“When Aristotle said that the intellectual life is one of serious leisure, I believe he was trying to avoid the Scylla of business and the Charybdis of pleasure. If philosophy offered helpful answers to the questions you were asking anyways, it wouldn’t be leisurely; if it added fun to the life you were living anyways, it wouldn’t be serious.” (more…)
“Although we like to think that the pursuit of truth is central, it’s by far not the only reason why debates arise and certain concepts are coined and stick around, while others are forgotten.” (more…)
“It is perfectly possible to do philosophy (even metaphysics or epistemology) if you do not believe that your views about mind, language, and reality can be used to ground (or dismiss) science.” (more…)
Created in 1995, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) has grown to become not just an expansive and trusted collection of expertly-written entries on philosophical subjects, but a model for improving the internet. Now Adam Edwards, a Ph.D. student in philosophy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has created an interactive visualization of th..
Is the task of philosophizing appropriately characterized as something like the modeling of phenomenon found in the sciences and social sciences, in which there is (supposed to be) a consciousness of the limitations of the models? (more…)
One type of evidence that some claim is relevant to determining whether there has been progress in philosophy is whether philosophers have converged on answers to philosophical questions. (more…)
When we dig beneath the neatly composed surface we find a great buzzing, blooming confusion of ideas, and we have a lot to learn about how mathematics channels these wellsprings of creativity into rigorous scientific discourse. But that requires doing hard work and getting our hands dirty. (more…)
Often times when I tell people that my major is philosophy I am met with a confused stare followed by a series of questions asking why and of what use philosophy will be. Many have made jokes about my choice of major and not taken it or myself seriously. This response and the lack of outreach within the field has prompted me to want to show people why philosophy is ..
I still hold that there is an important and significant role for traditional forms of philosophy but the question remains, is there something more to philosophical thinking that we can access through engagement with poetry which is filled with rich images, emotional sensitivity and attention to language? (more…)
“What subjects are now being confronted at the frontiers of philosophical inquiry, breaking from the familiar philosophical concerns of canonical figures like Plato, Locke, and Descartes?” That was a question raised recently by the editors of “The Masthead,” a new member-based media program at The Atlantic.
Instead of gauging progress by asking what “we” philosophers agree about, one should ask whether someone who wants to do philosophy is in a better position to do so today than she would’ve been 10 or 100 or 1000 years ago? The answer is: certainly. (more…)
Over at Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen (GMU) asks, “has there been progress in philosophy?” His answer: “there is significant and ongoing progress in philosophy, we just don’t always name it as such.” (more…)
“There’s something especially absurd about philosophers.”
“For African philosophy to be taken seriously it has to find some sort of foundation within the African thought-world rather than in the Greek or European thought-world.” (more…)
“How do you respond to those who wonder whether philosophy questions can ever be really answered once and for all and who therefore conclude it’s a waste of time?” (more…)
Daniel Kodsi, an undergraduate at Oxford and founding editor of the Oxford Review of Books, writes about his interview of Amia Srinivasan, philosophy lecturer in the UCL Philosophy Department and fellow of All Souls College, Oxford: “I start the interview with a question I feel strangely silly for having, but which I cannot help but blurt out: why is philosophy so ..
We are no longer able to detect the philosophical unless it comes to us in the form of the peer-reviewed academic article, published (preferably in English) in a journal with a stellar ranking and a top-notch editorial board. No wonder philosophy has become so irrelevant today. Why should anyone need philosophers, if philosophy limits itself so radically? (more…)..
Does philosophy make progress? Daniel Stoljar, professor of philosophy at Australia National University, thinks it does, and he defends that idea in his new book, Philosophical Progress: In Defence of a Reasonable Optimism. In the following guest post,* he presents one kind of argument for his view. (more…)
A commonly recognized form of intellectual achievement is the correct answering of questions. This kind of achievement is not a matter of mere quantity—one doesn’t get much credit for answering easy questions or trivial ones—but also quality. What counts is providing answers that add to the store of human understanding, understood broadly. (more…)
Except when offering perfectly parochial ideas, mainstream philosophy still offers hardly anything except for just so many concretely empty ideas.
Peter Unger has a new book coming out entitled Empty Ideas: A Critique of Analytic Philosophy. You can get a sense of what he means by “concretely empty idea” from the blurb on about the book on his website. You can also ..
The summer issue of The Hedgehog Review is out and features a symposium, “On the Business of Philosophy.” The main element of the symposium is Richard Rorty’s Page-Barbour Lectures at the University of Virginia, with responses from Susan Haack (Miami), Robert Pippin (Chicago), and Matthew Crawford (Virginia). (more…)
Intuitive Bedrock and the Philosophical Enterprise
by Dale Dorsey (more…)