Ideas of Owen Flanagan, by Theme

[American, fl. 1992, Professor at Duke University.]

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1. Philosophy / A. Wisdom / 1. Nature of Wisdom
Philosophy needs wisdom about who we are, as well as how we ought to be
1. Philosophy / G. Scientific Philosophy / 1. Aims of Science
We resist science partly because it can't provide ethical wisdom
14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 4. Prediction
Explanation does not entail prediction
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 3. Mental Causation
In the 17th century a collisionlike view of causation made mental causation implausible
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 2. Unconscious Mind
Research suggest that we overrate conscious experience
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 3. Privacy
Only you can have your subjective experiences because only you are hooked up to your nervous system
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 2. Mental Continuity / b. Self as mental continuity
We only have a sense of our self as continuous, not as exactly the same
16. Persons / E. Rejecting the Self / 3. Narrative Self
The self is an abstraction which magnifies important aspects of autobiography
We are not born with a self; we develop a self through living
16. Persons / E. Rejecting the Self / 4. Denial of the Self
For Buddhists a fixed self is a morally dangerous illusion
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 1. Nature of Free Will
Normal free will claims control of what I do, but a stronger view claims control of thought and feeling
Free will is held to give us a whole list of desirable capacities for living
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 5. Against Free Will
People believe they have free will that circumvents natural law, but only an incorporeal mind could do this
We only think of ourselves as having free will because we first thought of God that way
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 8. Dualism of Mind Critique
People largely came to believe in dualism because it made human agents free
17. Mind and Body / B. Behaviourism / 4. Behaviourism Critique
Behaviourism notoriously has nothing to say about mental causation
17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 2. Anomalous Monism
Cars and bodies obey principles of causation, without us knowing any 'strict laws' about them
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 2. Reduction of Mind
Sensations may be identical to brain events, but complex mental events don't seem to be
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 3. Eliminativism
Physicalism doesn't deny that the essence of an experience is more than its neural realiser
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 3. Emotions / f. Emotion and reason
Emotions are usually very apt, rather than being non-rational and fickle
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 3. Acting on Reason / b. Intellectualism
Intellectualism admires the 'principled actor', non-intellectualism admires the 'good character'
22. Metaethics / A. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / e. Ethical cognitivism
Cognitivists think morals are discovered by reason
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 1. Nature of Value / b. Fact and value
Morality is normative because it identifies best practices among the normal practices
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 2. Values / a. Normativity
Ethics is the science of the conditions that lead to human flourishing
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 2. Values / f. Altruism
For Darwinians, altruism is either contracts or genetics
22. Metaethics / C. The Good / 2. Happiness / b. Eudaimonia
We need Eudaimonics - the empirical study of how we should flourish
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 9. Communism
Alienation is not finding what one wants, or being unable to achieve it
29. Religion / A. Polytheistic Religion / 3. Hinduism
The Hindu doctrine of reincarnation only appeared in the eighth century CE
29. Religion / C. Spiritual Disciplines / 3. Buddhism
Buddhists reject God and the self, and accept suffering as key, and liberation through wisdom
29. Religion / D. Religious Issues / 2. Immortality / b. Soul
The idea of the soul gets some support from the scientific belief in essential 'natural kinds'