Obligations and Duties

By Mark English In an aside in a recent piece on moral intuitionism, Daniel Kaufman remarked that he was unsure whether “there really are such things as moral obligations and duties.” [1]. I think I understand what he is getting at here, but rather than trying directly to address his question, I want to sketch out – very briefly and […]

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Panpsychism – is it testable?

By Paul So In recent years (late 90’s to the 21st century), Panpsychism has been enjoying some resurgence in philosophy. David Chalmers, Galen Strawson, Thomas Nagel, and others are seriously considering Panpsychism as a viable solution for the Mind-Body problem. But philosophers aren’t alone. In the natural sciences, some prominent scientists, even the well-known Christof Koch, are seriously considering Panpsychism […]

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Intuition and Morals

by Daniel A. Kaufman The main moral conviction of the plain man seem to me to be, not opinions which it is for philosophy to prove or disprove, but knowledge from the start. –W.D. Ross, The Right and the Good I want to say a few things about morality and intuition and the relationship between the two.  One of them […]

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Knowledge and Reality

by Daniel A. Kaufman EDITORS NOTE:  This essay originally appeared on Dan Kaufman’s previous blog, Apophenia.  We are reprinting it here, as a preface to a video discussion bewteen Dan Tippens and Dan Kaufman on realism, anti-realism, and our knowledge of the world.  That discussion will be posted this Thursday. __________________________________________________________________ If you were to go to the trouble of asking ordinary people about […]

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Constitutional Originalism and Religious Fundamentalism — Two Sides of the Same Coin

By Steve Snyder “Originalism” has arguably been the most prominent theory of legal interpretation of the U.S. Constitution since Antonin Scalia became an associate justice of the Supreme Court some 30 years ago. Scalia has been a regular lecturer at conservative legal conferences of organizations like the Federalist Society, where he advances the originalist point of view. With the addition […]

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Acceptance, Belief, and the Question of Informal Fallacies

By Daniel Tippens Introduction Informal fallacies have become a hot topic in some circles. An informal fallacy is an argumentative move that may be psychologically persuasive, but is logically incorrect. [1] For example, an argument from authority is an informal fallacy, because it involves basing one’s conclusion on the premise that one is an expert with regard to something related […]

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Critical Thinking Before the Second World War

By Michael Boyle One of the most frequently heard phrases in discussions of higher education today is “critical thinking.”  Whether the setting is a college classroom, a presentation by a university administrator, a political speech, or reports concerning what skills employers are looking for, there’s a good chance that the phrase “critical thinking” will crop up somewhere. This ubiquity, however, […]

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Interpretation and Identity in the Arts

By Daniel A. Kaufman The late and greatest of the post-Second World War aestheticians, Arthur Danto, believed that artworks are constituted by their interpretations; that what makes this artwork this one and not that one is that this one means one thing and that one means something else. (Danto: 1986)  The art-critical project, on this view, is crucial to the […]

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