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The Point
23 mins | May 13, 2020

Parricide

What is so special about humanity and our ability to think? Reflecting on the book "Thinking and Being", by Israeli philosopher Irad Kimhi, associate researcher at Worcester College in Oxford, Steven Methven, argues in The Point magazine against a whole tradition of philosophical thought. "Why is thought so special? Consider the natural world, which consists just of things and how they are: the breeze is warm, the lawn is lush, the bees buzz. Thinking, however, is not only about how things are — the warm breeze and the buzzing bees — but also about how they aren’t. Though the weather is fine, I can think of it being grim — I can think what is false. And while the breeze is warm, I can think, truly now, of many ways that it is not — for instance, chilly — simply by thinking that it is 'not' chilly. When I entertain a falsehood, or consider how things are not, what I think is not anywhere out there in the world. So it seems that thought, which involves what 'is not' as well as what 'is', may be nowhere in nature. In which case, what is it?"

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