We are both pre-eminent in our field. I suggest that we talk about this like rational men.'' nyt*
There isn’t a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. If it’s true you should believe it, if it isn’t you shouldn't… it’s dishonesty and intellectual treachery to hold a belief because you think it’s useful and not because you think it’s true.
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.
And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence.
Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
Do you think that, if you were granted omnipotence and omniscience and millions of years in which to perfect your world, you could produce nothing better than the Ku Klux Klan or the Fascists? [Why I Am Not a Christian... More Russell]
1.184-5 2.186 3.190-1 4.191-5 5.PB 215-6, 221 6.AP 250-2, 255 7.AP 259, 262-4
Q: What subject in school did Ramsey excel in?
FQ: What branch of mathematics did Ramsey found?
FQ: What killed Ramsey?
FQ: What does tautological mean?
FQ: True or False: People act on just one belief.
FQ: What is the theory of Success Semantics?
FQ: True or False: Ramsey was an atheist.
DQ: Can acting on false beliefs still achieve what an individual wants?
For those who want to make sense of it, here is Ramsey's Theorem.
FQ: T/F If you act on your beliefs when they are true you get what you ant to get. True p218 PB
FQ: Was Ramsey an atheist? Yes p221 PB
DQ: If you believe it's true does it make it true?
FQ: Who was Russell's godfather? John Stuart Mill p185
FQ: What was the title of Ayer's first book and at what age did he write it? "Language, Truth and Logic" age 24 p191 it was published in 1936
FQ: Ayers book was complete gibberish, meaning? Nonsense p190
DQ: How do you really know that 2+2=4?
FQ: What was Russell's idea on religions other than Buddhism? they only caused suffering and hatred
FQ: Finish this paradox. "The Present king of ______ is ______."
DQ: This sentence is False.... Is it?
FQ: According to Lakoff and Johnson, reason was not universal in the sense of being transcendent and was therefore not a part of what? ( the structure of the universe)
DQ: Do you agree that analytical philosophy should be an acceptable area of philosophy... Why or why not?
Link: Great article regarding Lakoff's book Philosophy in the Flesh.
FQ: What branch of philosophy did Ayer and the logical positivism movement consider meaningless? Hint: It was studied by Kant, Hegel, and Schopenhauer. (Metaphysics, LH pg. 191)
DQ: Is something "meaningless" if it can't be proven?
Link: Ayer on Logical Positivism
FQ) What theory did Frank Ramsey develop in mathematics?
DQ) Do you believe Ramsey was right in being a "zoologist" about truth? Is there any way there could be a generalized truth for anything or will it still be redundant?