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    1. I've been interested in meditation for some time now - tempted by the insight into the human condition that it purports to offer - but I haven't yet experienced any kind of 'breakthrough' moment...

      I've been interested in meditation for some time now - tempted by the insight into the human condition that it purports to offer - but I haven't yet experienced any kind of 'breakthrough' moment that has brought any clarity, let alone insight.

      I have read Sam Harris's Waking Up, and have done some of the course in his app. The most I've been able to achieve is to observe (and subsequently limit, control) getting angry. This has proven pretty useful but doesn't feel profound.

      Anyway, I'm now about half way through D. E. Harding's On Having No Head, and I am struggling with it.

      I keep telling myself to stick with it because what he's saying might become clear, but I'm finding the reasoning behind it to be wilfully obtuse at times. I fear I'm exposing myself as some kind of idiot in even asking about it, but can someone help me see his point?

      He talks about looking at what you're pointing at. Makes sense. I can see those things, therefore they're there.
      And then to point at your face. You can't see that. Ok. Makes sense. I can't see that, therefore it's not there?
      I can vaguely see a blur of my nose, but that isn't anything worth worrying about?

      But I can demonstrate that it's there. I can photograph it. I can look at it in a mirror. I can touch it and feel it (and it can feel).

      I feel like I'm the fool staring at a metaphor and screaming about it not being real but I can't see the bit I'm missing!

      Does anyone have any insight they can share?

      4 votes
    2. I see this a lot on the internet these days. The phrase "just because [some agreed-upon statement], it doesn't mean that [contested statement]." That's fine when used correctly, but I've seen a...

      I see this a lot on the internet these days. The phrase "just because [some agreed-upon statement], it doesn't mean that [contested statement]."

      That's fine when used correctly, but I've seen a lot of cases where it's used in a questionable way and people just jump on board with the phrase anyway.

      I saw it again today in a conversation about video games, and one game in particular that everybody loves to hate. Someone said "I enjoy this game though," and someone else said "Just because you enjoy a game doesn't mean it's good."

      Now, the impulse is to agree with the second statement because agreeing that there might be hidden subtlety in a matter is almost always safe, and nearly everyone involved in the conversation upvoted/reacted positively to that statement.

      But the statement was really used to say "your opinion is wrong because there might be hidden subtleties that make me right," which seems like a fallacious position to me, or at least a pretty meaningless one. And when you stop to think about what was said, you realize that in fact, enjoying a video game might indeed be the most important, if not the only, metric in assessing its quality.

      But the inclination to agree with anyone using the "just because, doesn't mean" format is definitely there I think. I'm not sure if that falls under the category of some other identifiable fallacy or not, but I thought I'd see what others thought.

      8 votes
    3. Hi! I've recently graduated as a BA of Italian philology. But I am interested in pursuing my further studies and academical career in linguistics, studying language contact and linguistic strata...

      Hi! I've recently graduated as a BA of Italian philology. But I am interested in pursuing my further studies and academical career in linguistics, studying language contact and linguistic strata in particular. I was wondering if anybody took a similar path and am interested in advice from such folks and also any other humanists here. I'm studying some online material and will try to partecipate in some local university's linguistics BA as a visiting student (I guess it's called a freemover in English) if I can find an affordable option. Also I have found out recommended reading material from local universities I'm interested in and some papers about my field. Do you know of any useful resources for making the transition smoother? What has been you experience if you've taken a similar path to your studies? Thanks in advance!

      6 votes