On March 26 2019, the European union passed the copyright directive — a new, comprehensive set of rules that are supposed move the European copyright laws, written before the internet was a thing, into the digital age. The directive includes two controversial clauses that, depending on who you ask, will either save the internet or ruin it: Article 11 is … Read more
This is a paper I wrote for the University of Alberta’s Graduate comparative literature conference. I wrote it mostly on a dare; I didn’t really even know what comparative literature even was when I wrote it. I have a lot of other term papers and essays that I haven’t posted here, but this one is special. There are threads here that I’ve never really explored fully, but that have grown to become foundational to everything else that I do.
Defining existence, like many philosophical terms, is a notoriously difficult task. Intuitively it is extraordinarily simple concept, which is a problem. When asked if anything exists anyone can give a quick binary answer: either it exists or it doesn’t. Humans exist, Unicorns don’t exist, black holes exist, and nothing that happens in a dream exists. It should be this easy, … Read more
Epistemology, or theory of knowledge, is the branch of philosophy that deal with questions concerning knowledge. In particular: ‘What is knowledge?’, and ‘How is knowledge acquired?’. The classical, but not universally accepted, definition of knowledge comes to us from Plato. He described knowledge as ‘True Justified Belief’. Each of these three terms have spawned massive amounts of thought over the … Read more
Several thousand years ago the Greeks made a mathematical discovery that rocked the intellectual world at the time. They believed firmly in logic, that any statement logically derived from a true statement must also be true. To doubt this would be to doubt their entire intellectual community, and in some places their entire culture. Pythagoras was a Greek mathematician, as … Read more
In high school a friend of mine gave me a challenge. He said that if we as humanity could ever achieve complete knowledge of the Universe, then that itself was definitive proof of the non-existence of God. My religious upbringing was notably upset by this statement, but even more I was upset by the fact that I could not bring … Read more