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Time Capsule

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 […]

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On Moralizing

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 […]

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Ethics, Criteria, and Moral “Thickness”

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 […]

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Astro Boy and the Mark of the Human

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” […]

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A Discussion with Bill Nye

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 […]

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Course Notes – Donald Davidson, “On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme”

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, […]

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