Perhaps what we have here is a failure to teach critical thinking.
Related: Philosophy for American High School Students; Philosophy for Primary School Students?; Response to Dorothy Sayers' Lost Tools of Learning
Donald Trump loves himself. And while professional psychologists and psychiatrists cannot ethically diagnose him, many have made it quite clear that they think Trump has narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). George Simon, a clinical psychologist specializing in manipulation, is archiving video clips of Trump “to use in workshops because there’s no better example” of a narcissist in action.
The latest bizarre twist in the 2016 election
Most readers have probably heard by now about an interview in which Trump jokes about various acts of sexual assault and how he can get away with them, which now is leading to speculation that he'll withdraw (he won't) or, perhaps a bit more likely, that the Republican Party will instruct the electors to choose someone else when they vote in December, probably Mike Pence, the extremely conservative Indiana Governor who is Trump's usually invisible VP candidate. That would be a risky gambit for the Republicans, since it's not clear whether the message would get out in time to affect the election, and it's also not clear what the effect would actually be, given the cult-like loyalty Trump enjoys among an alarmingly large segment of the electorate. I'll add links if I see any intelligent analyses of these possible scenarios (please e-mail me, readers, if you see any). As things stand now, we are looking at a huge win for the Democrats, and Trump still has another month of gaffes and outbursts to come (plus two more debates, starting tomorrow)!
ADDENDUM: This is informative on the options, such as they are.
ANOTHER: Senator McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee, officially withdraws support for Trump. The Republican implosion begins. Amazing it took this long!
|Francis Bacon 1561-1627|
It is true that a little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion; for while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate, and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity.
(From The Works of Francis Bacon: The Wisdom of the Ancients and Other Essays, Black's Readers Service Company, 1932, p.53)Bacon died on Easter Sunday in 1627. In his will, he included this final prayer: "When I thought most of peace and honor, thy hand [was] heavy on me, and hath humbled me, according to thy former loving kindness. … Just are thy judgments upon my sins. … Be merciful unto me for my Savior's sake, and receive me into thy bosom."
Who was Yahya ibn Adi? He’s not a household name now, but in his own day he had great renown as the foremost Aristotelian philosopher in the capital of the Islamic empire, Baghdad. This is a sign of the ecumenical nature of intellectual life in the period. Ibn Adi was a Christian, who studied with and taught other Christian philosophers, associated with the famous Muslim thinker al-Farabi, and engaged in an epistolary exchange on philosophical topics with a Jewish scholar.
Thanks to Ibn Adi and his colleagues, tenth century Baghdad rivalled fifth century Alexandria, thirteenth century Paris, and twentieth century Oxford when it comes to Aristotelian scholarship.
|Hathor conceived Horus by divine overshadowing of the Sun, the emblem of Re.|
|The Good God, Etruscan image, c. 520 BC|
The Etruscan deity Ixion was crucified on a solar wheel.
|The outer container of an ancient Egyptian clepsydra|
It will be plain by now, from what has been said, (1) in what frame of mind, (2) with what persons, and (3) on what grounds people grow angry. (1) The frame of mind is that of one in which any pain is being felt. In that condition, a man is always aiming at something. Whether, then, another man opposes him either directly in any way, as by preventing him from drinking when he is thirsty, or indirectly, the act appears to him just the same; whether some one works against him, or fails to work with him, or otherwise vexes him while he is in this mood, he is equally angry in all these cases.
Hence people who are afflicted by sickness or poverty or love or thirst or any other unsatisfied desires are prone to anger and easily roused: especially against those who slight their present distress. Thus a sick man is angered by disregard of his illness, a poor man by disregard of his poverty, a man aging war by disregard of the war he is waging, a lover by disregard of his love, and so throughout, any other sort of slight being enough if special slights are wanting. Each man is predisposed, by the emotion now controlling him, to his own particular anger. Further, we are angered if we happen to be expecting a contrary result: for a quite unexpected evil is specially painful, just as the quite unexpected fulfilment of our wishes is specially pleasant. Hence it is plain what seasons, times, conditions, and periods of life tend to stir men easily to anger, and where and when this will happen; and it is plain that the more we are under these conditions the more easily we are stirred.
When a Quora user asked ‘What are the Angry Birds angry about and why are they so angry?’ this week, they probably weren’t expecting such a thorough answer.
The Angry Birds Movie directors Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly provided an answer, first giving a little detail on the plot of the video game adaptation that I for one still can’t believe is actually happening.
“The Birds as a community actually aren’t angry in the beginning,” they write. “They are comically naive, having lived their whole lives on Bird Island in peace, protected by the legendary Mighty Eagle, a hero no one has seen for decades. When the Pigs show up and steal the Birds’ eggs, there’s plenty to be angry about.”
The directors then tried to add a little more nuance to the Birds’ anger, linking them, surely for the first time ever, to the thought of Greek philosopher Aristotle.
From time to time I am asked a question. If I had written Sophie’s World today, is there something important I would have added? Is there something I would have placed more emphasis on? The answer is a resounding yes. If I were to write a philosophical novel today, I would have focused a lot more on how we treat our planet."
It is strange to look back after only 20 years and realise that Sophie’s World doesn’t really address this question. The reason may be that over the course of these 20 years we have gained an entirely new awareness of climate change and the importance of biological diversity.
An all-important principle in the study of ethics has been the golden rule, otherwise known as the reciprocity principle: do to others what you would like them to do to you. Over time, we have learnt to apply this rule more widely. In the Sixties and Seventies, people came to realise that the reciprocity principle must apply across national borders, both to the north and to the south.
But the golden rule can no longer just apply across space. We have begun to realise that the reciprocity principle applies across time, too: do to the next generation what you would like them to have done to you, had they lived on the planet before us.
|Fresco of Hippocrates dates to 1342|
National Library of France
“Nine- and 10-year-old children in England who participated in a philosophy class once a week over the course of a year significantly boosted their math and literacy skills, with disadvantaged students showing the most significant gains, according to a large and well-designed study (pdf).
More than 3,000 kids in 48 schools across England participated in weekly discussions about concepts such as truth, justice, friendship, and knowledge, with time carved out for silent reflection, question making, question airing, and building on one another’s thoughts and ideas.
Kids who took the course increased math and reading scores by the equivalent of two extra months of teaching, even though the course was not designed to improve literacy or numeracy. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds saw an even bigger leap in performance: reading skills increased by four months, math by three months, and writing by two months. Teachers also reported a beneficial impact on students’ confidence and ability to listen to others.”