April 5: Happy Birthday, Thomas Hobbes!
Can the government do whatever it wants?
Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) created the Social Contract theory, which aims to explain how governments derive their power from the will of the citizens. (more...)
March 28: Thales Predicts a Solar Eclipse
March 28, 585 BC - Really?
On March 28, 585 BC, Thales of Miletus was supposed to have observed an eclipse of the Sun. A short history of the difficulty of knowing the date. (more...)
The Four Qualities of Life
Veenhoven on the different meanings of happiness
Ruut Veenhoven, Dutch sociologist, distinguishes four different types of happiness: 1. objective vs subjective quality of life and 2. chances vs outcomes. (more...)
August 19: Happy Birthday, Gene Roddenberry!
Creator of Star Trek and dreamer for a better world
Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek (August 19, 1921 - October 24, 1991). (more...)
Gilbert Ryle (1900-1976)
Are philosophers like map-makers?
Gilbert Ryle (1900-1976) was a British philosopher, primarily concerned with the nature of the mind and the role of philosophy in the world. (more...)
Hacker culture and Hesse’s Glass Bead Game
What’s wrong with the world and how to fix it.
Hermann Hesse’s ‘The Glass Bead Game’ may be his greatest novel. It combines a theory of history and education with Zen, and meditations on friendship and duty. (more...)
How Happy Does This Make You?
Daniel Kahneman on how to measure happiness
Happiness researchers are faced with the question how to reliably measure happiness in surveys. We present three approaches discussed by economist Daniel Kahneman. (more...)
Can we measure happiness in a survey?
The difficulties of measuring self-reported happiness
In this post, we discuss some points that one must keep in mind when designing a happiness survey. (more...)
Can We Be Wrong About Being Happy?
Kahneman’s objective happiness
Can we be mistaken about our own happiness? Proponents of subjective happiness measures would say no: one is as happy as one feels. (more...)
The Gift of Sinning. Autonomy, Surveillance and Freedom.
How surveillance undermines morality
Surveillance, instead of forcing citizens to behave more ethically, in reality undermines the essence of morality. According to Immanuel Kant as well as the Bible, the free human choice is the basis for all moral behaviour. (more...)
Aristotle’s Four Causes
Aristotle on knowledge and purpose
Aristotle distinguishes four causes which determine the nature and purpose of every thing: the “material”, the “formal”, the “efficient” and the “final” or “teleological” causes. (more...)