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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: September, 2016
Sep 29, 2016

Statistical anomalies: are they divine, or merely coincidental? One-in-a-million events are consistent with two mutually exclusive theories - so how to choose between them?

Questions like this throw us inescapably into the world of philosophy and theoretical reasoning. 

Sep 25, 2016

Breakdown of John Searle's philosophy of mind. His own resolution to the mind/body problem is called "biological naturalism".  

In my analysis, Searle is a closet dualist - even if he despises the title. 

Sep 22, 2016

Religious people have a certain quality that I've noticed over the years. It isn't about their beliefs. It isn't about their methods for reasoning. It's about something else: their commitment to the truth as they perceive it.

If that's true, then religiosity isn't a bad thing itself. In fact, if it's coupled with philosophy and critical reasoning, it's something to admire.

Sep 18, 2016

"The truth is that there is no truth". That roughly summarizes postmodern philosophy.  To my mind, this is an elementary error. It is a self-evident contradiction. However, I admit that I'm biased towards logic and rationality. 

To help me understand postmodernism better, I am joined by Dr. Stephen Hicks, who explains the history and ideas of postmodern philosophy.

Sep 14, 2016

Progressives are masters of indignation. But before talking about how things "should be", it seems wise to first understand how things actually are.

Worldviews not guided by economics are inaccurate at best, and dangerous at worst.

Sep 11, 2016

For nearly a century, the concept of "infinite sets" has rested at the foundations of modern mathematics. I have a tough time grasping this concept, so I asked Dr. Daniel Isaacson of Oxford University to help me out.

We cover two definitions for infinity, discuss the metaphysics of mathematics, and cover some basic "intuitionist" concepts.

Sep 8, 2016

I've always been fascinated by so-called "crazy" people. Why do they believe what they believe? Could they be right?

What if I'm the crazy person, while they are the sane ones? Perhaps they only appear crazy to me because my mind is broken?

After worrying about these ideas for years, I've settled on an answer. There is only one objective standard for sanity: logic.

Sep 4, 2016

The mind-body problem has been discussed for thousands of years. Does consciousness require the supernatural? 

Dr. John Searle emphatically says no. He's known for his own resolution to the mind-body problem, called "biological naturalism", and that's what we discuss today. It fits somewhere between eliminative physicalism and dualism.

Sep 1, 2016

We cannot overlook the boundaries of our concepts. If our concepts are fuzzy, then our thinking will be fuzzy. Continuums present a serious logical challenge to many ideas.

As far as I can tell, the best way to overcome the problems of continuums is to eliminate them altogether.

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