Philosophy Blog

The philosophy blog was started in June 2012, and in November 2018 it had been viewed 68.000 times in 105 countries.

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The blog offers short pieces of 500-700 words that can be read independently, though there are references between them. It goes through a wide range of philosophical issues: knowledge/truth, ethics/morality, language/meaning, culture, and society.

This is done from a constructivist, pragmatist perspective, inspired by the American pragmatist philosophers, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Wittgenstein, among others. I try to use philosophy as a perspective for understanding present society. The focus is on dynamics: change of knowledge (invention), meaning, society, and organization.

In October 2016 the blog received the award of belonging to the top 100 philosophy blogs.

Bundles of blog

Here are bundles of items from the blog, sorted by theme. Now and then I add new pieces from the blog to the bundles.
“Click on the icon to open the .PDF file”

The top ten most read items

19. Beyond nihilism: Imperfection on the move, 68. Trust: What is it, 63. Nietzsche and Levinas, 72. Uncertainty and openness, 88. Wabi Sabi, 76. How much community, 77.Beyond Enlightenment and Romanticism, 70. Forms of identification, 75. Horizontal control, 73. Psychology of trust.

25 pieces on knowledge, truth and invention

23. From inside and outside, 24. Body and mind, 25. Forms of truth, 26. Pragmatism, 28. Realism?, 29. Object bias, 31. Invention, 35. The scripture of invention, 57. The value of difference, 104. Truth as argumentation, 106. Relativism, 157. What is rational?, 169. Truth on the move, 172. What do you have in mind? 173. Where does argumentation stop? 216. Theory, concept and fact, 245. Forms of realism, 246. Is it wrong to be right?, 260. What is an intellectual, 263. Order and disorder in thought, 264. Useful, warranted, or workable?, 270. Rationality unravelling, 271. Dumping the deep, 273. Philosophy, science and literature, 274. Is pragmatism conventional?

27 pieces on ethics and morality

5. Free will?, 38. Morality, 39. The good life, 40. Being in the world, 42. Fragility of goodness, 43. Justice, 48. Immorality of the group, 71. Judgements of good and bad,117. Habermas, 118. Debatable ethics , 119. Moral animals?, 120. Does reading literature make people better?, 125. Private and public virtues, 162. Obligation and virtue, 163. Virtue: emotions, nature and others, 164. Trust as virtue, 166. Guilt of unintended harm, 171. Realism and empathy, 174. Moral realism, 175. Morality of causes, 176. Moral failure, 177. Tolerance and forgiveness, 178. Moral instinct, 179. Moral robots?, 180. Economics is not free from values, 224. Ethics and justice, 230. The virtue of distinction.

Eleven pieces on nietzsche, nihilism and beyond

60. Nietzsche’s error, 63. Nietzsche and Levinas, 64. Nietzsche, Levinas and me, 143. Forms of nihilism, 144. Response to nihilism 1, 145. Response to nihilism 2, 146. Meaning nihilism, 147. Beyond nihilism: Nietzsche, 148. Imperfection on the move, 149. Nietzsche as a pragmatist, 285. Nietzsche and Aristotle.

23 pieces on self and other

Extended August 2017
6. Love, 46. Intolerance and altruism, 52. History of the self, 53. Narcissism, 54. Self interest, 55. Self and other, 56. Humanism, 57. The value of difference, 60. Nietzsche’s error, 61. Levinas: Philosophy of the other, 65. Otherhumanism, 66. The value of collaboration, 76. How much community?, 108. The self as work in progress, 121. How does love work, 122. Commitment and choice, 124. Art, love and God, 134. Notions of the self, 205. Parochial altruism, 209. Identity and altruism in networks, 233. Constructive alienation, 315. Heuristics and relationships, 321. Adaptiveness.

twenty pieces on trust

Extended November 2018

68. Trust, what is it?, 69. Sources of trust, 70. Forms of identification, 72. Uncertainty and openness, 73. Psychology of trust, 74. Roles of a go-between, 75. Horizontal control, 107. Hope and trust, 123. The destruction of distrust, 164. Trust as virtue, 196. Trust under stress, 292. The virtues of trust, 293. The rhetoric of trust, 321. Adaptiveness, 324. Perverse control, 325. A crisis of trust, 366. How to extend the boundaries of trust, 377. Trust in Japan and the US, 393. Openness, transparency and trust. 397. Power, dependence, control and trust.

Nine pieces on evolution

27. Evolution, 28. Realism?, 29. Object bias, 30. Evolution in society, 46. Intolerance and altruism are instinctive, 82. Evolution in nature and art, 161. Play, invention and evolution, 195. The mystery of mathematics, 205. Parochial altruism.

Thirteen pieces on puzzles in philosophy

1. What philosophy, 2. Philosophical questions, 7. Geometry and finesse, 16. The problem of universals, 17. Universalism, 18. Change, 28. Realism?, 29. Object bias, 106. Relativism, 158. Analytical and continental philosophy, 184. Unity in diversity, 222. Forms of universals, 234. What is postmodernism?

Nine pieces on democracy, autocracy, and fascism

47. How Nazist is present populism?, 127. Beneficial imperfection, 153. Response to authoritarianism, 160. History goes on, 165. Absolute terror, 181. In the face of terrorism, 227. The cultural roots of ISIS success, 236. The problem of multiculturalism, 241. Response to fascism?

Fourteen pieces on eastern and western philosophy

128. Eastern and Western philosophy, 129. What to make of East and West, 130. Confucius, 131. Neo-confucianism, 133. Religion and pragmatism, 133. Substance and appearance, 134. Notions of the self, 136. Productive ambiguity, 137: Yin and Yang: contrasts and complements, 138: Cycles of change: Yin/Yang and discovery, 139. Nietzsche and Eastern philosophy, 140. Montaigne on the move, 141. The soft power of Yin, 142. Limits of language.

20 pieces on the human condition

Extended August 2017
15. The human condition, 20. The Enlightenment, 21. Problems with the Enlightenment, 22. Romanticism, 24. Body and mind, 39. The good life, 40. Being in the world, 56. Humanism, 65. Otherhumanism, 77. Beyond Enlightenment and Romanticism, 116. Reason in the rise and fall of civilization, 197. Back to Enlightenment values?, 257. Liberal communitarianism, 309. Being involved, 313. From outcome to process, 318. Escape from routine, 320. Emergence, 328. Averson to love’s labour loss.

Eight pieces on exit and voice

123. The destruction of distrust, 164. Trust as virtue, 219. Voicetwitter and barking, 231. The temptation of exit, 232. Will robots have voice?, 233. Constructive alienation, 259. Voice and parrhesia, 286. Creative conflict and criticism.

Seven pieces on system tragedy

109. Conspiracy, incompetence and system tragedy, 159. System rebellion, 187. System tragedy, 190. The script of financial crises, 206. Ideology and language games in the Greek crisis, 266. Rebellion, 268. Heidegger, Foucault, Wittgenstein, andhow to rebel.

Nine pieces on time, duration, and discontinuity: Bergson, Derrida, and Bachelard

248. Connections with Bergson: The linguistic U-turn, 249. Duration: The whole and the parts, 250. Duration, process and invention, 251. Deconstruction, 252. Hermeneutics and literature, 253. Jamming time, 254. How stable is reality?, 255. Continuity and discontinuity, 256. Rest and restlessness.

sixteen pieces on art and literature

Extended August 2017
80. Art, 81. Serenity or exuberance?, 82. Evolution in nature and art, 83. Art and nature, 84. The universal and the specific in art, 88. Wabi Sabi, 89. Aesthetic judgement, 90. Ethics and education, 91. Stability and change, art and sex, 92. Free will and literature, 120. Does reading literature produce good people?, 124. Art, love and God, 252. Hermeneutics and literature, 273. Philosophy, science, and literature, 314. Imperfecting poetry, 329. Art and hope.

Fourteen pieces on the politics of virtue

280. Plato and Aristotle, 281. Principles for combining virtue and freedom, 282. Policies for combining virtue and freedom, 284. Which virtues?, 285. Nietzsche and Aristotle, 286. Creative conflict and criticism, 287. The crisis of liberalism, 288. The politics of virtue, 289. Multiple causality of virtues, 290. What virtue debate?, 291. Need for a virtuous elite, 292. Virtues of trust, 305. Public and private virtues, 306, Public and private causes of action

Five pieces on god and religion

13. Which God?, 14. Religion without a God, 115. The success of theistic religion, 124. Art, love and God, 182. God as a goal?

Two pieces on basic income

154. A basic income, 226. A basis for independence.

Two pieces on robots

179. Moral robots?, 232. Will robots have voice?

Eight pieces on identity

8. personal identity 9. cultural identity , 10. culture is not essential, 11. European identity?, 12. Tracing identity, 134. Notions of the self, 265. What is identity?, 272. How do you find your selves?

Five pieces on culture

236. The problem of multiculturalism, 237. The container of culture, 238. What universality in culture?, 239. Ideas, work and integration, 240. Flattening culture.

Six pieces on multiple causality

96. Multiple causality, 97. Proximate and ultimate goals, 98. Science and policy, 99. Role models, 100. Explaining history, 289. Multiple causality of virtues.

Eight pieces on meaning

32. Meaning, 33. Prototype, 34. Practical prejudice, 36. Hermeneutics, 37. Meaning change, 105. Wittgenstein, 167. Word and object, 168. Word as process.

Eight pieces on power, Foucault

50. Power, 51. Will to power, 212. Pervasive power, 213. The causality of power, 214. Language games of power, 215. Ideology, power and knowledge. 217. How power can destroy itself, 244. Zizek and Foucault.

Five more pieces on Foucault

258. System power and self-indoctrination, 259. Voice and parrhesia, 260. What is an intellectual?, 261. The truth of Foucault, 262. The banality of evil.

Six pieces on a way out for socialism?

150. Equality on the move, 151. New individualism, 152. New solidarity, 154. A basic income, 192. A way out for socialism?, 226. A basis for independence.

Six pieces on Levinas

61. Levinas: philosophy of the other, 62: Levinas: justice?, 63. Nietzsche and Levinas, 223. Levinas and Lacan, 225. Rebellious capitalism, 242. Heidegger and Levinas.

Three pieces on Montaigne

140. Montaigne on the move, 155. Scepticism, relativism and conservatism in Montaigne, 156. Montaigne and the mask of convention. 

Five pieces on Baudrillard

110. Hyperreality, 111. Hyperidentity, 112. Loss of information, differentiation, and life, 113. Loss of responsibility, 114. Remedies?

Six pieces on Wittgenstein

105. Wittgenstein, 170. Wittgenstein and Heidegger as ethical opposites, 172. What do you have in mind?, 174. Moral realism?, 214. Language games of power, 217. Language, nature and ethics.

Thirteen pieces on fallen foundations, language games and crossing cultures

260. What is an intellectual?, 261. The truth of Foucault, 263. Order and disorder in thought, 264. Useful, warranted or workable?, 266. Rebellion, 268. Heidegger, Foucault, Wittgenstein, and how to rebel, 272. How do you find yourselves, 273. Philosophy, science, and literature, 274. Is pragmatism conventional?, 275. Science and politics: how different are they?, 276. Habermas and Lyotard, 277. In search of a supergame, 278. Talking to the natives.

Five pieces on populism

283. What answer to populism, 287. The crisis of liberalism, 302. How illiberal is nationalist populism?, 303. Populism and the political right, 304. Religion and romanticism.

Seven pieces on Heidegger

40. Being in the world, 90. Ethics, art and education, 108. The self as work in progress, 146. Meaning nihilism, 170. Wittgenstein and Heidegger as ethical opposites, 242. What response to fascism?, 243. Heidegger and Levinas.


21 pieces on Žižek and Hegel

335. Understanding Žižek: Psychology of politics, 336. Hidden things and selves, 337. Hidden social order, 338. The Other as threat or opportunity?, 339. Authoritarianism or democracy, 340. Levels of freedom revisited, 341. Dealing with democracy, 342. Process philosophy, 344. Žižek: Beyond Lacan, 345. Žižek: Hitler abd Stalin, 346. The crisis of capitalism, 347. Žižek: Between capitalism and centralized bureaucracy, 348. Double negation of the market, 349. Democracy and marlet: are they compatible?, 350. Žižek and Devisch: understanding empathy, 351. When is tolerance tolerable, 352, Žižek: what does he want, 353. Žižek and basic income, 354, Reading Hegel, 355. The universal and its particulars, 356. Dialectics on the move. .


Nine pieces on ontology

356. Dialectics on the move, 357. The sucess of failure, 358. Existence, 359. What things, 360. Do objects have an essence, 361. Incomplete specification, 362. Relational ontology, 363. The causality of concepts, 364. Dynamic ontology  

Thirteen pieces on economics (old and new)

introduction, 387. The programme of economics, 388. A methodological sleight of hand, 389. Locality and flexibility, 390. Forms of efficiency, 391, Ethics in economics, 392, Greed and urge to manifestation, 394. Rationality and heuristics, 395. Individual and social, 396. From optimal to adaptive, 397. Power, dependence, control and trust, 398. A paradox of international trade, 399. Old and new economics