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Patterson in Pursuit

Interviews with intellectuals from across the globe. Exploring philosophy, politics, religion, and rationalism. Steve Patterson is an independent philosopher currently traveling the world to interview people in the pursuit of truth. Topics include logic and epistemology, skepticism, metaphysics, ethics, science and religion, truth, Christianity, Buddhism, atheism, culture, economics, the philosophy of mathematics, and every other topic that's important to humans.
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Now displaying: August, 2016
Aug 28, 2016

Breaking down my interview with Dr. Bruce Cain of Stanford University. He and I both agree that more democracy isn't always a good thing - but we disagree about everything else.

We go from talking about the foundations for democracy to examining the foundations of all government - and inevitably end up talking about anarchism.

Aug 24, 2016

Is logic just a Western convention? Do other cultures have other logics? 

No and no. Logic is the inescapable rules of existence, and those rules do not depend on our conception or understanding of them.

They are presupposed by every thought and every proposition. I didn't invent the laws of logic, but I've discovered them, along with many other philosophers throughout history.

Aug 22, 2016

An increasing amount of "experts" do not seem to understand the basics of their field. Economics is no exception.

To understand the world, I am convinced one must understand economics - and you have to start with the basic concepts. If the basics are wrong, your analysis will be foundationally flawed.

I'm joined by Dr. Donald Boudreaux, who writes a lot about the basics, and we cover some of the important ideas that have to be understood before analyzing anything more complex.

Aug 22, 2016

When two people disagree, their ideas are not automatically equally plausible. Some ideas are superior than others. 

Proposition X is not equally reasonable as proposition Y simply because they are both propositions. I call this an "abstraction error", and you see it everywhere in the world of ideas.

Cultures, ideas, political theories, epistemologies - we cannot evaluate them in the abstract. We have to dive into the concrete.

Aug 14, 2016

Democracy is almost universally seen as a good thing, but it has serious drawbacks.

Is there any alternative to democracy? Are there any constraints on democracy? Is there any recourse a minority has when a majority wants to oppress them?

What makes democracy - and government in general - legitimate?

To help me answer these questions in political theory, I'm joined by Dr. Bruce Cain of Stanford University.

Aug 10, 2016

"You've just got to have faith!" 

I heard that a million times growing up, and it never sat well with me. Once I understood the methodological error of faith, the world of rational analysis opened up for me. If you value the truth, there is no room for beliefs without reason.

Aug 3, 2016

Physicalism does not escape from absurd conclusions. 

Indeed, many physicalists have found a new kind of spirituality by understanding the implications of hard-determinism. If humans are essentially part of the universe, and humans are becoming aware of the universe, then - in a very real sense - the universe is in the process of becoming aware of itself.

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