In a recent interview, Scott Soames, distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California, offers up a description of philosophy. It’s a version of one in his recent book, The World Philosophy Made. (more…)
Philosophers are disagreeing over what lessons should be learned from the growing body of work on the interplay between demographics and philosophical intuitions. (more…)
I think you are right to be suspicious of the tendency of this institutional paradigm to postulate truths that are ‘basic’, ‘ultimate’ or ‘fundamental’ just at the point where things begin to look interesting or problematic from the point of view of those we in the profession pretentiously refer to as ‘non-philosophers’. (more…)
“I didn’t even know that was a question I could ask.” (more…)
Has experimental philosophy (“X-Phi”) exhibited signs of “p-hacking”? In this guest post*, Mike Stuart (Geneva), Edouard Machery (Pittsburgh), and David Colaço (Mississippi) report their findings. (more…)
“There’s something profoundly and instructively humbling in the realization that contemporary thought is not as far advanced as we are often inclined to suppose.” (more…)
What’s the relationship between common sense and philosophy?
In 2015 I received the National Humanities Medal at a ceremony at the White House. President Obama himself put the medal around my neck, and the rumor was that he made the final choice. In the speech he gave before awarding all the medals, in addition to citing my work on Gödel and Spinoza and Plato, he spoke of me as the philosopher who sometimes chooses to write n..
“Picking a side helps you to play the game. But it doesn’t help you in figuring out what you should think. In other words, in order to work out what to think, you don’t have to pick a side at all.” (more…)
The relationship between truth and social progress is then an optimistic bet. I hope that knowing the truth is part of what sets us free. But that’s an empirical hunch that could well turn out to be wrong. (more…)
While outsiders appear reluctant to challenge leadership within a field when the star is alive, the loss of a luminary provides an opportunity for fields to evolve in new directions that advance the frontier of knowledge. (more…)
“I think metaphysics is what it’s always been—and it’s hard to say what that is!”
Plausible answers as to the nature of our mission as philosophy educators gives us no unique reason to focus on logic as the mathematical tool of interest to philosophers.
Anthony Booth, reader in philosophy at the University of Sussex, called his 2017 book Analytic Islamic Philosophy, yet he doesn’t think there is much to the division between analytic and Continental philosophy. (more…)
Professors of the humanities make judgments about value. Art historians, literary scholars, musicologists, and classicists say to our students: These works are powerful, beautiful, surprising, strange, insightful. They are more worth your time and attention than others… Yet such judgment violates the principle of equality. So humanists have to pretend we’re not do..
“Possibly—the great schism would never have set in at all, had RG Collingwood, one of the most remarkable, open and eclectic minds of the 20th century, not died prematurely in 1943.” (more…)
“Philosophy of science is what philosophers of science do. But what is it that philosophers of science do?” A team of researchers has just published their answer, based on computational text-mining of every issue of the journal Philosophy of Science published from 1934-2015.
“the whiplash of (rather quickly) moving from an intensely conservative, fundamentalist world into a progressive, academic world… taught me two things…”
“While no one was looking, contextualism replaced rational reconstructionism (also known as ‘appropriationism,’ ‘presentism,’ and ‘collegialism’) as the dominant methodology among English-speaking early modern historians of philosophy.” (more…)
“There’s no such thing as being good or bad at philosophy.” (more…)
“Is there anything wrong with publishing philosophical work which one does not believe?” (more…)
One of the popular narratives about higher education is that the discussion of and disagreement over controversial ideas is imperiled, owing to the dominance of political correctness on college campuses. (more…)
A story called “The Game” by Anatoly Petrovich Mickevich (writing under the pseudonym A. Dneprov), published in 1961, tells the story of a fictional event in which people who don’t individually understand Portuguese are successfully arranged into a “computer” that translates a sentence from Portuguese. (more…)
David Bourget (Western University) and David Chalmers (NYU), the creators of PhilPapers and related sites, are planning a sequel to their 2009 survey of the philosophical views of professional philosophers for this December. (more…)