The Stone’s weekly briefing of notable philosophy-related issues and ideas from around the Web. A few weeks ago we linked to an article connecting Sartre’s insights about “authenticity” with recent work in cognitive science. This week, in an essay at The Chronicle of Higher Ed, David P. Barash pursues a similar thread connecting existentialism and evolutionary biology, one he thinks shows that “science has not completely destroyed our understanding of free will.” Against some assumed points of conflict — existentialists see humans as lacking some larger “purpose,” yet “condemned” to create our “selves” against the backdrop of an “absurd” cosmos; Darwinians see us as serving the brute “purpose” of “projecting” our genes to our offspring, and no more than that — Barash points out that both evolutionists and “existentialists” from Pascal to Heidegger all see the universe in its sheer indifferent vastness as in some sense “absurd” from the human perspective.
Evolving Thoughts | Struggling with impermanence and vagueness in a complex world
Table of Contents abduction (Igor Douven) Abelard [Abailard], Peter (Peter King) Abhidharma (Noa Ronkin) abilities (John Maier) Abner of Burgos (Shalom Sadik) Abrabanel, Judah (Aaron Hughes) abstract objects (Gideon Rosen) accidental properties — see essential vs. accidental properties action (George Wilson and Samuel Shpall) action at a distance — see quantum mechanics: action at a distance in actualism (Christopher Menzel) adaptationism (Steven Hecht Orzack and Patrick Forber) Addams, Jane (Maurice Hamington) Adorno, Theodor W. (Lambert Zuidervaart) advance directives (Agnieszka Jaworska) Aegidius Romanus — see Giles of Rome Aenesidemus — see skepticism: ancient aesthetic, concept of the (James Shelley) aesthetics affirmative action (Robert Fullinwider) Africana Philosophy (Lucius T. Outlaw Jr.)