Practicing critical public discourse

by Daniel Tippens [Note from the Editor-in-Chief: beginning with this post we will begin to implement an updated policy for commenting. The relevant bit is as follows: “The Editors at Scientia Salon do their best to keep the dialogue both civil and productive. This means that we do not hesitate to reject an unsuitable comment, either because it is … Continue reading Practicing critical public discourse


Abstract Explanations in Science

  by Scientia Salon This is a paper by Christopher Pincock, a philosopher at Ohio State University, tackling the interesting issue of whether, and in what sense, mathematical explanations are different from causal / empirical ones. Here is the abstract: This article focuses on a case that expert practitioners count as an explanation: a mathematical account of … Continue reading Abstract Explanations in Science

The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time

by Massimo Pigliucci I have devoted a serious amount of time to reading the new book by Roberto Mangabeira Unger and Lee Smolin, The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time: A Proposal In Natural Philosophy [1]. Indeed, this review actually pertains to the first part of the book, written by Unger, the philosopher in … Continue reading The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time

The nature of the past hypothesis

by David Wallace This is a special video presentation that Scientia Salon is publishing at the request of Barry Loewer, Director of the Rutgers Center for Philosophy and the Sciences [1]. It is part of a series of videos published after that came out from the 2014 conference on the philosophy of cosmology held in Tenerife, Spain … Continue reading The nature of the past hypothesis

Free to universalize or bound by culture? Multicultural and public philosophy

by Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther The accelerating flow of people (e.g., migration, whether voluntary and benign, or caused by violence and desperation) and information (e.g., the Internet) makes multiculturalism increasingly relevant. We find ourselves exposed to an ever-broader variety of smells, languages, behaviors, and attire in our daily schedules. Some of us seem impervious to this … Continue reading Free to universalize or bound by culture? Multicultural and public philosophy

Stoicism, then and now

by Massimo Pigliucci New Scientia Salon video, featuring another conversation between Dan Kaufman and yours truly. This one covers ground we have treated before [1]: the current revival of Stoicism as a practical philosophy. While the video was initially released (on BloggingHeadsTV) around the occasion of the annual Stoic Week [2], I am publishing it here in part to nudge interested readers … Continue reading Stoicism, then and now

A Bayesian approach to informal argument fallacies

by Scientia Salon This paper, which appeared in the journal Synthese in 2006, touches on a sacred cow of internet discourse, especially within atheist and skeptical communities: the idea of informal logical fallacies. I have a paper on the same topic currently in press, together with my co-authors Maarten Boudry and Fabio Paglieri, so we will return … Continue reading A Bayesian approach to informal argument fallacies

Science vs Scientism

by Massimo Pigliucci Here comes another Scientia Salon video, a conversation between Dan Kaufman and myself on the difference between science and scientism. We have covered scientism at the magazine before, featuring both pro and con views [1-5], so I promise to let the issue go for a while after this video (well, until a collection … Continue reading Science vs Scientism

Metaphysics and (lack of) grounding

by Massimo Pigliucci I must admit to always having had a troubled relationship with metaphysics. My first exposure to it was during my three years of philosophy in high school (in Italy), where the bulk of our exposure to metaphysics came down to the medieval Scholastics (of course, we also studied Aristotle and Descartes, among … Continue reading Metaphysics and (lack of) grounding