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Nousy is moving!

After some lengthy deliberation and a lot of resistance to the idea, I've finally caved and decided to move Nousy to Substack. There are two reasons for this move: (i) an easier subscription function that conveniently delivers updates directly to subscribers' email inboxes (and the mobile phone app) and (ii) it allows me to develop Nousy into both a blog and podcast. The blog will continue to focus on various philosophical topics, interests and musings of mine, while the podcast will explore philosophical topics by highlighting and discussing interesting articles and books; focusing especially, though not exclusively, on contemporary work in philosophy. So, if you've enjoyed my work here, I've got a lot more in store for you on Substack. Visit  https://nousy.substack.com and subscribe for free today!
Recent posts

Happy New Year

Although I’m not Jewish, I regularly listen to a rabbi, the late Jonathan Sacks, from whom I’ve learned so much. Rabbi Sacks, who was also a trained philosopher, actually helped me out personally, even though we never met. What do I mean by that? You see, Rabbi Sacks taught me about the importance of time management, helping me to plan ahead and accomplish some things in my life, like making a difference in the lives of others. Consider the Jewish tradition, around Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, to reflect back on the year that was. As Rabbi Sacks put it: Quietly God is asking us a question: you're asking me for another year of life, let me hear your answer to this question: last year, I gave you another year of life, what did you use it for? Did you spend your time on the things that make a difference? And that’s really when we ask, what have we done in the past year? How have we added to the store of human happiness? How have we made the world a little better? And it seems to me t

On the unneighbourly conflict between Russia and Ukraine

Note: This post was originally published on Monday, March 21st, 2022 at my other, now defunct, blog Bonne Raison. It has since been revised and updated with an afterword to reflect any changes to my views since it was first published. Now I’m no expert in international relations but there’s a message I recently encountered that’s nonetheless relevant for discussing the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. As I was driving, a wise church sign caught my attention. As a lover of wisdom, I just had to pull over and take a photo. The message: Love Thy Neighbour! I share this message not as a Christian (which I am not) but as a fellow human being because it contains the sort of moral wisdom which could make the world a better place; well, if only more people--especially some heads-of-state and nation-states--practised it. But how exactly does one put that message into practise? I think the poet Goethe said it best: love does not dominate, it cultivates; and that is more I wonder what the rel

Epistemic Trespassing: Stay in your lane mf

In this blogpost, I focus on the problem of epistemic trespassing . This happens when experts step outside their field of expertise and pass judgment on questions in fields where they lack expertise. Philosopher Joshua DiPaolo recently argued that epistemic trespassing is wrong insofar as it constitutes an abuse of expert authority that neglects novice vulnerabilities (1). I agree with DiPaolo and think that it's something more people should know about, especially at a time when a lot of knowledge is specialized and we--novices--often depend on experts for answers. So, below, I share a tragic example of epistemic trespassing that illustrates its harmful potential and very briefly consider possible solutions. Consider the following: A mother’s two infant children die suddenly and without any explanation. She’s charged with their murder and in court two possible explanations are considered: (i) that the infants died due to the rare sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or (ii) that s

All in God, God in All

For some time, I was agnostic concerning the proposition that God exists. However, as I became more aware of alternative conceptions of God, one concept in particular resonated with me right down to the core of my soul. So, here's a short poem that I wrote around the time when I was becoming more curious about Panentheism: The eternal so torn, our universe was born All that has grown, and all what is known The void and the matter, writing a new chapter An impression here, or an expression there A serenity within, an eternity without O’er a garden of mine, reigns a mind sublime Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh

Some consolation

It’s that time of year again: final exams, the season of anguish! Although it isn’t much fun, like spending a day in paradise, there is some consolation in the fact that it’s directly followed by the winter holidays, the season of joy, when one might get to enjoy more than a day in paradise. Anyway, in my preparations for a course on metaphysics, I spent some time on Monday to look back over some of the assigned readings, in particular, from the section on personal identity. I focused mostly on a paper by Swinburne and another paper by Parfit (in my textbook, they’re conveniently located beside each other). Afterwards, having some time to spare before class, I figured that I might as well get ahead with the section on Free Will. Having my textbook in hand, and remembering that the assigned paper is by Frankfurt, I quickly searched the table of contents for the section on Free Will and found him listed there. So I turned to the page and began reading. I was literally moved to tears. So,

What God cannot be like

Note: This post was originally published on Monday, November 29th, 2021 at my other, now defunct, blog Bonne Raison. It has since been revised and updated with an afterword to reflect any changes to my views since it was first published. Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam (c. 1512) Sometimes it's very difficult--or just painstakingly inefficient--to answer a question directly that an indirect approach is more preferable. By considering a related but opposite or complementary question, meaningful progress can be achieved. A famous example, from probability, is the Birthday Problem : what's the chance in a room with n number of people that a birthday is shared? To avoid cumbersome calculations, the solution to this question is best arrived at by first asking and solving for the related question: what is the probability that a birthday is not shared? Then, by subtracting that probability from 1 (i.e. 100%), one arrives at the probability that a birthday is shared: p(a birthday is sh