M. R. Eyestone

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Of Interest to My Students
About Me
Curriculum Vitae:
[Adobe PDF]
[Microsoft Word (.doc)]
Pictures
Academic Information
Curriculum Vitae:
[Adobe PDF]
[Microsoft Word (.doc)]
Philosophy Courses:
Instructor of Record
Teaching Assistant
Some Things I Like
Music
Movies
TV & Series
Other Things
Some Things I Dislike
Words to Live By
CU-Boulder
CU-Boulder Philosophy
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E-mail me (personal)
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Last updated 14 April 2014
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Welcome to my corner of the Web. This site exists mainly to give anyone who wants it a bit of information about me and to give me (a sometime freelance Web designer and tech consultant) a bit of HTML and CSS to tinker with on occasion. If you have suggestions for this site or questions for me, feel free to e-mail me. If you are one of my students or would e-mail me about anything academic, please use this e-mail address instead.

Of Interest to My Students

This spring semester, I'm teaching two sections of Historical Instroduction to Philosophy: Ancient (PHIL 1010/CLAS 1030) at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Here are some things that you might find useful, interesting, or amusing:

If you have questions or would like to chat, feel free to e-mail me.

About Me

Here is my curriculum vitae: [Adobe PDF] [Microsoft Word (.doc)]

I grew up in small-town Minnesota. In 2003, I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead with a BA in philosophy and a BS in management information systems and computer information systems (MIS and CIS both being hybrid computer and business majors) and minors in religious studies and computer science. In 2005, I taught a Web design course at South High School in Fargo, North Dakota. That fall, I started graduate school in philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I earned the MA in 2008, and I should have the PhD soon; all that remains is for me to finish my dissertation, which is on problems with attempts to solve the problem of evil.

When not doing research or teaching—and, really, even then—I'm still a geeky kid in most ways. My free time is mainly spent surfing the Web, chatting with friends on Facebook, listening to music, reading comics, shopping for whatever I'm collecting at the moment (usually books, CDs, toys, or neckties), and playing games (cards, chess, video games, and occasionally pen-and-paper RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons). My other pastimes are ordinary enough: watching TV shows and movies that don't irritate me, reading mythology (my favorites are Greek and Norse) and decently written fiction (especially by Neil Gaiman), and, occasionally, tinkering with one of my own writing projects.

Pictures

Just for fun, here are some pictures of me, more or less in chronological order (oldest to most recent):

  • Me from above [JPG]
  • Me outside in the snow [JPG]
  • This one seems like it could use a caption [JPG]
  • Me from above at night [JPG]
  • A close-up of my face [JPG]
  • Me from above during the day [JPG]

Academic Information

Here, again, is my CV: [Adobe PDF] [Microsoft Word (.doc)]

As I mentioned above, I have a master's in philosophy, and I'm a candidate for the doctorate, but those two facts alone don't tell you much about my work within the discipline. My main areas are philosophy of religion, history of philosophy (especially ancient), logic, and theory of knowledge, though I've tried to learn a bit about most everything. Here's a list of philosophy courses with which I've been associated:

Instructor of Record

Spring 2014
Historical Introduction to Philosophy: Ancient (two sections)
Summer 2013
History of Ancient Philosophy (one section)
Fall 2012
Historical Introduction to Philosophy: Ancient (one section)
Fall 2011
Ethics (two sections)
Fall 2010
Historical Introduction to Philosophy: Ancient (two sections)
Summer 2010
Philosophy and Religion (one section)
Spring 2010
Historical Introduction to Philosophy: Ancient (two sections)
Fall 2009
Historical Introduction to Philosophy: Ancient (one section)
Introduction to Philosophy (two sections)
Spring 2009
Historical Introduction to Philosophy: Ancient (two sections)
Fall 2008
Historical Introduction to Philosophy: Ancient (two sections)

Teaching Assistant

Fall 2013
Modal Logic
Spring 2013
Introduction to Philosophy
Fall 2012
War and Morality
Spring 2012
War and Morality
Spring 2008
Philosophy and Religion
Fall 2007
Philosophy and Society
Spring 2007
Historical Introduction to Philosophy: Ancient
Fall 2006
Philosophy and Religion
Spring 2006
Introduction to Philosophy
Fall 2005
Introduction to Philosophy

I also work as a philosophy tutor, especially for symbolic logic. If you'd like to hire me as a tutor, feel free to e-mail me.

Besides philosophy, I'm interested in religion, mythology, and the classics. I doubt that I'll ever have the time and energy to pursue every one of my interests, but I'm not sure that that's a bad thing.

Some Things I Like

If you're curious, this section and the next should give you a sense of my tastes.

Music

I rarely pay attention to anything that's currently Top Forty or performed by a manufactured pop star, and I don't like much hip-hop or country (though exceptions exist, particularly for the classics), but these are only very general rules, and I find it difficult to state a truly unifying theme for my musical preferences. Here's some of what I like:

  • Amon Amarth
  • Apocalyptica
  • Arch Enemy
  • The Black Mages (and anything else that involves Nobuo Uematsu)
  • Black Sabbath (early)
  • Johnny Cash
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  • Leonard Cohen
  • Danzig (I through IV and Black Aria)
  • Dethklok's first album
  • The Doors
  • Ensiferum
  • Epica
  • Flogging Molly
  • In Flames (early)
  • Kraftwerk
  • Morphine
  • Nine Inch Nails (The Downward Spiral and earlier)
  • Ozzy Osbourne (Ozzmosis and earlier)
  • Paradise Lost
  • Pink Floyd (occasionally)
  • Rammstein
  • Samael
  • Sevendust's self-titled album
  • Slipknot
  • Static-X's Wisconsin Death Trip
  • Tool (especially Ænima)
  • Type O Negative
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Tom Waits
  • To at least some degree, most of metal's classics and mainstays: Slayer, Megadeth (pre-Risk), Metallica (pre-Load), Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, etc.
  • Occasionally, some older emo/goth stuff: The Cure, Stabbing Westward—that sort of thing
  • Some video game music, especially from the Final Fantasy series (I, IV, and VI in particular) and from Chrono Trigger
  • The soundtrack to Cowboy Bebop
  • Some blues, classical, and jazz, though I like the genres as a whole more than any particular musicians in them

Movies

Ditto what was said for music: beyond a few general rules (I like few comedies, most "horror" makes me laugh, and most action movies put me to sleep), I don't quite know how to unify these. Hopefully, the list speaks for itself:

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • 300
  • American History X
  • The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
  • The Avengers
  • Batman (1989), Batman Begins, and The Dark Knight
  • Disney's Beauty and the Beast
  • The Big Lebowski
  • The Big Sleep, Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon—really, anything with Bogart
  • The Blues Brothers
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Clue
  • The original Conan movies
  • Coraline
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • The Crow
  • Dark City
  • Event Horizon
  • The Exorcist
  • Fantasia and Fantasia 2000
  • Fargo
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  • Fight Club
  • Full Metal Jacket
  • Ghostbusters
  • Grave of the Fireflies
  • Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II
  • Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Idiocracy
  • The Incredibles
  • Iron Man
  • K-PAX
  • Labyrinth
  • The The Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • MirrorMask
  • The Ninth Gate
  • Office Space
  • The Phantom of the Opera (2004)
  • π
  • Pitch Black
  • The Prince of Egypt
  • The Princess Bride
  • Psycho (and most things by Hitchcock)
  • Requiem for a Dream
  • Se7en
  • Seven Samurai
  • The Silence of the Lambs
  • Snatch
  • Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Spirited Away (and most things by Miyazaki)
  • The original Star Wars trilogy
  • Stardust
  • This Is Spinal Tap
  • Thor
  • V for Vendetta
  • Both Vampire Hunter D movies
  • Watchmen
  • Willow

TV & Series

I used to watch very little TV, but these days, I often feel the need to let my mind unwind a bit. Here are some of my usual time-wasters and some other favorites:

  • Batman: The Animated Series
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • The Colbert Report
  • Cowboy Bebop
  • The Daily Show
  • Doctor Who
  • Family Guy
  • Futurama
  • Good Eats
  • House (the earlier seasons)
  • Judge Judy
  • Justice League
  • Metalocalypse
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000
  • MythBusters
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion
  • The Office (until Steve Carell left)
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Robot Chicken
  • Sealab 2021 (the first two seasons)
  • South Park
  • The Transformers (Generation 1)
  • Voltron: Defender of the Universe

Other Things

Here are some of my miscellaneous likes:

  • The basics of life, notably eating, sleeping, and good conversation
  • Shopping
  • Mixing cocktails (much more than drinking them)
  • Animals (though I'm not a vegetarian—and if I were, I wouldn't broadcast that fact as much as some do)
  • The moon
  • The sky
  • Storms
  • For the most part, nature in general
  • Chess (though I'm not very good at it)
  • Playing cards
  • Old-school video games (I still have a Super NES and a Sega CDX)
  • Really, games of all sorts
  • Colorful abstract and expressionist art (especially by Kandinsky)
  • Color in general, but especially the colors black, blue, grey, and red
  • All manner of letters, glyphs, runes, and symbols
  • If it isn't obvious by now, lists (and the order that they represent)
  • Tattoos
  • Socrates
  • Stoicism
  • Buddhism
  • Virtue (I try to follow the traditional Greek list: wisdom, courage, temperance, and justice)
  • Simplicity

Some Things I Dislike

These are in no particular order, and they're not to be taken personally. Even if some of this list applies to you, that doesn't necessarily mean that I'll dislike you; as grouchy and cynical as I can be, I try to be fair, and I'll usually give someone a chance.

  • Anti-smoking ads (I've never smoked anything legal or illegal, but I don't have a problem if anyone else does)
  • "Energy" (though not so much "energy" itself—whatever it's supposed to be—as people's tendency to confuse it with comparatively well-understood physical concepts)
  • Grammer, spelling and punchuashun; which, we're badly
  • Confusion and malfunction in general (I'm often neither quick nor patient, so I appreciate it when things make sense and work properly)
  • Excuses (I'll recognize legitimate ones—which, as far as I'm concerned, aren't common—but I still dislike them, and I loathe using them myself)
  • Whining (cry or don't cry, but don't whine)
  • Poseurs
  • Inability to back up one's claims with anything more than "Well, I feel/believe that..." or "It's just obvious that..." (give me reasons, though—good ones—and I might listen)
  • Being told what to do or what not to do (just ask, and be prepared to give me some good reasons)
  • Narrowness wherever it doesn't belong, from parking spaces to minds
  • Arrogance (self-respect is a fine thing, but not when taken to excess)
  • Immaturity (which, from what I've seen, has little to do with age)
  • Dogmatism (and I definitely don't just mean religious dogmatism)
  • Dishonesty and deception (including intellectual dishonesty and self-deception, especially when they go unrecognized)
  • Ignorance (especially when it's voluntary, as it usually seems to be)
  • Overvaluation of or excessive attachment to almost anything (including oneself)
  • Unreflective acceptance of anything
  • Weakness in all its forms

Words to Live By

Be sure that if you kill the sort of man I say I am, you will not harm me more than yourselves. Neither Meletus nor Anytus can harm me in any way; he could not harm me, for I do not think it is permitted that a better man be harmed by a worse; certainly he might kill me, or perhaps banish or disfranchise me, which he and maybe others think to be great harm, but I do not think so. I think he is doing himself much greater harm doing what he is doing now, attempting to have a man executed unjustly. —Socrates (according to Plato, Apology 30c–d)

[A] good man cannot be harmed either in life or in death[.] —Socrates (according to Plato, Apology 41d)

I prefer nothing, unless it is true. —Socrates (according to Plato, Euthyphro 14e)

There is no greater evil one can suffer than to hate reasonable discourse. —Socrates (according to Plato, Phaedo 89d)

[F]requently, owing to [Socrates's] vehemence in argument, men set upon him with their fists or tore his hair out; [...] for the most part he was despised and laughed at, yet bore all this ill-usage patiently. So much so that, when he had been kicked, and someone expressed surprise at his taking it so quietly, Socrates rejoined, "Should I have taken the law of a donkey, supposing that he had kicked me?" —Diogenes Laertius, Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers Book II, Chapter 5, 21

Often when [Socrates] looked at the multitude of wares exposed for sale, he would say to himself, "How many things I can do without!" —Diogenes Laertius, Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers Book II, Chapter 5, 25

[Socrates] used to say it was strange that, if you asked a man how many sheep he had, he could easily tell you the precise number; whereas he could not name his friends or say how many he had, so slight was the value he set upon them. —Diogenes Laertius, Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers Book II, Chapter 5, 30

There is, [Socrates] said, only one good, that is, knowledge, and only one evil, that is, ignorance; wealth and good birth bring their possessor no dignity, but on the contrary evil. —Diogenes Laertius, Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers Book II, Chapter 5, 31

[Socrates] used to express his astonishment that the sculptors of marble statues should take pains to make the block of marble into a perfect likeness of a man, and should take no pains about themselves lest they should turn out mere blocks, not men. —Diogenes Laertius, Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers Book II, Chapter 5, 33

[Socrates] had invited some rich men and, when Xanthippe said she felt ashamed of the dinner, "Never mind," said he, "for if they are reasonable they will put up with it, and if they are good for nothing, we shall not trouble ourselves about them." —Diogenes Laertius, Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers Book II, Chapter 5, 34

To one who said, "You are condemned by the Athenians to die," [Socrates] made answer, "So are they, by nature." —Diogenes Laertius, Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers Book II, Chapter 5, 35

Of substances constituted by nature some are ungenerated, imperishable, and eternal, while others are subject to generation and decay. The former are excellent and divine, but less accessible to knowledge. The evidence that might throw light on them, and on the problems which we long to solve respecting them, is furnished but scantily by sensation [...]. The scanty conceptions to which we can attain of celestial things give us, from their excellence, more pleasure than all our knowledge of the world in which we live [...]. —Aristotle, Parts of Animals Book I, Chapter 5, 644b22–34

[I]t is the mark of excellence both to be pleased and to be pained at the right objects and in the right way. —Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics Book IV, Chapter 1, 1121a3–4

[T]he good man obeys his intellect. —Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics Book IX, Chapter 8, 1169a17

[I]t is not noble to be keen to receive benefits. —Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics Book IX, Chapter 11, 1171b25–26

[T]o do noble and good deeds is a thing desirable for its own sake. —Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics Book X, Chapter 6, 1176b7–9

[T]he activity of wisdom is [...] the pleasantest of excellent activities; at all events philosophy is thought to offer pleasures marvelous for their purity and their enduringness [...]. —Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics Book X, Chapter 7, 1177a23–26

If intellect is divine [...] in comparison with man, the life according to it is divine in comparison with human life. But we must not follow those who advise us, being men, to think of human things, and, being mortal, of mortal things, but must, so far as we can, make ourselves immortal, and strain every nerve to live in accordance with the best thing in us; for even if it be small in bulk, much more does it in power and worth surpass everything. This would seem, too, to be each man himself, since it is the authoritative and better part of him. It would be strange, then, if he were to choose not the life of himself but that of something else. And [...] that which is proper to each thing is by nature best and most pleasant for each thing; for man, therefore, the life according to intellect is best and pleasantest, since intellect more than anything else is man. This life therefore is also the happiest. —Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics Book X, Chapter 7, 1177b30–1178a8

[T]he activity of God, which surpasses all others in blessedness, must be contemplative; and of human activities, therefore, that which is most akin to this must be most of the nature of happiness. —Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics Book X, Chapter 8, 1178b22–23

[W]e must not think that the man who is to be happy will need many things or great things [...]; for self-sufficiency and action do not depend on excess, and we can do noble acts without ruling earth and sea; for even with moderate advantages one can act excellently (this is manifest enough; for private persons are thought to do worthy acts no less than despots—indeed even more); and it is enough that we should have so much as that [...]. —Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics Book X, Chapter 8, 1179a1–9

[H]e who exercises his intellect and cultivates it seems to be both in the best state and most dear to the gods. For if the gods have any care for human affairs, [...] it would be reasonable both that they should delight in that which was best and most akin to them (i.e. intellect) and that they should reward those who love and honor this most, as caring for the things that are dear to them and acting both rightly and nobly. And that all these attributes belong most of all to the wise man is manifest. He, therefore, is the dearest to the gods. And he who is that will presumably be also the happiest; so that in this way too the wise man will more than any other be happy. —Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics Book X, Chapter 8, 1179a22–32

[A]s the eyes of bats are to the blaze of day, so is the reason in our soul to the things which are by nature most evident of all. —Aristotle, Metaphysics Book II (α), Chapter 1, 993b9–11

[T]he activity of thought is life, and God is that activity; and God's essential activity is life most good and eternal. —Aristotle, Metaphysics Book XII (Λ), Chapter 7, 1072b26–27

Don't fear god, Don't worry about death; What is good is easy to get, and What is terrible is easy to endure. —Philodemus's statement of the Epicurean "four-part cure"

Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. [...] [W]hen you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. [...] And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. —Jesus of Nazareth (according to Matthew 6: 1, 2, 5 [NIV])

Remember that what is insulting is not the person who abuses you or hits you, but the judgment about him that he is insulting. So when someone irritates you be aware that what irritates you is your own belief. [...] Another person will not do you harm unless you wish it; you will be harmed at just that time at which you take yourself to be harmed. —Epictetus, Handbook 20, 30

Let death and exile and everything that is terrible appear before your eyes every day, especially death; and you will never have anything contemptible in your thoughts or crave anything excessively. —Epictetus, Handbook 21

[T]he human condition would indeed be far happier if it were equally in the power of men to keep silent as to talk. But experience teaches us with abundant examples that nothing is less within men's power than to hold their tongues [...]. —Baruch Spinoza, Ethics Part III, Proposition 2, Scholium

A wise man [...] proportions his belief to the evidence. —David Hume, An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding (Section X, "Of Miracles")

I have no parents: I make the heavens and earth my parents. I have no home: I make awareness my home. I have no life or death: I make the tides of breathing my life and death. I have no divine power: I make honesty my divine power. I have no means: I make understanding my means. I have no magic secrets: I make character my magic secret. I have no body: I make endurance my body. I have no eyes: I make the flash of lightning my eyes. I have no ears: I make sensibility my ears. I have no limbs: I make promptness my limbs. I have no strategy: I make "unshadowed by thought" my strategy. I have no designs: I make "seizing opportunity by the forelock" my design. I have no miracles: I make "right action" my miracles. I have no principles: I make adaptability to all circumstances my principles. I have no tactics: I make emptiness and fullness my tactics. I have no talents: I make ready wit my talent. I have no friends: I make my mind my friend. I have no enemy: I make carelessness my enemy. I have no armor: I make benevolence and righteousness my armor. I have no castle: I make immovable-mind my castle. I have no sword: I make absence of self my sword. —attributed to an anonymous samurai