Dave Chalmers has just launched PhilPapers, a directory of nearly 200,000 online papers in philosophy. This is a jawdropping and amazing resource for philosophical research. For evidence of the scope of this project and the care that has been given to it, see the taxonomy of philosophy that was developed for the site.
On September 9th 2006, 112 of the world's writers, artists, activists, and social entrepeneurs (nominees here) will gather for a Table of Free Voices in Berlin, Germany, discussing questions about the important issues of today. Who provides those questions? You.
We are because of others. We are born into this world with minds as naked as our bodies and we have to rely on others to feed, clothe us, and to teach us to think of ourselves as selves. The key is language -- grammatical speech and human culture build upon the brain's biological capacities to create a mind that is something different again than that with which we are born. We are conscious because we can speak to others and ourselves, because we can speak of ourselves to others and ourselves. Language gives us as individuals, memory, and as groups, culture, the social memory. Or so thought Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky, among others. Welcome to the the neuronaut's guide to the science of consciousness.
MMmmm, doughnut. (NYT link, reg. req'd) Lots of great philosophical answers to the old universe question, like our galaxy is in some giant's fingernail, and others. How about this one? Our universe is the shape of a doughnut! (more inside)