George Mason University Department of Philosophy

George Mason University Department of Philosophy Home of graduate and undergraduate programs in philosophy at George Mason University.
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Bet you didn't see this coming: Instant replay and the Sorites paradox! https://deadspin.com/a-philosophers-definitive-a...
10/03/2019
A Philosopher's Definitive (And Slightly Maddening) Case Against Replay Review

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...

"Even if scientists someday produce only minimally self-aware organoids, that could represent a serious ethical concern,...
09/03/2019
Organoids Are Not Brains. How Are They Making Brain Waves?

"Even if scientists someday produce only minimally self-aware organoids, that could represent a serious ethical concern, said Christof Koch, the chief scientist and president of the Allen Brain Institute in Seattle. The closer we come to his goal, the more likely we will get a brain that is capable of sentience and of feeling pain, agony and distress,” Dr. Koch said. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/29/science/organoids-brain-alysson-muotri.html

Clusters of living brain cells are teaching scientists about diseases like autism. With a new finding, some experts wonder if these organoids may become too much like the real thing.

This is not a departmental endorsement. But if you're a one-issue voter, and that issue is 'How often does this person q...
05/04/2019
A brief breakdown of Joe Biden's Immanuel Kant obsession

This is not a departmental endorsement. But if you're a one-issue voter, and that issue is 'How often does this person quote Kant,' apparently Joe Biden is your candidate. https://theweek.com/speedreads/838554/brief-breakdown-joe-bidens-immanuel-kant-obsession

Joe Biden may want to make his campaign slogan... dare we say it... "Yes we Kant." On Tuesday, the former vice president made his second campaign stop of the 2020 election cycle, deciding at some point that Iowa needed a dose of German philosophy to fully understand his platform. Biden dug out a quo...

Why science needs philosophy. https://www.pnas.org/content/116/10/3948
04/08/2019
Opinion: Why science needs philosophy

Why science needs philosophy. https://www.pnas.org/content/116/10/3948

> A knowledge of the historic and philosophical background gives that kind of independence from prejudices of his generation from which most scientists are suffering. This independence created by philosophical insight is—in my opinion—the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist ...

Is this you? Be honest...
03/17/2019

Is this you? Be honest...

What philosophers do at cocktail parties

The classic utilitarian defense of animal rights is Peter Singer's Animal Liberation. Christine Korsgaard has now made a...
03/10/2019
What We Owe a Rabbit

The classic utilitarian defense of animal rights is Peter Singer's Animal Liberation. Christine Korsgaard has now made a Kantian case for moral consideration of animals. [Not sure why they have a picture of a rhino but mention rabbits in the title.] https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2019/03/21/christine-korsgaard-what-we-owe-a-rabbit/

Christine Korsgaard is a distinguished philosopher who has taught at Harvard for most of her career. Though not known to the general public, she is eminent within the field for her penetrating and analytically dense writings on ethical theory and her critical interpretations of the works of Immanuel...

Here's some more philosophy news you can use: a list of guides for writing philosophy papers. http://dailynous.com/2019/...
02/03/2019
How To Write A Philosophy Paper: Online Guides - Daily Nous

Here's some more philosophy news you can use: a list of guides for writing philosophy papers. http://dailynous.com/2019/01/15/write-philosophy-paper-online-guides/

Some philosophy professors, realizing that many of their students are unfamiliar with writing philosophy papers, provide them with “how-to” guides to the task. I thought it might be useful to collect examples of these. If you know of any already online, please mention them in the comments and in...

George Mason philosopher Andrew Light edited a very important report on climate change issued yesterday by the Federal g...
11/24/2018
Climate Change Is Already Hurting U.S. Communities, Federal Report Says

George Mason philosopher Andrew Light edited a very important report on climate change issued yesterday by the Federal government. If you haven't looked it over, you should: https://www.npr.org/2018/11/23/668555773/climate-change-is-already-hurting-u-s-communities-federal-report-says

According to the government's most comprehensive assessment to date, climate change has already damaged American infrastructure and cost both money and lives.

Sounds like a book. I hope this guy gets a job! https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/26/books/review/irad-kimhi-thinking-and-...
09/30/2018
Unpublished and Untenured, a Philosopher Inspired a Cult Following

Sounds like a book. I hope this guy gets a job! https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/26/books/review/irad-kimhi-thinking-and-being.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbooks&action=click&contentCollection=books®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=13&pgtype=sectionfront

Irad Kimhi has never held a tenured position or published even a journal article. Yet his ideas have earned him a towering reputation and now he’s finally published a book.

A tribute to the recently deceased philosopher Stanley Cavell, who "thought that the success of democracy depended on ma...
07/03/2018
Opinion | Stanley Cavell and the American Contradiction

A tribute to the recently deceased philosopher Stanley Cavell, who "thought that the success of democracy depended on making the enterprise of thinking attractive to people." https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/02/opinion/stanley-cavell-and-the-american-contradiction.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&version=Moth-Visible&moduleDetail=inside-nyt-region-1&module=inside-nyt-region®ion=inside-nyt-region&WT.nav=inside-nyt-region

How to be a citizen in a profoundly imperfect nation.

Another fun fact: Prominent Kant scholar Adrian Piper is actually much more prominent as a conceptual artist working on ...
06/28/2018
Adrian Piper’s Show at MoMA is the Largest Ever for a Living Artist. Why Hasn’t She Seen It?

Another fun fact: Prominent Kant scholar Adrian Piper is actually much more prominent as a conceptual artist working on issues related to racial identity: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/27/magazine/adrian-pipers-self-imposed-exile-from-america-and-from-race-itself.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=image&module=second-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

The conceptual artist’s life and work push against the boundaries of race and identity in America.

An interesting question, posed by a nonphilosopher. What do you think? https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution...
06/05/2018
Has there been progress in philosophy? - Marginal REVOLUTION

An interesting question, posed by a nonphilosopher. What do you think? https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2018/05/has-there-been-progress-in-philosophy.html

You know this old debate: why are we still reading Plato? Haven’t they figured out free will yet? Will they ever? Don’t the philosophers obsess too much over very old texts? My opinion is that there is significant and ongoing progress in philosophy, we just don’t always name it as such. Here i...

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