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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: May, 2018
May 31, 2018

The purpose of this article is to point out where my fellow rationalists are being dogmatic, in particular, with regard to Austrian Economics. Philosophers like Hans-Hermann Hoppe tend to drop the "ceteris paribus" condition, turning true-but-neutered claims into false-and-dogmatic ones.

May 27, 2018

This week's interview is with Jeff Tucker. We're talking about how capitalism fits into the bigger picture. Libertarians tend to assume that everybody values the creation of wealth, and therefore free markets are important. But why make this assumption? Perhaps free markets create wealth at the cost of personal or spiritual impoverishment. What to think about this objection?

We also address the staggering beauty and complexity of free markets, illustrated in proper Jeff Tucker style: by telling the romantic story of tuna fish in a vending machine.

 

May 24, 2018

Few things are as intuitively obvious, yet philosophically challenging, as the existence of free will.

There’s a fashionable critique of free will that says, “The very concept of free will is incoherent; therefore, it obviously doesn’t exist.”

This article does not make the case for or against the existence of free will. Instead, it defends its conceptual coherence. Free will is not a nonsensical idea, and it might exist.

May 17, 2018

This article was inspired by a life-size replica of the crucifixion within a church in Bergen, Norway. The church service was pointless, but the replica sparked some valuable thoughts about love and hate.

May 13, 2018

This narrated article is about using the Rubik's Cube as an analogy for philosophic paradoxes and problem-solving. There are no unsolvable scrambles...

May 6, 2018
Is a “whole” really something greater than the sum of its parts? Or, is a “whole” identical to the sum of its parts?
 
Dr. Andrew Brenner joins me for a fun conversation about mereology - the study of parts and wholes. While it might seem like an esoteric topic, it’s actually central to metaphysics, and the conclusions have implications on things as varied as the philosophy of mind, personal identity, and even the philosophy of mathematics and geometry.
 
Both Dr. Brenner and I agreed in this episode: the only things that exist are simple substances. There aren’t actually any composite objects, though we act like there are for easy navigation in the world.
May 3, 2018

Zeno's paradoxes are some of the most famous. Most modern philosophers simply dismiss them as "resolved" because of calculus. However, that's a logical mistake. Calculus actually does not resolve Zeno's paradoxes. What resolves them is a base-unit of physical reality.

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