Mark English on Philosophy, science and expertise – A Naive Reply

by Peter O. Smith A number of articles have come out recently about the role and future of philosophy, contributing to a growing sense of dismay about that discipline that demands a reply. A recent essay by Mark English in Scientia Salon [1] crystallized the issue, and so it represents a good reference point for … Continue reading Mark English on Philosophy, science and expertise – A Naive Reply


The varieties of denialism

by Massimo Pigliucci I have just come back from a stimulating conference at Clark University about "Manufacturing Denial," which brought together scholars from wildly divergent disciplines — from genocide studies to political science to philosophy — to explore the idea that "denialism" may be a sufficiently coherent phenomenon underlying the willful disregard of factual evidence … Continue reading The varieties of denialism

Identity, a neurobiological perspective

by William Skaggs The philosophical problem of identity is epitomized by the paradox known as the "Ship of Theseus." Suppose a ship is rebuilt by removing one plank at a time, and replacing it with a new plank of the same shape and material. Is it still the same ship? Most people would say so. But … Continue reading Identity, a neurobiological perspective

Free will and psychological determinism

by Steve Snyder Inspired mainly by Marko Vojinovic’s recent essay on physical determinism [1], but also by Mark O’Brien on consciousness [2], Massimo Pigliucci on Hume and skepticism [3], and perhaps a bit by Graham Priest on logic and Buddhism [4], all which skirted the edges of the free will debate, I am going to … Continue reading Free will and psychological determinism

The philosophy of genocide

by Massimo Pigliucci I have recently hosted one of my regular dinner & philosophy discussions in Manhattan [1], and this time we chose the topic of genocide. More specifically, we pored over an as yet unpublished paper by NYU philosopher Paul Boghossian on “The concept of genocide” [2]. I find the topic both fascinating and … Continue reading The philosophy of genocide

An official guide for demon hunters: helpful advice from philosophers and witch-hunters

by Stephen T. Asma Halloween is coming up, reminding us to confront the lurking evils around us, and to dispatch them to the sulfuric pits from whence they came. Up your game this year with real advice from history’s best demon hunters. These saints have been taking out the trash for millennia, and it’s time … Continue reading An official guide for demon hunters: helpful advice from philosophers and witch-hunters

Why not Stoicism?

by Massimo Pigliucci Stoicism has been in the back of my mind since I was very young, initially for the obviously parochial reason that it was the prevalent philosophy among the ancient Romans, i.e., part of my broadly construed cultural heritage. (Then again it is for the same reason that Buddhism is very popular in … Continue reading Why not Stoicism?

Rescuing Aristotle

by Robin Herbert Perhaps you are familiar with the following passage from Bertrand Russell: “Observation versus Authority: To modern educated people, it seems obvious that matters of fact are to be ascertained by observation, not by consulting ancient authorities. But this is an entirely modern conception, which hardly existed before the seventeenth century. Aristotle maintained … Continue reading Rescuing Aristotle