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Michael Bourke
British Columbia Institute of Technology
  1. The Nihilistic Image of the World.Michael Bourke - 2017 - Modern Horizons:1-18.
    In The Gay Science (1882), Nietzsche heralded the problem of nihilism with his famous declaration “God is dead,” which signalled the collapse of a transcendent basis for the underpinning morality of European civilization. He associated this collapse with the rise of the natural sciences whose methods and pervasive outlook he was concerned would progressively shape “an essentially mechanistic [and hence meaningless] world.” The Russian novelist Turgenev had also associated a scientific outlook with nihilism through the scientism of Yevgeny Bazarov, a (...)
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  2. Freedom and Thought.Michael Bourke - 2016 - Modern Horizons:1-22.
    Despite recent neuroscientific research purporting to reveal that free will is an illusion, this paper will argue that agency is an inescapable feature of rationality and thought. My aim will not be to address the methodology or interpretation of such research, which I will only mention in passing. Rather, I will examine a collection of basic concepts which are presupposed by thought, and propose that these concepts are interrelated in ways that makes them both basic and irreducibly complex. The collection (...)
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  3. Persons, Virtual Persons, and Radical Interpretation.Michael Bourke - 2015 - Modern Horizons:1-24.
    A dramatic problem facing the concept of the self is whether there is anything to make sense of. Despite the speculative view that there is an essential role for the perceiver in measurement, a physicalist view of reality currently seems to be ruling out the conditions of subjectivity required to keep the concept of the self. Eliminative materialism states this position explicitly. The doctrine holds that we have no objective grounds for attributing personhood to anyone, and can therefore dispense with (...)
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  4.  52
    Truth, Transcendence, and the Good.Michael Bourke - 2018 - Modern Horizons (June 2018):1-16.
    Nietzsche regarded nihilism as an outgrowth of the natural sciences which, he worried, were bringing about “an essentially mechanistic [and hence meaningless] world.” Nihilism in this sense refers to the doctrine that there are no values, or that everything we might value is worthless. In the last issue of Modern Horizons, I offered this conditional explanation of the relation of science and nihilism: that a scientific worldview is nihilistic insofar as it rules out the existence of anything that cannot in (...)
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  5. Davidson’s Account Of Truth And Fictional Meaning.Michael Bourke - 2012 - Praxis 3 (2):1-27.
    Fictional and non-fictional texts rely on the same language to express their meaning; yet many philosophers in the analytic tradition would say, with reason, that fictional texts literally make no truth claims, or more modestly that the rhetorical and literary devices to which fiction and non-fiction writers alike have recourse are unconnected to truth or have no propositional content. These related views are associated with a doctrine in the philosophy of language, most notably advanced by the late Donald Davidson, which (...)
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