Why God would not send his sons to Oxford: parenting and the problem of evil

Imagine a London merchant deliberating whether to send his ten sons to Oxford or to Cambridge. Leafing through the flyers, he learns that, if he sends the boys to Cambridge, they will make
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Imagine a London merchant deliberating whether to send his ten sons to Oxford or to Cambridge. Leafing through the flyers, he learns that, if he sends the boys to Cambridge, they will make “considerable progress in the sciences as well as in virtue, so that their merit will elevate them to honourable occupations for the rest of their lives” — on the other hand, if he sends them to Oxford, “they will become depraved, they will become rascals, and they will pass from  mischief to mischief until the law will have to set them in order, and condemn them to various punishments.” Never doubting the truth of these predictions, he still decides to send the lads to Oxford, and not to Cambridge. “Is it not clear, according to our common notions, that 1) this merchant wants his sons to be wicked and miserable; and 2) that, consequently, he is acting in a way that is contrary to goodness and to the love of virtue?” This is not an excerpt from a Cambridge undergraduate prospectus. It is a version. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

Is it possible to experience time passing?

Suppose you had to explain to someone, who did not already know, what it means to say that time passes. What might you say? Perhaps you would explain that different times are arranged in an ordered
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Suppose you had to explain to someone, who did not already know, what it means to say that time passes. What might you say? Perhaps you would explain that different times are arranged in an ordered series with a direction: Monday precedes Tuesday, Tuesday precedes Wednesday, and so on. But if time passes and space does not, then this cannot be the whole story. After all, locations in space are also ordered: London is to the north of Paris, Paris is to the north of Marseille, and so on. And even if space had an intrinsic direction, this would not make it the case that space passed. A direction only requires that there be an asymmetry; but a mere asymmetry would not explain the notion of passing. Instead, you might appeal to experience. We experience time passing throughout our lives, or so it is claimed. Different people will give different accounts of the details. Some will emphasise the fact that experienced change, such as motion, has a dynamic quality that is absent from any. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

Death is unavoidable and suffering is everywhere, says <strong>Julian Baggini.</strong> The only debate should be about the nature and extent of our participation. So let's talk about eating meat

Death is unavoidable and suffering is everywhere, says Julian Baggini. The only debate should be about the nature and extent of our participation. So let&#39;s talk about eating
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Death is unavoidable and suffering is everywhere, says Julian Baggini. The only debate should be about the nature and extent of our participation. So let's talk about eating meat

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

<strong>Clive James </strong>is not a Proust scholar, but he is a Proust appreciator -- an enthusiast, not an expert. The distinction is what matters

Clive James is not a Proust scholar, but he is a Proust appreciator -- an enthusiast, not an expert. The distinction is what
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Clive James is not a Proust scholar, but he is a Proust appreciator -- an enthusiast, not an expert. The distinction is what matters

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Wasps&nbsp;are a threat, often putting us at risk of a sting. But <strong>wasps lead exemplary lives</strong>, and they're responsible for a great shift in cultural history

Wasps&amp;nbsp;are a threat, often putting us at risk of a sting. But wasps lead exemplary lives, and they&#39;re responsible for a great shift in cultural
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Wasps are a threat, often putting us at risk of a sting. But wasps lead exemplary lives, and they're responsible for a great shift in cultural history

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

The Instrumental Value of One Vote

Over in this Leiter thread, some philosophers seem to be dismissing the instrumental value of voting (for Clinton over Trump) for misguided reasons:(1) That a marginal vote is&amp;nbsp;&quot;astronomically
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Over in this Leiter thread, some philosophers seem to be dismissing the instrumental value of voting (for Clinton over Trump) for misguided reasons:(1) That a marginal vote is "astronomically unlikely to change the outcome."This is not true,* at least for those who are able to vote in a swing state. According to Gelman, Silver and Edlin (p.325), the chance of a marginal vote altering the election outcome is as high as 1 in 10 million, depending on the state.  Given that the outcome will in turn affect hundreds of millions (or even billions) of people, voting for Clinton in a swing state arguably has significant expected value.(2) That the system is not sensitive to a single vote, and anything close to even will be decided by the courts or the like.The claim that insensitivity undermines marginal impact is generally fallacious.Given that a large collection of votes together makes a difference, it is logically impossible for each individual addition to the collection to make. . .

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News source: Philosophy, et cetera

<strong>What is modernism</strong>? How a term that's come to mean so much &mdash; as a literary movement, a design aesthetic &mdash; has always lacked a clear definition

What is modernism? How a term that&#39;s come to mean so much &amp;mdash; as a literary movement, a design aesthetic &amp;mdash; has always lacked a clear
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What is modernism? How a term that's come to mean so much — as a literary movement, a design aesthetic — has always lacked a clear definition

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

<strong>Books burn</strong> at 451 degrees F. The human body burns at 1,500 degrees. &ldquo;Where they have burned books," said Heinrich Heine, "they will end in burning human beings&rdquo;

Books burn at 451 degrees F. The human body burns at 1,500 degrees. &amp;ldquo;Where they have burned books,&quot; said Heinrich Heine, &quot;they will end in burning human
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Books burn at 451 degrees F. The human body burns at 1,500 degrees. “Where they have burned books," said Heinrich Heine, "they will end in burning human beings”

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Literature is full of impostors, but few have pulled off a hoax as brazen or bizarre as <strong>JT Leroy</strong>, the novelist who wasn't who he seemed&nbsp;

Literature is full of impostors, but few have pulled off a hoax as brazen or bizarre as JT Leroy, the novelist who wasn&#39;t who he
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Literature is full of impostors, but few have pulled off a hoax as brazen or bizarre as JT Leroy, the novelist who wasn't who he seemed 

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Philosophy Comes to Dinner: Arguments About the Ethics of Eating

2016.07.20 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Andrew Chignell, Terence Cuneo, and Matthew C. Halteman (eds.), Philosophy Comes to Dinner: Arguments About the Ethics of Eating,
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2016.07.20 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Andrew Chignell, Terence Cuneo, and Matthew C. Halteman (eds.), Philosophy Comes to Dinner: Arguments About the Ethics of Eating, Routledge, 2016, 299pp., $33.95 (pbk), ISBN 9780415806831. Reviewed by Tina Rulli, University of California, Davis Did you know that organic produce has a larger environmental footprint than conventionally-grown produce (175)? Have you considered that purchasing factory-farmed meat may be morally better than purchasing from a small farm, given that your individual action makes no difference in the former case but may cause some harm in the latter (185)? Perhaps everyone, including vegans, would do better eating mussels rather than strawberries (174). These are some of the surprising conversational tidbits from the philosophy dinner table set by Andrew Chignell, Terence Cuneo, and Matthew C. Halteman. Their guests, invited to discuss the ethics of eating, include an impressive. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News