Bill Meacham got his college and university degrees in philosophy, and then left that field to make his living as a programmer, software designer, project manager and requirements analyst. But he never quit thinking about the nature of reality and his place in it, the nature of human beings and how it makes sense to live our lives. He writes it all down in a way that is accessible to an interested person who is not trained in philosophy but also rigorous enough that professional philosophers will find merit in it, or at least something worth arguing with.
He would like to hear your ideas and comments. Please email him at .
On this page
Various Papers, newest first
Research Papers for the Book, the precursor to How To Be an Excellent Human
Dissertation, written in 1971, still relevant
Works by Other People, archived here for convenience
Philosophy for Real Life, a blog about philosophical concerns and how they affect our lives.
The book How To Be An Excellent Human.
The free ebook How To Exert Free Will.
How to Talk About Subjectivity (Don’t Say “Consciousness”) (html); PDF 400 KB. Forthcoming in Journal of Consciousness, Vol. 19, No. 62.
Don't Say "Consciousness": Toward a Uniform Vocabulary of Subjectivity (PDF only). Published in Sociology and Anthropology, an online open-access journal.
Note: This paper is obsolete. It is now superseded by How to Talk About Subjectivity (Don’t Say “Consciousness”). Please refer to that one for my current views on the topic.
Learning from Masters: Ethics and Cosmology in Zarathustra and Hazrat Inayat Khan (html); PDF 180 KB
Video presentation of "Learning from Masters" 95 MB. On Youtube: https://youtu.be/4ejZhNmEbGA.
The Pragmatism of William James, a presentation to Austin Philosophy Discussion Group, 4 August 2014 (PDF only) 196 KB
Book Review: Ethics Without Morals
The Pragmatism of C.S. Peirce, a presentation to Austin Philosophy Discussion Group, 21 July 2014 (PDF only) 164 KB
Heidegger's Phenomenology and Human Excellence (html); PDF 184 KB
Being Human in a Conscious Universe (html); PDF 393 KB
How to Derive "Ought" from "Is" (PDF only) 267 KB
Permaculture Ethics and the Chain of Benefits (html); PDF 65 KB
La Ética de la Permacultura y la Cadena de Beneficios (PDF only) 65KB
Consciousness and Human Excellence (html); PDF 72 KB
Talking About the First-Person
Is there a God?
How are the Mind and Brain Related?
Why Be Good?
What is the Nature of Reality?
What is the Meaning Of Life?
Research Papers for the Book
These papers are the precursor to How To Be an Excellent Human.
The HTML versions are better for viewing on-line. To download a printable copy, right-click (Windows) or ctrl-click (Mac) a PDF link and select "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File". You can use the free Acrobat Reader to open the PDF files.
Introduction (html); PDF 36 KB
Part I: Being Human
Posing the Question (html); PDF 20 KB
Facets of Human Nature (html); PDF 375 KB
The First-Person Point of View (html); PDF 97 KB
The Transcendental Self (html); PDF 101 KB
Part II: Supplementary Essays
The Good and the Right (html); PDF 85 KB
The Goodness Ethic (html); PDF 53 KB
Tao Te Ching Ontology (html); PDF 192 KB
Metaphysics, or The Nature of Reality (html); PDF 131 KB
The Quantum Level of Reality (html); PDF 545 KB
Self, Soul and Ego (html); PDF 116 KB
The Fundamental Insight (html); PDF 100 KB
Spiritual Practice (html); PDF 25 KB
Consciousness and Experience (html); PDF 130 KB
Phenomenology of the Self (html); PDF 573 KB
Truth (html); PDF 66 KB
A Phenomenological Description of the Self (html); PDF 628 KB
Works by Other People
These are works Meacham considers important enough to reproduce here.
'Right and Good' from The Dictionary of the History of Ideas
C. S. Peirce: The Fixation of Belief
C. S. Peirce: How to Make Our Ideas Clear
William James: What Pragmatism Means
William James: Pragmatism's Conception of Truth
William James: A World of Pure Experience
William James: Does 'Consciousness' Exist
William James: The Will to Believe