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You have a chaotic brain

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Old Main, USU


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• Is the world eternal? YES
• Do humans have contra-causal free will (i.e., can humans do otherwise)? NO
• Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? YES
• Do humans have souls? YES
• Are there natural rights? YES
• Is it morally permissible to eat meat? NO
• Is the unexamined life worth living? NO
• Is truth subjectivity? YES
• Is virtue necessary for happiness? YES
• Can a computer have a mind? YES
• Can humans know reality as it is in itself? YES
• Is hell other people? YES
• Can art be created accidentally? NO
• Can we change the past? NO
• Are numbers real? NO
• Is it always better to know the truth? YES

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“Disorder is essential to the brain’s ability to transmit information and solve problems.” Read more here.



  1. Rob says:

    At risk of piquing Clay, I can’t resist the opportunity to demonstration this latest example of scriptural confirmation by science:

    Those thinkers in whom all stars move in cyclic orbits are not the most profound: whoever looks into himself as into vast space and carries galaxies in himself also knows how irregular all galaxies are; they lead into the chaos and labyrinth of existence. (Gay Science, 322)


  2. jake says:

    Hi Rob, I have a question about the Nietzsche quote. I am not as well versed as you are in Nietzsche, but in this quote is Nietzsche talking about eternal recurrence? Does he believe that we always come back to live the exact same life as before? If so, it seems that he might like a little order now and then. Although are lives are chaotic, us coming back to live them again seems like an order. I could be very wrong. Could you please explain. Thanks


  3. Rob says:

    Hello Jake: I don’t think the aphorism has anything to do with eternal recurrence. Rather, I think he’s just making a point about the nature of the inner life, if not also about introspection; and I was struck by how both it and the article draw a connection between an arguably similar picture of the mind/brain’s operation (a system “on the edge of chaos”) and extra-mental phenomena (the pile of sand, galaxies), suggesting an underlying harmony between them.


  4. Rob says:

    Of course, maybe I’m just projecting, and there’s a better reading or it would be altogether preferable to dismiss my tendentiousness. (I initially thought of Zarathustra’s declaration: One must still have chaos within oneself, in order to give birth to a dancing star.)


  5. jake says:

    I appreciate the feedback. I have recently been reading Nietzsche more seriously, and I find him fascinating.


  6. Mike says:

    What have you been reading?


  7. jake says:

    I have been reading “Thus Spake Zarathustra” and “The Birth of Tragedy”. I also have been reading Brian Leiter’s Nietzsche blog. Some of the stuff on there is to advanced for me now, but hopefully I can participate once I get some more basics down. How do you guys suggest approaching Nietzsche?


  8. Huenemann says:

    Well, I know a good book….

    But seriously, in my own case, I think I spent a good 5 to 10 years reading Kaufmann’s Portable Nietzsche (and then reading the full works that are only excerpted there). You might find Beyond Good and Evil and Twilight of the Idols a bit better to start with, instead of Z and Tragedy.


  9. Rob says:

    I also recommend that good book, and envy beginners to Nietzsche the opportunity it provides for a clarifying and invigorating basis on which to be a discriminating consumer of the secondary literature (all too much of which is, in my opinion, pretty bad). Some other good intro resources might be Bernard Williams’ intro to the Cambridge translation of Gay Science, Raymond Guess’ intro to the Cambridge translation of Birth of Tragedy (which, I think, provides a nice overview of Nietzsche’s central concerns), and Maudemarie Clark’s “Nietzsche” entry for the Routlege Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Once you’ve read more of Nietzsche, then you may want to move on to Leiter’s “Nietzsche on Morality,” Janaway’s “Beyond Selfnessness”, Reginster’s “Affirmation of Life”, Richardson’s “Nietsche’s New Darwinism” and Clark/Dudrick’s upcoming book on “Nietzsche’s Magnificent Tension of the Spirit”… Just my two cents. I’m missing a lot.


  10. jake says:

    Hey thanks a lot guys, the more I hear about his thought the more and more intrigued I am with Nietzsche. So by all means, quote him on the blog!


  11. Mike says:

    You might also want to try Untimely Meditations. Especially David Strauss: the Confessor and the writer and On the Use and Abuse of History for Life. Not sure why but UM is really what brought me around to Nietzsche.


  12. jake says:

    Thanks I will check that out.


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