When do we have a scientific fact? Scientists, policymakers, and laypersons could all use an answer to this question. But despite its obvious importance, humanity lacks a good answer.
Science skepticism is a central threat to deliberative democracy. Generally speaking, scientific investigations based on collaboration between scientific experts are far more reliable than individual efforts when it comes to finding the truth about complex matters. So, since public deliberation is better off when it rests on science, deliberative democracy requires a reasonably high degree of public uptake of science communication.
For the 100th anniversary of Marcel Proust’s death, Joshua Landy explores the existential questions posed by “In Search of Lost Time” to show how Proust’s novel connects to our contemporary lives.
In philosophy of language, as well as in many court opinions (e.g., Liversidge v. Anderson, 1942), Humpty Dumpty is held up as an example of how not to think about meaning. Contrary to his claim that the meaning of his words is determined solely by his intentions, there is broad agreement that what words mean is not solely up to us—we can change their meanings over time, but that requires a group effort, and something like consensus.
“Affirmative action? That’s just reverse racism!” We’ve all heard claims like this; the term “reverse racism” used to attack some progressive project. If you’re anything like me, something about it strikes you as fundamentally misguided.
Now I’ve read my Gandhi and while I’ve always found his writing incredibly coherent and often inspired, I haven’t necessarily thought of it as lyrical. I realise now that this is because I had not known where to look.
At what point are you morally permitted to refuse to rescue distant strangers? How much must you give over the course of your life? Theron Pummer explores these extremely difficult questions.
Human nature is a paradox. On the one hand, thanks to our evolution in the five million years since we left the jungle, we are a highly social species. On the other hand, as the last centuries show only too well, we can be truly hateful towards our fellow human beings—on a group level, war, and on an individual level, prejudice.
James Wilson, Professor of Philosophy at University College London, and co-director of the UCL Health Humanities Centre, talks to Peter Momtchiloff about philosophy’s role in addressing and supporting public health policy.
Did “Ancient Greece” exist? Are all Epicureans decadent dandies? What do we really know about Alexander the Great? Explore the people, places, and philosophies of the Classical world through these four podcast episodes from the expert authors of our Very Short Introductions series.
What does atheism mean to you? Is logic ancient history? How is Calvinism changing the world? Put your thinking cap on, earbuds in, and get listening to our curated collection of Very Short Introduction podcast episodes for thinkers.
About a century ago, then, our world was transformed by a logical revolution, which may broadly be called philosophical. This transformation was the key to the technological advances of the past century. What about today’s logic? Could current advances in logic or its philosophy lead to the sort of computer-driven technological change we’ve seen in the past hundred years?
Sophie Grace Chappell is Professor of Philosophy at the Open University, UK, and her new book “Epiphanies: An Ethics of Experience” has just been published by OUP. In this interview, Sophie speaks with OUP Philosophy editor Peter Momtchiloff on exploring the concept and experience of epiphanies.
Never more than during the COVID-19 pandemic, the public has been reminded of the importance of science and the need to trust scientific advice and model-based public health policy. The delicate triangulation among scientific experts, policymakers, and the public, which is so central to fight misinformation and mistrust, has shone a light on a well-entrenched “view from nowhere” that science is often identified with. Why trust experts and their model-based policy anyway?
In the past few decades, trust and distrust have become frequent subjects of journalistic and academic discourse. Distrust of British and American public institutions has, in fact, a much longer and more complex history than most academics recognize.
Clara Zetkin was instrumental in establishing International Women’s Day. It did not take long to catch on. The following year the International Women’s Day was marked by over a million people taking to the streets.