Glaucon’s Journal is a plain-language review of three things:
- Metaphysics. This is the study of “What is real?” The simplest way I can put it is that metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies what reality consists of or is ultimately made of. Philosophers may say that reality is material, spiritual, infinite substance, energy, will, ideas, minds, etc.
- Epistemology. This is the study of “How can we know?” It is a branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge. We might gain knowledge through our senses, through logic and math, through intuition, or even other means. Epistemology evaluates various knowledge claims to see which can be relied upon.
- Theories of Consciousness. We all know what it means to be conscious, but an adequate definition of consciousness remains elusive. The contents of consciousness consist of a narrow, dynamic stream of everything we are presently aware of—our perceptions of the external world and bodily sensations, together with our thoughts, actions, emotions, and memories. The contents of consciousness are commonly studied by using brain scanning to compare the brain’s responses to stimuli which enter awareness with those that do not.
It is written by a former Philosophy instructor who is now an IT executive at one of the major Seattle-based companies as he slowly migrates from the world of the गृहस्थ back into the Pacific Northwest conifers as a वनप्रस्थ.