books

The Humanist Spirit of The Man Who was Thursday

the man who was thursday

G.K. Chesterton’s classic novel, The Man Who was Thursday, is a wonderful depiction of the wild uncertainties that characterize modern life. In the beginning of the story, the main character, Syme, is a “philosophical detective” who aims to undermine an anarchist plot primarily by outwitting his targeted criminals with ideas. This time, though, in order to [...]

Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos: Consciousness

Mind and Cosmos Thomas Nagel

Those who are familiar with contemporary approaches in philosophy of mind are familiar with Thomas Nagel’s article, “What is it like to be a bat?” In it, he argues that it is quite intuitive to think that bats (and other presumably conscious creatures) have their own unique, subjective experience. While the fact alone is not [...]

Why is not How: Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos

Few books written in the past year have generated as much controversy in the philosophical academy than Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos. This is unsurprising, given the book’s ambitious subtitle, “Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False.” Despite this point, however, the mere 128-page text itself is quite humble and speculative [...]

“The Love that moves the sun and the other Stars”

Readers of The Humanist Lens know that one of the main themes of Christian humanism is the idea that, as image bearers of God, human beings participate in the divine life. A quick summary of what this means is difficult to come by, but at least one of the main implications of this idea is [...]

The Limited Vision of Scientism: A Review of Ian Hutchinson’s Monopolizing Knowledge (pt. 2)

Last January, Jens Zimmermann participated in a panel discussion of Ian Hutchinson’s book, Monopolizing Knowledge. This is the second installation of a two-part review (see first part here), Dr. Zimmermann explains the limits of “scientism”: the philosophical belief that the empirical method of repeat-verifiability is the only reliable source of human knowledge. On the question [...]

The Limited Vision of Scientism: A Review of Ian Hutchinson’s Monopolizing Knowledge (pt. 1)

Last January, Jens Zimmermann participated in a panel discussion of Ian Hutchinson’s book, Monopolizing Knowledge. In this two-part review, Dr. Zimmermann explains the limits of “scientism”: the philosophical belief that the empirical method of repeat-verifiability is the only reliable source of human knowledge. Why are the humanities undervalued? Why do natural scientists and, by association, [...]

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