20.11.08

Is That Really A Computer Screen In Front of You?


Only just noticed that it's World Philosophy Day today - though quite what that entails, I'm not sure. I would've found out sooner, too, but there doesn't look to me much media coverage (in this country at least), and Google haven't bothered to alter their iconic logo in honour of the event, as they usually seem to do for other, often much lesser, events. Mind you, as a friend of mine pointed out, how would Google pictorially interpret 'Philosophy' even if they decided they were going to? Answers on an e-postcard, please.

Little coverage aside, however, there's an interesting article by philosopher David Bain in the BBC online magazine, titled 'Four philosophical questions to make your brain hurt' (certainly one way to sell it). Reading through them, it was a pleasure to be reminded of some of the fundamental philosophical debates that've fascinated philosophers since the beginnings of ancient Greek civilisation (Ethics, Theory of Mind, Scepticism, Free Will vs Determinism); those which I enjoyed - and was occasionally infuriated by - when studying the subject during my years as an undergrad.

On the whole, it's obviously an article aimed at those who haven't approached philosophy in earnest before, but definitely worth a look for those who have, too. I think philosophy's an often underrated subject and it would be good to see a wider interest in it - especially in a time when rigorous, clear-headed and rational thinking is as important, and needed, as ever.

Oh, and for those who would accuse philosophers of lacking a sense of humour (as if Derrida weren't proof enough by himself), the caption that accompanies the article's image is a good 'un...

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