Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

The Secret of the Human Eyes: How Evolution Shapes our Perceptions

   This post is reproduced from my blog "The Proud Holobionts" where I explore how the new concept of "Holobiont" can find applications not only in biology, but in many fields dealing with complex systems, including the human economy, memetics, and ecosystems  The short movie abov, Vikaari, has recently appeared on the "Dust" site and I think has several interesting features, relevant to the concept of holobionts.  It is very well done as a movie, although it is deeply contradictory in many aspects. For one thing, it is a narrative disaster. First, the movie tells you that the "Vikaari", children born without a visible iris in the eyes, are good people, while being the target of Nazi-like bad guys. Then, we see the Vikaari killing their pursuers using their psychokinetic powers in bloody and cruel ways, apparently without any regret. Needless to say, this completely destroys the narrative tension of the movie and leaves you totally baffled about what the filmmakers wanted to say.Indeed, I think the filmmakers were badly confused on several planes. First of all, in their decision of presenting this "new race" of children as something that will replace current human beings, engaged in destroying their own planet. Is this a hope or a fear? Difficult to say, but surely evolution doesn't work in that way. And then, why the choice of iris-less eyes as a defining mark? It is rare that people consciously perceive the [More]

Mitsuko Uchida plays Schubert at Wigmore Hall

Of recent concerts live streamed by Wigmore Hall, this stands out. Mitsuko Uchida plays Schubert’s Piano Sonata in C, D840 ‘Reliquie’, and the great Sonata in G, D894. This, surely, is Uchida at her very best, bringing out the depths, with miraculous … Continue reading → The post Mitsuko Uchida plays Schubert at Wigmore Hall appeared first on Logic [More]

Autonomous Assassination

The assassination of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh might have been conducted by a remote-controlled weapon. While this is still a conventional assassination, it does raise the specter of autonomous assassination automatons—assassin bots. In this context, an assassin bot would be capable of conducting its mission autonomously once it was deployed. Simple machines of this kind [More]

86 - Are Video Games Immoral?

Have you ever played Hitman? Grand Theft Auto? Call of Duty? Did you ever question the moral propriety of what you did in those games? In this episode I talk to Sebastian Ostritsch about the ethics of video games. Sebastian is an Assistant Prof. (well, technically, he is a Wissenschaftlicher mitarbeiter but it's like an Assistant Prof) of Philosophy based at Stuttgart University in Germany. He has the rare distinction of being both an expert in Hegel and the ethics of computer games. He is the author of Hegel: Der Welt-Philosoph (published this year in German) and is currently running a project, funded by the German research body DFG, on the ethics of computer games.You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify and other podcasting services (the RSS feed is here).Show NotesTopics discussed include:The nature of video gamesThe problem of seemingly immoral video game contentThe amorality thesis: the view that playing video games is morally neutralDefences of the amorality thesis: it's not real and it's just a game.Problems with the 'it's not real' and 'it's just a game' arguments.The Gamer's Dilemma: Why do people seem to accept virtual murder but not, say, virtual paedophilia?Resolving the gamer's dilemmaThe endorsement view of video game morality: some video games might be immoral if they endorse an immoral worldviewHow these ideas apply to other forms of fictional media, [More]