On the Practicality of Metaphysics

Jeff Mason writes a pretty good blog post for Talking Philosophy on the practical implications of metaphysics. His article is interesting in that he doesn’t really argue for the practicality of a metaphysical entity (in this case, God) but of the practicality of belief in a metaphysical entity like God.
Jeff Mason writes a pretty good blog post for Talking Philosophy on the practical implications of metaphysics. His article is interesting in that he doesn’t really argue for the practicality of a metaphysical entity (in this case, God) but of the practicality of belief in a metaphysical entity like God. [More]

The Adjustment Bureau and Free Will

Movies are an excellent vehicle for illustrating philosophy. Whether it is the deontological ethics of The Lord of the Rings or the metaphysics of The Matrix, you can glean philosophical insight from just about any movie. When it comes to the concept of free will, The Adjustment Bureau is among recent big screen film to tackle this subject.
Movies are an excellent vehicle for illustrating philosophy. Whether it is the deontological ethics of The Lord of the Rings or the metaphysics of The Matrix, you can glean philosophical insight from just about any movie. When it comes to the concept of free will, The Adjustment Bureau is among recent big screen film to tackle this subject. [More]

What is Philosophy?

Defining philosophy, like defining any complex subject, is challenging. It’s challenging partly because it’s been around so long but also because it has many parts. But plenty of people have attempted to define the discipline and I’m going to take a stab at it in this article.
Defining philosophy, like defining any complex subject, is challenging. It’s challenging partly because it’s been around so long but also because it has many parts. But plenty of people have attempted to define the discipline and I’m going to take a stab at it in this article. [More]

New OUP Book: Metaphysical Themes: 1247-1671

New Books in Philosophy discusses this title with author Robert Pasnau. The book addresses questions like, What was the scholastic metaphysical tradition of the later Middle Ages, and why did it come “crashing down as quickly and completely” as it did towards the end of the 17th Century? Why was... [More]

Avoiding Responsibility in Ten Easy Steps

UPDATED: 1/1/2011 I had a fruitful discussion with Jack Angstreich about Strawson’s article below. Based on that discussion and other material by Strawson that Jack pointed me to, it’s become clear to me that my analysis below is wrongheaded and that I initially badly misunderstood Strawson’s argum... [More]

Creation out of Nothing

This article in The Wall Street Journal is a promotional article summarizing a central argument in Stephen Hawking’s and Leonard Mlodinow new book, The Grand Design . In the article, Hawking and Mlodinow explain that the universe appears to be fine tuned to support life but no Designer is needed to ... [More]

Sam Harris on Science and Morality

Metaphysical gadfly Sam Harris has stirred the pot once again by raising the issue of whether a general theory of ethics can be based solely on a scientific foundation. In an article for the Huffington Post, Harris responds to feedback he has received on a recent talk he gave at the TED conference i... [More]