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Climate change and global warming issues have so far pushed us to lead eco-friendly lives. Many term it as going green but while others are able to cope and understand what it really means to really live an eco-conscious world, the fact remains that the whole philosophy surrounding eco-friendliness has to be further enhanced.

For one, many associate it with the color green. So with that in mind, trees, plants and nature are the first things that come into mind. This is partly true but if you want to generalize the whole eco-friendly philosophy, there is more to it that meets the eye. There is a reason why global warming and climate change are tagged part of it and if you would have your way, chances are you may discover that the branches included in it go a whole lot deeper.

You are bound to hear this topics when eco-friendly is in the air:

1. Recycling
2. Organic Living
3. Animal Extinction
4. Endangered Species
5. Alternative Energy
6. Alternative Fuel

Each of these topics are in a niche of their own. Sum them all up and they comprise the whole essence of global warming and climate change. But if you take on them separately, you may be surprised to note that they are only about 5% roughly if you want to sum up their relevance to global warming.

Al Gore hit it right when he addressed this issue. Apparently he is vindicated and today, many of us are finding our own way on how to survive this unusual glitch we are mainly responsible for.

I came upon another blog that referred to a group of segments of the BBC News Agency in one of it’s programs/special reports about democracy and it’s implications on world society as a whole. The discussion on Philosophy News was a true and timely battle of the minds that asked, “Can democracy work for the whole world?” This is a very challenging question which was showed in the programs many discussions on what it means to people from all walks of life from all corners of the globe.

For those who have been enjoying democracy, they should be thankful to their forefathers for the great job that they have done in establishing and propagating the idea of democracy. For those who are now only getting a taste of what it is and what it can do, well that’s not a very simple matter to contend with. Most of the former communist countries, who have started to embrace Western culture and some form of democracy it is a very scary story indeed. A society that has evolved to be a workforce that does all the leaders of their countries tell them to can be intimidated by the prospect of having to choose whatever and whoever they wish to become. Like the children in China who are now being taught in school of the concept of democracy who were dumbfounded by the ideals and differences that it had to their own society.

For now, the world is evolving as well as human society. The financial crisis of times past and the many natural disasters that have plagued us ever more frequently have opened many doors for people who have usually been left in the dark about the rest of the world. True to this, to ask the question of “Why Democracy?” is not only a very difficult one but quite sensitive for many a wealthy nations are still run under rule of a monarchial government. Some still follow time honored traditions that were reminiscent of the medieval ages when we had kings and queens and that succession was a right rather than a voted upon right.

Democracy might not be for everyone but it may be time that all of us embrace it for it allows us the freedom not only of society but of the global scene and the part that we can play in it if we were all allowed to participate. No society is ever self-sufficient for all those that have tried have miserably failed. We humans have a built-in drive to do what we want, when we want it and where ever we want it to be. Many say that there is no such thing as a democracy but we must always remember that democracy is a form of government that can be defined on paper and is subject to personal interpretation. So for now, democracy has still offered the best tools for the growth of countries around the world. The famous philosopher Kant predicted 200 years ago that democracies don’t go to war with each other but with those who do not embrace it and promote it. In a way this might sound true but a discussion on that must be left to another day. So till then enjoy life and embrace it for all the good and bad. It’s not about the trip, but about the journey that has passed and we currently are on….

I came upon an article on the EPhilosopher news regarding the Metaphysics of Ceteris Paribus Laws that made quite a lot of sense and was nice to ponder. The term Ceteris Paribus is Latin for all other things being equal stating the generalizations that science in all it’s history has placed upon certain aspects of science as a whole. But pondering the said term and it’s literal meaning it comes under great fire for many matters on this earth and even the sciences that aims to quantify it has evolved into a science of exceptions meaning that the rule doesn’t apply because….
This might be so for science is never constant as time is and that everything is evolving into something that we don’t know yet. Science has blessed us with many a wonder yet science itself seems to always re-define what it has already termed as known or defined. We humans have a never-ending quest for discovery and re-discovery and something that seems impossible should never be termed as so, someone just hasn’t figured out a way of doing it……
So the term Ceteris Paribus is a fundamental foundation for something that is termed to be an analytic truth which in science terms if definite, defined, final. Or is it???? Thanks to the people who continuously form, challenge and subsequently change the definitions of everything else for in the process we gain a little more understanding of our purpose on this earth which as scientists say is just one of millions if not billions of possible inhabited planets in our solar system alone
(Let us just hope that the beings on those other worlds are thinking of the same stuff we are).

[ October 27th, 2009 ]

Celebrating the World Philosophy Day

russian_federation_world_philosphy_dayThis year’s “World Philosophy Day” will be held on November 19. However the official international celebration of the Day will be held from November 16-19 in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, Russia. The theme, “Philosophy in the Dialogue of Cultures”, was selected by the host in order to “foster the dissemination of philosophy in all its traditions.” Specific topics to be discussed in parallel round tables during the celebration are as follows:

* Liberating from the stereotypes concerning history of philosophy;
* Dialogue of rationalities;
* Cultural self-consciousness in the era of globalization;
* Philosophical images of human being;
* XXI century’s technological challenges;
* Values and the dialogue of cultures;
* Philosophy for children;
* Common cultural grounds of the national self-consciousness of the nations of CIS and Baltic states;
* Teaching philosophy in multicultural context.

The first World Philosophy Day was held last November 24, 2005 in Chile. It was instituted by UNESCO with the primary purpose of “making philosophy accessible to all.” With this in mind everyone is encouraged to participate in the celebration, wherever you may be.

Some ideas to celebrate World Philosophy Day:

*Invite a speaker to expound on any relevant topic.
*Read a philosophy book.
*Have a costume party where people are required to dress up as philosophers or a concept.
*Get together with a bunch of your philosophical (or just plain argumentative) friends and have a healthy debate on the following pesky topics (courtesy of David Bain’s article in BBC):
1.Should we kill healthy people for their organs?
2. Are you the same person who started reading this article?
3. Is that really a computer screen (person – since you’ll be in front of your friend) in front of you?
4. Did you really choose to do what you are doing right now?


Obama Supreme CourtWith the Sotomayor hearings pervading the news it is no wonder that I have become a bit pre-occupied with judicial philosophy. The big hoopla the US senators, both for and against Sotomayor’s confirmation, have been making over empathy and it’s role or non-role in the judicial system is a very interesting matter.

Lately I came across Michael C Dorf’s article “What is Sonia Sotomayor’s Judicial Philosophy?” and just feel that I have to share his wonderful insights on “formalism” and “legal realism”. According to Dorf, “formalists believe that legal interpretation is a matter of finding the objective meaning of formal legal materials, such as the words of statutes and constitutional provisions.” He says that ideology has no place in formalism and the judges are seen as “simply a vehicle for the expression of the law.” On the other hand, he says that legal realists assert that “formalist’s view of the law is false, or at least radically incomplete.” He further explained that “legal realists believe that formalists are not being honest (perhaps, not even with themselves) when they disclaim any influence from their own values upon their judicial decision making. Nor, they say, could matters be otherwise in a complex and evolving society in which legislators and constitution writers cannot possibly have anticipated all of the circumstances in which the provisions they wrote would be applied.”

So it is quite clear that the contention between those that want to confirm Judge Sotomayor and not is caused by the differing jucidicial philosophy. The question of course lies in who is right – the formalist or the legal realist? I leave it up to the senate committee to sort it out.

jackie-chan-bookAfter reading the latest news about Jackie Chan and his comments about the Chinese people I think he’ll make a great topic for the next volume of the Popular Culture and Philosophy® series of Open Court Publishing. The book can be titled “Jackie Chan and Philosophy: Chinese Martial Arts and the Art of Kicking Your People in the Teeth.” Of course since I adore Jackie Chan as an actor the book can also tackle his movie philosophy, his sense of humour, and the real reason behind his seemingly masochistic tendencies when it comes to stunts. These things alone would make for enough material to write a philosophy book on Jackie Chan but add to that his latest anti-Chinese freedom remarks and you’ve got one interesting character to analyze, someone worthy of a philosophy book.

So what were the things he said that landed him the honor of being considered to be submitted by yours truly to Open Court? Here are snippets of his controversial comments during the panel discussion at the annual Boao Forum for Asia last April 18.

“Sure, we’ve got 5,000 years of history, but our new country has just been around for 60 years and the reforms for 30 years. It’s hard to compare us with other countries. But I feel that in the 10 years after Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule, I can gradually see, I’m not sure if it’s good to have freedom or not.”

“I’m gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we’re not being controlled, we’ll just do what we want.”

Spokesman: Jackie Chan comments out of context
Jackie Chan: Chinese people need to be controlled

[ March 20th, 2009 ]

Peter Singer Speaks in Guelph

peter-singer-guelph-posterThe Department of Philosophy of the University of Guelph will be inviting a speaker every year to their campus hold an event called The Guelph Lecture in Philosophy. This is the very first year that the event will be held. The inauguration of the Guelph Lecture in Philosophy will be held on March 21 from 2 to 4pm at the Rozanski Hall in Guelph. The lecturer, Peter Singer, will speak on “Ethics and Animals”. Everyone is invited to come and listen to the lecture. NO ADMISSION FEE.

Peter Singer is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and laureate professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE), University of Melbourne. He is best known for his book Animal Liberation, which is credited by some for the formation of the animal rights movement as we now know. With a utilitarian approach to ethics he asserted the principle of minimizing suffering in his book and argued that animals have rights and these rights should be based on their ability to feel pain. Singer’s latest book, The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty, is fresh out of printing. Though I haven’t got hold of a copy yet but it promises to be a riveting read based not only on the topic itself and Singer’s reputation but from the first few paragraphs shown in the book’s website.

With such a distinguished guest it is no wonder Prof. Andrew Bailey of Guelph’s Philosophy Department feels that they are indeed fortunate.

Businesspeople at Outdoor Seminar

We may not all have a Ph.D. on philosophy but that doesn’t mean that we should give up learning and pondering on philosophical ideas. One of the best things that you can do with your spare time is to engage in activities that will enhance your knowledge and understanding. And one such activity is the seminar that Endicott College in Massachusetts is holding.

On February 6 and 7, the college will be holding a seminar on philosophy and pop culture. This seminar is going to held at the Visual and Performing Arts Center in campus. The event starts at 4 in the afternoon of the first day (Friday) and will end at lunch the next day. The whole seminar is open to the general public, as long as participants register. If you want to partake in the meals, there will be a minimal fee charged.

What can you expect as a participant in the seminar? Undergraduates from several educational institutions – Endicott, Gordon, Clark University, Salem State College, and Boston College – will be serving as panelists and giving their take on various aspects of pop culture with a philosophical twist. The presentations will be answering two main questions:

1. What can pop culture teach us about philosophical issues?
2. How can philosophy help us understand the workings of our culture?

If you are interested, do register asap and get in touch with Willie Young, assistant professor of humanities, at 978-232-2242, or at

The much talked about financial bailout move of the US government is deeply under scrutiny and as concerned citizens, many would think that such a move may perhaps be a good one. But if you are in the business and political sector, it may be not necessarily a sound one.

For one, how can such a move be based on the fact that big companies such as Lehman Brothers and the ongoing sale of some others like Morgan Chase Bank be the basis of it all? Are we forgetting the concept of probably mismanagement and bad business practice? Let me reiterate, where is capitalism and what has happened to it? If this becomes a trend, what would stop smaller companies from demanding and seeking aid from the government?

That is why the philosophy of making sound decisions in office is entirely crucial. You simply cannot please everyone. But the fact remains, while such a move is viewed by many as a common good for all, you really cannot generalize at this point. How can you explain such a financial bailout plan to the smaller companies that simply fold up and not ask for help?

In fact, some may even call it a discriminate move. It is true that the US is teetering on the brink of economic disaster but still, political intervention is something that is bound to get a lot of attention. Wise move or not, the fact remains, that this economic crisis that the US is under is far from over.