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Friday, January 26, 2018

Disorders -- Meeting -- February 2, 2018

For instances, OCD, ADD, ADHD, END, ... 
Mental illness, of course, is not literally a "thing" — or physical object — and hence it can "exist" only in the same sort of way in which other theoretical concepts exist. Yet, familiar theories are in the habit of posing, sooner or later — at least to those who come to believe in them — as "objective truths" (or "facts"). During certain historical periods, explanatory conceptions such as deities, witches, and microorganisms appeared not only as theories but as self-evident causes of a vast number of events. I submit that today mental illness is widely regarded in a somewhat similar fashion, that is, as the cause of innumerable diverse happenings. As an antidote to the complacent use of the notion of mental illness — whether as a self-evident phenomenon, theory, or cause — let us ask this question: What is meant when it is asserted that someone is mentally ill?
In what follows I shall describe briefly the main uses to which the concept of mental illness has been put. I shall argue that this notion has outlived whatever usefulness it might have had and that it now functions merely as a convenient myth.
"The Myth of Mental Illness" in American Psycholigist, Vol. 15 (1960), p. 113 -- by Thomas Szasz

Sigmund Freud

Carl Jung

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Third 2018 Meeting -- Topic: Property

Re: Meeting 1-26-18 -- Lifelong Philosophy SIG
Hugh Breakey wrote at the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP):
Concepts of property are used to describe the legal and ethical entitlements that particular people or groups have to use to manage particular resources. Beyond that most general definition of 'property' however, philosophical controversy reigns.
And we learned again, this morning at our Philosophy SIG, that controversy reigns.  We had determined that we would pursue the following -- Resolved:  Property rights are essential to freedom.
We went hither, thither, and yon, but we did not resolve the central question.  It seems to me that this is a central economic question confronting the human species, but to resolve it is to put statist and interventionist footprints all over the question.  Voluntaryists are stuck on the fence of believing the resolution while being restricted in implementing much of its implications.
We did somewhat agree on these points:
  • You can vote with your feet,
  • You own yourself and the fruit of your own labor,
  • Monsters such as Hitler can control you by taking away your self-ownership,
  • Slavery has no justification,
  • European property concepts were on a collision course with the property concepts of indigenous people,
  • Eminent domain is an evil, not necessarily necessary,
  • Charity must exist, but that need pre-existed the modern usurpation by the state,
  • Roads must be built, but that need pre-existed the modern state , and
  • Bureaucracies are a problem.
We didn't have the time for another level of consideration, which may have entailed the Non-aggression Principle (NAP), self-organizing phenomena, intellectual property, and defining "rights."

We agreed on other points, disagreed (sometimes vociferously) on others, and didn't break up at the normal ending time.

Resolved:  Property rights are essential to freedom.

Jim Carigan <>

For our third meeting in 2018, we will be at the Eastside Branch of the Lexington Public Library, 9:45am-11:45am, January 19

Our suggested topic (deferred from last week) will be:

See our web page at

Best regards
Jim Carigan

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Second 2018 Meeting

For our second meeting in 2018, we will be at the Eastside Branch of the Lexington Public Library, 9:45am-11:45am, January 19

Our suggested topic will be:

See our web page at

Property topic deferred until 1/12/18

Instead, we talked about the following:
Public Decision Making
Frustration with Politics
3 Foundations
Cognitive Competence

Monday, January 1, 2018

First 2018 Meeting

For our first meeting in 2018, we will be at the Eastside Branch of the Lexington Public Library, 9:45am-11:45am, January 12

Our suggested topic will be:
Come prepared to talk about a few (1, 2, or 3) great ideas you have encountered from NON-WESTERN, NON-EUROPEAN philosophies (eg Chinese, Indian, African, Pre-European Indigenous, Middle Eastern, etc.)

A starter list:
  • Zoroaster -- No guide is known who can shelter the world from woe,  None who knows what moves and works Thy lofty plans.
  • The Talmud -- What is hateful to you, do not unto your fellow; this is the whole law. All the rest is a commentary to this law; go and learn it.
  • Lao Tzu -- The Tao that can be expressed is not the eternal Tao; The name that can be defined is not the unchanging name.
See our web page at

Best regards
Jim Carigan