668 posts tagged with Philosophy.
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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 - 26 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

Philosop-her

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

Covers

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

That's intelligent design, not Intelligent Design.

Daniel Dennett, known for having previously explained thinking, religion, and consciousness, recently spoke at the Royal Institution where he did a most excellent job of explaining memes [1-hour video].
posted by sfenders on Aug 17, 2015 - 22 comments

Like many things, this will require some patience to get through.

Why Time Flies: A visualization by Maximilian Kiener of philosopher Paul Janet's theory of why time seems to pass more quickly as one gets older. As Wonkblog explains it, The apparent length of a period of time is proportional to our life span itself.
posted by Cash4Lead on Aug 3, 2015 - 26 comments

Charny's Questions

Geoffroi de Charny (c. 1300 – 19 September 1356) was a French knight and author of at least three works on chivalry. One of his works, Questions for the Joust, Tournaments and War consists of a series of open-ended questions regarding the law of tournaments and the proper conduct of war. The complete set of questions has been translated into English and made available online. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Aug 1, 2015 - 13 comments

Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop.

Desire. Metaphor. The problem of many (“As anyone who has flown out of a cloud knows, the boundaries of a cloud are a lot less sharp up close than they can appear on the ground”). Implicature ("the act of meaning or implying one thing by saying something else"). Implicit bias. Feminism and globalization. Justice and bad luck. The Human Genome Project. The pineal gland (“a tiny organ in the center of the brain that played an important role in Descartes' philosophy”). Humor (“As he approached the gallows, Thomas More asked the executioner, ‘Could you help me up? I'll be able to get down by myself’”). The “Great Cosmological Debate” of the 1930s and 40s. Voting methods. Zombies.

…Read about all this and more in the remarkable Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which has just celebrated its 20th birthday. [more inside]
posted by nebulawindphone on Jul 31, 2015 - 15 comments

Why You Should Never Say: ‘Beauty Lies in the Eye of the Beholder’

"When we use the phrase, what we seem to be trying to say is that there should be a lot of room for intelligent disagreement around aesthetics – and that we don’t feel comfortable about asserting the superiority of any one style or approach over any other. It implies an acute sensitivity to conflict and a fear of being rude or mean to others. However, by resorting to the phrase, what we actually do is unleash a stranger and more reckless situation: what we’re in effect stating is that nothing is ever really more beautiful – or uglier – than anything else. This suggestion then has a way of implying that the whole subject is essentially trivial. After all, we’d never say that truths about the economy or justice were in the eyes of beholders only. We know that big things are at stake here – and over time, we’ve come to positions about the right and wrong way of approaching these topics, and are ready to discuss and defend our ideas. We wouldn’t ever say that ‘the treatment of the poor is just a subject best left entirely to the eyes of beholders’ or ‘the best way to raise children is in the eyes of beholders,’ or ‘the future of the environment is in the eyes of beholders.’ We accept that there are dangers to arguing in aggressive and unfruitful ways; but we are confident that there are sensible and polite ways to advance through these tricky yet vital debates. The same should feel true around beauty."
posted by beisny on Jul 30, 2015 - 96 comments

Cheeseburger ethics

How often do ethics professors call their mothers? My son Davy, then seven years old, was in his booster seat in the back of my car. ‘What do you think, Davy?’ I asked. ‘People who think a lot about what’s fair and about being nice – do they behave any better than other people? Are they more likely to be fair? Are they more likely to be nice?’ Davy didn’t respond right away. I caught his eye in the rearview mirror. ‘The kids who always talk about being fair and sharing,’ I recall him saying, ‘mostly just want you to be fair to them and share with them.
posted by elgilito on Jul 15, 2015 - 76 comments

Proposing certain things in terms of dystopia that are not untrue

"Science, Chance, and Emotion with Real Cosima": A Longreads profile of Cosima Herter, the show's science consultant and the inspiration for Orphan Black's character Cosima. Mostly not directly about the show, but probably contains some spoilers if you're not fully caught up through season three.
posted by Stacey on Jul 2, 2015 - 9 comments

Aarne–Thompson 410

What do Mark A. Bedau's Weak Emergence[PDF], Stewart Cohen's Contextualism, Skepticism, and the Structure of Reasons, Paul Benson's Free agency and self-worth, and Michael G.F. Martin's Perception, Concepts, and Memory have in common? They're all Sleeping Beauties. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 30, 2015 - 3 comments

Methinks I see my father. -Where, my lord?

Neurologists have coined the word "aphantasia" to describe the condition of being unable to form visual mental images, publishing a study (nonpaywalled draft) of individuals with congenital aphantasia after first encountering a subject who described a sudden onset of the condition after an unrelated medical procedure. But how reliable is self-reported introspective data anyway?
posted by yarrow on Jun 25, 2015 - 67 comments

the age of foolishness, the epoch of incredulity

Lee McIntyre writes The Attack on Truth for The Chonicle of Higher Education
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 19, 2015 - 47 comments

Miles Kimball: Secular Humanism and Universalist Unitarianism

Teleotheism and the Purpose of Life - "Please give this sermon a try. I think it has much in it that will be of interest to a wide range of readers: philosophy, cosmology, evolutionary theory, and science fiction, as well as theology. And nothing in it depends on believing in God at all." Abstract: As an enlightened form of atheism, I turn to teleotheism. Teleotheism is the view that God comes at the end, not at the beginning, where I am defining “God” as “the greatest of all things that can come true.” In this view, the quest to discover what are the greatest things that are possible is of the utmost importance. The best of our religious heritage is just such an effort to discover the greatest things that are possible. (via; previously)
posted by kliuless on Jun 7, 2015 - 33 comments

There's no such thing as AN octopus

The intelligence of octopuses is increasingly recognized, but nature is more creative than us glorified chimps ever realize on first blush. You see, octopuses are just full of neurons, but their nervous structure raises all kinds of uncanny questions--What is "intelligence" for an octopus? What is it like to be an octopus?--because most of them are in its arms. [more inside]
posted by byanyothername on Jun 4, 2015 - 26 comments

The free development of each is the condition of the war against all

Some Paths to the True Knowledge[*] - "Attention conservation notice: A 5000+ word attempt to provide real ancestors and support for an imaginary ideology I don't actually accept, drawing on fields in which I am in no way an expert. Contains long quotations from even-longer-dead writers, reckless extrapolation from arcane scientific theories, and an unwarranted tone of patiently explaining harsh, basic truths. Altogether, academic in one of the worst senses. Also, spoilers for several of MacLeod's novels, notably but not just The Cassini Division. Written for, and cross-posted to, Crooked Timber's seminar on MacLeod, where I will not be reading the comments."
posted by kliuless on May 19, 2015 - 12 comments

An Interview with T. M. Scanlon

Yascha Mounk at the utopian conducts An Interview with T.M. Scanlon: I: Free Will, Punishment and The Significance of Choice
The Utopian: One of philosophy’s oldest worries is causal determinism: the fear that, if what we do and think is determined by physical processes beyond our control, then we should abandon moral categories like praise and blame and choice. But I take it that you’re less worried about that than many of your colleagues? Tim Scanlon: I think there are three ways in which this problem arises – the problem being the possibility that a causal explanation of a reaction we give would undermine its significance in one way or another.
T.M. (Tim) Scanlon is Alford Professor of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy, and Civil Polity at Harvard, a moral philosopher, expert in contractualism, and the author of What We Owe To Each Other [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 22, 2015 - 6 comments

Revisiting the Spandrels of San Marco: an interview

The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme” was written by Harvard biologists Stephen Jay Gould and Richard C. Lewontin and published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London in 1979. Their critique of their own field of evolutionary biology spilled out of the Ivory Tower onto the pages of general intellectual forums such as the New York Review of Books. I talked by phone with Lewontin on March 2 2015. In his mid-eighties, he is still scientifically active and could recall his collaboration with Gould in detail. Our conversation is highly relevant to the “Just so story” critique that is frequently leveled against Evolutionary Psychology.
posted by sciatrix on Apr 20, 2015 - 15 comments

The golden ratio has spawned a beautiful new curve: the Harriss spiral

is a new fractal discovered by mathematician Edmund Harriss.
posted by boo_radley on Apr 18, 2015 - 29 comments

One man's "cogito" is another's "white mask"

"In short, it seems that when a white male thinks about the meaning of things, any things, it is philosophy..." (SLTheGuardian)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Mar 26, 2015 - 96 comments

People Who Live Forever: Indiana Jones’ Father, The Narrator in Borges’

TODD MAY
[PHILOSOPHER]
“In the seminar on death that I taught, there were moments where we were talking about death, and the class would just go quiet, because it was clear it was there in front of us… there wasn't really anything to say at that moment, because each of us just has to look." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 13, 2015 - 34 comments

My Father, the Philosopher

Emily Adler remembers her father:
If your father is a philosopher, then you should expect to lose many arguments. You will never lose “because life isn’t fair,” or because your dad “says so.” You will always lose on strict logical grounds… If your father is a philosopher, your premises must support your conclusion. Then, maybe once or twice in a childhood filled with lost arguments, you will win. When you win, you win big.
posted by anotherpanacea on Mar 5, 2015 - 24 comments

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