The Beatles and Philosophy: Nothing You Can Think That Can't Be Thunk

The Beatles and Philosophy: Nothing You Can Think That Can't Be Thunk

The Beatles and Philosophy: Nothing You Can Think That Can't Be Thunk

The Beatles and Philosophy: Nothing You Can Think That Can't Be Thunk

Synopsis

Charles Darwin (1809–1882) first published this work in 1868 in two volumes. The book began as an expansion of the first two chapters of On the Origin of Species: 'Variation under Domestication' and 'Variation under Nature', and it developed into one of his largest works; Darwin referred to it as his 'big book'. Volume 1 deals with the variations introduced into species as a result of domestication, through changes in climate, diet, breeding and an absence of predators. He began with an examination of dogs and cats, comparing them with their wild counterparts, and moved on to investigate horses and asses; pigs, cattle, sheep, and goats; domestic rabbits; domestic pigeons; fowl; and finally cultivated plants. The work is a masterpiece of nineteenth-century scientific investigation; it is a key text in the development of Darwin's own thought and of the wider discipline of evolutionary biology.

Excerpt

The Beatles’ early songs, like most pop songs of their time, dealt mainly in superficial clichés about love and romance. But as the Beatles matured their lyrical content deepened considerably. Inspired in part by the turbulent cultural changes of the 1960s and also by the spirit of experimentation exemplified by the best of their songwriting peers (most notably Bob Dylan), they began by the mid-sixties to write songs about fundamental political, social, and philosophical ideas. Many of these songs are at least in part about knowledge. They discuss the nature and value of knowledge, and consider the ways in which knowledge might be attained. These concerns are central to epistemology, one of the main branches of philosophy.

While it would be an exaggeration to say that the Beatles present in their songs a clear, coherent, fully worked-out theory of knowledge—they were musicians, after all, and not philosophers—two points recur frequently and consistently throughout those of their songs that touch on epistemological concerns. The first point is simply that it matters greatly what one believes. More specifically, it is important to believe what is really true, and to reject lies, delusions, and other falsehoods. Though such a claim may appear rather obvious and trivial, it is in fact controversial and widely rejected. Many people take the position that it is perfectly fine to believe whatever one wants, and to embrace certain beliefs because, for example, they are comforting or allow one to get along well with others, without concerning oneself much with the . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.