By David Ottlinger In my last essay, I made use of Glenn Loury’s work in exploring possible explanations for our polarized and partisan discourse.  I suggested that his work might help explain how society divides into distinct communities of discourse, each exhibiting a natural tendency to suppress their moderates, such that only the most uncompromising tend to remain. I […]
by Daniel A. Kaufman The mainline, analytic philosophical tradition is characterized by a programmatic rationalism that stands upon surprisingly flimsy grounds and is ultimately motivated by an obsession with autonomy and control. (1) My aim, here, is to make the case for this, as carefully – and as accessibly – as I can. I have written elsewhere on alternatives, describing […]
By David Ottlinger Only recently, I was on a long drive through the Midwest visiting family over the holidays. Driving through the Midwest, of course, means driving through hundreds of miles of cornfields until the grinding sameness wears you down. Then you have to stop at a fast food chain or, if you are lucky, a Starbucks. And so, feeling […]
My discussion with Massimo Pigliucci on the natural and social sciences. A follow up to my essay, on the Electric Agora, “Explanations in the Social Sciences.” This dialogue originally aired on the MeaningofLife.TV channel of the BloggingHeads.TV network.
By Mark English Trying to write something recently on the nature of logic, I got sidetracked by some ontological issues. Given that logic is about what follows from what and ontology is about what there is, it may not be immediately obvious that the topics are interconnected. They are (to a point). But the two subjects are rather unequal because, […]
By Daniel A. Kaufman With Spring Break rapidly approaching, I asked my students what their plans were, after telling them that my wife, daughter, and I are going to Miami Beach. Apparently, there are no traditional Spring-Breakers among my students this year, though a number of them are going on “mission trips,” with their churches. What these typically involve is […]
by Daniel A. Kaufman My discussion with Robert Wright, of BloggingHeads.TV and MeaningofLife.TV, on purpose, meaning, and the moral trajectory of mankind. Originally aired on MeaningofLIfe.TV, February 9, 2016.
By Daniel A. Kaufman http://fitelson.org/proseminar/gettier.pdf On tap this week is one of the most widely read and influential essays in epistemology, written since the Second World War, Edmund Gettier’s “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?” In this remarkably short piece, Gettier succeeded in casting doubt on what had been one of the most widely accepted ideas in philosophy – that to […]
By Paul So When I first encountered philosophy, I thought it involved improving one’s spiritual life by providing some insightful and useful instructions. So it is unsurprising that I imagined a philosopher to be a wise and noble sage who utters koan-like statements that will eventually amount to some life-changing insights conducive for practical living. Many people who haven’t had […]
By Dwayne Holmes This essay is less about reaching a conclusion than it is raising a question: what is “human nature”? Or perhaps better said: is there such a thing as “human nature”? Back at the now defunct Scientia Salon, Massimo Pigliucci expressed confusion that academics in the humanities were dismissive of the concept, and wondered if his acceptance might […]