Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Helen interviewed on Idealism

In a rare online appearance, Helen is interviewed on Mind Chat by Philip Goff and Keith Frankish about her book-in-progress, The View From Everywhere: Realist Idealism Without God.For highlights, see especially:36:00 - Helen explains the basics of her novel form of idealism (and how it differs from Berkeley's).53:45 - Why idealism is more plausible than you might have thought.58:20 - How idealism enables a direct realist account of perception like no other.1:56:42 - Why philosophy monographs should be followed up with a "for kids" version.There's also a bunch of interesting meta-philosophical discussion throughout, reacting to Helen's explanation that she only has about 30% credence in idealism, and correspondingly aims not to convince others that it's true, but just that they should take it more seriously than they had previously.Check out the full interview on [More]

Companies, Cities, and Carbon

This is terrible journalism:While [donating $1 billion to protect forests] is certainly notable, Bezos’s commitment to protecting the environment serves as a stark reminder that much of his legacy and largely untaxed fortune was built by companies that have staggering carbon footprints. Amazon’s carbon emissions have grown every year since 2018, and last year alone, when global carbon emissions fell roughly 7 percent, Amazon’s carbon emissions grew 19 percent.Economic activity is (for the time being) carbon-intensive. Amazon constitutes a huge and (especially during the pandemic) growing portion of the US economy. There's nothing said here to suggest that Amazon is unusually inefficient (from an environmental perspective); the author is really just complaining that Amazon is a large and growing part of the economy. (Horrors! They even had the gall to keep the economy going during the pandemic, when other companies did the green thing and shut down, bless their empty coffers...)Obviously there are all kinds of climate policies that should've been passed long ago that would help to reduce the carbon intensity of the economy (carbon taxes, more investment in green energy & research, etc.). Our lack of those needed policies is the fault of politicians, voters, and the companies that lobbied against them. Blaming other companies that are simply involved in ordinary economic activity, by contrast, makes little sense.I think we all realize it'd be silly to blame, say, New York [More]

Race/Gender Swapping: Why Not Just Create New Characters (or focus on old ones)?

In fiction, race/gender swapping occurs when an established character’s race or gender is changed. For example, the original Nick Fury character in Marvel is a white man, but this character was changed to a black man in the Ulimates and in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As another example, the original Dr. Smith in Lost in [More]