Robert Paul Wolff, at his blog The Philosopher’s Stone, objects to the use of trolley problems and other stylized thought experiments in which various complications are waved aside. “I am quite convinced that these sorts of thought experiments are nonsense,” he says. Wisely, he adds: “but it is not so easy to say why.”
I think that trolley problems and the like a..
Many of you will remember Nina Strohminger‘s amusing review of Colin McGinn’s book, The Meaning of Disgust. The review, written with the kind of frankness McGinn’s own reviews are known for, appeared in the journal, Emotion Review. Several months after its publication, the journal received a letter from McGinn responding to the review. That letter, along with Strohm..
If philosophy can sometimes sound weird to other philosophers, it can sound really weird to non-philosophers. Imagine (you can do it) you were in a conversation with some non-philosophers and they asked, “what’s your strangest philosophical belief?”
What would your answer be?
(image: detail of “They Have Slept In The Forest Too Long” by Max Ernst)
Chiara Bottici (New School) was one of the opening speakers at the Night of Philosophy held at the French Embassy in New York City on April 24th, 2015. She chose a controversial figure to focus on—Machiavelli, whose “very status as a philosopher is contested”—in order to get at the question of what does and what does not count as philosophy.
Towards the end o..
A forthcoming special issue of the European Journal of Political Theory will take up the topic of analytic and Continental approaches in political philosophy and political theory. The introduction to the issue, “Introduction: Analytic, Continental and the question of a bridge” by Clayton Chin and Lasse Thomassen (University of London) is now online (may be gated). T..
There’s an interesting post at NewApps by Roberta Millstein (UC Davis) on criticisms of philosophy of science that prompted a useful exchange between her and a critic. Professor Millstein writes:
Why is this philosophy? Most philosophers of science have been on the receiving end of this question at one time or another. A friend of mine recently called it a type o..
Is there a word more overused in philosophy nowadays than “intuition”? That is many people’s intuition sense of things, but why go with gut feelings when there is data? That’s right: data. James Andow of the University of Reading has just published findings on the use of the word “intuition” and its variations in an article in Metaphilosophy entitled “How ‘Intuitio..
Historians of philosophy and experimental philosophers have teamed up to determine why there has been so little progress in philosophy. “Socrates asked ‘what is the nature of the good life?’ a couple of thousand years ago,” says Jeffrey McDonough (Harvard), “and now, in 2015, my department is stuffed full of people still—supposedly—working on this question and o..
Philosophy, like any human activity, is influenced by the circumstances in which it takes place. Technological, scientific, economic, political, cultural, social, etc., factors influence how philosophy is conducted and at least some of which questions philosophers take up. Philosophy is also the product of its history, with the philosophical agenda of each era stron..
What are the boundaries of philosophy? Why are they there and what is their nature? How do such boundaries structure the way philosophers approach understanding people, events, relationships, institutions, and so on? A few recent pieces around the Internet explore versions of these questions.
Justin E.H. Smith (Université Paris Diderot) argues at Berfrois that th..
Michael P. Wolf (Washington & Jefferson College) taught pragmatism this past semester and created a map to help keep things straight. A big map. Not unworkably big, of course, but big. Behold, “A Map of American Pragmatism and Its Roots.” Wolf is now looking for feedback on the map. Feel free to leave it in the comments here or email him directly at mwolf ‘at’ washj..