I read, I write, I try to make a difference.

I’m here to produce quality content and do my best to help people and our society. Medium makes it difficult to see any stories prior to the last few an author has written, so I decided to create a list of my more popular articles. I welcome your feedback, because I love discussing issues.

I write articles in several areas.

Applying Philosophy to Life


Culture

A Valuable Life Lesson I Learned from Cake’s “Italian Leather Sofa”

A serrated edge, ready to be moved back and forth. (Source: Pixabay)

In my childhood family, under the thin veneer of suburban tranquility, was my parents’ constant tension from their unhappy marriage. They only stayed together because they had a child; me. Their misery and frustration permeated everything in our house. I picked up on it, learning to embody the tension in which I was immersed. As soon as I graduated high school, they got divorced, ending 17+ years of unspoken rigid stress.

At a certain point as an adult, I realized that, as long as I could remember, whenever I started any physical task, my body tensed up. Even for simple…


Hate versus Truth

You probably have seen this quote before, but it is worth repeating and worth discussing.

“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.” - George Orwell

This quote by Orwell on truth is well known, but we should focus less on using it as a cudgel against a political enemy du jour and more on its enduring message. Then we need to turn that message toward ourselves and ask what our attitudes are toward truth and other speakers.

All societies have a relationship with truth. No society has a perfect relationship with truth. All societies drift closer to and farther away from truth. And all societies…


Political Philosophy

Hobbes’s philosophy of government was a draconian social bargain to protect the peace.

Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) was an English philosopher who, like all good philosophers, sought to identify the fundamental principles on which to build a better society. Hobbes thought that one of those fundamental principles was that there exists nothing but matter. Hobbes was an uncompromising materialist and determinist who insisted that the universe is nothing but material bodies in motion. For this he was and still is often mistakenly considered as an atheist because he said even God was material and subject to material causation. …


Inserting Philosophy Into Real Life

Conspiracy theories are part of human culture and we cannot just dismiss them.

(Source: public domain)

Some people, despite all proof to the contrary, believe the moon landings were faked. Some people, despite all proof to the contrary, believe the last election was stolen. And those are just two of the many conspiracy theories that are believed by untold numbers of people.

How can we understand the phenomena of conspiracy theories? Conspiracy theories conjure up stories about grassy knolls, UFO cover ups, the Illuminati, and other wild ideas that most people consider to be nonsense. The people who believe them aren’t all asylum inmates wearing tin foil hats in fear of government mind control. Conspiracy theories…


What Is Knowledge?

Do you really know anything? Yes and no.

Humans are belief-motivated beings, and being human, you are your beliefs. Animals and plants act, but they simply react to stimuli without an understanding of the context of their actions or why they are acting. Humans have ideas about things. Humans have desires, form intentions, and act on their intentions to fulfill their desires and to do that, they need to form beliefs about the world.

Some people believe that they don’t have beliefs. They don’t believe, they “know,” they say. Well, this is their belief, but it is belied by the facts. …


Political Conservatism

American conservatism has a distinctive character. Here’s why.

Largely underestimated is the significant influence that John Calvin has had on culture in the United States. Perhaps only John Locke has had more philosophical influence on the American Zeitgeist than has Calvin. To understand America and its uniqueness, you need to understand Calvin’s unique ideology and how his Calvinism has shaped America.

Then and now, suspicion and condemnation of others is a part of the American Zeitgeist. (Source: Lumin5)

American conservatism has a distinctive character. Only the U.S. could create the vitriolic parochialism of the NRA, the Moral Majority, the Tea Party, and Trump. You may think that the hostile attitudes of these groups are backward throwbacks. You’d be correct. The reactionary worldview of today’s American…


Philosophy

An introduction to Locke’s theory of human perception.

John Locke: England’s most famous philosopher.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “(Francis) Bacon, (John) Locke, and (Isaac) Newton…I consider them as the three greatest men that have ever lived, without any exception, and as having laid the foundations of those superstructures which have been raised in the Physical & Moral sciences.”

Jefferson mentions John Locke (1632–1704) with good reason. Locke was an intellectual giant within his own lifetime and remains one of the most important philosophers. He is equally well known for his political philosophy and his epistemology (the study of knowledge and perception). Locke talks more about beliefs than knowledge because, as he correctly observes, every idea…


UFO Mythology Meets History

Would people really freak out when they learn that ETs are real?

Accompanying the rise of public awareness of UFOs in the late 1940s was the idea that people will panic in the streets at the idea that there are extraterrestrials. This assumption is still a frequent part of conversations about UFOs and is central to multiple narratives about the phenomena, in particular the Disclosure narrative. But would there really be a mass panic when we learn that we are not alone in the universe?


Social Media and Society

Technology has enhanced an age old habit

Siloization — ˈsī-lō-ə-ˈzā-shən : the process of isolating a group apart from others especially in ways that hinder communication and cooperation

In business jargon, “silo teams” refer to situations in which teams or departments don’t communicate with each other and don’t know what each other are doing. Almost always, this is a bad situation in which communication and cooperation are absent, efforts are duplicated, and efficiency and productivity suffer. Effective organizations need to avoid siloization to enhance productivity.

Outside of a business context, “silos” is a new term for an old phenomenon. Another term for it, now laden with racial…

Douglas Giles, PhD

Philosophy professor reaching beyond the ivory tower and digging deeper. elmhurst.academia.edu/DouglasGiles, @DGilesPhd, InsertPhilosophyHere.com.

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