Everyone has moral obligations (And we’re talking about them way too much)

by Daniel A. Kaufman “The most disturbing aspect of ‘morality’ seems to me to be the frequency with which the word now appears; in the press, on television, in the most perfunctory kinds of conversation… There is something quite facile going on, some self-indulgence at work. Of course we would all like to ‘believe’ in … Continue reading Everyone has moral obligations (And we’re talking about them way too much)

Yes, terminal patients still have moral obligations

by Daniel Tippens [This is the first of two essays, by Dan Tippens and Dan Kaufman, about the concept of moral obligations. Kaufman’s response to Tippens will appear later this week.] When I was eighteen, my father was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and given a year and a half to live. This prognosis was … Continue reading Yes, terminal patients still have moral obligations

The Stoic egg

by Massimo Pigliucci The annual Stoic Week is approaching [1], so it seems like a good time to return to my ongoing exploration of Stoicism as a philosophy of life. I have been practicing Stoicism since 4 October 2014 [2], and so far so good. I have been able to be more mindful about what … Continue reading The Stoic egg

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

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?

Clarifying Sam Harris’ clarifications

by Dwayne Holmes [Editor’s note: this essay is an expansion and follow up to the author’s submission to the contest organized by Sam Harris for the best criticism of his arguments on science and ethics, as laid out in The Moral Landscape.] The semantics of “science” is important In responding to Ryan Born’s essay [1] … Continue reading Clarifying Sam Harris’ clarifications

My philosophy, so far — part II

by Massimo Pigliucci In the first part [19] of this ambitious (and inevitably, insufficient) essay I sought to write down and briefly defend a number of fundamental positions that characterize my “philosophy,” i.e., my take on important questions concerning philosophy, science and the nature of reality. I have covered the nature of philosophy itself (as … Continue reading My philosophy, so far — part II

The interplay of science and ethics: the case of eugenics

by Massimo Pigliucci It is a rare case where I find myself sympathetic to quotes from both Steven Pinker and a Pope. And yet, reading and thinking about eugenics can cause this sort of strange happening, and more. Here is Pinker, from an interview with Steve Sailer [1] about The Blank Slate, criticizing what he … Continue reading The interplay of science and ethics: the case of eugenics

Staking positions amongst the varieties of scientism

by Massimo Pigliucci I have never understood why there is so much confusion about the definition of scientism. I just looked it up in my basic Apple dictionary, and it is crystal clear: “Excessive belief in the power of scientific knowledge and techniques.” The devil, and much of the discussion, of course, is in the … Continue reading Staking positions amongst the varieties of scientism