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Jeff Lowder

I want to say, for the record, I think people like Jeff do an enormous service to the whole community of dialogue. It was at his invitation that the first Argument from Reason paper appeared on Internet Infidels.The question that I am...Show More Summary

Are You a Machine or a Person? Dehumanization and Work-Life Balance

So often, our jobs demand that we sacrifice our personal lives for the sake of corporate profit. No, the human person does not exist as a sacrifice to be made to the God of Business; business exists for the commerce that provides a passable support for human life. Show More Summary

How do you get good people to do bad things?

You start with a greater good and a higher purpose, and then you buy in on the idea that the end justifies the means, and if they believe in God, that the means are acceptable to God. With Christianity at least, you have a belief inShow More Summary

Oliver Sacks, 1933-2015: Natural Teleology in the Clinical Tales of a Philosophic Physician

Oliver Sacks died yesterday from cancer in New York City at the age of 82. There are two long--and very good--articles about his life in today's New York Times by Michiko Kakutani and Gregory Cowles.Dr. Sacks was a clinical neurologist,...Show More Summary

Do we care about where?

Do we care whether the mind is extended? The latest issue of the JCS features papers on various aspects of extended and embodied consciousness. In some respects I think the position is indicated well in a paper by Michael Wheeler, which tackles the question of whether phenomenal experience is realised, at least in part, outside […]

The Biology of Animal Culture Supports Aristotle Against Hobbes

One of the big debates in the history of political philosophy is over the question of whether human beings are political animals by nature comparable to other political animals. Aristotle said yes, because he thought human beings could be rightly compared with other political animals such as ants, bees, wasps, and cranes. Show More Summary

An incoherent triad

Believers often look at the atheist demand for evidence, as presented by typical atheists, as a shell game. I went over this issue with the link to Shadow to Light, but I want to pursue the same argument in a different way.The question...Show More Summary

Idealism Without God: a must-read paper!

... by the brilliant Helen Yetter-Chappell [forthcoming in T. Goldschmidt & K. Pearce (eds.) Idealism: New Essays in Metaphysics, Oxford University Press].PDF pre-print available here.I may be a tad biased, but I can't think of a more...Show More Summary

The Fourth Edition of "Political Questions" is Now Available

The fourth edition of Political Questions: Political Philosophy from Plato to Pinker (609 pages, $51.95) is now available. It can be ordered from Amazon or directly from Waveland Press.The thirteen chapters from the third edition have...Show More Summary

Rossian Utilitarianism?

In The Right and the Good, Ross posits seven distinct kinds of prima facie duties (fidelity, reparation, gratitude, justice, beneficence, self-improvement and non-maleficence). But suppose we reject the distinctively "deontological"Show More Summary

Freedom – why worry?

Why does the question of determinism versus free will continue to trouble us? There’s nothing too strange, perhaps, about a philosophical problem remaining in play for a while – or even for a few hundred years: but why does this one have such legs and still provoke such strong and contrary feelings on either side? […]

Criterial vs Ground-level Moral Explanations

To help show why certain objections to consequentialism are misguided, let us distinguish two importantly different kinds of explanation of particular moral facts. [Revising and expanding upon a distinction I originally drew back here.]What...Show More Summary

A Distant Realm: Rethinking the Procreative Asymmetry

Surprisingly many philosophers seem inclined to accept(Procreative Reasons Asymmetry): While we have strong reasons against bringing miserable lives into existence, we have no reasons (all else being equal) to bring awesome lives into...Show More Summary

Puzzles re: Kant on the Good Will

Two puzzling arguments from Chapter 1 of Kant's Groundwork:(1) He begins by suggesting that the only thing "good without qualification" is the good will. Why? Because (i) anything else could turn out to be instrumentally bad, in theShow More Summary

An interesting question

Here. On a cool Autumn night, you are gazing up at the sky when a being suddenly appears and asks, "What can I do to make you believe that I am God?" What is your answer? I once asked that question to atheist philosopher Keith Parsons. He told me that if the galaxies in the Virgo cluster were to spell out the words "Turn Or Burn This Means You Parsons," that the would turn.

Scott’s Aliens

Scott Bakker has given an interesting new approach to his Blind Brain Theory (BBT): in two posts on his blog he considers what kind of consciousness aliens could have, and concludes that the process of evolution would put them into the same hole where, on his view, we find ourselves. BBT, in sketchy summary, says […]

Real Consent

A few months back John Moore wrote: Why not use consent as the moral test for sexual activity? If both parties are mature enough and give their willing consent, then it can't be wrong. The problem with polyamory is just that it's sometimes doubtful whether all parties freely consent. Show More Summary

On Furrow's Defense of Eating Meat

Dwight Furrow at 3QD has written up a defense of eating meat (ht: Phil Percs) that strikes me as pretty badly confused.He begins by complaining that "Singer's arguments are based on utilitarian premises." This is a common mistake. Singer...Show More Summary

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