Friday Mini-Heap…

  1. “I didn’t come here to propose a return to illiteracy in order to recover the knowledge of Paleolithic tribes. I regret all we may have lost, but I never forget that the gains are greater than the losses” — a transcription of part of a 1983 lecture by Italo Calvino on the written word and the unwritten world
  2. Epictetus and Epicurus are “resurrected” using AI language, imaging, and video tools to debate the nature of happiness — created by Caleb Ontiveros
  3. The subtitle of her first book was “A Little Treatise on the Weakness, Frivolity, and Inconstancy, That Is Wrongly Attributed to Women” — philosopher Gabrielle Suchon wrote it—in 1693—to help women “protect themselves against servile constraint, stupid ignorance, and base and degrading dependence.” Julie Walsh (Wellesley) gives us a tour of her ideas
  4. “What is Black existentialism? To me, Black existentialism means a lot of things, but if I were to use one sentence: it’s hard to be human in the world that dehumanizes you” — a conversation between Nathalie Etoke (CUNY) and Lewis Gordon (Connecticut)
  5. Is “a quantifiable difference in the complexity of molecules that can be created by living processes compared to non-living ones” a clue to defining “life”? — and would it help us recognize alien life?
  6. “It is not possible to determine the true identities of Alice and Bob based on the information provided” — Ned Hall (Harvard) attempts to help ChatGPT solve a logic problem (via Leiter Reports)
  7. “There is a limit to the happiness we can find in maintaining what is generally accepted as a healthy or beautiful body: If you are fortunate enough to live a long life, your body will break down” — Nick Riggle (San Diego) on “radical aesthetic openness to our bodies… as time and chance inevitably transform us”

Discussion welcome.

Mini-Heap posts usually appear when 7 or so new items accumulate in the Heap of Links, a collection of items from around the web that may be of interest to philosophers.

The Heap of Links consists partly of suggestions from readers; if you find something online that you think would be of interest to the philosophical community, please send it in for consideration for the Heap. Thanks!


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