Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Recently I asked if theology were a branch of philosophy, and was encouraged by

Read another response about Religion Religion Share Recently I asked if theology were a branch of philosophy, and was encouraged by Dr. Stairs to ask my question. If we are told in Christian (Catholic at least) faith that God is the only One True God and we should not pray to any other God except Her/Him/It, then how come (in some branches) we can pray to saints or to Mary, and not be committing idolatry? One answer I've heard is that we do not "pray" to them so much as we ask them to intercede for us on our behalf....I don't know though, that sounds [More]

Videoconferencing for Climate Practice (guest post by Colin Marshall and Sinan Dogramaci)

The following is a guest post*  discussing the practice of making videoconferencing a regular component of academic conferences and the like, for the sake of the environment, by  Colin Marshall (UW Seattle) and Sinan Dogramaci (UT Austin). It follows up on Professor Marshall’s previous post, “Flying Less, Videoconferencing More“. Videoconferencing for Climate Practice by Colin Marshall and Sinan Dogramaci Fellow colloquia/conference/workshop organizers: please join us in adopting the Videoconferencing for Climate Practice! The idea is simple. By using more videoconferencing, we can both reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and make the discipline more inclusive in a very cost-effective way.   Colloquium and events organizers who adopt the Practice aim to   Have a significant percentage (at least 15%) of talks and presentations be done remotely—in particular, through videoconferencing—instead of using air travel, and Find additional ways to improve the climate impacts of our professional activities, especially at the institutional level (universities, professional associations, and governments). These include aiming for higher percentages of remote and local talks, institutional support for buying carbon offsets, institutional divestment from problematic industries, and finding ways to directly influence local and national governments. A wide adoption of the Practice would have two effects: (1) reducing greenhouse gas emissions, thereby [More]

Input Sought on New Questions for Upcoming PhilPapers Survey of Philosophers

A draft of the follow-up to the 2009 Philpapers survey of philosophical positions held by academic philosophers on various topics includes about 70 new questions. The survey’s creators, David Bourget (Western University) and David Chalmers (NYU), are seeking input from members of the profession about the new questions. (Previously.) The new survey will include the original 30 questions, plus 10 new ones that will be asked of all respondents, and 60 new ones that will each be asked of 25% of the respondents. So each respondent will be asked to answer around 55 questions. They will also be given the option to answer more, up to the total of around 100 questions. Here are the original 30 questions: A priori knowledge: yes or no? Abstract objects: Platonism or nominalism? Aesthetic value: objective or subjective? Analytic-synthetic distinction: yes or no? Epistemic justification: internalism or externalism? External world: idealism, skepticism, or non-skeptical realism? Free will: compatibilism, libertarianism, or no free will? God: theism or atheism? Knowledge: empiricism or rationalism? Knowledge claims: contextualism, relativism, or invariantism? Laws of nature: Humean or non-Humean? Logic: classical or non-classical? Mental content: internalism or externalism? Meta-ethics: moral realism or moral anti-realism? Metaphilosophy: naturalism or non-naturalism? Mind: physicalism or non-physicalism? Moral judgment: cognitivism or non-cognitivism? Moral motivation: internalism [More]

Harold Bloom, “a singular breed of scholar-teacher-critic-prose-poet-pamphleteer,” has died. He was 89... James Wood... Graeme Wood... Michael Dirda... Justin A. Sider... Dwight Garner... James Romm... Guardian... AP

Harold Bloom, “a singular breed of scholar-teacher-critic-prose-poet-pamphleteer,” has died. He was 89... James Wood... Graeme Wood... Michael Dirda... Justin A. Sider... Dwight Garner... James Romm... Guardian... [More]

Which Video Games for Which Philosophical Lessons?

It’s not unusual to solicit books, movies, and television shows that might be particularly useful for teaching about certain philosophical problems. What about video games? We had a post about this nearly five years ago, but it did not get much uptake. In the interim, the video gaming industry has continued to grow, and so has the share of the population playing these games. According to one recent report, 65% of American adults play videogames, and according to another, nearly 80% of all gamers are 18 years old or older, with half of that group being over 36 years old. Katia Samoilova, an assistant professor of philosophy at California State University, Chico, recently created a “Philosophy and Video Games” introductory course. In a news item at the CSU Chico site, she says, “Nothing is better than a video game at immersing in an experience, and specifically, testing thought experiments,” adding that “video game content rivals in its richness other media, including much… philosophical literature.” Mass Effect and The Witcher are two examples of such games named in the article. It would be great to get some more examples of video games that could be effectively used in the teaching of philosophy, along with a brief explanation of their usefulness. Which particular games speak to which particular philosophical questions, problems, or topics? Related: “Virtual Worlds and Video Games in Philosophy Teaching“; “New: [More]

Fingers feel, or feel free!

Now that I have said everything I know about the etymology of the word finger (see the posts on feeling fingers), and those who agree and disagree with me have also made their opinion public, one more topic has to be discussed, namely, the origin of the verb feel. The post Fingers feel, or feel free! appeared first on [More]

How to speak rugby

For the uninitiated, the commentary on a rugby game - foot-up, hand-off, head-up, put-in, knock-on – can make it sound more like a dance routine than the bruising sport it really is. If you don’t know your forwards from your backs, or have no idea why a player might opt to go blind, this guide is for you. The post How to speak rugby appeared first on [More]