Category Archives: Philosophy

Plato and Unreasonable Mathematicians

A friend today sent me this picture from the Boston Museum of Science. It’s especially funny to me, because I have formal education in both mathematics and philosophy. And anyone who’s read Plato’s Republic is bound to think it odd. It’s odd because Plato’s good society, the republic, requires its citizens to study mathematics for [...]

What Plato Might Have Said But Didn’t

Search Google for “Let me make the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws,” and you’ll discover a number of people think Plato said such a thing. However, as Kevin Mungons pointed out, there’s no evidence he did. How do faux quotes like this get started? They seem to come [...]

Plato on Today’s Social Sciences, Perhaps

“Suppose a man was in charge of a large and powerful animal, and made a study of its moods and wants; he would learn when to approach and handle it, when and why it was especially savage or gentle, what the different noises it made meant, and what tone of voice to use to soothe [...]

Faith in Science

A Toronto Star reporter weighs in on the relative permanence of mathematics and physics. Read his comment, then consider this: which is someone more likely to use today, the Pythagorean Theorem or Heraclitus’s theories of matter? Currently, encryption is based largely on complex numerical codes that even the most sophisticated computers would, theoretically, fail to [...]

Critique of Practical Reason

At great risk of arrest, I took this picture on the subway tonight. But the question is, can it pay the bills?

Logically, It’s a Drab World

It’s just a little thing, but it surprised me. I’ve been grading logic exercises, and one of the questions posed to the college students is to evaluate the soundness of the following syllogism: Some classical music is enjoyable.Some concertos are not enjoyable. Therefore, some concertos are not classical music. This is an invalid syllogism, so [...]