Category Archives: Epistemology

Confucius Said: “Consider the Source”

I admit it: the ancient Chinese sage Confucius didn’t really say “consider the source.” At least it’s not in The Analects of Confucius, a collection of his teachings that were compiled and edited after his death. (The linked edition provides … Continue reading

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Thought Experiments for Left and Right

Whether your politics lean left or right, a couple of thought experiments can help you understand people who lean the other way. History’s most famous thought experiment inspired Albert Einstein‘s theory of special relativity. In 1895, aged only 16, Einstein … Continue reading

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They’re Not Lying

Do you have friends who say things that are obviously wrong? Maybe it’s politics, religion, gender, or some other touchy subject. This might help: Your friends aren’t lying. And they’re not evil, either, unless you have very bad judgment about … Continue reading

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Can We Measure the Quality of Debates?

As an undergraduate mathematics major, I had to take three semesters of statistics. I’m pretty good at mathematics, but statistics is a different animal. To adapt the famous last words of English actor Edmund Gwenn, “Mathematics is easy. Statistics is … Continue reading

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Can We See Past Our Own Foundations?

You can’t understand anything in terms of nothing. That much is obvious. What’s less obvious is that it’s a barrier to communication and understanding. Each of us has a foundational viewpoint that biases how we see the world. It includes … Continue reading

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You Can’t Prove God — and It Doesn’t Matter

“You can’t prove God’s existence. And it doesn’t matter.” Continue reading

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Spinoza on the Couch

My latest blog post for The Jerusalem Post: I’ve spent a lot of my life dealing with crazy people, including myself. “Crazy,” of course, has various definitions, though it’s not the topic of this blog post. My favorite definition was … Continue reading

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