He defended slavery and opposed the notion of human equality. But he is not our enemy.
Home of graduate and undergraduate programs in philosophy at George Mason University.
He defended slavery and opposed the notion of human equality. But he is not our enemy.
Another ad for the Theories of Knowledge course next semester...
George Mason Prof. Andrew Peterson in CNN.com on how to handle a coronavirus vaccine when there is one (fingers crossed). https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/10/opinions/covid-19-vaccine-allocation-decision-peterson/index.html
Andrew Peterson writes that vaccine allocation must be driven by health outcomes and based on sound evidence.
Lately I've been watching the Harry Potter movies for the nth time. So here a few philosopher's quibbles about Harry Potter: First, if a soul is indivisible [see Descartes, Rene], how can Voldemort split his into seven pieces? Or, if a soul *is* divisible, then when Harry and the gang destroy one, shouldn't Big V be 1/7 dead? Second, what do they teach at Hogwarts? Magic, of course, but if it's truly magical and not scientific (i.e. expressible in terms of causal laws [see Hume, David]), then they're just memorizing stuff nonstop for seven years straight. Third, if polyjuice potion were real, even within the Harry Potter universe, it would defeat its own purpose, because we would no longer have any reason to associate a given appearance with a particular person [see Wittgenstein, Ludwig]. The only reason it works in the books is because our intrepid heroes seem to be the only one who know about it.
I conclude that the Harry Potter universe is highly implausible.
“We are not teaching children about philosophy,” Dr. Lone explained. “We’re teaching them to actually do philosophy themselves.”
Thinking about big questions empowers children to feel more confident about the value of their own ideas, teachers say.
In related news, there are still good seats available in PHIL373: Theories of Knowledge next semester! If you get the joke in this image, you'll know why I mention the course.
Schopenhauer hits the mainstream! https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/17/arts/pessimism-life-coronavirus.html?searchResultPosition=1
Many Americans reflexively believe that good fortune is always around the corner. But ignoring the dark potential of life can have dire consequences.
A philosopher on one of the most urgent problems of our day. https://aeon.co/essays/why-its-as-hard-to-escape-an-echo-chamber-as-it-is-to-flee-a-cult
First you don’t hear other views. Then you can’t trust them. Your personal information network entraps you just like a cult
Not sure why 'fun' is in quotes, but still: Famous person studies philosophy! https://www.vulture.com/2020/04/shakiras-ancient-philosophy-graduation-diploma-explained.html
That’s one “hobby.”
Happy 296th birthday, Immanuel Kant! You hardly look a day over 250-- I mean that sincerely.
Communitarian philosopher Michael Sandel: "In recent decades, governing elites have done little to make life better for the nearly two-thirds of Americans who do not have a college degree. And they have failed to confront what should be one of the central questions of our politics: How can we ensure that Americans who do not inhabit the privileged ranks of the professional classes find dignified work that enables them to support a family, contribute to their community and win social esteem?" https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/13/opinion/sunday/covid-workers-healthcare-fairness.html
The pandemic has helpfully scrambled how we value everyone’s economic and social roles.
Nietzsche, 2020: "Oh my God, people, if I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times: 5/8ths of a college degree and a plane ticket to a warm beach town do not make you the übermensch. Just follow the CDC guidelines, for Christ’s sake — that’s our new secular morality. And yeah, I said “oh my God” and “for Christ’s sake.” Deal with it." https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/noted-philosophers-reconsider-their-key-insights-after-a-month-of-social-distancing
Sartre 1944: Hell is other people. April 2020: All this time, I thought the problem was viewing myself through the lens of others’ subjectivities. ...
Sounds like hell to me!
If hell exists ...
A Kantian take on our current situation. http://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/2020/04/why-you-should-not-be-allowed-to-have-that-picnic-in-the-park-even-if-it-does-not-make-a-difference/
Our responsibilities during the lockdown
Any Foucault (or Magritte) fans out there?
My dream come true...
Here's another on the ethical implications of the coronavirus crisis: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-03-29/coronavirus-pandemic-puts-moral-philosophy-to-the-test?srnd=premium
The pandemic is putting profound philosophical questions to the test.
George Mason University Department of Philosophy's cover photo
The role of ethics in the current crisis (h/t to Tanner Sewell). https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/03/22/coronavirus-crisis-medical-ethics-guide-decisions-doctors-cant-help-all/2882738001/
Hospitals might not have enough ventilators to care for coronavirus patients. Ethics could guide doctors' decisions on who gets care.
Stay safe, everyone!
3 steps to protect yourself against the coronavirus:
1) Get a copy of Hegel's Phenomenology (cheaper than hand sanitizer)
2) Read it from cover to cover (should keep you busy at home for at least two weeks)
3) Try to talk to others about it (they will avoid you at all costs)
Apparently I really need to start watching this show. But wait-- it just ended! https://slate.com/culture/2020/02/the-good-place-finale-ending-explained-philosopher-cameos-analysis.html
Plus: whether Ted Danson is really as nice as everyone says.
C'mon, really-- stoicism? That's so 300 B.C.! https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/the-2300-year-old-philosophy-stoicism-has-enjoyed-a-revival-of-late-including-in-silicon-valley/2020/01/02/d2f6e648-1b64-11ea-87f7-f2e91143c60d_story.html
These 21st-century Stoics have steely resolve — and play Yahtzee and pick up litter.
If you're in Seoul, come and have a talk with Kant! https://twitter.com/kantpapers/status/1159458491125436417/photo/1
“Slides from session on Kant in Asia: Apparently there is a park bench in Seoul where you can go and sit with Kant for a while. @seoul @Kant_news @AmcCritique @”
A joke explained is a joke killed
Truth: Nietzsche's writings are “easier to read but harder to understand than those of almost any other thinker.” https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/10/14/nietzsches-eternal-return
Why thinkers of every political persuasion keep finding inspiration in the philosopher.
"I want to suggest that many of the worst chapters of this history result from scientism: the ideology that science is the only valid way to understand the world and solve social problems. Where science has often expanded and liberated our sense of self, scientism has constrained it."
Biological advances have repeatedly changed who we think we are.
Bet you didn't see this coming: Instant replay and the Sorites paradox! https://deadspin.com/a-philosophers-definitive-and-slightly-maddening-case-1838637147
The motivation for using video review in sports is obvious: to get more calls right. This seems like an easy enough mission to fulfill, but anyone who has spent even a little time watching sports on TV can attest to the fact that the application of video review is not so simple. In most sports where...
Philosophy news you can use: https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/famous-philosophers-pick-up-lines
Immanuel Kant: “If loving you is wrong, babe… then I have a moral duty not to love you because loving you is an ethical decision that cannot be uni...
A philosopher wins a 'genius' grant! https://news.umich.edu/elizabeth-anderson-named-2019-macarthur-fellow/
ANN ARBOR—University of Michigan philosopher Elizabeth Anderson—whose research focuses on democratic theory and equality in political philosophy—has been deemed an "exceptionally creative individual" by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Anderson was one of 26 chosen for the pr...
Philosopher Susan Neiman, a scholar of Kant and of evil, compares how Germany and the US have dealt with crimes in their pasts: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/27/books/review/learning-from-the-germans-susan-neiman.html
Susan Neiman’s “Learning From the Germans” looks at the different ways two countries deal with their history.
We don't often get to see new (old) texts from long-dead philosophers, so this is kind of a big deal: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/sep/03/unknown-text-by-john-locke-reveals-roots-of-foundational-democratic-ideas
Newly discovered ‘Reasons for tolerateing Papists equally with others’ shows the Enlightenment thinker expressing unexpected social liberalism
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