categories: philosophy

Virtue via intelligence

The evils of the world are due to moral defects quite as much as to lack of intelligence. But the human race has not hitherto discovered any method of eradicating moral defects; preaching and exhortation only add hypocrisy to the previous list of vices. Intelligence, on the contrary, is easily improved by methods known to every competent educator. Therefore, until some method of teaching virtue has been discovered, progress will have to be sought by improvement of intelligence rather than of morals.

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The Stoic: 9 Principles to Help You Keep Calm in Chaos – 99U

The Stoic: 9 Principles to Help You Keep Calm in Chaos – 99U.

Purpose of consciousness

Nicholas Humphrey writes about Questioning Consciousness and concludes with this. Concerning the purpose of consciousness, given that it seems not to be essential to anything we do (according to him), he says: I think the plain and simple fact is that consciousness—on various levels—makes life more worth living. We like being phenomenally conscious. We like the world in which we’re phenomenally conscious. We like ourselves for being phenomenally conscious. And the resulting joie de vivre, the enchantment with the world we live in, and the enhanced sense of our own metaphysical importance have, in the course of evolutionary history, turned our lives around.

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Spinoza’s freedom

Spinoza was a thoroughgoing determinist who held that absolutely everything that happens occurs through the operation of necessity. For him, even human behaviour is fully determined, with freedom being our capacity to know we are determined and to understand why we act as we do. So freedom is not the possibility to say “no” to what happens to us but the possibility to say “yes” and fully understand why things should necessarily happen that way.

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