IS and OUGHT revisited.

In the last few posts I have talked about the relationship between reason and emotion. What’s interesting is how the discovery of how things are, i.e., the domain of IS and the discovery of how we ought to act, the…

Reason and Emotions III: Thinking and Believing

Normally, we tend to think of beliefs as psychological states with dubious epistemic properties. Beliefs are conceptualized as unregulated conceptual structures, for the most part hypothetical and often fanciful or deluded. Thinking and reasoning on the other hand are seen…

Sacred Games

I just finished reading Vikram Chandra’s latest, Sacred Games. It took me all of four days, which for a nine hundred page novel, isnt bad. It is a gripping read, with all the trappings of a Bollywood Masala movie, with…

What’s wrong with this picture?

The New York Times reports: “Antiwar demonstrators pushed Buddhist monks from the stage of a peace rally Thursday in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where the government and Tamil rebels are fighting. The monks are against talks with the rebels.” Hmmmmmmmmmmm, I…

Reason and Emotions II

Lets continue this line of inquiry into the separation of reason and emotion. Intuitively speaking, whats the difference between rational inquiry and inquiry tainted by emotion? Most people would say something like “If you take a statement like 2+2 =…

Reflections on Emotion and Reason, part I

I was reading a transcript of Arindam Chakrabarti’s excellent lecture on the phenomenology of fun and boredom, in which he talks, briefly, about the truth and falsehood of emotions. Suppose you are really, really bored, in fact so bored that…

Back in Business

Many things have changed since the last time I posted — I moved back to the old country (India, and given how much it has changed while I have been away, I should really say, “I moved to a new country”), I…

Websurfing as a meditative practice

Yeah, I know, I am being a bit tongue in cheek. At least I didn’t descend into talking about watching TV as a meditative practice. There is a serious purpose here though; which is to pay attention to how knowledge…

A Map of my Mind, Part 1: Fifteen Books

Sooner or later, one gets the feeling that introspection does not necessarily lead to self-knowledge. Answers to questions like “Who am I?” are far from apparent from a cursory inspection of our own consciousness. On the other hand, the unexamined…

Three ways to Model Beliefs

Starting this week, I am going to start writing blog entries that outline my research ideas, both for people to comment and make suggestions, but also to explore the possibility that the internet is a useful medium to conduct research.…