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

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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

From the Science Wars to political emotions: philosophy, biology and justice

by Fabrizzio Mc Manus Nowadays, it is a cliché to invoke biology, psychology or the newest branch of cognitive science to defend the claim that there is such thing as a Human Nature. We find appeals to this notion every time someone explains in terms of intrinsic properties forged by Evolution why some particular group … Continue reading From the Science Wars to political emotions: philosophy, biology and justice

The virtues of moderation, part II

edited by SciSal [This is an excerpt from James Grimmelmann’s paper “The virtues of moderation” published in the Yale Journal of Law and Technology (2015). The relevance to our webzine should be obvious. The excerpt presented below was pieced together by SciSal editor Dan Tippens and is reproduced here with permission from the author. Part … Continue reading The virtues of moderation, part II

The virtues of moderation, part I

edited by SciSal [This is an excerpt from James Grimmelmann’s paper “The virtues of moderation” published in the Yale Journal of Law and Technology (2015) [1]. The relevance to our webzine should be obvious… The excerpt presented below was pieced together by SciSal editor Dan Tippens and is reproduced here with permission from the author. … Continue reading The virtues of moderation, part I

The debate about funding of basic scientific research

by Massimo Pigliucci On the one hand we have politicians — usually, indeed almost invariably, conservatives and sometimes libertarians; on the other hand we have scientists — usually, indeed almost invariably, people whose work is in the corners of science most remote from any practical application. The debate is about whether, and to what extent, … Continue reading The debate about funding of basic scientific research