Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Simone Weil

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[New Entry by A. Rebecca Rozelle-Stone and Benjamin P. Davis on March 10, 2018.] Simone Weil (1909 - 1943) philosophized on thresholds and across borders. Her persistent desire for truth and justice led her to both elite academies and factory floors, political praxis and spiritual solitude. At different times she was an activist, a pacifist, a militant, a mystic, and an exile; but throughout, in her inquiry into reality and orientation to the good, she remained a philosopher. Her oeuvre features deliberate contradiction yet demonstrates remarkable clarity. It is value centered and integrated but not systematic. It...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Ascending to the god’s-eye view of reality

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Frank Wilczek famously wrote: “A recurring theme in natural philosophy is the tension between the God’s-eye view of reality comprehended as a whole and the ant’s-eye view of human consciousness, which senses a succession of events in time. Since the days of Isaac Newton, the ant’s-eye view has dominated fundamental physics. We divide our description of the world into dynamical laws that, paradoxically, exist outside of time according to some, and initial conditions on which those laws act. The dynamical laws do not determine which initial conditions describe reality. That division has been enormously useful and successful pragmatically, but it leaves us far short of a full scientific account of the world as we know it. The account it gives—things are what they are because they were what they were—raises the question: Why were things that way and not any other? The God’s-eye view seems, in the light of relativity theory, to be far more natural … ascending from the ant’s-eye view. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

All the president’s tweets

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It seems long ago now, but in his victory speech in 2016, Donald Trump promised to unite us as a nation. He finally has, at least around one issue: nearly seven of every ten Americans wish he would stop tweeting from his personal account. According to a recent Quinnipiac poll, that even includes a majority of Republicans. Melania, who says that she abhors the negativity and bullying of social media, said on 60 Minutes that she rebukes her husband all the time for his tweets. But she accepts that in the end “he will do what he wants to do.” Of course he will. Mr. Trump sees social media as a source of power, a way of fighting back. And his tweets reach an audience of 43 million, according to twitteraudit. Only half of them are real, but he still has about as many actual viewers as the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news programs combined. That gives the president a formidable weapon, which he uses to lash out at the mainstream media and present his own version of “reality.” He ridicules his. . .

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News source: Linguistics – OUPblog

Probabilistic Causation

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[Revised entry by Christopher Hitchcock on March 9, 2018. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] "Probabilistic Causation" designates a group of theories that aim to characterize the relationship between cause and effect using the tools of probability theory. The central idea behind these theories is that causes change the probabilities of their effects. This article traces developments in probabilistic causation, including recent developments in causal modeling....

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Philosopher Spotlight

Conversations with philosophers, professional and non-professional alike.
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Interview with

Dr. Robert McKim
  • on Religious Diversity
  • Professor of Religion and Professor of Philosophy
  • Focuses on Philosophy of Religion
  • Ph.D. Yale

Interview with

Dr. Alvin Plantinga
  • on Where the Conflict Really Lies
  • Emeritus Professor of Philosophy (UND)
  • Focuses on Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion
  • Ph.D. Yale

Interview with

Dr. Peter Boghossian
  • on faith as a cognitive sickness
  • Teaches Philosophy at Portland State University (Oregon)
  • Focuses on atheism and critical thinking
  • Has a passion for teaching in prisons
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