There are crimes of passion, those of rage and of love. And then, there are crimes of boredom. Arson, animal abuse, and murder have all been committed in the name of boredom.
The “science of well-being” (aka positive psychology, quality of life or happiness studies) applies scientific method to what was previously personal, inscrutable, philosophical–happiness and good life.
The possibility of human-level Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) remains controversial. While its timeline remain uncertain, the question remains: if engineers are able to develop truly intelligent AGI, how would human-computer interactions change? In the following excerpt from AI: Its Nature and Future, artificial intelligence expert Margaret A. Boden discusses the philosophical consequences behind truly intelligent AGI.
How tolerant and diverse should a society be? Are there limits to the views that a society should accept? Can individuals from diverse backgrounds join together to contribute to the common good, and what happens when tensions arise between different groups? Given the events of 2016-2017, such questions stand at the forefront of American civic life. Questions relating to diversity and tolerance loomed large in Mendelssohn’s life.
The Liar paradox arises via considering the Liar sentence: L: L is not true. and then reasoning in accordance with the: T-schema: Φ is true if and only if what Φ says is the case. Along similar lines, we obtain the Montague paradox (or the paradox of the knower) by considering the following sentence: M: M is not knowable. and then reasoning in accordance with the following two claims: Factivity: If Φ is knowable then what Φ says is the case.
‘Is everything entirely made up of atoms? … Or is everything made up of atomless “gunk”—as Lewis (1991: 20) calls it—that divides forever into smaller and smaller parts?’ (Varzi 2014) The thought that matter is divisible has both intuitive appeal and empirical justification, and is a widespread position amongst ancient and modern philosophers. The thought […]
This August, the OUP Philosophy team honours Sir Karl Raimund Popper (1902–1994) as their Philosopher of the Month. A British (Austrian-born) philosopher, Popper’s considerable reputation comes from his work on the philosophy of science and his political philosophy. Popper is widely regarded as one of the greatest thinkers of the twentieth century. Think you know […]
Like war stories, like disaster films, like any kind of narrative that revolts and scares yet also delights us, the Zombie Apocalypse offers a laboratory for observing human emotion and experience. Its excess opens up a multitude of responses that don’t get explored in the course of our everyday lives, although these same choices lurk underneath the surface of all our lives.
According to a picture of language that has enjoyed wide popularity throughout the history of Western philosophy, language is a tool for making our thoughts known to others: the speaker translates private thoughts into public words, and the hearer translates the words back into thoughts. It follows from such a picture that before we can […]
Some people are both parents and philosophers, but aren’t philosophical parents. Conversely, some people aren’t philosophers, or at least aren’t academic philosophers, but are nevertheless philosophical parents. So who are the philosophical parents? Are you one? Take the quiz below and find out! (Pretend, for purposes of the quiz, that you’ve experienced every stage of […]
Who was the greatest paradoxer in Ancient Western Philosophy? If one were to ask this question of a person who knows something of the history of logic and philosophy, they would probably say Zeno of Elea (c. 490-460 BCE). However, for my money, the answer would be wrong. The greatest paradoxer is not Zeno, but the Megarian philosopher Eubulides of Miletus (fl . 4c BCE).
For most of the twentieth century a “brain-first” approach dominated the philosophy of consciousness. The idea was that the brain is the thing we really understand, through neuroscience, and the task of the philosopher is try to understand how that thing “gives rise” to subjective experience: to the inner world of colours, smells and sounds that each of us knows in our own case.
This August, the OUP Philosophy team honours Sir Karl Raimund Popper (1902–1994) as their Philosopher of the Month. A British (Austrian-born) philosopher, Popper’s considerable reputation comes from his work on the philosophy of science and his political philosophy. Popper is widely regarded as one of the greatest thinkers of the twentieth century.
It is part of our everyday life that we ascribe beliefs, desires, hopes, claims, predictions and so on to other people and ourselves, and the ascription of such propositional attitudes, as they are called, generally takes a canonical form, of the sort John believes that Macron is president of France, Mary hopes that Macron is president of France, and Joe predicted that Macron would become president of France.
Recently a friend of mine expressed an aversion to the screaming kids who were attending a summer camp in classrooms close to her campus office. With a laugh, she said she was happy to have further support for her choice not to have children.
In times of populism, soundbites, and policy-by-twitter such as we live in today, the first victims to suffer the slings and arrows of the demagogues are intellectuals. These people have been demonised for prioritising the very thing that defines them: the intellect, or finely reasoned and sound argument. As we celebrate the 161st birthday of Bernard Shaw, one of the most gifted, influential, and well-known intellectuals to have lived, we might use the occasion to reassess the value of intellectuals to a healthy society and why those in power see them as such threats.