The 103 new ideas included in the latest update (of 12th March), by Theme

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1. Philosophy / A. Wisdom / 1. Nature of Wisdom
It is wisdom to believe what you desire, because belief is needed to achieve it [James]
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 1. Philosophy
All good philosophers start from a dumb conviction about which truths can be revealed [James]
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 8. Humour
Jokes can sometimes be funny because they are offensive [Jacobson,D]
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 3. Metaphysical Systems
A complete system is just a classification of the whole world's ingredients [James]
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 5. Metaphysics beyond Science
Metaphysics can criticise interpretations of science theories, and give good feedback [Ingthorsson]
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 5. Objectivity
A single explanation must have a single point of view [James]
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 3. Non-Contradiction
Man has an intense natural interest in the consistency of his own thinking [James]
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 6. Ockham's Razor
Our greatest pleasure is the economy of reducing chaotic facts to one single fact [James]
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 3. Value of Truth
I do not care if my trivial beliefs are false, and I have no interest in many truths [Nozick]
3. Truth / E. Pragmatic Truth / 1. Pragmatic Truth
Maybe James was depicting the value of truth, and not its nature [Nozick]
5. Theory of Logic / A. Overview of Logic / 5. First-Order Logic
Philosophers accepted first-order logic, because they took science to be descriptive, not explanatory [Ingthorsson]
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 2. Processes
Process philosophy insists that processes are not inferior in being to substances [Rescher]
Basic processes are said to be either physical, or organic, or psychological [Ingthorsson]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 1. Realism
Indirect realists are cautious about the manifest image, and prefer the scientific image [Ingthorsson]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 7. Facts / c. Facts and truths
Realities just are, and beliefs are true of them [James]
7. Existence / E. Categories / 2. Categorisation
Classification can only ever be for a particular purpose [James]
8. Modes of Existence / A. Relations / 1. Nature of Relations
Neo-Humeans say there are no substantial connections between anything [Ingthorsson]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 3. Types of Properties
Properties are said to be categorical qualities or non-qualitative dispositions [Ingthorsson]
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 2. Powers as Basic
Physics understands the charge of an electron as a power, not as a quality [Ingthorsson]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 1. Physical Objects
Compound objects are processes, insofar as change is essential to them [Ingthorsson]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Simples
Most materialist views postulate smallest indivisible components which are permanent [Ingthorsson]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / d. Substance defined
Substance has to exist, with no intrinsic qualities or relations [McTaggart]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 1. Objects over Time
Endurance and perdurance just show the consequences of A or B series time [Ingthorsson]
Science suggests causal aspects of the constitution and persistance of objects [Ingthorsson]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 4. Four-Dimensionalism
If causation involves production, that needs persisting objects [Ingthorsson]
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 2. Nature of Necessity
Necessity can only mean what must be, without conditions of any kind [Mill]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 1. Possible Worlds / e. Against possible worlds
Every philosophical theory must be true in some possible world, so the ontology is hopeless [Ingthorsson]
Worlds may differ in various respects, but no overall similarity of worlds is implied [Ingthorsson]
12. Knowledge Sources / E. Direct Knowledge / 1. Common Sense
Apprehension is a complex intellect grasping the essence of a complex object [Holt,L]
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 5. Coherentism / b. Pro-coherentism
We find satisfaction in consistency of all of our beliefs, perceptions and mental connections [James]
14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 1. Observation
Scientific genius extracts more than other people from the same evidence [James]
14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 6. Falsification
Experimenters assume the theory is true, and stick to it as long as result don't disappoint [James]
14. Science / C. Induction / 3. Limits of Induction
We can't know if the laws of nature are stable, but we must postulate it or assume it [James]
14. Science / C. Induction / 6. Bayes's Theorem
Trying to assess probabilities by mere calculation is absurd and impossible [James]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / j. Explanations by reduction
We have a passion for knowing the parts of something, rather than the whole [James]
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 1. Mind / b. Purpose of mind
The mind has evolved entirely for practical interests, seen in our reflex actions [James]
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 7. Animal Minds
Dogs' curiosity only concerns what will happen next [James]
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 5. Rationality
How can the ground of rationality be itself rational? [James]
It seems that we feel rational when we detect no irrationality [James]
In the instrumental view of rationality it only concerns means, and not ends [Nozick]
Is it rational to believe a truth which leads to permanent misery? [Nozick]
Rationality needs some self-consciousness, to also evaluate how we acquired our reasons [Nozick]
Rationality is normally said to concern either giving reasons, or reliability [Nozick]
21. Aesthetics / A. Aesthetic Experience / 2. Aesthetic Attitude
Maybe literary assessment is evaluating the artist as a suitable friend [Gaut]
We don't often respond to events in art as if they were real events [Jacobson,D]
21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 2. Art as Form
Formalists says aesthetics concerns types of beauty, or unity, complexity and intensity [Gaut]
21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 7. Art and Morality
Only artistic qualities matter in art, because they also have the highest moral value [Bell,C]
The Aristotelian idea that choices can be perceived needs literary texts to expound it [Nussbaum]
Good ethics counts towards aesthetic merit, and bad ethics counts against it [Gaut]
If we don't respond ethically in the way a work prescribes, that is an aesthetic failure [Gaut]
'Moralism' says all aesthetic merits are moral merits [Gaut]
A work can be morally and artistically excellent, despite rejecting moral truth [John,E]
Audiences can be too moral [Jacobson,D]
Good art does not necessarily improve people (any more than good advice does) [Gaut]
The works we value most are in sympathy with our own moral views [John,E]
'Autonomism' says the morality is irrelevant to the aesthetics [Jacobson,D]
Moral defects of art can be among its aesthetic virtues [Jacobson,D]
We should understand what is morally important in a story, without having to endorse it [John,E]
We value morality in art because that is what we care about - but it is a contingent fact [John,E]
Immoral art encourages immoral emotions [Jacobson,D]
Moderate moralism says moral qualities can sometimes also be aesthetic qualities [Jacobson,D]
We can judge art ethically, or rate its ethical influence, or assess its quality via its ethics [Jacobson,D]
If the depiction of evil is glorified, that is an artistic flaw [Davies,S]
It is an artistic defect if excessive moral outrage distorts the story, and narrows our sympathies [Davies,S]
A work which seeks approval for immorality, but alienates the audience, is a failure [Davies,S]
Immorality may or may not be an artistic defect [Davies,S]
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / d. Biological ethics
Evolution suggests prevailing or survival as a new criterion of right and wrong [James]
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 1. A People / b. The natural life
Wherever there is a small community, the association of the people is natural [Tocqueville]
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 1. A People / c. A unified people
The people are just individuals, and only present themselves as united to foreigners [Tocqueville]
25. Society / B. The State / 3. Constitutions
In America judges rule according to the Constitution, not the law [Tocqueville]
25. Society / B. The State / 5. Leaders / b. Monarchy
A monarchical family is always deeply concerned with the interests of the state [Tocqueville]
25. Society / B. The State / 5. Leaders / c. Despotism
Despots like to see their own regulations ignored, by themselves and their agents [Tocqueville]
25. Society / B. The State / 5. Leaders / d. Elites
Aristocracy is constituted by inherited landed property [Tocqueville]
25. Society / B. The State / 7. Changing the State / a. Centralisation
In Europe it is thought that local government is best handled centrally [Tocqueville]
25. Society / B. The State / 9. Population / a. State population
Vast empires are bad for well-being and freedom, though they may promote glory [Tocqueville]
People would be much happier and freer in small nations [Tocqueville]
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 3. Social Freedom / a. Slavery
Slavery undermines the morals and energy of a society [Tocqueville]
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 3. Social Freedom / c. Free speech
The liberty of the press is more valuable for what it prevents than what it promotes [Tocqueville]
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 4. Social Equality / a. Grounds of equality
It is admirable to elevate the humble to the level of the great, but the opposite is depraved [Tocqueville]
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 4. Social Equality / b. Political equality
Equality can only be established by equal rights for all (or no rights for anyone) [Tocqueville]
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 6. Right to Punish / a. Right to punish
Punishing a criminal for moral ignorance is the same as punishing someone for being blind [Epictetus]
25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / b. Consultation
An election, and its lead up time, are always a national crisis [Tocqueville]
25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / d. Representative democracy
Universal suffrage is no guarantee of wise choices [Tocqueville]
25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 6. Liberalism
My Anarchy, State and Utopia neglected our formal social ties and concerns [Nozick on Nozick]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 2. Types of cause
Humeans describe the surface of causation, while powers accounts aim at deeper explanations [Ingthorsson]
Time and space are not causal, but they determine natural phenomena [Ingthorsson]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 4. Naturalised causation
Casuation is the transmission of conserved quantities between causal processes [Ingthorsson]
Interventionist causal theory says it gets a reliable result whenever you manipulate it [Ingthorsson]
Causation as transfer only works for asymmetric interactions [Ingthorsson]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 8. Particular Causation / b. Causal relata
Causal events are always reciprocal, and there is no distinction of action and reaction [Ingthorsson]
One effect cannot act on a second effect in causation, because the second doesn't yet exist [Ingthorsson]
Empiricists preferred events to objects as the relata, because they have observable motions [Ingthorsson]
Science now says all actions are reciprocal, not unidirectional [Ingthorsson]
Causes are not agents; the whole interaction is the cause, and the changed compound is the effect [Ingthorsson]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 8. Particular Causation / d. Selecting the cause
Understanding by means of causes is useless if they are not reduced to a minimum number [James]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 9. General Causation / c. Counterfactual causation
People only accept the counterfactual when they know the underlying cause [Ingthorsson]
Counterfactuals don't explain causation, but causation can explain counterfactuals [Ingthorsson]
Counterfactual theories are false in possible worlds where causation is actual [Ingthorsson]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 9. General Causation / d. Causal necessity
A cause can fail to produce its normal effect, by prevention, pre-emption, finks or antidotes [Ingthorsson]
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 1. Laws of Nature
Any process can go backwards or forwards in time without violating the basic laws of physics [Ingthorsson]
27. Natural Reality / A. Classical Physics / 1. Mechanics / b. Laws of motion
In modern physics the first and second laws of motion (unlike the third) fail at extremes [Ingthorsson]
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 4. Standard Model / a. Concept of matter
If particles have decay rates, they can't really be elementary, in the sense of indivisible [Ingthorsson]
27. Natural Reality / C. Space-Time / 2. Time / f. Presentism
It is difficult to handle presentism in first-order logic [Ingthorsson]
29. Religion / B. Monotheistic Religion / 4. Christianity / a. Christianity
Early Christianity says God recognises the neglected weak and tender impulses [James]