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


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

Reductionism, emergence, and burden of proof — part II

by Marko Vojinovic In part I of this essay I have introduced and discussed the idea of reductionism from an epistemological point of view. In what follows we will go one step further, and discuss the idea of ontological reductionism [15]. However, much of what follows will be actually devoted to rewriting the discussion of … Continue reading Reductionism, emergence, and burden of proof — part II

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

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?

p-zombies are inconceivable. With notes on the idea of metaphysical possibility.

by Massimo Pigliucci Philosophy of mind and the nature of consciousness are fascinating topics, which recur both here at Scientia Salon [1] and at my former writing outlet, Rationally Speaking [2]. And of course we can hardly talk about consciousness for long before running into one of the most famous (and, in my mind, pernicious) … Continue reading p-zombies are inconceivable. With notes on the idea of metaphysical possibility.

Does philosophy have a future?

by Mark English Anyone who claims that the writings of philosophers are pointless or unnecessary is immediately accused of philosophical naïveté. And so in order to avoid or counter the charge one has to do a bit of philosophy. Likewise, it’s difficult to articulate an anti-metaphysical stance without getting bogged down in something that looks … Continue reading Does philosophy have a future?

My philosophy, so far — part I

by Massimo Pigliucci Over the last decade and a half — ever since I started the Rationally Speaking blog [1] which has now evolved into the webzine that is Scientia Salon — I have written about all sorts of core philosophical issues (e.g., ethics, metaphysics), as well as on much other stuff (e.g., the nature … Continue reading My philosophy, so far — part I