The Middle Domes

The middle domes of life absorb most of our daily attention. By the middle domes I mean those that lie between the smallest – my individual skull – and largest – a horizon of universal reality approachable by faith or by science, depending on one’s disposition.

The middle domes therefore comprise groups as small as a pair of individuals or as large as a culture, but less than all, that form the subject in we-sentences. Examples include friendships, marriages, families, churches, schools, bowling and other sports leagues, clubs, local and state politics, nations, business groups, hobby groups, news and entertainment media, professional societies, military and public safety forces, and charitable organizations.[1]

About 150 years ago an ill-named tide of modernity began to overrun the place of the middle domes. Modernity began to insist that truth governs every event in life, and modernity recognized only universal truth. Continue reading “The Middle Domes”

Advertisements

Gilbert Ryle, Reconnecting Mind and Body

Just after World War II and near the halfway mark of the 20th century, philosopher Gilbert Ryle published The Concept of Mind, a book widely credited with ending the philosophical division between physical and mental realms of reality. Continue reading “Gilbert Ryle, Reconnecting Mind and Body”

Medical Education for the World and Home

When Arthur Guyton assumed the chair of physiology at the 2-year University of Mississippi Medical School in Oxford in 1948, he recognized a personal inadequacy because he actually never had taken a full graduate physiology curriculum. His knowledge derived only from medical school courses at Harvard, as well as what he had picked up in surgical internship and brief surgical residency and his term with the Navy in the war. Continue reading “Medical Education for the World and Home”

From Will to Responsibility

A person’s will gains force and visibility through responsibility assumed by that person for his or her actions. Force of will amplifies when responsibility extends past boundaries of self, family, ethnicity, social class, and culture. Continue reading “From Will to Responsibility”

Rediscovering Character

Several writers near the start of the 21st century have urged looking back in time to recapture a spirit they say has mostly disappeared. Tom Brokaw’s book, The Greatest Generation, tells the stories of ordinary and famous Americans who grew up during the Depression years, mobilized heroically to defeat the Axis powers in World War II, and in the following decades established the most prosperous society known so far on the earth.

After the war, Brokaw writes, “Americans at home rushed to start families and build communities and careers….” He continues – Continue reading “Rediscovering Character”

Is Free Will an Illusion? Not by These 5 Rules

“Is free will an illusion?” Four of 6 philosophers surveyed by the online Chronicle of Higher Education in 2012 agreed that free will is an illusion. One said no, and one gave an in-between answer.

The majority answer derives from an arbitrary assumption of objectivity. That assumption, even when recognized as arbitrary, remains difficult to discard.

Not only in 2012, but from the earliest time I can remember thinking about GSOT, the question of free will and its arbitrary answer has provoked in me the long search described in these blogs. Continue reading “Is Free Will an Illusion? Not by These 5 Rules”

Pragmatic Free Will for Individuals and Groups

If 5 rules for GSOT apply, then free will pragmatically works. It sounds right, but does the conclusion follow?

The 5 rules are as follows:

Rule #1.  Every sentence is first-person in its origin.

Rule #2.  The overarching viewpoint is not allowed.

Rule #3.  Unless it makes a difference in somebody’s disposition to act, then it makes no difference.

Rule #4.  Break these rules.

Rule #5.  Get back to the rules. Continue reading “Pragmatic Free Will for Individuals and Groups”