Museum and solitude

What do we want when confronting great art? Solitude, contemplation, silence – all of which are inhibited, even prohibited, in most museums…
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What do we want when confronting great art? Solitude, contemplation, silence – all of which are inhibited, even prohibited, in most museums… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Visions of Science

Introduced in 1833, the term “scientist” had grubby connotations. Natural philosophers thought deeply and wrote elegantly, scientists were data crunchers…
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Introduced in 1833, the term “scientist” had grubby connotations. Natural philosophers thought deeply and wrote elegantly, scientists were data crunchers… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

History of Autocorrect

In this age of fat fingers on tiny touchscreens, autocorrect is a necessity. Whom can we thank for this innovation? A man identified as Bill Vaginal…
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In this age of fat fingers on tiny touchscreens, autocorrect is a necessity. Whom can we thank for this innovation? A man identified as Bill Vaginal… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Objections to Consequentialism

What do you think are the strongest objections to Consequentialism? (By 'Consequentialism' I roughly mean the unconstrained pursuit of the good -- which might be agent-relative, but shouldn't build
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What do you think are the strongest objections to Consequentialism? (By 'Consequentialism' I roughly mean the unconstrained pursuit of the good -- which might be agent-relative, but shouldn't build in intrinsic concern for traditional "side constraints" like promises, fairness, etc.)* Counterexamples: I've previously explained why I'm not impressed by the standard "counterexamples" to consequentialism (transplant, bridge, etc.).  In short, they involve situations where the supposedly "consequentialist" act seems morally reckless, and merely stipulating that it "really is" for the best predictably doesn't undo our intuitive aversion to such irresponsible behaviour.  I think it's a lot harder than most people realize to come up with a real case where an act both (i) maximizes rationally-expectable value, and yet (ii) seems morally repugnant on reflection.  So I wish it weren't so common for people to breezily dismiss Act Consequentialism with a mere hand-wave. . .

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News source: Philosophy, et cetera

The Sharing Economy II: Taxes

In my previous essay on the new sharing economy I discussed the matter of regulation in regards to such companies as Uber and Airbnb. In this essay, I’ll cover the subjects of taxes. As with
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Sheraton Hotel (Photo credit: kevin dooley) In my previous essay on the new sharing economy I discussed the matter of regulation in regards to such companies as Uber and Airbnb. In this essay, I’ll cover the subjects of taxes. As with regulation, some people are quite opposed to taxes. Other people are fine with taxes—at least with imposing taxes on others. In general, though, people prefer to not pay taxes. As such, it is hardly a surprise that the new sharing economy includes various attempts to avoid taxes. One example of this is the case of services like Airbnb. On the face of it, these services are just providing a means by which a person can rent out his spare room, condo or apartment. For example, a person who will be in another state for a few months might use Airbnd to rent out his apartment so he can have some income to offset the rent. Looked at one way, this service is just a more organized version of the old informal economy in which people do a sublease, rent out their. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy

The Objects of Thought

2014.07.32 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Tim Crane, The Objects of Thought, Oxford University Press, 2013, 182pp., $45.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780199682744.   Reviewed by
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2014.07.32 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Tim Crane, The Objects of Thought, Oxford University Press, 2013, 182pp., $45.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780199682744.   Reviewed by Pierre Jacob, CNRS, Institut Jean Nicod, École Normale Supérieure The specific goal of Tim Crane's elegant and original book is to offer a fresh solution to the problem: how can some of our thoughts about non-existent objects be true and others false? As it turns out, Crane's solution is openly psychologistic: the book purports to offer piece-meal psychological explanations of why and how humans sometimes entertain true thoughts about non-existent objects. Furthermore, Crane's appeal to psychologism (or psychological explanation) shows up in two specific unexpected areas: in his own explanation of what domains of quantification are and in his metaphysical distinction between substantial and pleonastic (or non-substantial) properties and relations. This problem (henceforth, the problem of. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

An approach to modern music

Joe Queenan, who has attended roughly 1,000 classical music concerts, offers a warning: Beware the savage, conscienceless, blue-haired ladies…
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Joe Queenan, who has attended roughly 1,000 classical music concerts, offers a warning: Beware the savage, conscienceless, blue-haired ladies… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

In Tolkien’s shadow

The Tolkien problem. Hobbits and dragons dominate the popular imagination. The result: We’ve lost sight of actual Medieval history?…
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The Tolkien problem. Hobbits and dragons dominate the popular imagination. The result: We’ve lost sight of actual Medieval history?… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Indian Buddhist Philosophy

2014.07.31 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Amber Carpenter, Indian Buddhist Philosophy, Acumen, 2014, 313pp., $24.95 (pbk), ISBN 9781844652983. Reviewed by Christopher
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2014.07.31 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Amber Carpenter, Indian Buddhist Philosophy, Acumen, 2014, 313pp., $24.95 (pbk), ISBN 9781844652983. Reviewed by Christopher Bartley, University of Liverpool This is a closely argued and engaging book discussing the varied and sophisticated Buddhist philosophical traditions. It is an ideal introduction for philosophers wanting to learn about Buddhist thought. Amber Carpenter encourages us to consider the viability as a moral outlook for ourselves a range of ideas stemming from the teachings of Gautama, the enlightened one (the Buddha), who renounced the everyday social life and ritualistic religion of his day in favour of detachment and homelessness. She likens the Buddhist philosophers to the classical Greeks in their belief that, as the late Iris Murdoch put it, metaphysics is a guide to morals where metaphysics means the edifying attempt to understand the world and our relation to it. Furthermore, both. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Question about Religion - Stephen Maitzen responds

Isn't evil prove that God exist ? 1. Evil exists. 2. Evil is a departure from the way things ought to be. 3. If there is a departure from the way things ought to be, then there is a way things
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Isn't evil prove that God exist ? 1. Evil exists. 2. Evil is a departure from the way things ought to be. 3. If there is a departure from the way things ought to be, then there is a way things ought to be. 4. Therefore, there is a way things ought to be. 5. If there is a way things ought to be, then there is a design plan for things. 6. If there is a design plan for things, then there must be a Designer. 7. Therefore, there must be a Designer. If the universe is the product of chance as opposed to intelligence, then there is no design or purpose built into the universe. Since one can rationally apply a standard of goodness to an object only if that object was designed with the purpose of meeting that standard, isn't evil which itself is a deviation from that standard of goodness prove that God exist? Response from: Stephen Maitzen Thanks for the interesting argument. I'd challenge premise (5) for starters. Not all normative truths require a designer or decree-giver. Consider. . .

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News source: AskPhilosophers.org | "All"