The human condition

What are we? What is the human condition? What are our orientations, our worldviews?

This outline discusses human (pre)history, anthropology, religion, comparitive studies, biology, psychology, and practical philosophy.

Here, I am interested in collecting what various traditions say we are as humans.


  1. Human history
    1. Early hunter gatherers
    2. First civilizations
    3. Industrial Revolution
  2. Proto-Indo-European mythology
    1. Zoroastrianism
  3. Abrahamism
    1. Judaism
    2. Christianity
    3. Islam
  4. Hinduism
    1. Introduction
    2. Common doctrines
  5. Buddhism
    1. Introduction
    2. Common doctrines
    3. Theravāda Buddhism
    4. Mahāyāna Buddhism
    5. Vajrayāna Buddhism
    6. Criticism
  6. Daoism
    1. Introduction
    2. Yijing
    3. Dao De Jing
    4. Zhuangzi
  7. Other religions
    1. Western
    2. Dharmic
    3. East Asian
    4. African
    5. American
  8. Stoicism
    1. History
    2. Theses
    3. Related movements
    4. Criticism
  9. Romanticism
    1. Introduction
    2. Criticism
  10. Comparative studies
    1. Introduction
    2. Indian and Greek philosophy
    3. Eastern and modern western philosophy
    4. Perennial philosophy
  11. Biology
    1. Darwinism
    2. Mass extinctions
    3. Genetics
    4. Biochemistry
    5. Evolution of vision
    6. Mortality
  12. Psychology
    1. History
    2. Neurobiology
    3. Depression
    4. Cognitive behavioral therapy
    5. Terror management theory
  13. Atheism
    1. Apologetics
    2. Pascal’s Wager
    3. The problem of evil
    4. Euthyphro dilemma
    5. Physicalism
    6. Miracles
    7. Epistemic humility
    8. Religion as a natural phenomena
    9. Costs of metaphysical confusion
    10. Criticism
  14. Existentialism
    1. Proto-existentialists
    2. Existentialists
    3. Artworks
  15. Nihilism
    1. Artworks
  16. My thoughts
  17. Annotated bibliography
    1. Camus, A. (1942). The Stranger.
    2. Sartre, J.P. (1946). Existentialism is a Humanism.
    3. Williams, P. (2009). Mahāyāna Buddhism: The doctrinal foundations.
    4. More articles to do
  18. Links and encyclopedia articles
    1. SEP
    2. IEP
    3. Wikipedia
    4. Others
    5. Videos
  19. References

Human history

Early hunter gatherers

Figure 1: Map of migrations of early homo sapiens (, 2017).

The early human migrations in the Lower Paleolithic saw Homo erectus spread across Eurasia 1.8 million years ago. The controlled use of fire first occurred 800,000 years ago in the Middle Paleolithic. 250,000 years ago, Homo sapiens (modern humans) emerged in Africa. 60–70,000 years ago, Homo sapiens migrated out of Africa along a coastal route to South and Southeast Asia and reached Australia. 50,000 years ago, modern humans spread from Asia to the Near East. Europe was first reached by modern humans 40,000 years ago. Humans migrated to the Americas about 15,000 years ago in the Upper Paleolithic.1

Unlike our species, Neanderthals probably did not need to be good long-distance runners. Homo sapiens lived on hot, dry African grasslands, where they hunted by pursuing large animals over long distances until they collapsed from heat exhaustion. In the cooler regions occupied by Neanderthals, heat exhaustion would not be a problem, so running long distances would not have helped them hunt. Instead, they took advantage of their landscape and ambushed prey.2


First civilizations

Figure 2: Map showing the approximate centers of the six independent origins of agriculture and its spread in prehistory.

The Neolithic Revolution marks the start of agriculture, animal husbandry, and the first civilizations.

Fertile Crescent

Figure 3: States of the Fertile Crescent, c. 1450 BCE (, 2016).

Ancient India

Ancient China


See also:

Industrial Revolution


We are all sad when we think of the wondrous potentialities that human beings seem to have and when we contrast these potentialities with the small accomplishments that we have. Again and again people have thought that we could do much better. People in the past had, in the nightmare of their times, dreams for the future, and we of their future have, although many of those dreams have been surpassed, to a large extent the same dreams. The hopes for the future today are in a great measure the same as they were in the past. At some time people thought that the potential that people had was not developed because everyone was ignorant and that education was the solution to the problem, that if all people were educated, we could perhaps all be Voltaire’s. But it turns out that falsehood and evil can be taught as easily as good. Education is a great power, but it can work either way. I have heard it said that the communication between nations should lead to an understanding and thus a solution to the problem of developing the potentialities of man. But the means of communication can be channeled and choked. What is communicated can be lies as well as truth, propaganda as well as real and valuable information. Communication is a strong force, also, but either for good or evil.6

See also:

Proto-Indo-European mythology






The Abraham story cannot be definitively related to any specific time, and it is widely agreed that the patriarchal age, along with the Exodus and the period of the Judges, is a late literary construct that does not relate to any period in actual history.7

Sperling, S.D. Were the Jews Slaves in Egypt?:

In short, the biblical writers invented the idea that the Israelites lived in Egypt in order to impel them to maintain their distinctiveness in Canaan. And the story of servitude in Egypt is an allegory of servitude to Egypt. Our ancestors, among others, did perform forced labor for Egyptian taskmasters, but they were never slaves in Egypt.

Moore & Kelle:

The majority of current scholars believe that the historicity of the Egyptian sojourn, exodus, and wilderness wandering that the Bible remembers cannot be demonstrated by historical methods.8


Figure 4: Detail of the “religions tree”, zoomed around some Protestant branches (also discussed here).






Primary texts

Secondary texts

Some people

Common doctrines


Purusārtha - the four proper aims of human life:


The Trimurti:

Figure 5: Shiva statue at CERN, near Building 40, a gift from India.



Indian empiricism


Figure 6: The Wheel of Dharma (Dharmachakra) is an imporant symbol in many dharmic religions, in particular Buddhism where it represents the Noble Eightfold Path.




Primary texts

Buddhist texts:

Secondary texts

Common doctrines

Note: Occasionally we will show the Sanskrit/Pali translations of words, in that order, otherwise usually showing Sanskrit if only one translation is given.

Important initial concepts

Three marks of existence

Three marks of existence:

  1. duhkha/dukkha - suffering
  2. anitya/aniccā - impermanence
  3. anātman/anattā - non-self

Emptiness (śūnyatā/suññatā) and non-self (anātman/anatta):

Four Noble Truths

Four Noble Truths (satya/saccā = truth):

  1. Suffering (duhkha/dukkha) is part of existence.
  2. The origins or causes (samudaya/samudaya) of suffering are craving (trsnā(trishna)/tanha), ignorance/delusion (avidyā/avijja), attachment (rāga/lobha), and anger/aversion (dvesha/dosa).
  3. Cessation (nirodha/nirodha) of suffering is liberation (nirvana/nibbāna).
  4. The path (mārga/magga) to the cessation of suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path (āryāstāngamārga/ariyātthangikamagga).

Graham Priest likens the Four Noble Truths to a medical diagnosis of the human condition:

  1. Illness: Life is full of suffering (duhkha).
  2. Cause: Suffering is caused by attachment and aversion (trsnā).
  3. Prognosis: Get rid of trsnā and you get rid of duhkha.
  4. Treatment: Noble Eightfold Path

Noble Eightfold Path:

  1. Right Understanding
  2. Right Intention
  3. Right Speech
  4. Right Action
  5. Right Livelihood
  6. Right Effort
  7. Right Mindfulness
  8. Right Unification

Refuge in the Three Jewels

  1. Buddha: the fully enlightened one
  2. Dharma: the teachings expounded by the Buddha
  3. Sangha: the monastic order of Buddhism that practice Dharmas

Five Precepts

Five precepts:

  1. Abstention from killing
  2. Abstention from theft
  3. Abstention from sexual misconduct
  4. Abstention from falsehood
  5. Abstention from intoxication

The Three Trainings

  1. Sīla - “discipline” or “moral conduct”
  2. Samadhi - “meditation”
  3. Prajña - “wisdom”


Buddhist paths to liberation

Buddhist philosophy

Epistemology and metaphysics



"So it seems that none of the brahmins have seen Brahmā with their own eyes, and not even the ancient hermits claimed to know where he is. Yet the brahmins proficient in the three Vedas say: ‘We teach the path to the company of that which we neither know nor see. This is the only straight path, the direct route that leads someone who practices it to the company of Brahmā.’

What do you think, Vāsettha? This being so, doesn’t their statement turn out to have no demonstrable basis?"

“Clearly that’s the case, Master Gotama.”

"Good, Vāsettha. For it is impossible that they should teach the path to that which they neither know nor see.

Suppose there was a queue of blind men, each holding the one in front: the first one does not see, the middle one does not see, and the last one does not see. In the same way, it seems to me that the brahmins’ statement turns out to be comparable to a queue of blind men: the first one does not see, the middle one does not see, and the last one does not see. Their statement turns out to be a joke—mere words, void and hollow." (DN 13)

Do you desire and love someone whom you do not know and have not seen? Then he would say, yes. What do you think, Kaccāyana? Doesn’t this talk turn out to be stupid talk? (MN 80)

Other stuff

See also:

Figure 7: Map of the spread of Buddhism in Asia, first begining ~ 5th century BCE, spreading to the south as Theravāda Buddhism, and into China and Tibet as Mahāyāna Buddhism (source: Talk by Graham Priest, 2018).
Figure 8: Map of the main modern Buddhist sects today. Kalmykia in western Russia was cropped out, sorry (Wikipedia, 2013).

Theravāda Buddhism




Primary texts

Tripitaka - “The Three Baskets” of the Pali Canon:

  1. Vinaya Pitaka - “Basket of Discipline”
  2. Sutta Pitaka - “Basket of Discourse”
    1. Dīgha Nikāya (DN) - “collection of long discourses”
      • Mahāpadāna Sutta (DN 14) - “The Great Discourse on Traces Left Behind”
        • stories of past Buddhas including Prince Vipassī
      • Mahānidāna Sutta (DN 15) - “The Great Discourse on Causation”
        • dependent origination; non-self
      • Mahāparinibbāna Sutta (DN 16) - about the end of the Buddha’s life
    2. Majjhima Nikāya (MN) - “collection of middle-length discourses”
    3. Samyutta Nikāya (SN) - “collection of connected discourses”
      • Kaccānagotta Sutta (SN 12.15) - “On Right View”
      • Sabba Sutta (SN 35.23) or “Discourse on Everything”
    4. Anguttara Nikāya (AN) - “collection of numerical discourses”
    5. Khuddaka Nikāya (KN) - “minor collection”
  3. Abhidharma Pitaka - “Basket of Higher Doctrine”
    • compendium of Buddhist psychology
    • Kathāvatthu - “Points of Controversy”

Abhidhamma - systematic pedagogical presentations:

Online Suttas:

Secondary texts

Mahāyāna Buddhism


Figure 9: Nāgārjuna (source:



Primary texts

Secondary texts

Figure 10: Blind monks examining an elephant, an ukiyo-e print by Hanabusa Itcho (1652-1724) (source: Wikipedia).

Vajrayāna Buddhism




  1. Don’t recall
  2. Don’t imagine
  3. Don’t think
  4. Don’t examine
  5. Don’t control
  6. Rest


Paul Williams:

If rebirth is true, realistically we really have no hope. It is a hope-less doctrine.29





Figure 11: The sixty-four hexagrams of the King Wen sequence of the Yijing.

Gua 01:

The greatest fulfillment rewards persistence.32

Gua 11:

Smallness departs, greatness arrives
Promise and fulfillment.33

See also:

Dao De Jing


Other religions






Along with Hinduism and Buddhism, all dharmic religions originated in India.



East Asian




By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart.34


[F]ormulated China’s first explicit ethical and political theories and advanced the world’s earliest form of consequentialism, a remarkably sophisticated version based on a plurality of intrinsic goods taken as constitutive of collective human welfare.35

See also:


Figure 12: Statues of kitsune (foxes) at Fushimi Inari-taisha (photo by Ryan Reece, 2018).





Three historical phases of Stoicism

  1. Early Stoa from the founding of the school by Zeno to Antipater.
  2. Middle Stoa including Panaetius and Posidonius.
  3. Late Stoa including Seneca, Musonius Rufus, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius.

No complete works survive from the first two phases of Stoicism. Only Roman texts from the Late Stoa survive.

Figure 13: The historical and conceptual relationships among Hellonistic schools of philosophy and how they diverged from the thinking of Socrates.

Stoicism’s influence on Christianty

Contemporary Stoicism


My personal summary of the most important Stoic theses:

1. Dichotomy of control

What are we to do, then? To make the best of what lies within our power, and deal with everything else as it comes.

–Epictetus, Discourses, 1.1.17

Materials are indifferent, but the use that one makes of them is by no means indifferent. How, then, can one preserve firmness and calmness of mind, and at the same time the attentiveness that saves us from careless and thoughtless action? By following the example of those who play at dice. The counters are indifferent, the dice are indifferent. How can I know in what way the throw will fall? But to be attentive and skilful in making use of whatever does fall, that is now my task. And so likewise, my principal task in life is this: to distinguish between things, and establish a division between them and say, “External things are not within my power; choice is within my power.”

–Epictetus, Discourses, 2.5.1-4

2. The obstacle is the way

The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.

–Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 5.20 (Ryan Holiday version)

3. Reflection

What is the first task for someone who is practicing philosophy? To rid himself of presumption: for it is impossible for anyone to set out to learn what he thinks he already knows.

–Epictetus, Discourses, 2.17.1

Men seek retreats for themselves, houses in the country, seashores, mountains, and you also tend to desire such things very much. But this is alltogether a mark of the most common sort of men, for it is in your power to retire into yourself whenever you shall choose. For nowhere either with more quiet or more freedom from trouble does a man retire than into his own soul.

–Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 4.3

4. Preferred indifferents

5. Time is our most precious resource

Often think of the rapidity with which things pass by and disappear, both the things that are and the things which are produced. For substance is like a river in a continual flow, and the activities of things are in constant change, and the causes of work in infinite varieties; and there is hardly anything which stands still. And consider this which is near to you, this boundless abyss of the past and of the future in which all things disappear. How then is he not a fool who is puffed up with such things or plagued about them and makes himself miserable? For they vex him only for a time, and indeed for a time that is short.

–Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 5.23


Stoic virtues:

Stoic terms:

Other stuff:

See also:

Figure 14: Another reconstruction of the influence of Socrates on Hellonistic schools of philosophy (source:



[T]he virtues for Epicurus are all purely instrumental goods—that is, they are valuable solely for the sake of the happiness that they can bring oneself, not for their own sake. Epicurus says that all of the virtues are ultimately forms of prudence, of calculating what is in one’s own best interest. In this, Epicurus goes against the majority of Greek ethical theorists, such as the Stoics, who identify happiness with virtue, and Aristotle, who identifies happiness with a life of virtuous activity. Epicurus thinks that natural science and philosophy itself also are instrumental goods. Natural science is needed in order to give mechanistic explanations of natural phenomena and thus dispel the fear of the gods, while philosophy helps to show us the natural limits of our desires and to dispel the fear of death.44

See also:


See also:

Academic skepticism




William Jones, in his 1772 “Essay on the Arts called Imitative,” was one of the first to propound an expressive theory of poetry, valorising expression over description or imitation:

If the arguments, used in this essay, have any weight, it will appear, that the finest parts of poetry, musick, and painting, are expressive of the passions…the inferior parts of them are descriptive of natural objects.46


The importance of romanticism is that it is the largest recent movement to transform the lives and the thought of the Western world.47

Me: And then there was hip hop.


Joni Mitchell:

It’s love’s illusions that I recall.
I really don’t know love at all.48

See also:

Comparative studies


Indian and Greek philosophy


Buddhism and Orphism

Buddhism and Plato

Buddhism and Pyrrhonism

Figure 15: Campaign of Alexander the Great into the East (334-323 BCE). Larger version: here. (source:Wikipedia)

Buddhism and Stoicism

Eastern and modern western philosophy


With my condemnation of Christianity I should not like to have committed an injustice toward a related religion which even outweighs it in the number of its believers: Buddhism. Both belong together as nihilistic religions—they are decadence-religions—, both are separated from each other in the strangest way. That one may now compare them, the critic of Christianity is deeply obliged to the Indian scholars.—Buddhism is a hundred times more realistic than Christianity—it has the inheritance of cool and objective problem posing in its blood, it comes after a philosophical movement lasting hundreds of years: the concept of “God” is already abolished when it comes. Buddhism is the only really positivistic religion history has to offer us, even in its epistemology (a strict phenomenalism), it no longer says “the struggle against sin,” but quite in keeping with reality, “the struggle against suffering.”58

Perennial philosophy


In defending esoteric knowledge60 Huxley’s views are decidedly not naturalistic:

If one is not oneself a sage or saint, the best thing one can do, in the field of metaphysics, is to study the works of those who were, and who, because they had modified their merely human mode of being, were capable of a more than merely human kind and amount of knowledge.61



“Islands” by Muriel Rukeyser:

O for God’s sake
they are connected

Figure 16: The great tree of life. Larger version: here. Source:here.

Mass extinctions


Figure 17: Animation by Drew Berry of DNA replication, where a helicase enzyme unzips DNA, and DNA polymerase synthesizes new strands with complimentary nucleotides.


Figure 18: Blood by David S. Goodsell (2000).

Evolution of vision

Water is strongly absorbing at most of the wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum, but it has a narrow window of transparency which includes the visible spectrum. The span of the absorption spectrum shown is from wavelengths on the order of a kilometer down to about the size of a proton, about 10–15 meters. It doesn’t absorb in the wavelength range of visible light, roughly 400–700 nm, because there is no physical mechanism which produces transitions in that region—it is too energetic for the vibrations of the water molecule and below the energies needed to cause electronic transitions.70

Figure 19: Light absorbtion in water and the blackbody spectrum for the approximate temperature of the Sun (, 2016).

TODO: Find Dawkins on multiple instances of convergent evolution of eyes.


Bertrand Russell:

In the visible [universe], the Milky Way is a tiny fragment; within this fragment, the solar system is an infinitesimal speck, and of this speck our planet is a microscopic dot. On this dot, tiny lumps of impure carbon and water, of complicated structure, with somewhat unusual physical and chemical properties, crawl about for a few years, until they are dissolved again into the elements of which they are compounded. They divide their time between labour designed to postpone the moment of dissolution for themselves and frantic struggles to hasten it for others of their kind.74

See also:






See also:

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Terror management theory

See also:



Pascal’s Wager

The problem of evil

C.S. Lewis’ translation of lines from Lucretius’ De rerum natura:

Had God designed the world, it would not be
A world so frail and faulty as we see.78

Euthyphro dilemma


See also:


John Irving:

I’m not religious. In writing A Prayer for Owen Meany, I asked myself a fairly straightforward question—namely, what would it take to make a believer out of me? The answer is that I would have to meet someone like Owen Meany. If I’d had Johnny Wheelwright’s experience in that novel, I would probably be a believer too. But I haven’t had that experience—I only imagined it.

All novels (for me) begin with a kind of, “What if” and take flight from there.88

See also:

Epistemic humility

Plato, Apology:

This man among you, mortals, is wisest who, like Socrates, understands that his wisdom is worthless.89

Plato, Meno:

Meno: Somehow, Socrates, I think that what you say is right.

Socrates: I think so too, Meno. I do not insist that my argument is right in all other respects, but I would contend at all costs both in word and in deed as far as I could that we will be better men, braver, less idle, if we believe that one must search for the things one does not know, rather than if we believe that it is not possible to find out what we do not know and that we must not look for it.90


There is a great difference between historical facts and speculative opinions; nor is the knowledge of the one propagated in the same manner with that of the other. An historical fact, while it passes by oral tradition from eye-witnesses and contemporaries, is disguised in every successive narration, and may at last retain but very small, if any, resemblance of the original truth, on which it was founded. The frail memories of men, their love of exaggeration, their supine carelessness; these principles, if not corrected by books and writing, soon pervert the account of historical events; where argument or reasoning has little or no place, nor can ever recal the truth, which has once escaped those narrations.91


Seek the truth with an open mind. And it’s worthwhile reflecting what a truth-seeking enterprise looks like.

Religion as a natural phenomena



But if cattle or lions had hands, so as to paint with their hands and produce works of art as men do, they would paint their gods and give them bodies in form like their own—horses like horses, cattle like cattle.92

Ethiopians make their gods black and snub-nosed; Thracians that theirs red-haired and with blue eyes; so also they conceive the spirits of the gods to be like themselves.93


Survey most nations and most ages. Examine the religious principles, which have, in fact, prevailed in the world. You will scarcely be persuaded, that they are any thing but sick men’s dreams. Or perhaps will regard them more as the playsome whimsies of monkeys in human shape, than the serious, positive, dogmatical assertions of a being who dignifies himself with the name of rational.94


Costs of metaphysical confusion





Bertrand Russell:

Highly eccentric in its terminology, his philosophy is extremely obscure. One cannot help suspecting that language is here running riot. An interesting point in his speculations is the insistence that nothingness is something positive. As with much else in Existentialism, this is a psychological observation made to pass for logic.100


From “Citizenship in a Republic” speech by Theodore Roosevelt in 1910:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.104

Cormac McCarthy:

Only now is the child finally divested of all that he has been. His origins are become remote as is his destiny and not again in all the world’s turning will there be terrains so wild and barbarous to try whether the stuff of creation may be shaped to man’s will or whether his own heart is not another kind of clay.105

Figure 20: The Scream, Edvard Munch, 1893.


Carl Sagan discussing Nietzsche:

In The Genealogy of Morals, Friedrich Nietzsche, as so many before and after, decries the “unbroken progress in the self-belittling of man” brought about by the scientific revolution. Nietzsche mourns the loss of “man’s belief in his dignity, his uniqueness, his irreplaceability in the scheme of existence.” For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. Which attitude is better geared for our long-term survival? Which gives us more leverage on our future? And if our naive self-confidence is a little undermined in the process, is that altogether such a loss? Is there not cause to welcome it as a maturing and character-building experience?110


The way of the transgressor is hard. God made this world, but he didnt make it to suit everbody, did he?

I dont believe he much had me in mind.

Aye, said the old man. But where does a man come by his notions. What world’s he seen that he liked better?

I can think of better places and better ways.

Can ye make it be?


No. It’s a mystery. A man’s at odds to know his mind cause his mind is aught he has to know it with. He can know his heart, but he dont want to. Rightly so. Best not to look in there. It aint the heart of a creature that is bound in the way that God has set for it. You can find meanness in the least of creatures, but when God made man the devil was at his elbow. A creature that can do anything. Make a machine. And a machine to make the machine. And evil that can run itself a thousand years, no need to tend it. You believe that?

I dont know.

Believe that.111

My thoughts

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Annotated bibliography

Camus, A. (1942). The Stranger.

  • TODO.

My thoughts

  • TODO.

Sartre, J.P. (1946). Existentialism is a Humanism.

  • “Existence precedes essence”
  • Refers to Nietzsche’s God is dead, therefore we are free.

My thoughts

  • TODO.

Williams, P. (2009). Mahāyāna Buddhism: The doctrinal foundations.

  • TODO.

My thoughts

  • TODO.

  • Camus, A. (1948). The Myth of Sisyphus.
  • Camus, A. (1956). The Fall.
  • Peterson (1999) on Jung






The School of Life

Massimo Pigliucci

Jordan B. Peterson

Cuck Philosophy



Adamson, P. (2015). Philosophy in the Islamic World: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.
Andrews, M. (2018). Does natural selection explain why you exist? Assessing Terrence Deacon’s hierarchic transitions.
Andrews, P. W. & Thomson Jr, J. A. (2009). The bright side of being blue: Depression as an adaptation for analyzing complex problems. Psychological Review, 116, 620.
Bailey, A. & O’Brien, D. (2014). Hume’s Critique of Religion: ’Sick Men’s Dreams’. Springer.
Batchelor, S. (1998). Buddhism Without Beliefs. New York: Riverhead Books.
Berlin, I. (1999). The Roots of Romanticism. Princeton University Press. (Originally published in 1965).
Bodhi. (2005). In the Buddha’s Words: An anthology of discourses from the Pali Canon. Wisdom Publications.
Brassier, R. (2007). Nihil Unbound: Enlightenment and Extinction. Palgrave Macmillan.
Camus, A. (1988). The Stranger. (M. Ward, Trans.). New York: Vintage Books. (Originally published in 1942 as L’Étranger).
Contestabile, B. (2018). Secular Buddhism and Justice. Contemporary Buddhism, 19, 237–250.
Cooper, J. M. & Hutchinson, D. S. (1997). Plato: Complete works. Hackett Publishing.
Dennett, D. C. (1995). Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the meanings of life. Simon & Schuster.
———. (2006). Breaking the Spell: Religion as a natural phenomenon. Penguin.
Diamond, J. & Bellwood, P. (2003). Farmers and their languages: the first expansions. Science, 300, 597–603.
Diener, E. (2019). Happiness: the science of subjective well-being.
Epictetus. (2014). Discourses, Fragments, Handbook. (R. Hard, Trans.). Oxford University Press. (Originally recorded by pupil Arrian of Nicomedia c. 108 CE).
Feynman, R. P. (1998). The Meaning of It All. Addison-Wesley.
Fraser, C. (2020). Mohism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Garfield, J. L. & Van Norden, B. W. (2016). If philosophy won’t diversify, let’s call it what it really is. New York Times Opinion. May 11, 2016.
Greenblatt, S. (2011a). The answer man: An ancient poem was rediscovered—and the world swerved. The New Yorker. August 1, 2011.
———. (2011b). The Swerve: How the World Became Modern. Norton.
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  3. Diamond & Bellwood (2003).↩︎

  4. Sivin (1995).↩︎

  5. Lin (1995).↩︎

  6. Feynman (1998), p. 31.↩︎

  7. McNutt (1999), p. 41–42.↩︎

  8. M. B. Moore & Kelle (2011), p. 91.↩︎

  9. Kaufmann (2015).↩︎

  10. Wells (2013).↩︎

  11. McEvilley (2002), p. 327.↩︎

  12. Katz & Egenes (2015).↩︎

  13. McEvilley (2002), p. TODO.↩︎

  14. Kalupahana (1992).↩︎

  15. Sadakata (1997).↩︎

  16. Harvey (2013).↩︎

  17. Siderits & M (2021).↩︎

  18. Batchelor (1998).↩︎

  19. Contestabile (2018).↩︎

  20. Hayes (1988).↩︎

  21. Harris (2014).↩︎

  22. Wright (2017).↩︎

  23. Nanamoli (1992).↩︎

  24. Bodhi (2005).↩︎

  25. Nagarjuna (1995).↩︎

  26. Williams (2009).↩︎

  27. Nagarjuna (1995).↩︎

  28. Garfield & Van Norden (2016).↩︎

  29. Williams (2011).↩︎

  30. Rutt (2002).↩︎

  31. Marshall (2001).↩︎

  32. Yijing, Gua 01.↩︎

  33. Yijing, Gua 11.↩︎

  34. Confucius, Analects, chapter 17.↩︎

  35. Fraser (2020).↩︎

  36. Seneca (1997).↩︎

  37. Epictetus (2014).↩︎

  38. Mac Suibhne (2009).↩︎

  39. Pigliucci (2017), p. 224.↩︎

  40. Ricks (2006).↩︎

  41. Kellogg (2009).↩︎

  42. Pigliucci (2017).↩︎

  43. Pigliucci (2019).↩︎

  44. O’Keefe (2001).↩︎

  45. Russell (1945), pp. 248–56.↩︎

  46. Jones (2013), p. 379.↩︎

  47. Berlin (1999), p. 1.↩︎

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  49. McEvilley (2002).↩︎

  50. McEvilley (2002), p. 10.↩︎

  51. Hobson (2004).↩︎

  52. Ryan (1996).↩︎

  53. Nelson (2011).↩︎

  54. Smith (2012).↩︎

  55. Nietzsche (2004), §20–23.↩︎

  56. Parkes (2011).↩︎

  57. McMahan (2004).↩︎

  58. Nietzsche (2004), §20.↩︎

  59. Huxley (1945).↩︎

  60. See discussion of non-naturalistic “esoteric knowledge” in the Outline on naturalism.↩︎

  61. Huxley (1945), p. 5–6.↩︎

  62. Rukeyser (1976).↩︎

  63. Hume (2007a), p. TODO.↩︎

  64. Dennett (1995).↩︎

  65. Okasha (2006).↩︎

  66. M. Andrews (2018).↩︎

  67. Raup & Sepkoski (1982).↩︎

  68. Schrödinger (1944).↩︎

  69. Marletto (2015).↩︎

  70. Nave (2016).↩︎

  71. Bodhi (2005), p. 206–7.↩︎

  72. Kagan (2012).↩︎

  73. Hitchens (2012).↩︎

  74. Russell (2004a).↩︎

  75. P. W. Andrews & Thomson Jr (2009).↩︎

  76. Diener (2019).↩︎

  77. Weisberg (2019), ch. 14, section 5.↩︎

  78. Lewis (1955), p. 65.↩︎

  79. Russell (2004b).↩︎

  80. Mackie (1982).↩︎

  81. Hitchens (2007).↩︎

  82. Law (2010).↩︎

  83. Lucretius (1995).↩︎

  84. Greenblatt (2011b).↩︎

  85. Greenblatt (2011a).↩︎

  86. Adamson (2015), p. 84.↩︎

  87. Bailey & O’Brien (2014).↩︎

  88. J. Moore (2009).↩︎

  89. Plato, Apology 23b, Cooper & Hutchinson (1997), p. 22.↩︎

  90. Plato, Meno 86c, Cooper & Hutchinson (1997), p. 886.↩︎

  91. Hume (2007b), part 1, (N 1.8, Bea 36).↩︎

  92. Xenophanes, Fragment B15,↩︎

  93. Xenophanes, Fragment B16,↩︎

  94. Hume (2007b), p. 184.↩︎

  95. Dennett (2006).↩︎

  96. Mahner & Bunge (1996).↩︎

  97. Leiter (2019).↩︎

  98. Zumbrunnen (2002).↩︎

  99. Heidegger (1966).↩︎

  100. Russell (1989), p. 303.↩︎

  101. Sartre (1964).↩︎

  102. Sartre (2007).↩︎

  103. Camus (1988).↩︎

  104. Roosevelt (1910).↩︎

  105. McCarthy, C. (1985). Blood Meridian, ch. 1, p. 4.↩︎

  106. Schopenhauer (2015).↩︎

  107. Schopenhauer (2014).↩︎

  108. Janaway (1999).↩︎

  109. Brassier (2007).↩︎

  110. Sagan (1997), p. 16.↩︎

  111. McCarthy, C. (1985). Blood Meridian, ch. 2, p. 20.↩︎