It has been fun

Dear Readers, I'm afraid this is going to be the last post here at Scientia Salon. It has been a good, if short, run. From March 2014 to this month we have published 152 articles, received more than 15,000 comments, and have experienced a total of almost 1.5 million views. Nonetheless, several things have prompted … Continue reading It has been fun


Does the Atheist have a Theory of Mind?

by Thomas Coleman III Introduction Planet earth appears to be filled with unseen forces that control the behavior of its inhabitants. No, this isn’t the beginning to a cheesy B-movie science fiction film script. This is reality and even the staunchest of skeptics act as if they believe in these invisible forces. That is, we … Continue reading Does the Atheist have a Theory of Mind?

The false dichotomy of nature-nurture, with notes on feminism, transgenderism, and the construction of races

by Massimo Pigliucci This is my third essay on what has become an informal series on socially relevant false dichotomies (the first one was on “trigger warnings” [1], the second one on Islamophobia [2]). On this occasion I’m going to focus again on nature-nurture [3], perhaps the motherlode of false dichotomies (as well as my area of … Continue reading The false dichotomy of nature-nurture, with notes on feminism, transgenderism, and the construction of races

Are There Levels Out There?

by Markus Eronen Everything in philosophy seems to come in levels. There are levels of organization, levels of abstraction, levels of being, levels of explanation, levels of complexity, levels of analysis… and the list goes on. For example, British emergentists such as Samuel Alexander and C. Lloyd Morgan believed that there are several levels of … Continue reading Are There Levels Out There?

The Cowboy, the Lesbian, and the Humanist

by Andy Norman A cowboy walks into a saloon. He removes his dusty hat, orders a whiskey, and sinks wearily onto a stool. He downs the whiskey, looks around, and notices that an attractive woman has joined him at the bar. She looks him over and asks, “Are you a real cowboy?”  The cowboy pauses … Continue reading The Cowboy, the Lesbian, and the Humanist

The false dichotomy of Islamophobia

by Massimo Pigliucci A false dichotomy is a basic type of informal logical fallacy, consisting in framing an issue as if there were only two choices available, while in fact a range of nuanced positions may be on offer upon more careful reflection. While I have argued together with my colleagues Maarten Boudry and Fabio … Continue reading The false dichotomy of Islamophobia

New Scientia Salon collection: Scientistic Chronicles

by Massimo Pigliucci We are happy to announce the release of the first collection of essays published in the online magazine Scientia Salon to see the light, and there will hopefully be many more to follow. Scientia Salon is devoted to bringing both science and philosophy — as they are pursued by professionals — to a … Continue reading New Scientia Salon collection: Scientistic Chronicles

Brontosaurus and the nature of philosophy

by Leonard Finkelman Prelude What I say now ought to be uncontroversial, but bears repeating: philosophy has a public relations problem. Specious criticism from unreflective popular figures has done its damage. Inquisitive laypeople are routinely exposed to philosophy in one of two contexts: as an activity that works at best as a pointless diversion, or … Continue reading Brontosaurus and the nature of philosophy

High school philosophy

by Roger Hunt I run an extracurricular philosophy group for high school students. It operates on a rotating enrollment, integrating veterans with newcomers, which provides an opportunity for me to examine how people with different experiences and encounters with philosophy understand the subject/topic/practice/exercise. I am especially proud of one activity: having the veteran students lead … Continue reading High school philosophy

Exploring genetic causation in biology

by John McLaughlin In both popular culture and the technical literature in biology, the word “genetic” is ubiquitous. Despite its common usage and universal recognition, discussions centered around this concept usually leave its meaning taken for granted. We have the vague sense that it relates to DNA, genes, heredity, and inheritance, but what does it … Continue reading Exploring genetic causation in biology