Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

How Familiarity with Philosophy Impacts Moral Decision Making

Stephanie Brown, an undergraduate at Williams College majoring in philosophy and psychology, is completing a senior thesis on moral psychology, including “how familiarity with philosophy impacts moral decision making,” and she is seeking responses to a brief survey from people with Ph.D.s in philosophy. Ms. Brown writes: This survey takes 3-5 minutes, and completing the survey provides you with a 5% chance of winning a 100 dollar Amazon gift card. We would greatly appreciate your help by participating in this survey, as I am sure you can understand how difficult it is to find individuals with philosophical expertise.  She is hoping to get 100 respondents. We can do that, no? Here is the link to the survey. The post How Familiarity with Philosophy Impacts Moral Decision Making appeared first on Daily [More]

Impeachment Trial

After the house sent the articles of impeachment to the senate, the senators were sworn in and the trial began. As would be expected, it has played out along party lines (although Collins did vote with the Democrats on one losing vote). While the Constitution does not provide an extensive guide to the process, the [More]

“Breath” and “breathe”

I decided to make good on my promise to complete a series devoted to a few words referring to the most basic functions of our organism. The previous posts dealt with eat, drink, and throat. Now, as promised, a story of breath is coming up. The basic word here is the noun breath; it already existed in Old English and had long æ.  The verb breathe is a later derivative of the same root; it also had a long vowel. The post “Breath” and “breathe” appeared first on [More]

Syllabus Showcase: Megan Fritts, Philosophy in American Politics

by Megan Fritts Megan Fritts, Philosophy PhD Candidate and Instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, works primarily in the philosophy of action and value theory, as well as normative ethics and 19thcentury European philosophy. She is the author of “Kierkegaard and Binswanger on Faith’s Relation to Love”, and co-editor of The Hurricane Notebook: Three Dialogues [More]

John Stuart Mill and the Meaning of Life

2020.01.09 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Elijah Millgram, John Stuart Mill and the Meaning of Life, Oxford University Press, 2019, 248pp., $74.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780190873240. Reviewed by Helen McCabe, University of Nottingham One might imagine that this book is about what John Stuart Mill can tell us about ‘the meaning of life’. It is not. Instead, it is about what Millgram thinks is wrong with analytical philosophical accounts of ‘the meaning of life’, using Mill as a reductio ad absurdum. Millgram attempts to disprove the idea that one’s life, to have meaning, should have (or be) a project, by showing how disastrously wrong this went for Mill, whom Millgram takes to be the archetype of ‘life as project’. Indeed, Millgram goes so far as to argue that Mill’s life was ‘perverse’: rather than a life spent maximising pleasure (in accordance with the tenets of Utilitarianism), Mill deliberately avoided pleasure, even pursuing self-punishing behaviours:... Read [More]

Category theory and quantum mechanics

My last link to something categorical turned out to be pointing to a less-than-splended online resource. I hope this is rather better! I’d heard tell of people interested in quantum foundations and quantum information getting entangled (see what I did … Continue reading → The post Category theory and quantum mechanics appeared first on Logic [More]

Mental Representation

[Revised entry by David Pitt on January 21, 2020. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The notion of a "mental representation" is, arguably, in the first instance a theoretical construct of cognitive science. As such, it is a basic concept of the Computational Theory of Mind, according to which cognitive states and processes are constituted by the occurrence, transformation and storage (in the mind/brain) of information-bearing structures (representations) of one kind or [More]

Why you don’t know your own mind

This article was inspired by a recent piece on IAI News entitled The Mysterious Disappearance of Consciousness, in which philosopher Bernardo Kastrup analysed the work of leading illusionists and eliminativists, including Michael Graziano. What follows is Graziano's response to Kastrup's argument.The scientific work that I do on the brain basis of consciousness is sometimes misunderstood - a misunderstanding which I think comes mainly from the political divide between mystics and materialists. I am a materialist, and reactions to my work tend to follow along the lines of: ‘keep your scientific hands off my consciousness mystery’. This kind of argument often devolves into distortions and phrases examined out of context – in short, the wooly thinking of philosophy that’s lost its integrity. Among the most common and puzzling reaction I get goes something like this: ‘Graziano says that consciousness does not exist; that we lack an inner dialogue; that getting stuck by a pin, or walking [More]

The Philosophy Museum (guest post by Anna Ichino)

The following is a guest post by Anna Ichino, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Milan. A version of it first appeared at the blog, Imperfect Cognitions. The Philosophy Museum by Anna Ichino Have you ever visited a Philosophy Museum? I bet not. Apparently, though there have been some philosophy-related museum exhibits and temporary installations, there aren’t any permanent philosophy museums in the world. So my colleagues and I in the Philosophy Department of the University of Milan have decided that it is time to build the first one. In this post, I’ll tell you about this exciting project. What we had in mind was not an historically-minded museum collecting relics about the lives and works of important philosophers, but something more dynamic and interactive—built on the model of the best science museums—where philosophical problems and theories become intuitively accessible through a variety of games, activities, experiments, aesthetic experiences, and other such things. Easier to say than to do, no doubt. It’s an ambitious project, and to put it into action we had to proceed gradually. We started with a temporary exhibition, which took place in our University from November 5th to 21st. There, we created the first two actual halls of what we hope will soon become a permanent museum, together with a third ‘programmatic’ hall where we presented the plan for what still needs to be done. Thanks to a generous funding awarded to our Department as a [More]