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Year-End Top 10s: Philosophical Musings (nos. 5-1)

Posted in Friendly Philosophy, Society, and Theology

Today we have 2014’s top 5 “Pure Philosophy” posts, as determined by the absolutely objective criteria of how strongly I feel about them. (And by “posts,” I mean, “posts that I wrote.” And by “Pure Philosophy,” I mean, “posts that weren’t about music-and-philosophy.”)

5. “Fundamental” Particles

As I noted in yesterday’s post on posts 10-6, I love mereology (the study of parts and wholes). You can’t do mereology, however, without making some assumptions regarding what I (and perhaps others) call “priority theory.” Are parts prior to their wholes, or are wholes prior to their parts? I think that the way we talk about particle physics is exactly backwards, and thus creates philosophical pseudo-problems.

4. Mysteries, Cheap and Dear

In addition to parts, wholes, and priority, my other favorite topic is mystery. Something is mysterious, I would say, if it is presented in such a way as to keep it hidden. In this post, I’m primarily concerned with mysteries in stories (not with types of mystery story). I claim there are two kinds: good mysteries and bad mysteries.

3. What Is the Difference between Analytic and Continental Philosophy?

Every large group contains at least two “factions” that really don’t like each other very much. I think understanding the difference between the two sides can often help create tolerance, if not complete acceptance. In this post, I try to help the two major factions of contemporary philosophy understand each other.

2. The Dark Knight/Doctor Who Solution to Gun Violence

This is probably the strangest thing I’ve ever written. I wrote it a good while back, but recent events made it subjectively impossible for me to continue withhold it, in spite of its strangeness. I really think that geek culture has the solution to American gun violence, which is just such a weird think to think.

1. The Logic of the Incarnation

Speaking of mysteries: some religious doctrines are mysterious (e.g., Christianity’s Trinity) and some aren’t (e.g., Buddhism’s theory of attachment and suffering). Usually, people treat the Christian Incarnation as belonging to the “mystery” category, but I don’t think that’s where it belongs. I explain why, in this post.

Tomorrow, we’ll turn to the Top 10 “Top 40 Philosophy” posts.

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