The upside of delusional beliefs

by Lisa Bortolotti Imagine that you are taking a walk in your hometown when you notice a dog on the steps of a Catholic church. While you pass the front of the church, the dog gets up on his hind legs. Then he moves his front paw forward. What do you make of this? Probably … Continue reading The upside of delusional beliefs

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Lee Smolin and the status of modern physics

by Joe Boswell [This is the first interview we are publishing here at Scientia Salon, hopefully the beginning of a new interesting trend at the magazine.] I write a science and philosophy blog called Adams’ Opticks [1], and about a year and a half ago I published an in-depth critique of Lee Smolin’s Time Reborn, … Continue reading Lee Smolin and the status of modern physics

Physicists and philosophers

by Massimo Pigliucci and Dan Kaufman As part of the new direction at Scientia Salon [1] we are beginning to (occasionally) publish video conversations. This first one (and several of the forthcoming ones) features myself and Missouri State University's philosopher Daniel Kaufman. Dan and I will likely do more along the same lines, but I will … Continue reading Physicists and philosophers

Why fish (likely) don’t feel pain

by Brian Key What’s it feel like to be a fish? I contend that it doesn’t feel like anything to be a fish.  Interestingly, much of our own lives are led without attending to how we feel. We just get on with it and do things. Most of the time we act like automatons. We … Continue reading Why fish (likely) don’t feel pain

The World’s Greatest Living Philosopher

by Robert Nola The French Philosophe Alain Badiou gave a lecture at Auckland University in December 2014 entitled “À la recherche du réel perdu: In search of the lost real.” The full talk is on YouTube [1]. We are lucky to present here extracts from the diary which he kept while in New Zealand and … Continue reading The World’s Greatest Living Philosopher

The Peer-to-Peer Hypothesis and a new theory of free will

by Marcus Arvan [This essay is part of a special “free will week” at Scientia Salon. The Editor promises not to touch the topic again for a long while after this particular orgy, of course assuming he has any choice in the matter…] Nick Bostrom [1] is well-known for arguing on probabilistic grounds that we are … Continue reading The Peer-to-Peer Hypothesis and a new theory of free will

Free Will, the Basics

by Massimo Pigliucci [This essay is part of a special “free will week” at Scientia Salon. The Editor promises not to touch the topic again for a long while after this particular orgy, of course assuming he has any choice in the matter...] Sometimes it’s good, or even necessary, to go back to the basics. … Continue reading Free Will, the Basics