by Mark English Academics and other intellectuals have always played a role in public life, and one of their most important roles has been to speak out and to engage – through newspapers and the electronic media, for example – with a wider audience. But, over the last half-century or more, I think there has been a subtle shift in […]
By Dan Tippens Should we ever moralize to others? An interesting question, if you consider how many people seem to think so. Indeed, beyond the question of whether this sort of behavior is permissible in some way, people increasingly speak as if it is their duty to tell others what they ought to do. This is evident from the fact […]
Dear Electric Agora Readers, There will be a slight lull in publications this week due to editorial vacationing. We will resume our ordinary publication schedule starting next week. Stay tuned! -Dan Tippens and Dan Kaufman
by Daniel A. Kaufman The last of three discussions with Robert Wright on his lecture series at Union Theological Seminary. This time we address questions regarding higher purpose, whether evolution has a “direction,” and moral progress. The dialogue originally aired on June 29, 2016, on MeaningofLife.TV, part of the BloggingHeads.TV network.
by Daniel A. Kaufman When speaking of morals, the overwhelming view among philosophers is that they are criterial. Something – some action or a state of affairs – is right or wrong, obligatory or prohibited, because it satisfies certain criteria; criteria that typically come from a larger moral theory. Thus, for a Utilitarian, actions are right or wrong, obligatory or […]
by Daniel A. Kaufman The second of three discussions with Robert Wright on his lecture series at Union Theological Seminary. This time we address questions regarding tribalism, empathy, and mindfulness. The dialogue originally aired on June 24, on MeaningofLife.TV, part of the BloggingHeads.TV network.
by E. John Winner Astro Boy is a conscious robot, nuclear-powered, with synthetic skin giving him the appearance of a twelve-year-old boy, and plastic hair that sticks out like horns from the top and the left of his head. He has lasers in his fingertips, rockets in his limbs, blasters in his arms, a super-computer for a brain, “100,000 horsepower” […]
by Paul So After having been resurrected from the dead by Athena and brought up to speed on thousands of years worth of philosophy, science, and culture, Socrates has been touring the globe, confronting philosophical fools, fakes, and frauds. Today, he finds himself with science popularizer, Bill Nye, live on Big Think’s YouTube channel. The topic is Nye’s recent comments, regarding […]
By Daniel Kaufman A fantasy… ABC News, Special Report, with Pris Pruitt. Pris Pruitt: We are preempting our scheduled broadcast of Transgender Celebrity Housewives of Color in order to bring you the President of the United States, who momentarily will be giving a speech on the recent mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, which claimed some forty nine lives and left […]
By Daniel A. Kaufman Well, we’ve arrived at the last set of Course Notes for the Knowledge and Reality course I taught this past Spring. I look forward to picking the series up again, with the upper-division Aesthetics course I will be teaching in the Fall. In our last installment, we talked about Quine’s account of conceptual and ontological relativity, […]