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Hello! I'd like to ask about syllogisms. I have a particular problem when

Logic Read another response about LogicRead another response by Stephen MaitzenShare Hello! I'd like to ask about syllogisms. I have a particular problem when understanding this certain syllogism: Some girls are single. Some girls are sad. Therefore, some girls are single and sad. While I think it is valid, I cannot fully make an accurate explanation as to why it is. Hoping somebody could help me. [More]

Puzzling Conditional Obligations

If you make a promise (and haven't been released from it), then you're obliged to keep your promise.  The obligation is, in a sense, conditional. Note that you've no moral reason to go around making extra promises just so that you can keep them.  Keeping promises isn't a good to be promoted in this way.  (We might instead think that keeping a promise is neutral, while breaking one is bad.)It's natural to think that obligations that are in this way "conditional" should mimic this axiological structure: being bad to violate, but neutral between complying and cancelling. For if they were positively good to comply with, that reason would seem to transmit up the conditional and yield us an unconditional reason to get yourself into a position where the obligation (applies and) can be met.With this in mind, the following putatively conditional obligations begin to look puzzling:(1) The obligation of the rich to donate significant amounts of money to charity.Giving to charity is straightforwardly good.  So there's just as much reason to become rich in order to give more to charity, as there is to give to charity once already rich. (I think Peter Unger was the first to make this point?)  For a concrete illustration, suppose a talented young person is choosing between two life paths: (i) a struggling artist earning $40k and donating 10% of it, or (ii) a financial trader earning $500k per year and donating just 1% of it.  People in [More]

Bolzano’s Logic

[Revised entry by Jan Šebestik on October 12, 2021. Changes to: Bibliography] Bernard Bolzano (1781 - 1848), of Italian-German origin, was born and died in Prague. He spent his entire life in Bohemia (today part of the Czech Republic), which remained part of the Austrian Empire until 1918. He studied philosophy, mathematics and theology and became a Catholic priest and professor of the science of religion at the University of Prague. He devoted his life to the reform of the backward semi-feudal Austrian society and of the a priori sciences: logic, mathematics and theology. Because of his unorthodox views on the constitution and the government, he was removed in [More]

How can we solve the energy crisis and mitigate climate change?

Symptoms of the looming climate crisis abound: 50-year extreme heat events happening every year, melting of polar ice sheets, forest fires that encircle the globe, tropical cyclones of greater size, intensity and, as was very evident in Ida’s recent visit to New York, unprecedented levels of precipitation.       Related StoriesThe activism of Fannie Lou Hamer: a timelineTake a virtual tour of America’s national parks: the Grand StaircaseStereotypes of atheist scientists need to be dispelled before trust in science [More]