Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Infinity

[New Entry by Graham Oppy, Alan Hájek, Kenny Easwaran, and Paolo Mancosu on April 29, 2021.] Infinity is a big topic. Most people have some conception of things that have no bound, no boundary, no limit, no end. The rigorous study of infinity began in mathematics and philosophy, but the engagement with infinity traverses the history of cosmology, astronomy, physics, and theology. In the natural and social sciences, the infinite sometimes appears as a consequence of our theories themselves (Barrow 2006, Luminet and Lachieze-Rey 2005) or in the modelling of the relevant phenomena (Fletcher et al. [More]

A quick question about animal ethics. Presumably, the philosopher who responds

Animals Ethics Read another response about Animals, EthicsShare A quick question about animal ethics. Presumably, the philosopher who responds to this would agree that if we were currently doing to humans what we do to animals in our food systems—that is, breeding and slaughtering them by the billions every year, not out of nutritional necessity, but for the sake of taste pleasure—that would be immoral. (I sure hope so!) So the question is: What is the trait absent in nonhuman animals that, if also absent in humans, would justify breeding and slaughtering humans by the billions for something as trivial as taste pleasure? The knee-jerk justification today’s nonvegans would give is that, relative to humans, animals have diminished mental capacities, and that mass confinement and slaughter is therefore acceptable. But surely intelligence can’t be the trait, because the same nonvegans would never dream of arguing that it’s okay to confine and slaughter a human being (let alone billions of them) just because he has a level of intelligence equivalent to that of a pig or cow. Neither can the missing trait be the ability to experience physical pain or psychological suffering, both of which, according to scientists like Jane Goodall, animals like cows, pigs, chickens (and yes, even fish!) evolved to do. So what is the trait? Or what are the traits? (Full disclosure: I do not believe the trait or group of traits [More]

Was Spinoza a populist? [Long read]

Recent studies of Spinoza’s political theory in a contemporary perspective often place it in one of two categories, depicting him either as a defender of individual free speech and liberal democracy or as a champion of radical democracy and collective popular power. For some, he is something like a liberal supporter of the equal individual rights of all citizens to express whatever is on their mind, an early defender of “free speech.” The post Was Spinoza a populist? [Long read] appeared first on OUPblog.        Related StoriesThe coming refugee crisis: how COVID-19 exacerbates forced displacementWhat if COVID-19 had emerged in 1719?Can skepticism and curiosity get along? Benjamin Franklin shows they can [More]

Beef with Biden

Fox News and some others on the right recently pushed the false claim that Biden intends to limit American meat consumption. The truth of the matter is that the Daily Mail baselessly linked an academic study to Biden. This study did an analysis of the possible impact of a hypothetical reduction in meat consumption by [More]

90 - The Future of Identity

What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be you? Philosophers, psychologists and sociologists all seem to agree that your identity is central to how you think of yourself and how you engage with others. But how are emerging technologies changing how we enact and constitute our identities? That's the subject matter of this podcast with Tracey Follows. Tracy is a professional futurist. She runs a consultancy firm called Futuremade. She is a regular writer and speaker on futurism. She has appeared on the BBC and is a contributing columnist with Forbes. She is also a member of the Association of Professional Futuriss and the World Futures Studies Federation. We talk about her book The Future of You: Can your identity survive the 21st Century?You can download the podcast here or listen below. You can also subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify and other podcasting services (the RSS feed is here).  Show NotesTopics covered in this episode include:The nature of identityThe link between technology and identityIs technology giving us more creative control over identity?Does technology encourage more conformity and groupthink?Is our identity being fragmented by technology?Who controls the technology of identity formation?How should we govern the technology of identity formation in the future?Relevant LinksThe Future of You by TraceyTracey on TwitterTracey at ForbesFuturemade consultancyTracey's talk to the London Futurists [More]

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Dr. Robert McKim
  • on Religious Diversity
  • Professor of Religion and Professor of Philosophy
  • Focuses on Philosophy of Religion
  • Ph.D. Yale

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Dr. Alvin Plantinga
  • on Where the Conflict Really Lies
  • Emeritus Professor of Philosophy (UND)
  • Focuses on Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion
  • Ph.D. Yale

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Dr. Peter Boghossian
  • on faith as a cognitive sickness
  • Teaches Philosophy at Portland State University (Oregon)
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  • Has a passion for teaching in prisons
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