Conversation about aging and mortality

The following recorded conversation about aging and mortality resulted from the friendships that formed in an online chat group ostensibly devoted to the NBA professional basketball team, the Golden State Warriors.  So this is something that has come from my participation in the online experience. I have always lived under the shadow of death, because […]

Academic philosophers and morality

I wrote the following in response to a conversation at bloggingheadstv, in which a professor of philosophy at U.C. Riverside discusses his empirical research into the behavior of philosophy professors who specialize in ethics, morality, or political philosophy. Having known a substantial number of academic philosophers engaged in ethical/moral inquiry, or in political philosophy, […]

My Reply to STF’s Second Letter

If we fast-forward to your conclusion, viz. “I think we’ll learn a lot more about how brains work and, perhaps, about how minds work the next 50 years. But it may turn out that the question of free will is an unanswerable question,” we are in fundamental agreement.  This is either completely consistent with what […]

STF’s Second Letter

I agree with your point that Eastern practices recognize an ego-based consciousness as the usual human state. It could be that it’s an act of will to deny the ego, as you seem to describe. But it could also be that it’s more a matter of relaxing and allowing one to see the illusory nature […]

My Reply to STF’s First Letter

Hi, STF: Thank you very much for your thoughtful comments.  I can only hope that eventually I will receive equally thoughtful comments from strangers. So, I’ll try to respond in brief compass to your various points…. Your syllogistic summary of my argument is generally acceptable to me, except that we would probably have to emend […]

STF’s first letter

After seeing the Ledocs World blog on Searle, I thought I would continue our discussion on free will but with the luxury of not having to hear contrary ideas. It’s not my intent to convince you that you are wrong, for I don’t even know that you are wrong. I’m an agnostic on the topic. […]

Conversation with a scientifically trained friend (STF), introduction

In August of 2009, I corresponded with a scientifically trained friend (STF) about the mind-body problem and free will.  The correspondence was occasioned by my first post on this blog, the one about John Searle’s interview on “Conversations with History.”  With STF’s permission, I am reproducing the correspondence here, with a few minor editorial changes […]

John Searle Interview on “Conversations with History”

I wonder how many people other than John Searle think that he, Searle, has solved the mind-body problem, at least in principle.  One can see him assert this with astonishing confidence in the linked interview at the right. Nevertheless, he also admits in a series of audiotaped lectures on philosophy of mind commercialized under the […]