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From an old post by Gregory on evidentialism

From this discussion. But the most damning problem with Clifford's thesis is this: Whatever criterion is used to measure the sufficiency or insufficiency of "evidence", by the very nature of the case, it is not something that is susceptible to evidential verification. Show More Summary

Stanford Consciousness

The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy is twenty years old. It gives me surprisingly warm feelings towards Stanford that this excellent free resource exists. It’s written by experts, continuously updated, and amazingly extensive. Long may it grow and flourish! Writing an encyclopaedia is challenging, but an encyclopaedia of philosophy must take the biscuit. For a good […]

Not about Consciousness

I’ve been having fun recently, writing Viewpoints and commenting on Aeon Ideas; if you can bear even more noodling from me, why not have a look – or sign up and join in? I’ve also been attempting some long-overdue upgrades. As a result Conscious Entities should now be fully compatible with mobile devices. There’s also […]

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy on Foundationalism

When I was in grad school, there was a general consensus amongst epistemologists that classical foundationalism was on its last legs. This included Christian, but also secular philosophers. Here is an analysis of foundationalism.

Is consciousness mysterious?

According to Galen Strawson, This is the assumption that we have a pretty good understanding of the nature of matter—of matter and space—of the physical in general. It is only relative to this assumption that the existence of consciousness in a material world seems mystifying. Show More Summary

Scientific anti-realism and science-bashing

A redated post.According to anti-realists in the philosophy of science.... a theory should never be regarded as truth...Proponents believe that science is full of theories that are proved incorrect, and that the majority of theories ultimately are rejected or refined. Show More Summary

The freedom from atheism foundation

This should prompt charges of Christian paranoia. Here.

Three ways of rejecting moral intutions

People often assume that there's a basic difference in philosophical-methodological temperament between (say) utilitarians and "common-sense" deontologists. Deontologists, it is said, feel strongly constrained by their intuitions about...Show More Summary

You can do science without believing the science

One remarkable and, to my mind, wonderful thing about science is that you can do very good science without even thinking that the science you are doing is literally true. Many great scientists have been scientific anti-realists.

What does causation mean?

Causation can mean a couple of different things. Something can be a cause if it guarantees its effect, or if it is a necessary condition for its effect. When we say smoking causes cancer, we don't mean to say that it is guaranteed that if you smoke you will get cancer. Some people smoke and smoke, and never get cancer.This is Elizabeth Anscombe's famous essay on the question.

Two short Philosophy Courses, beginning 26th Oct. 2015, Conway Hall, London

There is a discount if you decide to take both courses - details at end of this post. NB Courses begin 26th Oct. 2015. Monday evenings. If you have previously taken any of my Philosophy courses, are a full-time student,...

Does Biblical Liberalism Support LGBT Rights?

Ten years from now, I predict, the movement for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) rights will be largely successful, and Biblical religious believers will claim that this success was due to the cultural influence of Biblical religion. Show More Summary

Why the Prove-It Game can't be won

It's the regress problem. Here is a discussion by Maverick Christian.Suppose we define evidentialism as follows:A belief B is justified just in case there is a justified proposition C, which constitutes sufficient evidence for B.I used...Show More Summary

Is there such a thing as science, or are there just sciences?

Opponents of Christianity sometimes argue that there is no Christianity, only Christianities. Could we just as easily say that there is no science, only sciences?

Slippery Humanity

There were a number of reports recently that a robot had passed ‘one of the tests for self-awareness’. They seem to stem mainly from this New Scientist piece (free registration may be required to see the whole thing, but honestly I’m not sure it’s worth it). That in turn reported an experiment conducted by Selmer […]

Determinism and responsibility

If determinism is true, then given the past, you could not have done otherwise from what you did. If you committed a murder, it is because, given the actual past, you could have done nothing other than commit that murder, and the past stretches back before you were born. Show More Summary

If morality is subjective, everything is permitted

If morality is subjective, then the belief that it is wrong, always and everywhere to believe anything for insufficient evidence is also subjective. That I should care about truth as opposed to comfort is also subjective. That I should treat gay people as equal to straight people and not discriminate against them is also subjective. Show More Summary

DougJC on the teaching of evolution

And I am just as concerned that teaching evolution as a recruiting tool for atheism would downplay legitimate data, downplay certain areas of uncertainty and basically present an incomplete and misleading picture. Educators (along with scientists) should be expected to be superbly trained at leaving personal philosophies at the door of the classroom. Show More Summary

The Big Unplug Starts Today

Starting now, I will unplug from this hyperkinetic modern world for a period of days or weeks. How long remains to be seen. I will devote myself to such spiritual exercises as prayer, meditation, spiritual reading, hard-core philosophy and theology...

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