John Moriarty, the Irish philosopher and mystic, was as detached from the physical world as a philosopher can be. He chose to live remotely; that is, outside of the city, though he had travelled some as a younger man. In later life, he returned to his roots in Kerry, where he was buried – near Muckross – in 2007. In reading and studying Moriarty recently, I was struck by how familiar his work seemed to be, and how it danced across the gamut of modern western philosophy and philosophers.Continue reading “The Mysticism and Ecological Sensibility of John Moriarty”
Category: Henri Bergson
David Hume’s challenge to the philosophy of science – the problem of induction – has never properly been addressed. In essence, it argues that it is impossible to predict the future, because no matter how many experiments we can do, or examples we can take from history, we can never be sure that something we didn’t know might happen – like the emergence of a black swan, first discovered (or so named) in Australia in 1790, and prior to which – in Europe at least – it was presumed that all mature swans were white. We can deduce that if A = B and B = C then A = C. But just because every car we have ever observed has four wheels it does not mean that the next car will have four wheels. It may have only three. Instead of throwing our arms up and saying that none of modern rationalism can really make sense any more, a combination of pragmatism, wilful ignorance and theology have conspired to sweep the inconvenient position under the carpet.
This has profound consequences for the basis of modern thought and epistemology. In particular, it has particular consequences for history and the philosophy of history, and the philosophy of time. It also has a profound and immediately practical bearing on the criminal justice system, and how we attribute blame.Continue reading “The Folly of Causation”