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
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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
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
This should prompt charges of Christian paranoia. Here.
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
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.
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.
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,...
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
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
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?
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 […]
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, 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
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
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...