What Is It Like to be a Bat?

Thomas Nagel's seminal essay about the limits of understanding consciousness from an objective perspective.

Consciousness is what makes the mind-body problem really intractable. Perhaps that is why current discussions of the problem give it little attention or get it obviously wrong. The recent wave of reductionist euphoria has produced several analyses of mental phenomena and mental concepts designed to explain the possibility of some variety of materialism, psychophysical identification, or reduction.

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The Storyteller: Reflections on the Works of Nikolai Leskóv

An Interpretation of the The Storyteller: Reflections on the Works of Nikolai Leskóv Walter Benjamin begins The Storyteller: Reflections on the Works of Nikolai Leskóv with a pang of nostalgia for the extinct practice of storytelling: “the storyteller in his living immediacy is by no means a present force. He has already become something remote … Continue reading The Storyteller: Reflections on the Works of Nikolai Leskóv

By The Fireside – Walter Benjamin

Introduction to ‘By The Fireside’ Walter Benjamin’s review of The Old Wives’ Tale (1908) by Arnold Bennett was written in Ibiza in April–May 1933. Benjamin had left Berlin for good three weeks after the Reichstag fire, travelling via Paris and Barcelona. ‘The German atmosphere in which you look first at people’s lapels, and after that usually do … Continue reading By The Fireside – Walter Benjamin