687 posts tagged with Philosophy.
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“‘This is shit. I’m one of the other people who got the shit!’”

Shitstorm In Academia As Professors Receive Packets Of Poop [Buzzfeed News] Junk mail took on a new meaning when three philosophy professors received envelopes of feces last summer. Now, the hunt is on for the 'poopetrator'. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Oct 10, 2016 - 59 comments

an uncompromising desire to tell it like it is, architecturally speaking

Brutalism Is Back [The New York Times] “But now, like the chevron mustache, Brutalism [wiki] is undergoing something of a revival. Despite two generations of abuse (and perhaps a little because of it), an enthusiasm for Brutalist buildings beyond the febrile, narrow precincts of architecture criticism has begun to take hold. Preservationists clamor for their survival, historians laud their ethical origins and an independent public has found beauty in their rawness. For an aesthetic once praised for its “ruthless logic” and “bloody-mindedness” — in the much-quoted phrasing of critic Reyner Banham — it is a surprising turn of events.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Oct 6, 2016 - 70 comments

Mary Cavendish: 17th century duchess, author, scientist, philosopher

Browse through the history of science fiction and you don't see many women named. One of the first is Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, who published a proto-SF novel in 1666, 152 years before Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Also notable, Mary Cavendish published her book, titled The Description of a New World, Called The Blazing-World (Internet Archive), under her own name. The book is a curious mixture of themes and styles: part science fiction, part fantasy, part scientific musing, part political tract, part social commentary and satire, and part autobiography. This diversity of topics reflected the amazing life and interests of its "Happy Creatoress," a woman of means but without formal education of her male peers. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 29, 2016 - 13 comments

Moving The Window of Acceptability

How Morality Changes in a Foreign Language. Studies show that the way we think about moral questions is subtly influenced by the language we're using at the time. People using a non-native language tend to be more cerebral and less emotional. What does this say about the concept of the moral center, or "just knowing" what's right and what's wrong?
posted by Kevin Street on Sep 15, 2016 - 12 comments

Dataism: Getting out of the 'job loop' and into the 'knowledge loop'

From deities to data - "For thousands of years humans believed that authority came from the gods. Then, during the modern era, humanism gradually shifted authority from deities to people... Now, a fresh shift is taking place. Just as divine authority was legitimised by religious mythologies, and human authority was legitimised by humanist ideologies, so high-tech gurus and Silicon Valley prophets are creating a new universal narrative that legitimises the authority of algorithms and Big Data." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 7, 2016 - 45 comments

Kakonomics, or the strange preference for low-quality outcomes

‘I think that an important concept to understand why does life suck so often is Kakonomics, or the weird preference for Low-quality payoffs’—Gloria Origgi. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on Aug 22, 2016 - 40 comments

there exists no evidence for ontological nihilism...

John O'Leary Hawthorne and Andrew Cortens: TOWADS AN ONTOLOGICAL NIHILISM (JSTOR, Springer, Academia.edu )
In this paper, we wish to motivate a radical cluster of metaphysical pictures that have tempted philosohpers from a variety of traditions. These pictures share one important theme - they refuse to accord countable entities any place in the fundamental scheme of things. Put another way, they all suggest that the concept of an object has no place in a perspicuous characterization of reality. Such pictures suffer from a number of fairly obvious prima facie difficulties. They seem to fly in the face of common sense. They seem to suggest that just about everything we say is false. They seem to gesture at a noumenal reality that human language is unable to describe. And so on. Our aim is to meet such difficulties head on, and by doing so, vindicate this sort of radical picture as one that deserves to be taken seriously.
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 20, 2016 - 43 comments

My guess is Schopenhaur will kill a lot of people.

Who would win in a knife fight between all the philsophers. Unlike the United States Presidency, Philosophy has been going on for thousands of years, so instead of 44 contestants there are a whopping 89. Don’t be afraid of the numbers, for I guarantee you won’t get bored; philosophers are a very interesting bunch of people, and the most rewarding part of this post has been researching their lives and finding out how crazy they all are. This will be a wild knife fight. [more inside]
posted by Just this guy, y'know on Aug 10, 2016 - 54 comments

The Moral Machine

The Moral Machine: Welcome to the moral machine! - you are a self-driving car, unfortunately something has gone horribly wrong - who put that wall there? Regrettably, you are now about to crash and must choose the lesser of two evils. Do you kill your passengers or that old lady and her cute little doggy crossing the road? - A new MIT project provides a public exploration of the kinds of trolley problem style dilemma's that self-driving cars may have to face and allows us to compare our shared moral intuitions.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory on Aug 8, 2016 - 70 comments

Literature has more dogs than babies

When I became pregnant four years ago, I was writing a book about 19th-century British poetry and war while teaching classes about the history of war literature. I began to think about the discrepancy between how we narrate these experiences. We have a rich, challenging, and complex canon of war literature...The same cannot be said about a literature of pregnancy or childbirth or parenting, though these are also extreme experiences that stretch our understanding and push us beyond comfort or even comprehension. [more inside]
posted by jebs on Aug 5, 2016 - 20 comments

The Philosopher of Feelings [SLNewYorker]

A New Yorker profile by Rachel Aviv: Martha Nussbaum’s far-reaching ideas illuminate the often ignored elements of human life—aging, inequality, and emotion.
posted by listen, lady on Jul 19, 2016 - 8 comments

No porn category exists in their honor. Yet.

Do you find bookish people sexy? You may be sapiosexual. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Jul 10, 2016 - 117 comments

Is Polite Philosophical Discussion Possible?

It is a big part of moral behavior in ordinary situations not to kill people. Yet the morally healthy inhibition against killing people has to be lost, of necessity, in war—even in a morally justified war. It is a big part of politeness—not in the sense of using the right fork, but in the sense of civility—in ordinary situations not to tell another person that she is wrong and misguided about something she cares a lot about, or that she cares about being right about. For brevity’s sake, let’s just say it’s a big part of politeness or civility not to correct people. Yet the civilized inhibition against correcting people has to be lost, of necessity, in a philosophical argument.
Is Polite Philosophical Discussion Possible?
posted by y2karl on Jun 27, 2016 - 55 comments


The Economic Lessons of Star Trek's Money-Free Society - "[Manu Saadia] points to technologies like GPS and the internet as models for how we can set ourselves on the path to a Star Trek future. 'If we decide as a society to make more of these crucial things available to all as public goods, we're probably going to be well on our way to improving the condition of everybody on Earth', he says. But he also warns that technology alone won't create a post-scarcity future... 'This is something that has to be dealt with on a political level, and we have to face that.' " (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 21, 2016 - 102 comments

Sapiens 2.0: Homo Deus?

In his follow-up to Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari envisions what a 'useless class' of humans might look like as AI advances and spreads - "I'm aware that these kinds of forecasts have been around for at least 200 years, from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and they never came true so far. It's basically the boy who cried wolf, but in the original story of the boy who cried wolf, in the end, the wolf actually comes, and I think that is true this time." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 24, 2016 - 23 comments

“failed to uphold the standards of ethical behavior”

Ethics and the Eye of the Beholder by Katie J.M. Baker [Buzzfeed] Thomas Pogge, one of the world’s most prominent ethicists, stands accused of manipulating students to gain sexual advantage. Did the fierce champion of the world's disempowered abuse his own power? [more inside]
posted by Fizz on May 20, 2016 - 46 comments

Department of European and American Philosophy

If Philosophy Won’t Diversify, Let’s Call It What It Really Is "The vast majority of philosophy departments in the United States offer courses only on philosophy derived from Europe and the English-speaking world. [...]Indeed, of the top 50 philosophy doctoral programs in the English-speaking world, only 15 percent have any regular faculty members who teach any non-Western philosophy. [...] We therefore suggest that any department that regularly offers courses only on Western philosophy should rename itself “Department of European and American Philosophy.”"
posted by OmieWise on May 11, 2016 - 105 comments

The Philosopher Who (Kinda) Outsmarted Einstein

Henri Bergson was one of the most celebrated philosophers of the early 20th century, and his very public conflict with Albert Einstein over "the nature of time" was considered the reason that Einstein's 1921 Nobel Prize was NOT awarded specifically for his Theory of Relativity. Ouch.
posted by oneswellfoop on May 11, 2016 - 24 comments

"Trolls differ primarily in their for-the-sake-of-which."

Aristotle's "On Trolling" (pdf; html), translation by Rachel Barney: One might wonder whether there is an art of trolling and an excellence; and indeed some say that Socrates was a troll, and so that the good man also trolls. And this is in fact what the troll claims: that he is a gadfly and beneficial, and without him to ‘stir up’ the thread it would become dull and unintelligent. But this is incorrect. For Socrates was speaking frankly when he told the Athenians to care for their souls, rather than money and honors, and showed that they lacked knowledge. And this is not trolling but the contrary, exhortation and truth-telling—even if the citizens get very annoyed. (via)
posted by sapagan on May 6, 2016 - 23 comments

Why Spinoza still matters

At a time of religious zealotry, Spinoza’s fearless defence of intellectual freedom is more timely than ever Steven Adler, professor of Jewish Studies, in Aeon.
posted by joost de vries on May 1, 2016 - 28 comments

Buried Ideas

‘For over two millennia,’ Ian Johnson writes, ‘all our knowledge of China’s great philosophical schools was limited to texts revised after the Qin unification.’ Now a trove of recently discovered ancient documents, written on strips of bamboo, ‘is helping to reshape our understanding of China’s contentious past.’ [more inside]
posted by schneckinlittle on Apr 11, 2016 - 13 comments

"A beautiful speech! But of course it has to be demolished."

The Drinking Party (1965): a modern dress re-enactment of Plato's Symposium, written and directed by Jonathan Miller. Leo McKern stars as a rather donnish Socrates. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Apr 11, 2016 - 9 comments

Your attention: please?

Blaming technology for the rise in inattention is misplaced. History shows that the disquiet is fuelled not by the next new thing but by the threat this thing – whatever it might be – poses to the moral authority of the day--Frank Furedi, The Ages of Distraction [more inside]
posted by MoonOrb on Apr 4, 2016 - 11 comments

Hilary Putnam (1926-2016)

Hilary Putnam, one of the most important analytic philosophers of the last hundred years, died today from mesothelioma. [more inside]
posted by Jonathan Livengood on Mar 13, 2016 - 54 comments

Joseph Heath on the benefits of risk-pooling and the social safety net

Privatization and demutualization. A concise explanation of the efficiency gains of health insurance and public pensions, from Canadian philosopher Joseph Heath. Heath points out that the "social safety net" provides tremendous gains from risk-pooling, completely separate from redistribution or reduced inequality. [more inside]
posted by russilwvong on Mar 10, 2016 - 9 comments

Digital Humanism

The Digital in the Humanities: An Interview with Franco Moretti - "the term 'digital humanities' (DH) has captured the imagination and the ire of scholars across American universities. The field, which melds computer science with hermeneutics, is championed by supporters as the much-needed means to shake up and expand methods of traditional literary interpretation and is seen by its most outspoken critics as a new fad that symbolizes the neoliberal bean counting destroying American higher education. Somewhere in the middle of these two extremes lies a vast and varied body of work that utilizes and critically examines digital tools in the pursuit of humanistic study. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 9, 2016 - 21 comments

Thinking in Slow Motion

"Why are so many smart people such idiots about philosophy?"
posted by cosmic owl on Mar 6, 2016 - 170 comments

View from the left eye

The self-portrait of Ernst Mach. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Feb 18, 2016 - 10 comments

How fortunate you’re not Professor de Breeze

Given that it's no longer widely taught in even the most prestigious high schools in the US and UK, and given the current economic climate, Why should Millennials Study the Classics?
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 5, 2016 - 47 comments

Best Philosophical Blogging of 2015

3QD has announced its top picks for philosophy blogging:
1. Top Quark: Vidar Halgunset, Slow Corruption
2. Strange Quark: Daniel Silvermint, On How We Talk About Passing
3. Charm Quark: Lisa Herzog, (One of) Effective Altruism’s blind spot(s) [more inside]
posted by anotherpanacea on Dec 28, 2015 - 14 comments


At Philosop-her, Meena Krishnamurthy invites women in philosophy to introduce themselves and their work. For example, Elizabeth Barnes, "Confessions of a Bitter Cripple": "I have sat in philosophy seminars where it was asserted that I should be left to die on a desert island ... I have been told that, while it isn't bad for me to exist, it would've been better if my mother could've had a non-disabled child instead ... And these things weren't said as the conclusions of careful, extended argument ... They were the kind of thing you skip over without pause because it's the uncontroversial part of your talk." [more inside]
posted by Wobbuffet on Dec 19, 2015 - 13 comments

Why Blowjobs Are More Intimate Than Sex

Okay obviously NSFW and it's College Humor, but when you think about it, why are blowjobs considered less intimate than penetrative sex?
posted by Megami on Dec 7, 2015 - 62 comments

Law is alive. Listen.

Life of the Law is a scrupulously fair podcast that tells stories and asks questions about the place where the law and everyday life intersects. As part of its commitment to making the law accessible, each episode comes with a full transcript. Life of the Law has covered a variety of topics ranging from pregnancy and motherhood in prison to rules about where cops can live to the hidden costs of traffic stops to the reason lawyer ads get so ridiculous. You learn useful tidbits, too, like the secret power of jury nullification and how difficult it is to legally sell weed in "legal" states. Not all the episodes are so weighty, though; Life of the Law has also been known to cover things like history of legal humor.
posted by sciatrix on Dec 3, 2015 - 14 comments

Who do you mean by we?

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari - "The book delivers on its madly ambitious subtitle by in fact managing to cover key moments in the developmental history of humankind from the emergence of Homo Sapiens to today's developments in genetic engineering." Also btw, check out Harari on the myths we need to survive, re: fact/value distinctions and their interrelationships.
posted by kliuless on Nov 8, 2015 - 7 comments


A series of 55 animated vintage book graphics by Henning M. Lederer
posted by leibniz on Oct 30, 2015 - 4 comments

No matter where I am, the public libraries belong to me. I’m the public.

The role of the modern librarian, and other things. Interviewed by Erica Heilman, in which Jessamyn elaborates on librarians and libraries, the people they help, some of their needs, teaching tech and online skills in a rural community, and the balance of the online and the offline life. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Oct 18, 2015 - 24 comments

A ponderous, scholastic joke

On the Nature of Things Humanity Was Not Meant to Know: Cosma Shalizi considers Lucretius' De Rerum Natura ('On the Nature of Things') as a "real-life Necronomicon, a book full of things humanity was not meant to know."
posted by kliuless on Oct 4, 2015 - 9 comments

Muse Mull Ruminate Reflect

Pseudorandom ramblings from the Early Web, linked without the facility of Twine, and presented by some mysterious digital artist calling himself Martin Action. Later, about the time Geocities and First-generation sites were collapsing into bitrot oblivion, the Cauldron resurfaced on another domain, that of artist Paul Smedberg, with clues to the Cauldron's origins: "I made the first draft of this site before I had ever seen the internet, using a copy of Mosaic and a text editor on my home computer. What the site lacks in visual aesthetics, it makes up with sheer volume." Humble words from a clever Early Web denizen, but have you ever heard the Fanfare for the Uncommon Man? [more inside]
posted by colex on Sep 30, 2015 - 7 comments

The Darkness Before The Right

As the twenty-first century gets darker, politics are likely to follow suit, and for all it’s apparent weirdness, neoreaction may be an early warning system for what a future anti-democratic right looks like. (Previously.)
posted by StopMakingSense on Sep 29, 2015 - 106 comments

"the moé-points extracted from the database enable real emotions."

It is curious that while there are erotic works that appeal to otaku, in Azuma’s account the erotic is subordinated to the emotional. For example, “games produced by Key are designed not to give erotic satisfaction to consumers but to provide an ideal vehicle for otaku to efficiently cry and feel moé, by a thorough combination of the moé-elements popular among otaku.”
McKenzie Wark on the work of Hiroki Azuma: Otaku philosophy
posted by MartinWisse on Sep 25, 2015 - 8 comments

nobody likes to be reminded, even implicitly, of his own selfishness.

"Julia is a do-gooder – which is to say, a human character who arouses conflicting emotions. By 'do-gooder' here I do not mean a part-time, normal do-gooder – someone who has a worthy job, or volunteers at a charity, and returns to an ordinary family life in the evenings. I mean a person who sets out to live as ethical a life as possible. I mean a person who is drawn to moral goodness for its own sake. I mean someone who commits himself wholly, beyond what seems reasonable. I mean the kind of do-gooder who makes people uneasy."
posted by divined by radio on Sep 25, 2015 - 125 comments

Indian Philosophy Without Any Gaps

The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps is filling in gaps by starting a new podcast feed [iTunes link] dedicated to the history of philosophic traditions other than the one that started with the Ancient Greeks. The first tradition covered will be Indian philosophy, but the series will move on to Africa and China, and perhaps elsewhere as well. The primary author of the India episodes is Prof. Jonardon Ganeri but Prof. Peter Adamson will co-write, present each episode, and probably come up with illustrative examples involving giraffes, Buster Keaton, and his non-existent trapeze-artist sister. [Adamson's main History of Philosophy podcast previously and subsequently]
posted by Kattullus on Sep 20, 2015 - 15 comments

How an 18th-Century Philosopher Helped Solve My Midlife Crisis

Was David Hume inspired by Buddhist thinking in the 18th century? Alison Gopnik explores the idea in a touching article about her recovery from depression and divorce along with her discovery that Hume may have been influenced by more than just Descartes and Spinoza. [more inside]
posted by fremen on Sep 18, 2015 - 13 comments

Well, Socrates, I am happy to tell you what a sandwich is

Is this a sandwich? Teaching the Platonic Dialogues through sandwiches. A philosophy professor thinks of a new way to get her students to think about the Socratic method. [more inside]
posted by colfax on Sep 10, 2015 - 139 comments

your enthusiasm is great

TECHGNOSIS, Technology and The Human Imagination [msn] | Jason Silva and Erik Davis
posted by kliuless on Sep 7, 2015 - 1 comment

Basic Income: How to Fix a Broken Monetary Transmission Mechanism

FINLAND: New Government Commits to a Basic Income Experiment - "The Finnish government of Juha Sipilä is considering a pilot project that would give everyone of working age a basic income."[1,2,3] (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 4, 2015 - 24 comments

'Self' is a perpetually rewritten story

The dangerous idea that life is a story.
posted by BuddhaInABucket on Sep 3, 2015 - 91 comments

Life – simple life – is always right.

"Life does not have a narrative arc. The world does not have a narrative arc. Or if it does, it’s bigger than anything we could ever fucking write about." An unusually great, philosophical interview with punk/DIY legend Ian MacKaye on self-preservation, digital obsession and finding your life tree trunk.
posted by naju on Aug 24, 2015 - 13 comments

Anti-GMO thinking

'Why People Oppose GMOs Even Though Science Says They Are Safe - Intuition can encourage opinions that are contrary to the facts' (SciAm)
posted by peacay on Aug 22, 2015 - 176 comments

Wine, Conversation, & a Hike With The Scariest Guy in Black Metal

Gaahl is the former vocalist for Gorgoroth, Norwegin black metal powerhouse and satanic ideologues. In 2005 he was sentenced to 14 months in prison for beating and torturing an intruder in his home. In 2007 Vice went to the remote Norwegian hamlet of Espedal (named for/owned by Gaahl's family for generations) to talk music, philosophy, painting, and get some insights into True Norwegian Black Metal. [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Aug 18, 2015 - 34 comments

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