On Crazyism, Jerkitude, Garden Snails and Other Philosophical Puzzles – Scientific American

Horgan: Why do you write fiction? Doesn't that mean philosophy isn't really that fulfilling for you? Schwitzgebel: Wait, writing fiction can’t be a way of doing philosophy? Sartre, Rousseau, Zhuangzi, Voltaire, Nietzsche and Borges might disagree! Is anyone currently doing better work on the ethics of technology than the TV series Black Mirror? For instance, [...]

Accept death to promote health | OUPblog

We all die and, despite some fanciful ideas to the contrary, we will, as a species, continue to do so. Our daily routines tend to distract us from this fact. However, because death is inevitable, we need to think about how we can live healthy lives, without ignoring how they end. Once we accept that [...]

Our greatest invention was the invention of invention itself | Psyche Ideas

What caused our species to break out of the pattern set by archaic humans? Again, there were probably many factors. But from my perspective as someone who studies the human mind, one development stands out as of special importance. There is a mental ability we possess today that must have emerged at some point in [...]

The privilege of boredom: Philosophy in isolation – The TLS

Philosophy essay - The TLS | How philosophy can happen in isolation, an essay by Anil Gomes "Those of us at home with children at the moment cannot avoid the “irrelevant intrusion of domestic matters into intellectual life”. A conversation with a colleague about some nicety of Kant was interrupted by my daughter screaming “That’s [...]

Pandemic Recovery Requires Post-Normal Science | Issues in Science and Technology

In world-historical terms we also see periodic collapse and regeneration. A half-millennium of European economic and cultural expansion came to its end with the Great War. Its American extension has been brief, and the twin crises of the Great Recession of 2007–2008 and the coronavirus have now left the US heartland financially debilitated. The initial [...]

A Writer Pursues His Subjects as a Hunter Stalks His Prey – The New York Times

Calasso is especially good at describing the characters of myth and legend with a novelist’s omniscient authority — and the occasional zinger. “For 16 generations Zeus had intercourse with women from earth,” he writes, and “had always been attracted to the women of the house of Argus.” (Even the king of the gods, it seems, [...]

Fast Science and the Philosophy of Science (guest post by Jacob Stegenga) – Daily Nous

“So much science having so much impact, yet philosophers of science have been relatively quiet…” The following is a guest post* by Jacob Stegenga, reader in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, sharing his and other philosophers’ thoughts on “the role philosophy of science should play during the sort [...]

If history was more like science, would it predict the future? | Aeon Essays

... it is not at all clear that creating a science of history is actually a good thing. But what’s certainly dangerous is letting one particular perspective on what it means to study something scientifically take centre-stage in debating the issue. The methodological reflections of field scientists on how to do science outside the laboratory, [...]

Will brains or algorithms rule the kingdom of science? | Aeon Essays

A schism is emerging in the scientific enterprise. On the one side is the human mind, the source of every story, theory and explanation that our species holds dear. On the other stand the machines, whose algorithms possess astonishing predictive power but whose inner workings remain radically opaque to human observers. As we humans strive [...]