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Hi everyone, I just migrated to this server from a different one, so I guess I should post an introduction (again).

I am an Associate Professor (Teaching) at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen), where I teach courses in philosophy, religious studies and interdisciplinary humanities.

From time to time, I post on topics relating to comparative ethics, globally engaged philosophy of religion, Wittgenstein, and music.

"Academic administrators throughout Florida’s public university and college systems, from the highest to the lowest levels—without exception—not only have failed to contest these attacks but have too frequently been complicit in and, in some cases, explicitly supported them."

As an Oxy alum, I was glad to see this year's graduation speaker (and honorary doctorate recipient) was Isabel Wilkerson.

Here's her speech at the graduation ceremony (beginning at about 1:06, but the link should go to the right place)

For anyone in the (small-d) democratic camp, the most pressing question should not be “Does Trump get enough air time” – but: Do the institutions tasked with upholding democracy possess the strength and/or will to mount an effective defense against an authoritarian movement? 12/

I've got a chapter in the book: "Wittgenstein, Naturalism and Interpreting Religious Phenomena"

Here's the abstract: In this chapter, I explore in what senses Wittgenstein might be taken to support as well as to oppose naturalist approaches to interpreting religious phenomena. First, I provide a short overview of some passages from Wittgenstein’s writings—especially the “Remarks on Frazer’s Golden Bough”—relevant to the issue of the naturalness of religious phenomena. Second, I venture some possibilities regarding what naturalism might mean in connection with Wittgenstein. Lastly, I explore the bearing of Wittgenstein’s remarks on religion for the interpretation of religious phenomena. Ultimately, I argue that Wittgenstein’s remarks on religion depict a way of thinking about the naturalness of religious phenomena, and that naturalistic depiction is part of the clarificatory work of philosophy. Wittgenstein reminds himself and his readers that religiosity is not something mysterious, per se; it is a core possibility within human life, one which can anchor meaningful living.

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This book is coming out soon with Bloomsbury -- Wittgenstein and the Cognitive Science of Religion (ed. Robert Vinten).

Here's a little Charles Mingus -- "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," from Mingus Ah Um (1959).

Whenever I hear it, it just stops me in my tracks...

Looks like a fascinating online conference, May 22-24, on spiritual exercises and transformation. When possible, I'll try to tune in...

Now that the semester is winding down, I'm returning to writing on my blog.

My most recent posts are on my Philosophy of Religion class at CUHK-Shenzhen and how my students approached thinking about existentially important issues and PR.

@philosophy @philosophyofreligion

shameless self promotion 

My book, Wittgenstein within the Philosophy of Religion, seems to be discounted to 16.99 for the next little while, along with a whole lot of other books at Springer.

Here's a link:

Looks like a very interesting and timely Wittgenstein workshop on deep moral disagreements at KU Leuven.

Am I the only person who cringes at talk of people having been technical dead for 15 minutes or that someone died and was resuscitated?

Maybe it makes sense to a medical doctor but the analytic philosopher in me rebels. Death is the end of life. You cannot survive death. Death is not something that I experience.


'A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes'

— Wittgenstein

#philosophy #humor

“For he who seeks love seeks the sea; he may perhaps speak of the land that lies beyond the sea, but he does not mean what he says, for he thinks of the voyage as endless, the voyage that nourishes in his lonely soul the hope of expanding and opening itself to receive that other who emerges free as air from the light haze and enters into him, that other whom he rightly recognizes as a potential, unborn immortal.”

From The Sleepwalkers by Hermann Broch

An old and dear friend died today. We had the chance to see him for a few days last week and to say goodbye. I am so grateful to have known him and to have had countless conversations over the years about poets and philosophers and, sometimes, very silly things.

When I think of the genuine love of learning, hermeneutics, and the value of precision in language for grasping what is meaningful, I will, one way or another, be thinking of our many conversations.

An addendum. Here are a couple of photos of the School of Theology building at BU, where many of these conversations took place.

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I was reminded in another thread of the New Testament scholar, John Crossan's reflections on the historical Jesus's saying, "Blessed are the poor."

Crossan begins by pointing out that the word translated here as "poor" is more appropriately understood as "destitute"....

I’m thinking these days about countless discussions over the years with an old friend and how my thinking—esp., about language, religion, and music, and above all, Wittgenstein—was improved through these conversations.

Not just improved by, say, a better, more accurate account of these topics—although these conversations frequently involved corrections and clarifications based on taking great care with texts and concepts—but (I'd like to think) by a more rich and cultivated sensibility. I wonder if this is part of what Simone Weil had in mind when she wrote about developing the capacity for attention being central to a flourishing life.

Sometimes, a good conversation can be everything.

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Fediphilosophy is a place for current researchers (including graduate students) and teachers whose work engage with philosophy to network and relax.