• Indigenous Philosophy Resources

    To reply to both of you - I did indeed finish the work and I was quite happy with it. I received a decent mark for it (87% which roughly translates to a first class on UK marking schemes). Unfortunately, since it was not a purely "philosophy" course (it was Indigenous Studies and obviously I used more anthropological/sociological case studies and the like) it was rejected from an undergraduate philosophy journal I submitted it to a few months later because it was not ~purely philosophical~ which makes sense but was disheartening nonetheless - I may return to the project at a later date, particularly if it relates to my graduate studies. If you'd like to read it @James Riley I'd be happy to send it to you to get your thoughts on it :)

    The course was good, although while a final year course, dealt with stuff I had already learning in previous intersection feminist/Indigenous history courses, and because it was purely online - was not as thorough a course that I had originally hoped.

    Thanks for all the great sources! I will surely look into them if I continue the project further.
  • The theory of animal culture

    You should look into some work on post-humanism...start with the book Straw Dogs for an interesting philosophical overview, and then consider some more scientific accounts of the fascinating powers of animals.
  • Is humanity in deep trouble?
    You should look up some post humanist thinkers to answer this question. Homo Deus and 21 Lessons from the 21st Century are excellent speculatory books about the future. Straw Dogs by John Gray is also an excellent book about the philosophical positions that lead human beings to thinking they were important, including the myth of 'progress'.

    Likely we are "doomed" but all of life is doomed eventually, and we aren't at all special. In the history of the universe we are a mere blip.
  • Indigenous Philosophy Resources

    Thank you for both your suggestions!

    It seems like there was some comments made on this post which I'm now unable to view, however I can see the summary in the notifications and I would just like to respond...
    What might be surprising to you is that I am a fourth year philosophy student who is also currently attending law school at a different university-I am not "asking for people to do research for me", as someone who has had an article published in an undergraduate philosophy journal, currently preparing to apply to PhD programs and the like, I think I am quite capable of doing my own research :kiss:
    Rather, I posted this in the hopes that there would be people more experienced than I in the field of Indigenous philosophy and scholarship, as aforementioned I am new to this area. I was also hoping that someone who identified as Indigenous/Indigenous ancestry may be willing to give their own perspective, as a non-Indigenous person I think its important to let the actual people I am writing and researching about share their experiences, perspectives, and insight. Lastly, given this is a philosophy forum where people are meant to discuss, share and suggest resources and research, and otherwise have good natured philosophical discourse, I am surprised at this comment. If someone was researching a topic I was very familiar with, for example, radical feminism or ASD, then I would be happy to share my insight and suggested reading lists/resources, that is what philosophy is all about isn't it?
  • Help a newbie out
    Welcome to philosophy! I remember feeling overwhelmed when I took my first philosophy class back in high school I had no idea where to begin, even now, four years into university...when I start a new topic/branch/thinker, I still feel overwhelmed LOL.

    Leibniz was a systemic metaphysical thinker-he created his own system (presumed on rationalism) he thought explained everything. Locke was an empiricist and founder of political Liberalism. Thats the short summary I can think off the top of my head. I studied both of them in my third year philosophy of Enlightenment class (the period of philosophy between 1500s-1700s), I can't say I'm particularly well read in any of those thinkers, or even a fan, but drop me a message and I'm always happy to discuss!
  • Who wants to read Thomas Picketty "Capital and Ideology"

    Well good news for you, I actually only read a chapter or so of it before I ended up getting a job which took the rest of my time. I'm open to continuing it at some point, if you or anyone are still interested ... Capital in the 21st Century was one of the first political/economic philosophy books I ever read (at about 16) and it struck me.
  • Why Do Few Know or Care About the Scandalous Lewis Carroll Reality?
    OP thinks that people should be more disturbed that the writer of children's books may have been a sexual child predator.
    A better question for the OP to ask would be, is there anything is Carroll's books that support or depict child sexual predation. I've never read Carroll, but I believe the answer to that is a resounding No.
  • Why Do Few Know or Care About the Scandalous Lewis Carroll Reality?
    Can we judge people from previous eras with the moral standards we now see as wrong? If the answer is yes, then you will be quite limited in your range of morally acceptable music, art, books etc. etc. Most people, even the most allegedly revered in certain countries (such as the statutes of Washington in the USA) are guilty of heinous crimes and immorality under our current standards...that does not always (though in some cases it does if the individual was hypocritical) negate their contributions or work. Personally, many of my favourite writers, thinkers etc. were misogynistic/held values that I do not hold etc. some very explicitly so. While I condemn those views, it is more effective to consider why these views came about, and how they relate to the wider social systems of the time and place in question.
    Merely condemning them does nothing, they are already too long gone to face your moral judgement.
    Regarding Lewis Carroll, if he was a paedophile, to what extent was this the result of the sexual culture of the Victorian times? I'm not talking out of my ass here, there are plenty of research on how the puritan culture in Victorian Europe and North America, led to sexual depravities of all kinds. Psychology also backs this up. Its possible if Lewis was a paedophile, he himself was a victim of child sexual abuse. This does not excuse his actions, but from our perspective, may be helpful in ascertaining a pattern of behaviour and circumstance that we can translate to our current times.
  • Depressed with Universe Block (and Multiverse)

    Ya I mean, when I think of multiverse I think of infinite universes with infinite possibilities for conception.

    So if I do exist in Universe 1 and Universe 2 and Universe 3 and so on, I likely exist differently in each of those universes. So there is room for both suffering and great joy. If you see suffering as infinitely spread across the multiverse, then there is also requisite joy?
  • Help Understanding (and Refuting Descartes) on Animal Minds

    My understanding of the severed head dilemma, especially in chickens, is that nerves in the body take awhile to die, hence involuntary motor actions. That happens in humans too when certain nerves in the brain are stimulated even if the person is unconscious/in a coma ect.
  • Depressed with Universe Block (and Multiverse)
    Don't worry. I once got very high and had this exact same sensation, it was terrifying and nauseating. I was with a group of people and they were talking and laughing but it appeared to me in "squared" moments. Same with years before that, the first time I got high. Both times were terrible and isolating. However, once the weed wore off, I was alright. It also helped afterwards discussing the concepts with my friends.

    But yes, block universe is a very frightening concept at first. What might be of (some related) interest however, is the frames per second...basically how many frames must be presented for us to see moving image. For humans its relatively low, 30-60 frames per second. For dogs though, its much higher (70) and for dragonflies, they can see 300. I know this isn't metaphysical in any sense, but its worthy of consideration when you're talking of reality as "moving frames". Idk, I found it interesting that other creatures see the world at a different "speed" so to speak than we do, makes it pretty clear that our perspective really is relative.

    As for the multiverse, I think you have to think of it like if there are multiple universes out there, maybe life is better for me in some of those universes. Maybe, for example, in some of those universes, my dog is still alive. Or my grandma. Maybe some of the things I regret, didn't happen the same way in those "parallel" universes. This is a good thing. Things aren't necessarily "over" or "gone forever" once they pass in this universe. I'm a militant atheist so theres no afterlife bullshit for me, as far as I go, the "afterlife" is plausible other universes.

    Lastly, I would suggest reading The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus. He was a really stupendous author and philosopher, and he wrote about tackling depression in a world that we can never understand or derive objective meaning from. For Camus, suicide is the most important philosophical question. Why don't we all kill ourselves? He then goes onto explain that we don't have to kill ourselves, we can live in spite of not knowing, and in spite of not having meaning. This book personally became my "religion" so to speak, and has kept me going through horrible times, particularly when my grandmother died and I felt very isolated and confused in the world, it all felt really pointless if you're just going to die. I was also a year from planning a big move to a new country, so my life in the old country also began to feel really pointless.

    I dont know if this helps you, but best of luck to you.
  • Help Understanding (and Refuting Descartes) on Animal Minds

    The course is on early modern era philosophers, so we have covered a variety of different thinkers and theories from that area such as Bacon, Spinoza, Descartes ect. The scope of the project is to address a thinker/philosophy from that era in an original way-so I'm planning to discuss Descartes concept of other minds in depth.

    Yes my understanding from my earlier research was Descartes conception of animals as "machine-like", not really alive.

    This looks really helpful and I will read it over. If I have any questions I'll let you know!

    Yes this distinction is what I'm starting to see I might struggle with
  • What School of Philosophy is This?
    This belief system says that morals/ethics don't exist at all, except as arrangements of neurons.

    I think what you're describing is closer to constructivism or nihilism. Constructivism highlights that most things are human inventions-that is that they are socially constructed within social groups (customs, morals, religion, ect.) This does not mean they are not real per say, they are very much real, but more that it means that they are real intersubjectively, meaning within the particular social group that they were created. Ie. money is "real' its a tangible object, but the meaning attached to it is intersubjective, it requires other people in a group to validate its worth. A 100$ bill is accepted in New York City but would be used as fire kindling in the middle ages ect. Does that make sense? The 100$ bill does not have objective meaning outside of the social reality which constructed its meaning.

    Nihilism is more of an understanding that nothing objectively matters; morals, life, death ect. Meaning is just something we create to distract ourselves from the oblique nothingness. Of course, many nihilistic or absurdist thinkers do still have a code of ethics and beliefs on how to make life more liveable. But they largely don't believe there is any objective truth our purpose to our lives.

    Rather than making decisions based on a moral code, this philosophy encourages people to focus on outcomes. Instead of asking "What should I do?", ask "What do I want to see happen?", and then to work toward that goal.

    I think utilitarianism is what you are trying to describe here. Utilitarianism is a moral judgement system that prioritizes the maximum amount of happiness/success of outcome over the lesser amount (there are variations of course). Its a moral system based on outcome, usually quantifiable outcome, rather than whether the action itself is good or bad.
  • Lets Talk Ayn Rand
    Funny OP is asking us if he should like Ayn Rand, etc. OMG he's such a Keating! I've always been like Roark actually in life when I knew myself, when I had an opinion, but I've been like Keating as far as career because I've been clueless, without self-knowledge. I know now- engineering and building stuff, but I'm already 38, like Keating when he finally realized he was in the wrong line. So I've been like Keating but also like Roark. — badboy

    Funny you assume I am a man! For the record nowhere in my original post includes me "asking if I should like Rand"...far from it, I only asked for some background on her and her works since I was new to her work and have only heard of her from infamy. I even stated that I would add my own opinions once I had finished the book. Not sure how this makes me any kind of pushover.

    MY OPINION: Nice enough prose and a nice enough story. I guess I didn't read that deeply into it, I just enjoyed the story too much. But it didn't really stand out to me either. Like there was no passage I found particularly offensive or revolutionary.
  • Thoughts on Thomas Nagel

    I've never read that book! Looks like I will have to check it out.
    If you don't mind me asking did Nagel reply? I was considering writing him to thank him for inspiring my project on subjectivity.
  • Thoughts on Thomas Nagel

    I will look at that thread, but seeing as subjectivity is an area in which I have been spending the last year or so casually studying I'm not sure how you can absolutely state that. Even if you attempt to examine "empathy" from a physicalism/reductionist standpoint, science is still not sure exactly what area of the brain such feeling (the ability to imagine the circumstances of others) would come from, and then how that translates to other brains different than ours...even the concept that fish don't feel pain has been majorly disputed despite fish lacking the same brain structure as we do...they feel pain, just via a different structure. Empathy is such a subjective trait that heavily varies cross-culturally we are not sure how it would even translate into the mentality of other creatures, so how can you say that? Also the entire point of "What it is Like to Be A Bat" discusses the limitations of our empathetic imaginations, we cannot ever fully feel what it is like to be something or someone else....

    I agree, but even our current understanding of psychopathy is sketchy at best, especially given the infinitely variable environmental factors that typically lead to it...
  • Anarchism- is it possible for humans to live peacefully without any form of authority?
    Whether it is 200 people or 200 states, this analogy holds absolutely true and is permissible.

    Philosophy rarely says anything is absolutely anything, let alone such as assumption of that. Are you an expert in sociology, anthropology, or history then? Do you actually have evidence of this "absolute" truth you are so claiming? I think you are purposefully misunderstanding @boethius - Anarchism wants to prevent the 'might' of anyone. While you could claim that sometimes brute strength overcomes the weaker in situations where power is not centralized (and that certainly has been an argument, although usually a weak one, against Anarchism-ie. the consequences of creating such a power vacuum) these are not in line with Anarchism principles that are the topic of this discussion. Anarchy is not about no government, but a collective (government) based on free association. While the current global political situation may indeed be seen as totalitarian, chaotic, and imbalanced, this by no means can be equated to Anarchism as a political system...I'm not sure if this is an ignorant mistake of yours, to confuse "anarchy" as an adverb to describe chaos and disorder (which is actually the work of 200+ years of political propaganda and has nothing to do with the true Greek etymology of the word) with the detailed summaries of Anarchism many have outlined here-or if it is purposeful to try to bluntly push your opinion on the topic which completely contradicts history, and 200+ years of thinkers on the subject.
  • Anarchism- is it possible for humans to live peacefully without any form of authority?

    I'm not disagreeing, but for the sake of discussion-since this seems to be a prominent point being discussed here. All decisions of an anarchist group could be consensual and unanimous-if there was a minority that strongly disagreed with a group decision then they would end their association with said group and voluntarily join a different group that better matched their ideas? By very definition Anarchist societies are based on voluntary free association. It may take discussion and compromise to reach certain decisions, but I don't feel like in any true Anarchist group there could be a majority over a minority...(tyranny of the majority) because that would apply a power imbalance.
    Hence one can see the difficulties of imagining Anarchist societies on national or supranational scales-how could thousands, millions, or billions of people ever come to unanimous compromises on issues?

    I'm not saying its impossible, I'm just saying that this is one of the main aspects of Anarchism, in my opinion even more than the issue of "everyone will be greedy!", that takes some real consideration when attempting to apply it in a practical way.

    However, if examined on a micro level, say in small groups-I believe we see varying levels of Anarchist organization in friendship and colleague group associations-arguably the healthiest of which...even in larger family units (although nuclear families, as per the radical feminist line, are inherently oppressive in their own way-i'm not denying this). In healthy friendship groups (or perhaps adult family groups like siblings/older parents/cousins/uncles-children are their own subclass so cannot be seen as equals) everyone voluntarily chooses to associate with each other-they are not dependent or forced to. At any time you can freely choose to leave friendships and their attending groups, and many people obviously do many times throughout their lives...usually when their are disagreements often in majority/minority style-people take sides, and sometimes the group even splits into smaller groups ect. This is all a natural (although painful) at times process, that ultimately, leads to 'better' or at least, more fitting future friendships and groups. The fact that people outgrow people with changes in life and circumstances is indisputable. All of this is a very organic process, and at all times the individual, though seeing themselves as part of the collective group, and doing their "part" for the group (ie. picking up group members, hosting dinner parties w/e) remains individual and autonomous, they do not subvert their identities in any meaningful way (vs. in more collectivist political theories like communism/socialism, the individual is expected to subvert their identity for the good of the group). I think we see the very real actualizing of Anarchist organization in these kinds of healthy friendship groups, which are basically defined as a group of individuals voluntarily associating with each other-there are certainly differences amongst those in the groups, but these differences are resolved through compromise, consensus, and mutual respect and care for members. Arguably, these types of group organizations are the most sought after-explaining why shows featuring them such as Friends, The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family ect. became such popular hits (among many other books, movies, and other mediums), also perhaps why people work so hard to form them, and generally, if the group is healthy...enjoy their time in them. In no way are these groups necessarily permanent, that would imply that they are no longer voluntarily-and they do end, or inequalities and power imbalances do happen leading to as I already said, a breaking down of the group. But the individual remains autonomous, and when they leave, they then seek out another group that better fits their needs/interests/beliefs ect. Hence voluntary free asscociation-the Anarchist social organization, and one I feel is a very fundamental and healthy
    human social pattern.
  • Anarchism- is it possible for humans to live peacefully without any form of authority?

    I apologize if I made anything more unclear for you. However its good that we both can see how the two-party system is toxic.
  • Anarchism- is it possible for humans to live peacefully without any form of authority?

    You've hit upon one of the many crises of todays politics, which I also see-leading to the political apathy the pervades many people, especially minorities and the working class, who arguably need to be involved the most.
    The two party system itself is toxic to the entire concept of democracy, especially when the two parties are (despite what you have been lead to believe) historically quite similar in their policies in approaches...and more contemporarily, takes a one step forward one step backwards approach (hence why we are still hearing rulings attempting to unearth Roe v Wade-which was a good 40+ years ago, like move on already), its also why people become apathetic to the point that politics don't "do" anything and then "voting" doesn't do anything. In fact, many Anarchist thinkers have highlighted that-radical feminist anarchists like Goldman went against the conservative suffragists of the time to declare that a woman's vote would not change a woman's oppression (which is true, its more of a fake symbol then anything else. sex class remains as real as ever)-and Thoreau argued that voting was all a game, meant to distract from the real issues at hand (read Thoreaus essay"Civil Disobedience" theres free pdfs online if you search in Google). The electoral system, and what we have in Canada, a first-past-the-post system is not only unduly complex, but it is far from democratic. And having only two real "viable" choices is far from democratic or allowing for any real substantial change. In Canada we theoretically have a multi-party system (we usually have 4+ viable options), but seeing as the majority only really vote for the two biggest-the two/three/four others are discouraged because people have the misconception that voting for the others is "throwing away your vote", thus just like Thoreau believed, voting becomes a strategical game. Which it shouldn't be.

    In the Biden v Trump election, many will try to vote Biden in a way that offsets Trump, but MAGA and the regressive right are too strong-if seen in the context of a two party system, Trump will win again. Also Biden is a disgrace in and of himself, and undoubtley many of the true Left will ignore the election entirely as a result. What the Left in America should do (and I don't mean those who are middling democrats, but real Left) is refuse the vote. Not, not show up on election day-but actively refuse their vote. I read somewhere that is an option in America, meant to safeguard the electoral process against the possibility of two unworthy candidates; which is what they are facing now.
  • Anarchism- is it possible for humans to live peacefully without any form of authority?

    I'll try to collect my thoughts on what these identity politics things mean from an anarchist perspective. Feminism is definitely the most complicated.

    I would argue that feminism is intrinsically implied in Anarchist principles-seeing as they seek to dissolve all power structures and return power to the autonomous individuals, this necessarily must include women and the sex class system. Emma Goldman, one of the founding writers and thinkers of modern Anarchism-was also one of the most radical feminist thinkers; highlighting that there can be no equality until women are freed from marriage, family, and the obligation to be reproductive chattel. Also it was Goldman (among others) that highlighted systems theory; she recognized that the sex industry, and subsequently the hated prostitute, were resultant of larger systems of oppression and exploitation.

    Feminism appears complicated but it operates among the same lines as political ideologies, there is conservative (reactive) feminism that seems womens issues as "secretarian" and lesser to larger male/universal issues like war, the draft, ect. ect. First wave feminism got largely co opted by this line of thought. Liberal feminism is what is largely exposed mainstream, it acts the same as other Liberal ideologies, attempting to address one-ticket issues that ultimately end up changing very little and obscure the larger systemic causes...examples of this are the whole Trans+ pronoun debate that the regressive right gets so up and arms about (haha theres 80 genders wow omg these libtards!) but Liberal campaigns frame as individual "Free choice" and not the result of some larger deconstuction of gender ideals more radically (which is where the Trans+ movement began, as a fierce critique of the genre binary). Also lets not forget the ultimate co opting of previous (second and third wave) feminists attempts to critique beauty ideals and how those are used culturally to enslave women...Liberal campaigns have co opted this to be "look good for you" and equated (usually harmful) beauty practices with self care, self love, and independence, when really-as radical writers have shown, there can be no independence from the male gaze, you are not wearing makeup for "You" no matter how much you want to believe it. Hence once again Liberal ideology obscures larger systems-perhaps in more damaging ways than in economic or social policy...

    I must say, I am really enjoying our discussion here.
  • Anarchism- is it possible for humans to live peacefully without any form of authority?

    Ya, I've recently started dating a Sikh who I've come to realize their belief system is akin to Anarchism in some ways-excuse my paraphrasing, but much of Sikhism is not about centralized religion or obeying a monotheistic god, but rather a way of life and thought that promotes what they see as positive and worthy attributes.

    I could see Anarchism overcoming a power vacuum if conditions are right. Like you said, a total disaster could give way to enough fear mythology for the surviving generations to fear any kind of use of power. Coupled with a return to more self-sustaining, maybe nomadic (meaning no personal property to defend) lifestyles could mean voluntarily free associating groups. Now we're getting into anthopology though...I recommend William Sumner Folkways, I need to re-read it but he presents an interesting analysis of fundamental aspects of human society/life in a very materialist way, which I largely agree with. Things do not "appear randomly"-every aspect of our life, like evolution itself, serves some purpose or attribute ie. religion was not just randomly 'discovered', its a useful storytelling tool for unity and group identity.
  • Anarchism- is it possible for humans to live peacefully without any form of authority?

    All good points. I should add then to my own summary, that some of the tenets of Anarchism and Anarchic thought are in a return to more primitive life/minimalism and self-sustainability. Arguably in Greek history, Diogenes was one of the first Anarchist thinkers-living in his box as he were, on his own terms.
    "If you would only learn to compliment Dionysus, you wouldn't have to live on lentils."

    Diogenes replied, "But if you would only learn to live on lentils, you wouldn't have to flatter Dionysus.”

    One of the more contemporary thinkers who showed how this self-sustainability could be put into practice was Thoreau-who built himself a cabin in the woods and lived, pretty peacefully, for almost two years. Again, even more recently, this is why Anarchism is closely associated with many radical environment movements today; they focus on unearthing the larger (capitalist) systems that have lead to the environmental crisis we are facing, and then see grassroots level, self-sustainability (some more primitive than others), as a viable solution.
  • Anarchism- is it possible for humans to live peacefully without any form of authority?

    However, one this to add is that these movement are ineffective not because attaining those issues aren't worthwhile things, but if and when they collaborate with the dominant structure of power. As a counter-example to contemporary examples that have clearly contributed to giving us Trump vs Biden, desegregation was a single-issue leftist movement. Obviously it was good to desegregate. However, MLK clearly understood that desegregation simply to be poor didn't accomplish all that much, and also understood that the structure of poverty regardless of race was as important as the blight of slavery and segregation. MLK was assassinated before really getting into this second phase; the system praises his work on desegregation every year (insofar as it's presented in a way that doesn't challenge the power structure), but mentioning his thoughts on poverty makes one a dangerous pariah (an interesting example of long term double think the system can support).

    Great point on the double think. Another, more contemporary example of such a "double think" would be the hailed progressive (centrist-Liberal) achievement of allowing gay marriage. This seems great (and for many of course, it is, I identify as LGBTQ myself) but the issue is of course much more has to consider why homosexuality was barred from legitimacy at all (meaning, to question the founding imperatives of Judeo-Christian morality systems, difficult to do with the recent rise of extremist political christianity to an almost fascistic nature (MAGA and the regressive right)) why is homosexuality such a threat? A threat to what? Well the nuclear family ideal (which as many feminist writers have highlighted is based in sex class oppression and as Engels highlighted, is its own form of capitalist oppression, and serves a greater capitalist industrial system)-hence some thinkers have pointed out that by allowing homosexuals the socially(and economically) constructed legitimacy of state (and religious to some extents) marriage, reinforces the importances of marriage and nuclear family ideal; thus serving the bigger system of capitalism.
    Again, such an issue of importance (in this case, recognizing the legitimacy, state or otherwise of homosexual relationships and ensuing social acceptance and normalization), is hailed as a "single-ticket" issue-which seems good and progressive, but really collaborates with larger systems of power-hence going unseen and ensuring the status quo (meaning nothing too radical) goes on. That is, bluntly speaking, the MO of most neo-liberal/centerists politics, bureaucratic acquiescence to soft issues.
  • Anarchism- is it possible for humans to live peacefully without any form of authority?

    The Anarchist response to opportunists would be that such were 'created' in turn by a system that values greed (I believe it was Chomsky). Arguably then, Anarchism is more of an ideal theory than a short-term practical one. Take away all centralized power and very likely such mayhem would ensue, the question is, if the power remained taken away-would future generations act in such a way? Perhaps not.
  • Anarchism- is it possible for humans to live peacefully without any form of authority?

    True. Anarchism is voluntary free association-majoritarian would imply some larger non-voluntary collective. However, I think what @boethius meant was that Anarchism seeks to destabilize systems of power-returning power (decentralized) back to the autonomous individual to make their own choices-not reliant on class/elitism ect.
  • Anarchism- is it possible for humans to live peacefully without any form of authority?

    Excellent! A much more detailed summary than mine. Would agree with everything you said.
    Definitely want to highlight what you wrote about it not only being censored (which it is, and why its so important do research and read the primary works of these thinkers) but its difference from the rest of what we would consider the Left (although some, like myself, see political theory not as linear so much as multidimensional). Socialists/communists largely believe in a collective organization-which is where the misconception that 'slavery under communism' comes from-ie. its totalitarian history-that people have no choice but participate and sacrifice themselves to this 'collective'. Whereas Anarchists primarily believe in liberty + equality, in the form of voluntary free association, and like Boethius explained, through the destruction of caste based systems in favour of decentralized/grassroots/personal authority. In the Church, state, even the family (many feminist thinkers focused on the family unit as the fundamental oppressive state) you have what is called "centralized authority" meaning, authority/power is had by only select people/groups of people (those in charge) whereas the rest are subject to that power. Of course, power itself is a complex topic in philosophy (Look up Foucault) but being general here, Anarchists wish to return power to each individual as an autonomous agent. Well won't people be evil if they suddenly can do whatever they want?? Thats a fair reaction, given the environment we are socialized in. However, the Anarchist response (and largely my own to an extent) is that many of the issues we see in individuals ie. cruelty/greed/violence is the result of the oppressive caste system we inevitably live under (whether it be class, race, gender-or on a more micro scale, individual power hierarchies, like an asshole boss or cruel parents) these fundamentally shape who we are, our choices, and our desires. Take away this system and people might, voluntarily, act very differently. Hence power is decentralized-to individuals or small, voluntary collectives such as small tribes or clans ect. Meaning Anarchism is far from a partisan political theory, its not one that has a national or supranational identity per say (not a national Party), but rather, would be a way of life.
    This seems very radical and it is. For good reason. There's a reason why much of the Left that mainstream media exposes to us (and what is taught in public school) is pretty toned down-again like Boethius says, much of it focuses on smaller, minute, or individual identity politic issues-which, of course, are issues-but they are also symptoms of a much larger systemic problem. The Liberal/NeoLiberal (which is far from Left, more like middling centre) focuses on these one-issue campaigns (ie. abortion rights, gay marriage ect.) which, maybe slightly progressive in comparison to the more centre-rights (Republicans, Conservatives) ect. are pretty much ineffective in addressing the whole system, and in fact, some thinkers have argued that placing emphasis on these identity politic issues obscures the system even more so, a prime example is with regards to environmental movements. Sure, everyone should recycle, but placing the onus on a small minority of individual obscures the much larger systemic issue of an economic system based on consumerism, and the giant corporations that create tonnes more waste than one individual ever could in their lifetime.
  • Anarchism- is it possible for humans to live peacefully without any form of authority?
    Hey there!
    Funnily enough I was in high school when I first started researching Anarchism-it was actually for my grade 12 philosophy course thesis...really interesting stuff and at the time, I got pretty into academic research. Emma Goldman actually happens to be one of my favourite political and feminist thinkers-she is an incredibly radical (and if you read her biography) fascinating person, even by our standards.

    I don't think its my place to sit here and tell you that Anarchism can "work or not", because, given our current society and how it shapes personality/belief/goals ect. we are biased by that. As Chomsky said (another Anarchist thinker you should look into) what we often mistake as 'natural' human traits-are actually largely shaped by social function ect. ect. Hence why some Anarchists such as Kropotkin focused on 'altruism' as being a driving social personality, rather than greed-we are more given to altruism than greed (or some thinkers say equally) however our society/economy necessarily encourages greed more than altruism.
    All I will say when studying Anarchism is don't listen to others until you have done your own research. Come to the table with facts, knowledge, and history before any discussion of the sort. Anarchism is one of the most misunderstood, understated, and badly misrepresented theories (maybe second only to communism, but so much less known than communism) and regardless of its practicality, there are so many relevant thinkers involved in Anarchist thought and history, and many injustices done to Anarchists and their movements (look up the Haymarket Massacres, the event actually inspired Goldman to pursue Anarchism). In fact, Anarchists were the forefathers to many prominent social movements such as free healthcare, womens rights, the draft/war, abolition ect. and Anarchists were one of the first groups to publicly contradict fascism and the Nazis in the early 1930s (even before the communists)...arguably even the communist/socialist ideals and policies would not be where they are today without the aid of many of these thinkers.

    I'm sorry that I didn't answer your question directly. I would suggest you look up Proudhon and his "Spontaneous Order Theory" if you want more concrete understanding of practicalities...Chomsky also has a book On Anarchism that is more contemporarily based...however, seeing as I was also in high school when I was studying this, below I've copied my bibliography I used for my research essay, and feel free to message me privately if you would like to read the essay-its no masterpiece, but even years later re-reading it, I feel it provides a very readable introduction to the theory, especially seeing as I was (assuming) around your age when I wrote it (I'm 21 now).

    Also if you want any more help researching some of these thinkers, feel free to let me know, because I have access to some free PDFs/additional resources I came across more recently :) .
    Chomsky, N. (2014). On Anarchism
    Curtis, M. (2008). The Great Political Theories. New York: HarperPerennial ModernClassics. [This is a collection of many different political theories/summaries, which is interesting of itself but contains great information on Anarchism)
    Goldman, E. (1970). Living my life. New York. [This is her autobiography]
    Gornick, V. (2014). Emma Goldman Revolution as a Way of Life. New Haven: Yale University Press.
    GREEN ANARCHIST INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATIONG A I A Eco-Anarchist International Green Grass ConfederationGreen Anarchists' Network World Wide. Retrieved June 11, 2017, from
    Haymarket Massacre. (2011, August 07). Retrieved June 11, 2017, from
    Hoffman, J., & Graham, P. (2010). Introduction to Political Ideologies. New Delhi, India: Pearson Longman.
    Marshall, P. H. (2008). Demanding the Impossible: a History of Anarchism. London: Harper Perennial. [This is a massive book of about 500 pages but it contains everything you ever would need to know about the history of Anarchism and Anarchist theory, and goes over/summarizes all the main theorists, and includes pieces of their essays and work, great resource to start with]
    Nicholson, C. B. (2010). Emma Goldman: still dangerous. Montréal: Black Rose Books.

    Also, individually, I would look up:
    Joseph Proudhon
    Thoreau (he was a naturalist/Anarchist thinker and a beautiful writer)
    Bakunin (one of more 'pro-violent' Anarchists, which is, to be fair, pretty rare among Anarchist though)
    The Diggers (late medieval era group)
    Shulasmith Firestone (radical feminist, who espoused the lesser tenets of Anarchism and free love, the conception of Anarchist sexuality, again, very interesting and very under emphasized, people have the misconception that all Anarchists were men just interest in blowing stuff up, when really, many great thinkers were women, focused on destabilizing sexist institutions such as the Church, marriage, the family, and prosititution)
  • Coronavirus
    States, China, Europe, Japan and India achieve, if quickly harnessed, to prevent tragedy in the poorer societies in the world?

    Sorry, didn't notice your last question. I mean, India has to figure out its own political India has been committing genocide against the Sikh people (ethnic minority in comparison to Hindus) for the last 40 years or so, and now in Pakistan the Muslims just recently murdered a bunch more Sikhs ect. ect. I know in Syria as well this crisis has really affected the country.

    In other countries, I don't think they're so much affected by the virus as they are by the disruption to the economy. I mean second and third world "Developing" countries rely on a lot of the tourism/manufacturing industry from "Developed" nations, thats how global capitalism works-so the fact that no one is travelling, major corporations are seeing a decrease in sales (ie. clothing) ect. means that anything from resorts in Punta Cana to sweatshops in Korea are also suffering from this.
  • Coronavirus
    In my opinion the States should be considered one of the "poorer" countries in the world-the statistics of a few billionaires should not outweigh the masses of now unemployed people with no social benefits or healthcare to speak of-not to mention the illiteracy in some states is appalling. Remember also, that "guns are an essential" now...not sure how guns help with keeping protected from the virus...don't really want to think about that.
    Five years ago Obama made a speech suggesting the Americans stock up on ventillators/masks for a type of health crisis that we are seeing today. Of course America did not. There are also rumours that Americans prevented a shipment of masks and ventilators from crossing to the Canadian border (my country). I also read somewhere (people can research this) that there is a hospital in San Franscisco that stands empty due to privatization...yet the STATE of New York alone has more cases than any other COUNTRY in the world.
    America is, to put it nicely, in shambles. But it has been in shambles for a long time-and of course, other countries face similar problems but on a smaller scale. I think we'd need about ten other threads to properly discuss the failures of the American electoral system, democratic capitalism, the influence of big PHARMA and the NRA, their use of extremist christianity to pursue a xenophobic and homogenized populace ect. ect.
    The Biden/Trump vote will go to Trump, I think anyone would have to be an idiot not to see that...the only advantage Biden has over the regressive right, MAGA idiots, and the moderate voters that think Biden is a creepy ineffective wimp (which he certainly is), is the die-hard democrats (that IMO do not constitute the real Left at all, there hasn't been a real Left in America since the early 1900s) that will try to convince previous Bernie voters not to waste their vote and still vote for Biden in a kind of "strategical" voting game with the end goal to defeat Trump (we see that in Canada a lot). I'm not going to pretend Bernie was perfect, I don't think a cult-of-personality helps anyone-but I think his politics were reasonable (radical to some) and well-founded. But I'm also not going to pretend that a Bernie win wouldn't mean a complete civil war for America...the MAGA and the regressive right have grown to strong in popular imagination to simply allow for such "radical" changes as free education, healthcare, medicaid, to occur; not to mention these rednecks would have the support of the billionaires who also don't want these changes...and since we live in a democratic capitalist society, thats even scarier than some illiterate idiots with their guns...If Biden wins, nothing will get better or really get worse. If Trump wins, we might see some rallying and rioting-but mostly we will watch the continued deterioration of America...

    Congratulations on your country acting so efficiently, I'm not going to pretend I'm not jealous..I've always wanted to go to Australia/live there. I've always considered it to be like the "warm" version of Canada.
    I live in the UK right now. I have to say, not much going on here. The British people are a pretty mild people, but they still have that old British "rallying" spirit so they're doing what they can to "protect the NHS (their healthcare system)" and most seem pretty rueful about this, but in good spirits. I get the sense that in other countries the general mood is much more desolate...
  • Does Money/Wealth (Late-Stage Capitalism) Usurp Ideals like Democracy and the Rule of Law?

    What part of "historical system" implies that I believe in it? When I am necessarily delineating it as being a system objectively part of a historical reality...which it was, regardless of what i want to say about it..

    No I quoted Plato as an example of the development of the rule of law, which he thought second to his Philosopher King' relation to Aristotle who overruled that opinion.

    Greed is a human (and also an animal) characteristic, you may not like it personally, but it is a human trait, part of human nature.
    This is one opinion; thinkers like Chomsky and Kropotkin have denied this-altruism in nature being more prevalent than greed necessarily. Both exist to varying degrees, sure, but it can be fostered or diminished by varying types of systems.

    I apologize if my wording is misleading as this was not my intention.
  • Does Money/Wealth (Late-Stage Capitalism) Usurp Ideals like Democracy and the Rule of Law?

    I meant "ideal" in the common-day sense. Like, the concept of a rule of law, where all are actually equal and subject to the same law, is an ideal theory, but in practice not necessarily always the case. My anecdote to Plato was unconnected, I was merely giving some background to the development of the rule of law as a political theory.
  • Does Money/Wealth (Late-Stage Capitalism) Usurp Ideals like Democracy and the Rule of Law?

    Also there is an important difference between the monotheistic/elitist religions like Judeo-Christanity and Islam, and the theistic/panthesitic religions of pre-agricultural and eastern societies. They are set on very different premises, and while both encourage and manipulate behaviour to some degree (via moral guidance like you said, among other things) they encourage and manipulate different kinds of behaviour that are relative to the different kinds of economic/social systems the different communities had...
  • Does Money/Wealth (Late-Stage Capitalism) Usurp Ideals like Democracy and the Rule of Law?

    I have no belief in god and am a staunch atheist/nihilist personally-you misread my point. I was making objective observations socio-historically; that there are interesting parallels between the historical system of divinity/divine power, and those of todays wealth worship/wealth power. In its own way-the drive for insane wealth is its own superstition; merely hides the reality of our meaningless lives, albeit giving us some hedonistic enjoyment while we live them. Of course God plays no governance in the world, but I was commenting on how people have believed he has (or his "chosen" delegate)-and how this is patrolled contemporarily.

    Eyyeyyey... the entire hoarding behaviour has developed for the necessity of hoarding supplies and food for the tribe to survive over period of non-availability of supplies and food. It was present in the pre-agricultural societies much like in today's societies.

    I disagree, and again you misconstrue my meaning-while power structures may always play a role in human social behaviour, hoarding and the concept of private property is specifically linked to the development of agricultural/civilization...i am not saying that it never existed, surely greedy bastards have always existed, but it was a rare behaviour that wasn't encouraged by collective/tribal systems...much of the concept of elitism was established with Judeo-Christian theology, and carried itself onwards until the Industrial revolution drove the advancement of inane capitalist wealth accumulation instead....again to justify elitism and divine rule.
  • Marijuana and Philosophy
    If only I had the time to read Husserl.. Haha, one day
  • Marijuana and Philosophy

    Big pharma would like you to think that medical marijuana is not a good choice for chronic pain. It decentralizes the power they have, especially in countries like America, you can grow it on your own, experiment on your own ect. Imagine that. Power over our bodies and what we put into them back in the hands of the people, no tax money or fees to be made. The medical industry is screaming.

    I don't think its that difficult a point to be made if you look at the socio-historical patterns, such as the criminalization of minority groups (ie.the hyper imprisonment rate of Blacks), the history of White America and their spite for anything deemed not White-including the poor...statistics show that people of all demographic use and smoke marijuanaa, but it is particularly associated with a particular type of person. There is a stigma that isn't attached to other things, such as drinking, which can be seen as an activity of all races and classes (even though it is arguably more harmful).
    The defamation of marijuana across history and to contemporary times comes from sheer moralism, nothing else. Moralism as constructed to protect power structures. Not only the race thing (though that is a BIG thing in countries such as the United States), but due to the way it alters the mind, questioning things ect. Not always a good thing. It's funny that drinking is cited so much in the Bible, but where is the weed? In other religions any mind altering substance is supposedly banned ect. but why? Maybe because it destabilizes the mind, makes it less susceptible to cultural bullshit, and encourages spontaneous and impulsive activities? Which of course in the era of drinking and driving is a bad thing, impulse activities are cited as one as the biggest dangers of alcohol abuse, but it isn't always dangerous, at least not physically...
    You are right that its effects are very subjective and varied. But my point doesn't even necessarily rest on the general effects of marijuana, but rather the unfair moralistic treatment it has hitherto received, disallowing it from even being tested effectively or on any wide scale.

    I discover tastes in food I no longer notice, sounds and beauty in music that I would have missed
    Interesting you note this. Of course when I'm high, I also feel that way, its one of the things I love about it...especially as a person with autism, its so difficult for me to focus or really focus my mind-even watch television or Youtube (at least without subtitles) my mind just starts wandering...running away. But that's not my point.
    My point is I read a really interesting book last week on the effects of hormonal birth control, physiologically that is-people are under the belief that birth control only really affects the reproductive system, ie. stopping you from getting pregnant, but since this is done by altering and replacing hormones in the body, and hormones function to do basically everything in the body from eating to feeling ect. you are really completely altering your mind in a way more potentially affective than any temporary substance could-and its normalized, and barely investigated area of health. Interesting. Some of the studies featured in the book reported women who stopped taking birth control (after so many years) of being able to "taste foods again" or "enjoy music more"...
  • Philosophy and Activism

    I like to think that the role of philosophers is first to consider the world, and then in some way, try to share that knowledge, and if that knowledge changes/alters people's perceptions (and thus the world at large) then so the better.
    In fact, I would argue that I got into philosophy via social activism of some sort, and have since used my philosophical background as a means to involve myself in public affairs and better educate others. This is mainly in the fields of environment and feminist philosophy, but I think a case can be made for any area of philosophy. Philosophy is the theory, and arguably, any good practice must rest on theory.

    It was Marx that said something about philosopher's just thinking about the world-the point is to change it, and I agree with him. Too many philosopher's to even name have been too effected by politics/world affairs, to say that philosophy can or should exist isolated from philosophy. Just look at Marx's own life, or the lives of his followers-or other political theorists and philosophers on the Left (Emma Goldman). Do I believe philosophy can change the world? Yes. Should it? Of course. What other point is there to all this thinking and writing if you truly believe no one will read it or care? Would most philosopher's disparage of mob mentality as said? Of course. Philosophy is at its heart, fundamentally repulsed by mass ignorance, appeal to authority/other fallacies, but this does not mean that philosophy does not impact or otherwise touch the masses, as I already said, a case could be made that all "Activist" movements (how do you even define 'activism'?) began with some philosophical/theoretical's not the fault of philosophy that laypeople have taken ideas and run with them.
    Or maybe it is,
    Maybe if the masses were more critically educated, then philosophy wouldn't have to exist so "Defamalizared" with the world, ie. in its ivory tower (which contemporarily is represented by the inane student fees universities require, not to mention lack of jobs/devaluing of the arts in general, and subpar public education system that doesn't prepare students for even considering a future in philosophy). Historically, philosophy was practiced on the roof top for all the people walking by to hear and comment on, the Greeks believed the fundamental role of life was involvement in politics, and thus philosophy was in no way exempt from that-the birth of Western philosophy, that is with Socrates being tried, is in fact an example of how powerful philosophy is to activism and politics, and how threatened by it the status quo is. Which is essential. A philosopher who sits on his ass in his arm chair, without ever sharing his ideas with the world or somehow engaging himself in his times is no philosopher at all-just a weirdo.

    But is a philosopher undoubtedly impacted by political environment of their time? Of course. As you said, we are all impacted, irrespective if we want to be or even notice-and to an extent philosophy is about stripping yourself of these biases and perspectives, but...that does not mean that once a philosopher has tried to a large extent to do that, they cannot, or should not, re-engage with the masses if you will...lead people from their cave.
  • Licensing reproduction
    As for stripping women of their bodily autonomy - it seems to me that, if anything, such a policy would enhance their autonomy overall, given that mother nature seems to be something of a misogynist and so - historically anyway - leaving things to nature to regulate has led to women being burdened with the lion's share of the disadvantages that accrue to those who procreate irresponsibly.

    Of course I agree. I meant that pro-life idiots have no problem stripping women of their bodily autonomy contemporarily. Women have, and continue to be, made solely responsible for the irresponsibilities of procreation; women have been murdered, lives and careers destroyed ect.... it was actually radical feminist Firesmith (Firestone) that wrote that it wouldn't be until women were freed from the burden of reproduction that they could be truly equal. I often feel the same when I'm waiting in line at the drugstore to get emergency contraception at nine in the morning while my boyfriend gets to stay in bed and sleep off his hangover.
  • Marijuana and Philosophy

    Yes sounds about right. Any dictatorship that relies upon the servility, docility, and imperative obedience of its people will limit access to potentially destabilizing substances, or substances/activities that they feel misrepresent the values that underpin the said dictatorship.
  • Licensing reproduction
    I like this. Read some David Benatar, he writes slightly on this topic...
    Taboo as it is I agree with you, both on the concept of licensing, and on the concept of involuntarily restricting unfettered reproduction. The only legal/moral issue would be bodily autonomy, the right to do with ones body as one wants; but then again, we wouldn't be licensing sex per say, but rather, the procreation of children...and people are all-for stripping women of their bodily autonomy...

    Temporary birth control in the water source/air would probably do the trick.

    Would have to be careful that licensing would not lead to any form of eugenics though, people should still be free to "breed" with who they want; it should be environmental factors like material capacities to raise a child, mental stability, ect. ect.