• Most Topular Stories

  • What are we fighting for? A cynical comment on war

    Philosophy by the Way
    17 Aug 2014 | 4:35 pm
    The daily ceremony at the Menin Gate for the British and Commonwealth soldiers killed near Ypres during World War I and whose graves are unknown attracts always many spectatorsThese days it is hundred years ago that the First World War broke out. Especially the countries involved in this war, like France, Belgium, Britain and Germany, will commemorate it and all the events that followed till the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 that ended this war. Recently I was in France for my photo exhibition there and for my summer holiday and everywhere I saw preparations for the coming commemorations and…
  • Love and human freedom

    Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog
    Brian Leiter
    19 Aug 2014 | 4:25 pm
    Philosopher Bennett Helm (Franklin & Marshall) discusses.
  • "Socially constructed"

    In Living Color
    16 Aug 2014 | 9:34 am I've been thinking and reading about the idea that sex and/or gender are "socially constructed."  This is often asserted by feminists who have a debunking and liberatory agenda.  The idea is that sex and gender "binaries" are not written into the nature of things, but results of choices, perceptions, customs, cultural assumptions, etc. You couldn't abandon
  • McGinn hiring blocked

    Feminist Philosophers
    18 Aug 2014 | 7:16 am
    Administrators at East Carolina University have turned down the philosophy department’s request to award a one-year endowed professorship to Colin McGinn—a prominent philosopher who resigned from the University of Miami in December following allegations of sexual harassment by a female graduate student. For the Chronicle story, go here. For words of wisdom from Eric Schliesser, go here. For a discussion about use of unofficial information in hiring go to the Daily Nous.
  • CFP: Journal of the APA

    Feminist Philosophers
    19 Aug 2014 | 10:49 am
    Sally Haslanger writes: The Journal of the APA will be launching this coming spring. It is crucial to the success of the journal that it represent research done by the many different intellectual constituencies of the APA. The editorial board is highly sensitive to this fact. Those working in philosophy of race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, class, those doing Continental philosophy, history of philosophy, those doing innovative philosophy outside the mainstream, PLEASE submit your work, and sooner rather than later. The APA is changing and it will change for the better only if we…
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    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

  • Philosophy of Statistics

    Jan-Willem Romeijn
    19 Aug 2014 | 7:58 pm
    [New Entry by Jan-Willem Romeijn on August 19, 2014.] Statistics investigates and develops specific methods for evaluating hypotheses in the light of empirical facts. A method is called statistical, and thus the subject of study in statistics, if it relates facts and hypotheses of a particular kind: the empirical facts must be codified and structured into data sets, and the hypotheses must be formulated in terms of probability distributions over possible...
  • Location and Mereology

    Cody Gilmore
    19 Aug 2014 | 7:00 pm
    [Revised entry by Cody Gilmore on August 19, 2014. Changes to: Bibliography] Substantivalists believe that there are regions of space or spacetime. Many substantivalists also believe that there are entities (people, tables, electrons, fields, holes, events, tropes, universals, ...) that are located at regions. For these philosophers, questions arise about the relationship between located entities and the regions at which they are located. Are located...
  • Robert Boyle

    J. J. MacIntosh and Peter Anstey
    18 Aug 2014 | 3:38 am
    [Revised entry by J. J. MacIntosh and Peter Anstey on August 18, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Boyle was one of the leading intellectual figures of the seventeenth century. He was a dedicated experimenter, unwilling to construct abstract theories to which his results had to conform. "Our Boyle," Oldenburg wrote to Spinoza, "is one of those who are distrustful...
  • Boltzmann's Work in Statistical Physics

    Jos Uffink
    17 Aug 2014 | 8:25 pm
    [Revised entry by Jos Uffink on August 17, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Ludwig Boltzmann (1844 - 1906) is generally acknowledged as one of the most important physicists of the nineteenth century. Particularly famous is his statistical explanation of the second law of thermodynamics. The celebrated formula $S = k log W$, expressing a...
  • Historicist Theories of Scientific Rationality

    Carl Matheson and Justin Dallmann
    15 Aug 2014 | 6:07 pm
    [Revised entry by Carl Matheson and Justin Dallmann on August 15, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Of those philosophers who have attempted to characterize scientific rationality, most have attended in some way to the history of science. Even Karl Popper, who is hardly a historicist by anyone's standards, frequently employs the history of science as an illustrative and polemical device. However, relatively few theorists...
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    Talking Philosophy

  • Automation & Ethics

    Mike LaBossiere
    18 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    Suomi: Heronin aeolipiili Türkçe: Yunanlı mühendis Hero’nun yaptığı ilk örnek türbin (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Hero of Alexandria (born around 10 AD) is credited with developing the first steam engine, the first vending machine and the first known wind powered machine (a wind powered musical organ). Given the revolutionary impact of the steam engine centuries later, it might be wondered why the Greeks did not make use of these inventions in their economy. While some claim that the Greeks simply did not see the implications, others claim that the decision was based on concerns about…
  • DBS, Enhancement & Ethics

    Mike LaBossiere
    15 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    Placement of an electrode into the brain. The head is stabilised in a frame for stereotactic surgery. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) involves the surgical implantation of electrodes into a patient’s brain that, as the name indicates, stimulate the brain. Currently the procedure is used to treat movement disorders (such as Parkinson’s disease, dystonia and essential tremor) and Tourette’s syndrome. Research is currently underway for using the procedure to treat neuropsychiatric disorders (such as PTSD) and there is some indications that it can help with the memory…
  • Corporate Inversion

    Mike LaBossiere
    13 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    Taxes (Photo credit: Tax Credits) Corporate inversion is a strategy in which a corporation (usually one located in the United States) merges with a foreign corporation and then shifts its income from its original country.  The usual purpose of this strategy is to reduce taxes and this is done by shifting the income from the higher-tax country to the lower tax country. While this strategy has been used for quite some time, it started attracting media attention in the summer of 2014. Those who defend tax inversion point to the obvious fact that it is currently legal. As such, the strategy is…
  • Tech, Wages & Profits

    Mike LaBossiere
    11 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Despite the Great Recession, the profits for corporations have doubled since 2000. In contrast, the median household income in the United States has fallen from $55,986 to $51,017 (dollars adjusted for inflation, of course). Not surprisingly, corporate profits have gone from 5% to 11% of the GDP while wages of employee have dropped from 47% to 43%. While these numbers can be interpreted in various ways, one obvious implication is that corporations are making more money with fewer employees. It is also evident that corporations are doing better than most people…
  • Buffer Zones & Consistency

    Mike LaBossiere
    8 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In the summer of 2014, the United States Supreme Court struck down the Massachusetts law that forbid protesters from approaching within 35 feet of abortion clinics. The buffer zone law was established in response to episodes of violence. Not surprisingly, the court based its ruling on the First Amendment—such a buffer zone violates the right of free expression of those wishing to protest against abortion or who desire to provide unsought counseling to those seeking abortions. Though I am a staunch supporter of the freedom of expression, I do recognize that there…
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  • Question about Education - Andrew Pessin responds

    19 Aug 2014 | 6:54 am
    Hello everyone. I am a sophomore starting a philosophy club at my high school. No other high school in the district has one. To get straight to the point, I need a clever acronym for the club's name. Although this isn't really a philosophical question, can you please take your time and possibly give me a good, witty name? We cover all fields of philosophy. Response from: Andrew Pessin Good for you! .... There's also this organization you might want to check out, interested in promoting philosophy in high school: you…
  • Question about Ethics, Law - Andrew Pessin responds

    19 Aug 2014 | 6:48 am
    Is murder illegal because its wrong? Or is murder wrong because its illegal? Response from: Andrew Pessin a great question -- a deep one, and an old one -- basically grounded in the classic theistic question addressed by Plato (in Euthyphro) and many others since -- does God command us not to do things (such as murder) because they're wrong, or are they wrong (simply) because God commands us not to do them ... Stephen's response is excellent, but I'll offer another angle. Re the first half -- is murder illegal b/c it's wrong -- no doubt those legislators who have illegalized murder are at…
  • Question about Ethics, Law - Stephen Maitzen responds

    19 Aug 2014 | 6:48 am
    Is murder illegal because its wrong? Or is murder wrong because its illegal? Response from: Stephen Maitzen Your first question -- Why is murder illegal? -- is a sociological and/or historical question about the law and therefore a question on which philosophers, as such, aren't experts. Nevertheless (!) I feel confident in saying that the answer is yes: the direction of explanation goes from moral wrongness to illegality. Murder is a form of homicide meeting various conditions, such as being intentional and being done "with malice aforethought." Why does modern society outlaw murder but not,…
  • Question about Ethics, Literature - Oliver Leaman responds

    14 Aug 2014 | 10:35 pm
    I have just finished Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, and like so many find the purely wicked Judge Holden the most fascinating character. And there are other wicked characters that fascinate. But pure goodness doesn't seem to make for that kind of interest, in fiction anyway. Assuming you agree with this, maybe you have some ideas why this is so? Would be interested to know them. Response from: Oliver Leaman You are right, one often thinks that the denizens of Hell would make for much more entertaining company than those of Heaven. I don't know the book you mention, and to a large extent…
  • Question about Science - Charles Taliaferro responds

    14 Aug 2014 | 11:16 am
    Woods cut from trees have certain physical properties that a reductionist might claim are expressions of atomic or sub-atomic phenomena (mostly empty space, though we experience wood as hard). Since the tree is alive can reductionism account for the role of organic life in organizing or directing (e.g., cell division) those physical properties? I think that a physicist cannot fully explain the macroscopic properties of wood (e.g., hard) by material reduction without recourse to life sciences that are beyond his/her realm of study. What I am proposing is that reductionism fails via category…
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    Ethics Etc

  • Conference Announcement: Illuminating Reasons, University of Arizona

    Julia Driver
    18 Aug 2014 | 10:55 am
    A conference, Illuminating Reasons: An Inquiry into the Phenomenology of Moral Experience, will take place October 16-18, 2014 in Tucson, Arizona, featuring prominent scholars from the fields of philosophy and psychology. The conference is part of a project being conducted by Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons of the University of Arizona, funded by a grant […]
  • CFA: Dominating Speech at UConn

    S. Matthew Liao
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:14 pm
    Dominating Speech Conference at UConn November 21-23, 2014 Keynotes: Ishani Maitra (Michigan) Jason Stanley (Yale) The Injustice League in the Philosophy Department at the University of Connecticut seeks abstracts on topics related to the conference theme. Suggested topics include: hate speech, slurs, propaganda, slut-shaming, bragging, and gossip. Philosophical work from a variety of subfields, including: […]
  • Special Issue on Frances Kamm in Journal of Moral Philosophy

    S. Matthew Liao
    23 Jul 2014 | 11:00 am
    The Journal of Moral Philosophy has just published a special issue on Frances Kamm’s book, Ethics for Enemies. Commentators include Professors Caspar Hare, Suzanne Uniacke, Tom Hurka, Jeff McMahan, Gabriella Blum and John C. P. Goldberg. Professor Kamm als provides a Précis and Responses to the Commentators. Here’s the content of the issue: Summary of […]
  • CFP: Austin Graduate Ethics and Normativity Talks

    S. Matthew Liao
    23 Jul 2014 | 10:39 am
    Submission Deadline: August 1, 2014 The second annual Austin Graduate Ethics and Normativity Talks (AGENT) will take place on October 10-11, 2014 at the University of Texas at Austin. Professor Ruth Chang (Rutgers) will give this year’s keynote address. Submissions of high-quality papers from graduate students in any area of philosophy related to normativity and […]
  • Tasioulas Takes Up the Yeoh Chair of Politics, Philosophy & Law at KCL

    S. Matthew Liao
    9 Jul 2014 | 12:28 pm
    Many congratulations to Professor John Tasioulas who will be joining The Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College London on 1 September 2014 as the inaugural Yeoh Chair of Politics, Philosophy & Law and founding Director of the Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy & Law! John is a leading international figure in […]
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    European Journal of Philosophy

  • The Limits of Learning: Habermas' Social Theory and Religion

    Maeve Cooke
    28 Jul 2014 | 10:17 pm
    Abstract Habermas' view that contemporary philosophy and social theory can learn from religious traditions calls for closer consideration. He is correct to hold that religious traditions constitute a reservoir of potentially important meanings that can be critically appropriated without emptying them of their motivating and inspirational power. However, contrary to what he implies, his theory allows for learning from religion only to a very limited degree. This is due to two core elements of his conceptual framework, both of which are key features of his account of postmetaphysical thinking.
  • Kierkegaard's Phenomenology of Spirit

    Ulrika Carlsson
    7 Jul 2014 | 7:27 pm
    Abstract Kierkegaard's preoccupation with a separation between the ‘inner’ and the ‘outer’ runs through his work and is widely thought to belong to his rejection of Hegel's idealist monism. Focusing on The Concept of Irony and Either/Or, I argue that although Kierkegaard believes in various metaphysical distinctions between inside and outside (the inwardness of faith and the outwardness of ethics and language; the inwardness of emotion and the outwardness of behavior), he nonetheless understands the task of the philosopher as that of making outside and inside converge in a…
  • Darwall on Second-Personal Ethics

    Robert Stern
    16 Jun 2014 | 1:47 am
  • Heidegger the Metaphysician: Modes-of-Being and Grundbegriffe

    Howard D. Kelly
    13 Jun 2014 | 9:55 pm
    Abstract Modes-of-being (Seinsarten) figure centrally in Heidegger's masterwork Being and Time. Testimony to this is Heidegger's characterisation of two of his most celebrated enquiries—the Existential analytic and the Zeug analysis—as investigations into the respective modes-of-being of the entities concerned. Yet despite the importance of this concept, commentators disagree widely about what a mode-of-being is. In this paper, I systematically outline and defend a novel and exegetically grounded interpretation of this concept. Strongly opposed to Kantian readings, such as those advocated…
  • Whistling in 1929: Ramsey and Wittgenstein on the Infinite

    S. J. Methven
    5 May 2014 | 6:32 pm
    Abstract Cora Diamond has recently criticised as mere legend the interpretation of a quip of Ramsey's, contained in the epigraph below, which takes him to be objecting to or rejecting Wittgenstein's Tractarian distinction between saying and showing. Whilst I agree with Diamond's discussion of the legend, I argue that her interpretation of the quip has little evidential support, and runs foul of a criticism sometimes made against intuitionism. Rather than seeing Ramsey as making a claim about the nature of propositions, as Diamond does, we should understand him as making a claim about the…
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    Feminist Philosophers

  • CFP: Journal of the APA

    19 Aug 2014 | 10:49 am
    Sally Haslanger writes: The Journal of the APA will be launching this coming spring. It is crucial to the success of the journal that it represent research done by the many different intellectual constituencies of the APA. The editorial board is highly sensitive to this fact. Those working in philosophy of race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, class, those doing Continental philosophy, history of philosophy, those doing innovative philosophy outside the mainstream, PLEASE submit your work, and sooner rather than later. The APA is changing and it will change for the better only if we…
  • Women’s representation in ethics

    19 Aug 2014 | 5:32 am
    People frequently suggest, at least in conversation, that there are more women in ethics than in other fields; and even that the relatively dearth of women in other fields may be explained by their large numbers in ethics. We still don’t know whether either of these things are true.  But thanks to Kate Norlock’s excellent work with splendid Trent University student Cole Murdoch, we do know a bit more about how well represented women are in two leading ethics journals.
  • Philosop-her on the Philosophers’ Annual

    18 Aug 2014 | 2:12 pm
    Philosop-her has a great post up about trends in the Philosophers’ Annual: Despite the fact that the Philosophers Annual (PA) is doing better on the political philosophy front, I have a few worries that were prompted by discussions on Facebook (thanks to J.D. and E.B. and others for bringing my attention to these issues). It seems that the PA has recognized papers in philosophy of race only twice since the year 2000: from the literature of 2001, Robert Bernasconi, “Who Invented the Concept of Race?”; and from the literature of 2000, Sally Haslanger, “Gender and Race: (What) Are…
  • Study Raises Questions About Why Women Are Less Likely than Men to Earn Tenure Research

    Stacey Goguen
    18 Aug 2014 | 9:47 am
    You can read the article here.  “Not only are men more likely than women to earn tenure, but in computer science and sociology, they are significantly more likely to earn tenure than are women who have the same research productivity.” ““It’s not that we need to make women more productive. It’s that we need to change the processes,” said Kate Weisshaar, a graduate student at Stanford University who did the study.”
  • McGinn hiring blocked

    18 Aug 2014 | 7:16 am
    Administrators at East Carolina University have turned down the philosophy department’s request to award a one-year endowed professorship to Colin McGinn—a prominent philosopher who resigned from the University of Miami in December following allegations of sexual harassment by a female graduate student. For the Chronicle story, go here. For words of wisdom from Eric Schliesser, go here. For a discussion about use of unofficial information in hiring go to the Daily Nous.
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    The Prosblogion

  • Call for Papers-Logos 2015: Religious Experience

    Michael Rea
    6 Aug 2014 | 7:01 am
    May 7-9, 2015 at the University of Notre Dame Religious experience is central to religious faith and practice. It often serves as evidence for belief; it contributes to the development of doctrine; and it, or the desire for it, is often a major motivator for church attendance, meditation, commitment to spiritual disciplines, and other religious practices. Religious experience has received a great deal of attention within both philosophy and theology; but important questions remain unanswered. What is the nature of religious experience? What, exactly is (or should be) its relationship to…
  • Two 3-Yr. Post-Docs on the Nature and Value of Faith

    Jon Kvanvig
    19 Dec 2013 | 7:11 am
    Housed at Baylor University's Philosophy Department, and supported by a grant from Templeton. The three-year project is co-directed by Jon Kvanvig, Dan Howard-Snyder, and Trent Dougherty. These post-docs are 3-year positions, and the deadline for application is February 1. I'll put the ad below the fold. Two Post-Doctoral Fellowship Positions Department of Philosophy, Baylor University On The Nature and Value of Faith Funded by a grant from the Templeton Foundation Applications are solicited for two three-year fellowships to work as part of a team of scholars, led by Jonathan L. Kvanvig,…
  • Research Fellowship in Philosophy of Religion, Ryerson University

    Yujin Nagasawa
    28 Oct 2013 | 1:53 pm
    On behalf of Klaas Kraay: Dear Colleagues, I am writing to solicit applications for a Research Fellowship in the Philosophy of Religion to be held during the 2014-2015 academic year. This fellowship is funded by a generous research grant (from the John Templeton Foundation) entitled "Theism: An Axiological Investigation". The successful applicant will either receive a stipend/salary of $45,000 CAD, or funds for teaching release. Junior, mid-career, and senior philosophers are all welcome to apply. For details, please visit the project website:…
  • Is Religious Belief Reasonable?

    Robert Gressis
    19 Oct 2013 | 9:52 pm
    Over at Philosophy, et cetera, Richard Yetter-Chappell claims that religious belief is not reasonable. Here is Yetter-Chappell's rationale behind his reasoning: 1. At most, the cosmological and fine-tuning arguments support minimal deism. (I'm not sure what minimal deism is; is it simply the claim that something outside of the universe is causally responsible for either the universe's existence or for its order? Or is it the stronger claim that some kind of powerful, intelligent agent is causally responsible for either the universe's existence or its order?) 2. The ontological argument is…
  • RFP: Science Beyond Scientism

    Jeroen de Ridder
    17 Oct 2013 | 6:44 am
    The Abraham Kuyper Center for Science and Religion under the direction of René van Woudenberg welcomes proposals to investigate scientism and its manifestations in research into free will, moral belief formation and moral character, rational decision-making, and religious belief. The research project Science beyond Scientism is embedded in the research of the Theoretical Philosophy section of the Department of Philosophy at VU University Amsterdam. VU University Amsterdam is an accredited research university with excellent library and other research facilities. Project description Scientism…
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    In Socrates' Wake

  • Quotable teacher, installment 21

    Michael Cholbi
    17 Aug 2014 | 6:21 pm
    Most learning is not the result of instruction. It is rather the result of unhampered participation in a meaningful setting. Most people learn best by being "with it," yet school makes them identify their personal, cognitive growth with elaborate planning and manipulation.— Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society
  • Call for proposals on inclusive philosophy pedagogy

    Michael Cholbi
    11 Aug 2014 | 9:40 am
    The American Association of Philosophy Teachers (AAPT) and the American Philosophical Association (APA) Committee on Inclusiveness in the Profession seek proposals for 25-minute presentations to be included in two complementary joint panels to be held at the 2015 APA Central Division meeting, which will occur February 18–21 at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark in St. Louis, Missouri.The sessions, "Inclusive Philosophy Pedagogy: What Is It and How Do We Achieve It?,” are intended both to theorize (and perhaps problematize) the very notion of inclusive philosophy pedagogy and to provide…
  • Newest issue of Teaching Philosophy

    Michael Cholbi
    22 Jul 2014 | 10:50 am
    Here she is, in all its summertime glory: Teaching Philosophy, vol. 37, no. 3:(A reminder: The journal is always looking for excellent contributions on the scholarship of teaching and learning. Submit your manuscript here!) Vanessa CarbonellHow to Put Prescription Drug Ads on Your SyllabusThe purpose of this essay is to make the case that the ethical issues raised by the current U.S. practice of direct-to-consumer (DTC) prescription drug advertising are worthy of study in philosophy courses, and to provide instructors with some ideas for how they might approach teaching the topic, despite the…
  • Is it possible to give too much feedback?

    Michael Cholbi
    2 Jul 2014 | 8:20 am
    Recently, in the course of a presentation I was giving, I made a statement that is evidently controversial:Many conscientious instructors give too much feedback to students on their work.(I'm thinking mainly about student essays here.) Several audience members were taken aback (and this post at Philosophers' Cocoon suggests that at least some philosophers share such sentiments). But in my own defense, here's my rationale.That students respond positively to, appreciate, etc., extensive feedback on their work doesn't entail that this helps them learn. I don't doubt that many students like…
  • A non-policy electronic device policy?

    Michael Cholbi
    9 Jun 2014 | 7:00 am
    The evidence that (a) we simply cannot multitask, and (b) in-class electronic devices probably hurt students as learners more than they help them, continues to mount. This is an issue we've addressed before. What options are there besides an outright ban on devices? One position: "it's you're funeral". Some require students to post their electronic notes. Others try to turn the technology to their advantage, allowing students to send questions electronically.I'd like to share what I tried this term (and which seemed to work, based on my unsystematic observation):I don't think I can…
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    Philosophy by the Way

  • What are we fighting for? A cynical comment on war

    17 Aug 2014 | 4:35 pm
    The daily ceremony at the Menin Gate for the British and Commonwealth soldiers killed near Ypres during World War I and whose graves are unknown attracts always many spectatorsThese days it is hundred years ago that the First World War broke out. Especially the countries involved in this war, like France, Belgium, Britain and Germany, will commemorate it and all the events that followed till the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 that ended this war. Recently I was in France for my photo exhibition there and for my summer holiday and everywhere I saw preparations for the coming commemorations and…
  • Escalation

    8 Aug 2014 | 1:56 pm
    I think you know the situation: Two children are playing around as children often do. Let’s say that they are a bit boxing or something like that. One gives a blow to the other. “Don’t beat me that hard”, the other says and strikes back. Then the first one says: “I dont beat hard. You do!” And before you know it, they are really fighting. We call this escalation. Why did this happen?In an article by Suparna Choudhury and Sarah-Jayne Blakemore I found an interesting explanation of this phenomenon, which they derived from a study by S.S. Shergill et al.: “... just as happens when…
  • Criticism

    20 Jul 2014 | 4:03 pm
    Pyrrho van ElisLast week I bought a book by Antoine Compagnon on Montaigne and I immediately started to read it. Compagnon is an authority on Montaigne and he has published several books and articles on this philosopher. The book I bought is titled “Un été avec Montaigne” (A summer with Montaigne). It contains mini-essays like my present blogs are. Originally the pieces had been broadcast on the radio for a broad public. I can recommend everybody to read the book, also if you have read already a lot on and by Montaigne. Montaigne’s Essays are so rich in content that any book on…
  • Killing in war: Does it happen?

    13 Jul 2014 | 4:44 pm
    Caterpillar Cemetery, Longueval, FranceOnly yet a few weeks to go and the commemorations of the centennial of the First World War will begin. When one thinks of war, one thinks of at least two opposing parties and one thinks of killing. Both are essential for what one calls war: There is no reason for fighting, if two parties do not disagree, and killing is the ultimate and often not so ultimate means for getting the other on his knees if he doesn’t give way. It is not difficult to find both elements in World War One. The immediate cause was a conflict between two countries (Austria and…
  • How to make perfect photos

    6 Jul 2014 | 4:08 pm
    My exhibition in the Capitainerie in Stenay, Meuse, France“Nobody is perfect”. It’s a well-known saying. Implicitly it says that perfection is the norm. It’s something we have to strive for. And so we do, at least often, or at least many of us. In our work. When we educate our children. Advertisements tell us what the best products are for looking great, ... and we buy them. Some writers tend to work infinitely on a book, for as long as it is not perfect they do not want to publish it. Look around and you’ll see plenty of instances in which perfection is the goal or where it is…
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    The Brooks Blog

  • Political theory & public policy

    31 Jul 2014 | 7:56 am
    Political theorists can offer invaluable insights for policymakers. This may be surprising – and strike some readers as an oxymoron: what could sound, evidence-based policy gain from theorists? The answer is three things. First, political theorists can provide conceptual clarity. Their craft is to probe such questions further: what does it mean to ‘restore’ and what precisely is restored through restorative justice? Secondly, political theorists bring perspective. It can be easy for policy analysts to work in a disciplinary vacuum and fail to take stock of the larger picture. Political…
  • On "Crime: How to Solve It"

    30 Jul 2014 | 7:27 am
    British television presenter Nick Ross has published recently an engaging work, Crime: How to Solve It, which I've reviewed for Progress (a Labour Party-affiliated political group) here.
  • Immigration to an independent Scotland - fact sheet

    17 Jul 2014 | 5:34 am
    . . . can be found in my latest Durham Law School briefing available HERE. It attempts to clarify the known knowns, known unknowns...and unknown unknowns.
  • Customs at Gretna Green? Neither side is telling the whole truth on this one

    14 Jul 2014 | 8:03 am
    . . . is my latest piece for The Conversation - here focusing on the implications for immigration law and policy if Scotland votes for independence. The essay can be found here.
  • Paper-hungry courts to go on a digital diet

    4 Jul 2014 | 6:09 am
    . . . piece found here remains as true now as when published originally.
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    Continental Philosophy

  • The Many Dimensions of Herbert Marcuse – October 1-2, 2014 – Brandeis University

    James Luchte
    19 Aug 2014 | 8:20 pm
    The Many Dimensions of Herbert Marcuse Join us for this two-day conference that will explore the critical theory of Herbert Marcuse. The conference coincides with the 50th anniversary of the publication of Marcuse’s most famous book, “One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society,” and our recent discovery of an early draft of this book that was given to Brandeis by Marcuse himself. All conference talks will be held in the Rapaporte Treasure Hall in Brandeis’ Goldfarb Library. Registration for the conference is free. Lunch will be provided…
  • Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari: Refrains of Freedom – International Conference, Athens, Greece, 24-26 April 2015

    James Luchte
    18 Aug 2014 | 2:09 pm
    Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari: Refrains of Freedom International Conference, Athens, Greece, 24-26 April 2015 The Philosophy Department and the Graduate Programme for Theory, Politics and Culture of Trent University in Ontario, Canada, in co-operation with the Sector of Philosophy of the Department of Philosophy, Pedagogy and Psychology of the University of Athens, the Department of Social Anthropology and the Department of Political Science and History of Panteion University in Athens, the Sector of Philosophy of the Department of Philosophy, Pedagogy and Psychology of the University of…
  • Counter-Multilateralism. How New Coalitions Challenge International Institutions (Video)

    James Luchte
    17 Aug 2014 | 10:15 pm
    Counter-Multilateralism. How New Coalitions Challenge International Institutions (Video) WZB Distinguished Lecture in Social Sciences by Robert Keohane (Princeton University) Videomitschnitt Kontakt: Patricia Löffler mail: “Counter-multilateralism” is an apt phrase to describe a pervasive contemporary phenomenon: the strategic use of multilateral institutions to challenge the rules, practices, or missions of multilateral institutions. States and non-state actors, intergovernmental organizations or non-governmental organizations form coalitions that respond to…
  • Diverse Lineages of Existentialism Conference – June 19-21, 2014 – Report

    James Luchte
    16 Aug 2014 | 5:21 pm
    Diverse Lineages of Existentialism   On June 19-21, 2014, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, hosted the first-ever “Diverse Lineages of Existentialism” conference. Hailed by many participants as an historic conference, it brought together hundreds of scholars from every continent (save Antarctica), who work in existentialism, phenomenology, and a variety of other approaches to philosophy and thought from Africana, feminist, Latino, Continental, Marxist and global perspectives. This conference, conceived and co-organized by committee chair Margaret A. Simons to…
  • The Unstitute – Extensions – Participation Programmes

    James Luchte
    9 Aug 2014 | 10:02 pm
    The Unstitute Participation Programmes   Spatio-Mnemonic Residences [dis]Corporate Bodies: Undermining the Institution Tovarisch Archives    
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    In Living Color

  • "Socially constructed"

    16 Aug 2014 | 9:34 am I've been thinking and reading about the idea that sex and/or gender are "socially constructed."  This is often asserted by feminists who have a debunking and liberatory agenda.  The idea is that sex and gender "binaries" are not written into the nature of things, but results of choices, perceptions, customs, cultural assumptions, etc. You couldn't abandon
  • Ethics in Gaza

    6 Aug 2014 | 7:07 am Philosophers have been writing a lot lately about Israel's military campaign in Gaza.  Francis Kamm writes on proportionality in the Boston Review; Peter Singer is critical of Israel in this essay; and Jeff McMahan also discusses proportionality in Prospect magazine.   I find Singer's essay
  • Leiter and Pollitt on Hobby Lobby

    10 Jul 2014 | 10:33 am
    I've been busy with this and that, so haven't had time to read the Hobby Lobby decision myself.  For those trying to get a grip, Brian Leiter's interview on Point of Inquiry is illuminating and so is Katha Pollitt in The Nation. They both do a good, careful job of articulating why, despite the good of religious freedom, we should be bothered by this decision, especially as women, or on behalf of
  • Gender Gaps

    7 Jul 2014 | 7:33 am
    There's a lot of worry in philosophy about the gender gap: Why does it exist? What should we do about it?  I sometimes wonder why this is thought to be so vexing and urgent, compared to other gender gaps.  The person who fixes our air conditioning is always a man. The people who mow our lawn are 100% male.  The folks who service our car are all male.  The people who try to sell you a car are
  • Borderline Cases

    24 Jun 2014 | 9:36 am
    Anne Fausto-Sterling's books are informative and fascinating.  She writes in an exploratory, non-dogmatic way that I really appreciate.  She is hard to pin down and I (often) like authors who are hard to pin down. But one argument she seems to make in her books does not convince me much -- the argument that sex must be socially constructed, based on there being intersex individuals who wind up
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    Stephen Law

  • The Mirror Puzzle

    11 Aug 2014 | 5:54 am
    4. The Mirror Puzzle (This is a chapter I wrote for a children's philosophy book called The Outer Limits (now part of The Complete Philosophy Files). This chapter was thought too abstract by the editors, and was not included).Sometimes it is the things that are most familiar to us that turn out to be the most deeply puzzling. Take mirrors, for example. How many times do you see yourself reflected in a mirror each day?1.ILLUSTRATE: BOY LOOKING INTO A MIRRORAt least ten or twenty times, I should think. Most of us never stop to think about what we see. But, as you are about to discover,…
  • Religion and Philosophy in Schools

    4 Aug 2014 | 4:02 am
    Religion and philosophy in schoolsStephen LawIs philosophy in schools a good idea? The extent to which early exposure to a little philosophical thinking is of educational benefit is, of course, largely an empirical question. As a philosopher, that sort of empirical study is not really my area of expertise.But of course there is also a philosophical dimension to this question. As a philosopher, conceptual clarification and the analysis of the logic of the arguments on either side certainly is my field. That is where I hope to make a contribution here.This essay is in two parts. In the first, I…
  • Appealing to mystery

    27 Jun 2014 | 2:38 am
    It is sometimes temptingtoappeal to mystery to get oneself out of intellectual hot water. Suppose a scientist offers a science-based criticism of Mary’s paranormal beliefs. In response Mary might say something like this: ‘Ah, but this is beyond the ability of science and reason to decide. You, Dr Scientist, are guilty of scientism, of assuming science can answer every question.’ Mary might follow this response up with a quote from Shakespeare's Hamlet: ‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy’.   Of course, most scientists…
  • My thoughts on Religious Discrimination in the UK (and the supposed gay rights vs religious rights clash)

    7 Jun 2014 | 2:34 am
    SHIFTS IN THE MORAL AND LEGAL LANDSCAPE (This is from a conference atttended by John Finnis and Chris McCrudden, and responds specifically to their comments on my peiece at the end (you might especially enjoy the endnote where I discuss Finnis's accusation that I am guilty of anti-Catholic sentiment.) The plan is for it to appear in an OUP collection. As there's no movement in that direction I am posting here in the meantime.The UK has seen a revolution in its moral and legal attitudes over the last couple of centuries, particularly with regard to discrimination.One of the earliest…
  • Draft paper on sceptical theism - part 1 for comments

    26 Apr 2014 | 8:04 am
    Sceptical Theism and Divine Deception1. Sceptical TheismEvidential arguments from evil oftentake something like the following form:If God exists, gratuitous evil does not exist.Gratuitous evil exists.Therefore, God does not existGod is a being that is omnipotent, omniscient and supremely good. Gratuitous evil is evil there is no adequate reason for God, if he exists, to permit (the evil is not necessary to secure some compensating good or to prevent some equally bad or worse evil). Why suppose the second premise is true? A no so-called ‘noseeum’ inference has been offered in its support.
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    gonepublic: philosophy, politics, & public life

  • Lefteris Kretsos on the crisis in Greece

    Noelle McAfee
    29 Jul 2014 | 4:57 pm
    Noelle McAfee:So it has been a long while since my traumatic post of Spring 2014 on being incarcerated. That unfortunate experience has led to much interest in our totally fucked up incareral state, which I’ll blog about soon. But also I am currently very interested and worried about the neoliberal austerity measures that are destroying much of southern europe, including my own country of Greece. I’m writng about this and have recently been in correspondence with the social scientist Lefteris Kretsos. Hence this reblog. Originally posted on Marketization in Europe: Over the past…
  • My New Year’s Day in Jail

    Noelle McAfee
    22 May 2014 | 5:49 pm
    On New Year’s Day 2014, before I’d had a chance to settle on my resolutions, I was thrown in jail. The day began full of resolve: by noon I had gotten in an hour of research on my new book, a quick workout, and started the dinner we were serving to homeless youth that evening for my son’s volunteer project (quiche I’d picked up at the farmer’s market, Greek roasted potatoes, black-eyed peas for good luck on New Year’s Day, green salad with a lemon vinaigrette, rolls, and maybe a dessert I’d pick up somewhere in the afternoon). Shortly after noon I headed out in my morning…
  • Feminist Political Philosophy in the SEP

    Noelle McAfee
    1 Apr 2014 | 7:04 pm
    My newly revised entry on feminist political philosophy has just been published in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.  This version has more on the history of feminism and a new taxonomy that expands on difference feminisms, diversity and postcolonial feminism (though it could still use much more on the latter), and a much expanded section on what I am calling performative feminism. Many thanks to Mary G. Dietz, Ann Garry, Bonnie Honig, Eva Kittay, Carole Pateman, R. Claire Snyder-Hall, Shay Welch, and Ewa Ziarek for their suggestions for this revision.
  • Kristeva Circle 2014

    Noelle McAfee
    1 Apr 2014 | 6:55 pm
    Julia Kristeva skyped in to the Kristeva Circle meeting at Vanderbilt this past Sunday to give a brief talk and take questions for over an hour. For a Skype session, it was amazingly intimate and personal, a great way to end an amazing meeting organized by Kelly Oliver and Rebecca Tuvel. I had the pleasure of being part of a panel on Saturday on Concepts of Women, Visions of Feminism. I talked about Kristeva’s recent article published in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association.
  • Philosophy’s Big Data and why that is good

    Noelle McAfee
    24 Mar 2014 | 4:56 pm
    The American Philosophical Association’s Executive Director Amy Ferrer guest posted today on the newapps blog.  I’m heartened that the APA is committed to collecting and reporting data on the profession in a rigorous and data-driven manner, unlike those blogs and rankings (actually I’m thinking of just one in particular) that are biased from the bottom up. It’s time to take the profession back from those who just use it for their own gain. Here’s a snippet of Ferrer’s post and a link to the whole thing: Perhaps the most powerful tool we have to increase…
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    Alexander Pruss's Blog

  • Baylor - Georgetown - Notre Dame 2014 conference

    18 Aug 2014 | 10:00 am
    The 2014 Baylor/Georgetown/Notre Dame Philosophy of Religion Conference will be held at Georgetown University October 9 through October 11.  All sessions will be held in New North 204.  Below is the schedule.  Please contact Mark Murphy ( if you plan to attend.  Please also let him know if you need conference hotel information.  And if it would help you to get funding to attend the conference if you served as a chair for one of the sessions, let him know that, also. Thursday, October 9 7-8:30 PM   Karen Stohr (Georgetown),…
  • The start of meaning

    17 Aug 2014 | 5:21 am
    The first meaningful performance did not gets its meaning from earlier meaningful performances. So it seems that meaning preceded meaningful performances. Let's say the first meaningful performance was a pointing to a distant lion. Then pointing had a meaning before anybody meaningfully pointed. Well, things aren't quite so simple. Maybe there is no "before" before the first meaningful performance, since maybe the first meaningful performance is an eternal divine meaningful performance (perhaps the generation of the Logos?). Or maybe the first meaningful performance got its meaning from later…
  • Mercenary motives

    16 Aug 2014 | 5:21 am
    A stranger is drowning in a crocodile-infested river. To pull him out, you'd need to go in the water yourself, and there is a moderate chance (say, 25%) that you would be eaten. You have no dependents to whom you owe it not to risk your life, but of course you don't like being eaten by a crocodile. It would be praiseworthy for you to engage in this heroic act. But if you don't do it, you aren't doing anything morally wrong. I want the story to be set up so this is clearly a case of supererogatoriness. You have decided not to do it. But then the stranger offers you a million dollars. And so…
  • Deciding to marry

    15 Aug 2014 | 5:21 am
    Consider this line of thought. To decide to marry y for no reason is unreasonable. To decide to marry y on the grounds that y will make one happy is selfish. To decide to marry y on the grounds that one will make y happy is arrogant. To decide to marry y on the grounds that it will make the world a better place is to be full of oneself. To decide to marry y on the grounds that God is calling one to it is unavailable to atheists and claims an implausibly good understanding of God's designs. So on what grounds can one decide to marry y? I am inclined to think that (5) can be rejected: I think…
  • Against the viability of the a priori

    14 Aug 2014 | 8:35 am
    If the notion of the a priori is viable, there is a recursive logical system S, whose soundness is a priori, such that all a priori mathematical truths are provable in S. If the notion of the a priori is viable, then the truth of Peano Arithmetic (PA) is a priori. If the notion of the a priori is viable, then it is a priori that whatever is true is consistent in every sound logical system. Assume the notion of the a priori is viable. By (1) and (2), PA is provable in S. By (3), the consistency in S of PA is a priori, and hence the consistency of S of PA is provable in S by (1). These…
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    The Splintered Mind

  • The Top Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazines

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    19 Aug 2014 | 5:57 pm
    ... in the English language, at least as implied by certain awards nominations and "best of" placements. Okay, I'm a dork. I want to apologize right away for this list, for two reasons, but then also excuse myself for two reasons. First apology: It's a little weird for me to occupy space in a philosophy blog with talk about science fiction magazines. I know! Excuse: I've come to think that science fiction, and other types of "speculative fiction" (e.g., Borges), is actually an interesting and valuable way to explore the metaphysical, ethical, and epistemological dimensions of various…
  • Why Don't We* Know Our Chinese Philosophy?

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    18 Aug 2014 | 11:04 am
    (* "we" U.S.-based philosophy professors) In 2001, I published a piece in the American Philosophical Association's Newsletter on the Status of Asian & Asian-American Philosophers & Philosophies. In light of my recent reflections about the visibility of non-Western philosophy and philosophers, and especially this remarkable piece from an Asian-American who left philosophy, I thought I'd reproduce a revised version of the essay here. I've appended two new substantive notes at the end. ----------------------------------------------------- Why Don't We Know Our Chinese Philosophy?APA…
  • SEP Citation Analysis Continued: Jewish, Non-Anglophone, Queer, and Disabled Philosophers

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    14 Aug 2014 | 2:37 pm
    Last week, I created a list of the 267 most-cited philosophers in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. I analyzed this group by gender and ethnicity, finding only 10% women and 3% ethnic minority. I've done some further analyses, but several people have urged me also to look at some other groups that might suffer prejudice, to see how they show on the list. Before getting into that, let me emphasize: I regard this list as a rough metric of a sociological phenomenon, mainstream visibility in recent Anglophone/analytic philosophy. I do not regard it as a metric of objective quality or…
  • SEP Citation Patterns: Further Analysis and Thoughts

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    14 Aug 2014 | 10:38 am
    Last week I posted a list of the 267 most-cited contemporary philosophers in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, including a gender and ethnicity analysis. I've been fiddling around with the data a bit more (as well as correcting a few errors). Comparing my 2014 analysis with my 2010 analysis:* In 2010, I posted a similar list. The biggest methodological difference is that I included historical entries in 2014, while I had excluded them in 2010. Thus, Jonathan Barnes (71st), Julia Annas (81st), Anthony Kenny (95th), and many other historians appear on the 2014 list but not in the 2010;…
  • The 267 Most-Cited Contemporary Authors in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    7 Aug 2014 | 9:39 am
    As I mentioned Monday, my son sent me a list of bibliographical entries in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, so I thought I'd update some of the citation analyses I did in 2010-2011. Below is an ordered list of the most-cited contemporary authors. Some caveats: * "Contemporary" means born 1900 or later. * Each author is counted only once per entry, and then only if that author receives a bibliographical line as the first-listed author on the entry's main page. Evaluating second authorship proved intractable. Sorry! I recognize that this results in substantial underestimation of…
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    In the Space of Reasons

  • Draft abstract for Amsterdam workshop this month

    7 Aug 2014 | 6:36 am
    Draft abstract for Amsterdam workshop this monthTitle: Anti-reductionist normativism: a price worth paying.Key words: Causal explanation, intelligibility, normativity and reductionismAbstract: There is momentum in the philosophy of psychiatry away from a picture of reductionism based on a well ordered hierarchy of levels of explanation and towards either cross level interaction or scepticism about the very idea of levels of explanation. This is a move towards explanatory pluralism and pragmatism and away from a metaphysical picture that can seem to be the unjustified imposition a priori…
  • On failing to read Lee Braver's Groundless Grounds

    9 Jul 2014 | 12:33 am
    I hope that this will not seem like much of a criticism of Lee Braver's Groundless Grounds. I cannot offer a philosophical engagement with it because, although I have turned every page and, as much as ever, read every word (with the usual re-reading of particularly tricky, pithy passages) I don't think that I have actually read it.So first a rough sketch of that thought and then, second, a brief suggestion as to why.What do I think when I think that I have read a book in the, I guess, normatively charged sense of the word I am trying to deploy? Something like this: I have grasped sufficient…
  • Rough airport thoughts on craft versus science

    8 Jul 2014 | 6:33 am
    In the last presentation of the conference I've been to, Tom Burns, Oxford Psychiatry, put forward a distinction to help to ward off anti-psychiatric criticism of psychiatric diagnosis. He suggested that anti-psychiatric commentators often helped themselves to an unfair characterisation of psychiatry in order to help support their own comments. But, he suggested, it was unfair to claim that psychiatric diagnosis failed tests of good science (one such accusation) because psychiatry was a craft not a science. Evidence for this was the very length of medical education, its connection to…
  • DSM-5 and the future of psychiatric diagnosis

    7 Jul 2014 | 5:34 am
    I am in Geneva at a Brocher Symposium on DSM-5 organised by Matthew Smith. It is an interdisciplinary session with philosophers, historians, anthropologists and clinicians. My own contribution was to be a discussant for a paper by Vicky Long on the history of the the diagnosis of occupationally caused mental illnesses. Playing that role reminded me of the difficulty of commenting on one discipline from within another: the worry that one is simply missing the point. For example, if a paper charts the history of actual happenings, is it at all relevant to ask normative questions about whether…
  • Eulogy for my mother, Mij Thornton

    18 Jun 2014 | 2:14 pm
    "My brother and I wanted to say something about my mother Mij’s friendships. She had a great capacity for making friends which, perhaps, she didn’t share with the male members of her family, sadly. She really enjoyed her friendships. But in thinking about what I would say about this, I realised how partial anything I might say would be. It is partial in two senses. Nothing a son says about his mother at her funeral would be anything other than biased. This is not the time for an objective view of a life. It is partial, however, for a second reason. I experienced, directly, only a very…
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    Freemason Information

  • Freemasonry’s Religion

    The Euphrates
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:27 am
    For some reason, I have noticed a lot of people talking about how religion influences Freemasonry lately. Some folks have proclaimed that the foundations of Masonry are found in Kabbalah or Hermeticism. Others argue that Masonry is essentially a Christian art. Quite frankly, I disagree with both camps and find both sides a bit annoying. I am a firm believer that Freemasonry is impartial to religion. However, I am also familiar with the old saying “those that live in glass houses should not throw stones.” So why do I reside in a glass house? Because at one point in my life I was guilty of…
  • Freemasonry, The Religion of Not Being a Religion

    Greg Stewart
    30 Jul 2014 | 8:30 am
    The following comes from a piece I wrote in 2007 on the Masonic Traveler blog. It addressed, at that time, question of Freemasonry being a religion. While the ideas may have evolved some over the years, the message in it seems to still bear some resonance in light of the question rearing its head once again. Is Freemasonry a Religion? What perplexes me is why does it matter? Why does answering the question even matter any more to the cackling hens of the I’m right your wrong neener neener neener bunch. They have their opinion, and to them, were just wrong and ALL going to hell. So, here…
  • The Moral Law

    Greg Stewart
    29 Jul 2014 | 10:10 am
    With the recent decision by the Grand Master of Florida on the exclusion of Pagan, Wiccan, or men of other “non traditional faiths” based on the Charges of a Free-Mason, I thought it a good time to look at these mysterious Masonic charges and try to put them into a historical context. I explored this subject in 2012 in an article Whence Came the Moral Law in Freemasonry, and so picking up on that work, considered another exploration relative to the Florida decision. Anderson’s Charges, originally written and published in 1722 (with a revision in 1738), have their origins in…
  • The Age Old Question: Is Freemasonry A Religion?

    Fred Milliken
    27 Jul 2014 | 9:29 pm
      Yes, Freemasonry Is Religion, And It’s Incompatible With Some Christian Beliefs. Here’s Why. Matt Gallagher July 21, 2014 I’ve been a Freemason for only about four years, but I’ve already done a lot of changing in my views. One view I used to have, which I think most first years have is that Freemasonry and Christianity are totally compatible. Oh the many internet arguments we enter, arguing “no, we don’t have a problem with Catholics, but the Catholic Church has a problem with us,” and “Evangelical Christianity is perfectly compatible with Freemasonry.” These kind…
  • A Secret History of the Civil War

    Greg Stewart
    20 Jul 2014 | 8:03 am
    The origins of the Knights of the Golden Circle can be traced to Cincinnati con man George Bickley. University of Cincinnati Civil War historian, Mark Lause, has a new book out titled A Secret Society History of the Civil War (University of Illinois Press). It’s a look at secret societies (societies similar to the Freemasons) that were active in the years leading up to and during the Civil War. KNIGHTS OF THE GOLDEN CIRCLE: JOHN WILKES BOOTH WAS A MEMBER That secret society, the Knights of the Golden Circle, was the brainchild of a Cincinnati con man named George Bickley. He…
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    Philosophy News

  • Performatives After Deconstruction

    19 Aug 2014 | 7:35 pm
    2014.08.28 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Mauro Senatore (ed.), Performatives After Deconstruction, Bloomsbury, 2013, 253pp., $120.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781441123466. Reviewed by Vernon W. Cisney, Gettysburg College Every contribution in this outstanding collection demonstrates that if deconstruction 'appropriates' the performative that finds its roots in the tradition of speech act theory, it is in order to push its logic to the point where it becomes unrecognizable. The 'performative' in speech act theory is a linguistic execution that, by its announcement, enacts the event…
  • Philip Larkin biography

    19 Aug 2014 | 7:04 pm
    Philip Larkin was callous toward people – mother and lovers included. But he gushed in the presence of hedgehogs, squirrels, bunnies, and bears… more»Continue reading . . . News source: Arts & Letters Daily
  • Reading Wallace reading

    19 Aug 2014 | 7:04 pm
    Underline, transcribe, highlight: David Foster Wallace put his anxieties – writer’s block, self-loathing, mental breakdowns – in his marginalia… more»Continue reading . . . News source: Arts & Letters Daily
  • Memoir Is Not a Status Update

    19 Aug 2014 | 7:03 pm
    In an age of constant status updates, what becomes of art forms – like literary memoir – that thrive on concealment?… more»Continue reading . . . News source: Arts & Letters Daily
  • Deconstructing Dignity: A Critique of the Right-to-Die debate

    19 Aug 2014 | 6:30 pm
    2014.08.27 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Scott Cutler Shershow, Deconstructing Dignity: A Critique of the Right-to-Die debate, Chicago University Press, 2014, 205pp, $37.50 (hbk), ISBN 9780226088129. Reviewed by Catherine Mills, Monash University Political and moral debates about euthanasia and the claimed 'right-to-die' are amongst the most emotive and bitterly fought internationally, in part because the question of whether there is a right to die (and its legitimate parameters if there is) tests some of our most basic intuitions about personhood, moral status and the…
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    The Mindful Word

  • CHAKRA WISDOM ORACLE CARDS: Are life’s answers in the deck?

    Erica Roberts
    18 Aug 2014 | 2:24 pm
    CHAKRA WISDOM ORACLE CARDS:The Complete Spiritual Toolkit for Transforming Your Life Tori Hartman [ Watkins Publishing, 2014 ] Can a deck of cards really give […] Continue reading at The Mindful Word journal of engaged living []
  • BE STILL AND KNOW SELF: A meditation exercise for quieting the ego

    15 Aug 2014 | 3:53 pm
    Many wonder how they can learn to still themselves and move into a state of peacefulness. Stilling the mind as a beginner can become very […] Continue reading at The Mindful Word journal of engaged living []
  • SOLIDARITY: Or, all mixed up in other people’s business?

    Cindy McMann
    14 Aug 2014 | 9:50 am
    We’ve all of us been incensed by a news story, cultural trend or incident on the public bus that’s led us to understand that social […] Continue reading at The Mindful Word journal of engaged living []
  • TONE AND TRANSFORM: Master the Five Tibetans yoga poses

    13 Aug 2014 | 1:39 pm
    Excerpted from The Five Tibetans Yoga Workshop: Tone Your Body and Transform Your Life by Susan L. Westbrook, Ph.D.  The rest poses Between each set of […] Continue reading at The Mindful Word journal of engaged living []
  • REJOICING IN PURE FREEDOM: It’s simpler than we think

    11 Aug 2014 | 12:18 pm
    Words Words are confusing—they demand time and space. Think about it; what makes a tree a tree? In other words, how much time is required to […] Continue reading at The Mindful Word journal of engaged living []
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    Philosophy Walk

  • Deontology with Hobbes, Locke, and Kant (R.D. Coste)
    18 Aug 2014 | 3:06 am
    Philosophy Walk Philosophy Walk - Official Site of the Podcast In our pursuit of what we ought to do when faced with any particular situation we started off with Normative ethics. Particular the category of Normative ethics knows as Deontology. In the last episode we were introduced to the Divine Command Theory, a flavor of Deontology that looks towards God for the answer. Today we are going to take a slightly different approach and ask Hobbes, Locke, and Kant what they think we should do. The post Deontology with Hobbes, Locke, and Kant appeared first on Philosophy Walk.
  • Deontology and Divine Command Theory (R.D. Coste)
    11 Aug 2014 | 3:12 am
    Philosophy Walk Philosophy Walk - Official Site of the Podcast Looking towards God for the answer as to what we should or should not do is a form of deontology called 'Divine Command Theory'. This idea that God's commands provides us with a moral compass has attracted the attention of some big names in philosophy. Rene Descartes is one such adherent, as is William of Ockham - the man credited with creating Ockham's Razor. The post Deontology and Divine Command Theory appeared first on Philosophy Walk.
  • Backward Causality (R.D. Coste)
    4 Aug 2014 | 2:14 am
    Philosophy Walk Philosophy Walk - Official Site of the Podcast As far back as we can go, our beliefs have always been based on one simple maxim. If this then that. As much as we want to... we can't change the past. So why fret about? Life is all about cause and effect. Could it be that what we perceive as a universe based on causality is just an illusion? With a little help from physics we may have a clue to solving this very question and it isn't what you'd expect. The post Backward Causality appeared first on Philosophy Walk.
  • Aesthetically Speaking (R.D. Coste)
    28 Jul 2014 | 3:49 am
    Philosophy Walk Philosophy Walk - Official Site of the Podcast Aesthetics is the branch of philosophy that asks the hard questions when it comes to art. Not only what art is, but also why we find certain things beautiful? Are judgements about art objective or subjective statements? Can those statements or judgements be modified with training, education, or experience? Or does the appreciation of art speak to our cultural values? The post Aesthetically Speaking appeared first on Philosophy Walk.
  • Philosophy Walk TV Kickstarter Campaign (R.D. Coste)
    27 Jul 2014 | 12:40 pm
    Philosophy Walk Philosophy Walk - Official Site of the Podcast The ‘Philosophy Walk TV’ Kickstarter Campaign has officially launched!  PWTV is an ambitious project and needs your help!  The focus will be on easy to access introductory videos on Philosophy.  The campaign will help to fund and produce the first 25 videos.   See it here at The post Philosophy Walk TV Kickstarter Campaign appeared first on Philosophy Walk.
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    The Philosophers' Cocoon

  • Fifth Post at Flickers

    Marcus Arvan
    19 Aug 2014 | 10:30 am
    My newest post, "How we might have phenomenal consciousness and libertarian free will, while animals might have neither", is now up at Flickers of Freedom. I hope you find all find it interesting! My next series of posts at Flickers will move away a bit from the really speculative stuff I've been focusing on in my last few posts, and turn directly to how my Libertarian Compatibilist theory of free will addresses famous anti-free will arguments: the Consequence Argument, Mind Argument, Luck Argument, etc. So, if you're at all interested in that kind of stuff, stay tuned!
  • Is it okay to write/publish on things you think are false leads?

    Marcus Arvan
    18 Aug 2014 | 8:59 am
    I had an experience at a conference recently that puzzled me a bit. A presenter was presenting on a set of philosophical views I think are false, and for which there are no good arguments. The basic thrust of the paper was this: "Many people take theory X seriously. This paper will argue that the reasons people give for X are actually reasons to think that Y is true, not X." Since I've always thought the reasons that people give for X are bad, I thought the reasons the author was giving for Y over X  were bad too (inheriting the badness of extant arguments for X). Because of…
  • What constitutes a legitimate AOS/AOC?, etc.

    Marcus Arvan
    14 Aug 2014 | 12:32 pm
    Now that fall academic job-market ads are starting to go up, candidates have to begin the process of determining which jobs to apply for. This process is not necessarily very straightforward, as indeed, two difficult questions may present themselves: When should one claim something as an AOS/AOC? When should one apply to a position advertised in an area that one does not claim as an AOS/AOC (but which one may, nevertheless, do some research in)? Question (1) is not as easily answered as it might initially appear. Consider a candidate whose doctoral work, dissertation, and published work are…
  • Fourth Post at Flickers

    Marcus Arvan
    14 Aug 2014 | 12:06 pm
    My newest post, "Holography and the Holographic Principle: or why physics might entail some new reasons to take mind-body dualism seriously", is now up!
  • Third Post at Flickers

    Marcus Arvan
    8 Aug 2014 | 11:32 am
    My third post this month at Flickers of Freedom, "The Case for Libertarian Compatibilism: A Brief Overview" is now up!
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    Re-constructing Strategy

  • 5 Pillars of Muslim Thoughtlessness

    saqib qureshi
    27 Jul 2014 | 12:11 pm
    Say anything enough times, and irrespective of the underlying reality, people will start to believe. The Muslim community is no exception. Over the years, I’ve come across several incorrect assertions by imams and the heterogeneous community, assertions that have become accepted mantra. Here is my top 5 list: “Islam is unlike any other religion because it is a way of life”. Following Manchester United is a way of life…. as is homosexuality…. as are all the great religions. Just ask anybody who lives near Old Trafford and what kind of religion it is that they follow. There’s…
  • Beyond Sovereignty

    saqib qureshi
    21 Jul 2014 | 2:14 pm
    The conventional wisdom is that the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 marked the ascendancy of the international political system of sovereign nation-states. It was then that the Roman Catholic church, so most historians suggest, lost its right to influence the internal machinations of Europe’s states… a maneuver which I can hardly imagine helped Pope Innocent X down his bacon and eggs. I of course assume he wasn’t lucky enough to get his hands on a bowl of Oatibix. At its core, the concept of national sovereignty has it that all countries are independent and autonomous in their physical…
  • The Israeli – Palestinian Conflict: The Real Bad Guys

    saqib qureshi
    13 Jul 2014 | 5:44 pm
    There are few crimes as disturbing as the killing of innocent people en masse. The recent massacres of Palestinians in Gaza, brought into our palms by social media, have been a particularly nauseous episode in the conflict’s troubled past. At the time of writing, more than 170 Palestinians were killed and a further 17,000 have sought refuge with UN agencies. Fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters have all been ripped to shreds by the Israeli bombardment. The Muslim and Arab response has been to demonize all things Jewish and Israeli. Hitler has suddenly become quite popular…
  • The Madness of Wimbledon

    saqib qureshi
    6 Jul 2014 | 2:51 pm
    Since 2007, the Championships tennis tournament at Wimbledon has awarded the gentlemen’s and ladies’ champion respectively equal prize money. This year Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova each won £1.76m for jobs well done. I am fasting because it’s Ramadan but even then this equality doesn’t quite stack up. Neither brain cell in my skull is firing any cylinders. What specifically is it that seems out of place? For a start, the ladies game only extends to a maximum of three sets, which contrasts the gentlemen’s maximum of five sets. The average ladies’ match lasts a couple of hours…
  • Is Islam Inherently Anti-Semitic?

    saqib qureshi
    29 Jun 2014 | 12:55 pm
    That was indeed the question posed to me this week by a political scientist from the University of Toronto. I was half tempted to respond with my usual vitriol about the epistemological and ontological bankruptcy of the political science industry in North America. I resisted the temptation and instead engaged the question. And as I responded, I thought it might be a good thing to float my response on my blog. First, it’s hard for a religion founded by a Semite, initially dominated by Semites and with more Semites in its ranks than has any other religion to somehow be anti-Semitic. Mohammed…
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  • Philosophy and Science: Double Team?

    Angie Hobbs
    11 Aug 2014 | 4:01 pm
    The role of the philosopher is often open to question, especially in an age when science is the dominant form of knowledge. But there remain questions that science can never answer, and that philosophy – among other disciplines – may be better equipped to address. But rather than see philosophy and science at odds with one another (as science and religion are often seen as mortal enemies) in certain fields, the two are actually inextricably linked. So argues philosopher Angie Hobbs, the Chair for the Public Understanding of Philosophy at Sheffield University, in this interview with the…
  • Are You an Illusion?

    Mary Midgley
    11 Aug 2014 | 9:04 am
    Mary Midgley, a moral philosopher and author, has been described as “the UK’s foremost scourge of scientific pretension”. At the venerable age of 94, she has published a new book, Are You an Illusion?, which examines contemporary approaches to the question of consciousness. As in previous books, such as Science as Salvation and The Solitary Self, Midgley seeks to challenge what she sees as the materialist dogmatism that dominates much of modern scientific thinking.Here, Midgley explains the popularity of Richard Dawkins, why genes aren't selfish after all, and how today's scientists…
  • Connecting the World

    Kate Russell
    11 Aug 2014 | 8:46 am
    Rarely is technology ever out of the news: from Edward Snowden's surveillance revelations to the use of drones in Iraq, Facebook's share price, or the power of social media for gender equality. So is technology a force for good or evil? Or does it simply depend on who is wielding its power?We spoke to technology expert Kate Russell, presenter of the BBC's flagship technology show Click, to find out more. Here, Russell, whose books include Working the Cloud, talks about the positive impact of technology across the globe and why we shouldn't be surprised when our digital carelessness comes back…
  • Who First into the Ark?

    Sarah Chan
    10 Aug 2014 | 5:17 pm
    Of course we want to save the panda. Pandas are cuddly, furry and charismatic, and even cuter when they sneeze. But a new approach to conservation policy suggests that we ought to be prioritising our efforts in a different way. The Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) index aims to measure how "evolutionarily distinct" (ED) a given species is, with the idea that more evolutionarily distinct species are more worth preserving. Conservation is, on the whole, a worthwhile aim; let us take that as read. But, in a world where thousands of species are in imminent danger…
  • Why We Work Too Much

    Michael Foley
    10 Aug 2014 | 5:08 pm
    The three-day week, advocated recently by the Mexican multimillionaire, Carlos Slim, is such an obviously good thing, like freshly-ground coffee and reading to children, that I can’t be bothered to argue in favour of it. The real issue is feasibility. Is it possible? I believe so because I’ve done it myself. As a lecturer, I always tried to get my week’s teaching into three days, by working evenings, so I could have the other two free for writing. The catch is that this was successful only because I took care to let no one know what I was doing. Officially I was still working five days…
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