What are we asking when we ask why?

"Why? WHY?" If, like me, you have small children, you spend all day trying to answer this question. It's not easy: sometimes there is no answer (a recent exchange: “Sharing is when you let someone
"Why? WHY?" If, like me, you have small children, you spend all day trying to answer this question. It's not easy: sometimes there is no answer (a recent exchange: “Sharing is when you let someone [More]

The blessing of Babel

I am in Palermo, sitting on the floor of the puppet museum with a circle of teenagers. Around us hang gaudy, dormant marionettes of characters from the Orlando Furioso: the valiant Orlando and his
I am in Palermo, sitting on the floor of the puppet museum with a circle of teenagers. Around us hang gaudy, dormant marionettes of characters from the Orlando Furioso: the valiant Orlando and his [More]

Accessible and inaccessible disciplines: why philosophy and science are similar but are treated differently

Amongst my books is a late nineteenth century edition of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. Purchased from a used bookshop many years ago, it contains the previous owner’s signature on the flyleaf
Amongst my books is a late nineteenth century edition of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. Purchased from a used bookshop many years ago, it contains the previous owner’s signature on the flyleaf [More]

Developing the virtues

Helicopter parenting is denounced by onlookers (e.g., David Brooks) as babying children who should be self-reliant, a highly valued characteristic in the USA. Children should not need parents but
Helicopter parenting is denounced by onlookers (e.g., David Brooks) as babying children who should be self-reliant, a highly valued characteristic in the USA. Children should not need parents but [More]

How much do you know about al‐Kindī? [quiz]

This October, the OUP Philosophy team honors al-Kindī (c. 800-870) as their Philosopher of the Month. Known as the “first philosopher of the Arabs,” al-Kindī was one of the most important
This October, the OUP Philosophy team honors al-Kindī (c. 800-870) as their Philosopher of the Month. Known as the “first philosopher of the Arabs,” al-Kindī was one of the most important [More]

A person-less variant of the Bernadete paradox

Before looking at the person-less variant of the Bernedete paradox, lets review the original: Imagine that Alice is walking towards a point – call it A – and will continue walking past A unless
Before looking at the person-less variant of the Bernedete paradox, lets review the original: Imagine that Alice is walking towards a point – call it A – and will continue walking past A unless [More]

The nail that sticks out gets hammered down, or does it?

Do you have a tattoo to care for? If not, shouldn’t you ask yourself, why not? Butterflies on calves, angel wings on shoulders, Celtic crosses across chests of law-abiding citizens have superseded
Do you have a tattoo to care for? If not, shouldn’t you ask yourself, why not? Butterflies on calves, angel wings on shoulders, Celtic crosses across chests of law-abiding citizens have superseded [More]

Art in the age of digital production

Between 1986 and 1988, the jazz musician and experimental music pioneer George Lewis created the first version of Voyager. After spending some time making work that involved compositional programmes
Between 1986 and 1988, the jazz musician and experimental music pioneer George Lewis created the first version of Voyager. After spending some time making work that involved compositional programmes [More]

Darwinism as religion: what literature tells us about evolution

From the publication of the Origin, Darwin enthusiasts have been building a kind of secular religion based on its ideas, particularly on the dark world without ultimate meaning implied by the
From the publication of the Origin, Darwin enthusiasts have been building a kind of secular religion based on its ideas, particularly on the dark world without ultimate meaning implied by the [More]

How would the ancient Stoics have dealt with hate speech?

Insults have lately been making headline news. Last year, the world witnessed an attack on the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The post How would the ancient Stoics have
Insults have lately been making headline news. Last year, the world witnessed an attack on the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The post How would the ancient Stoics have [More]