Avoiding Responsibility in Ten Easy Steps

UPDATED: 1/1/2011 I had a fruitful discussion with Jack Angstreich about Strawson’s article below. Based on that discussion and other material by Strawson that Jack pointed me to, it’s become clear to me that my analysis below is wrongheaded and that I initially badly misunderstood Strawson’s argum... [More]

The Reports of Philosophy’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

John Haldane for First Things says no. In fact, says Haldane, their arguments for M-theory are philosophical in nature and thus demonstrate the continued relevance of philosophy particularly in theoretical phyisics. Even if one disagrees with his analysis of Hawking and Mlodinow’s arguments, I think... [More]

Kierkegaard and the Modern Religious Mind

For Søren Kierkegaard, being a Christian is like falling in love. Most passionate, erotic relationships are not rational nor should they be. They are not strictly irrational though reason doesn’t seem to apply to them. When two people fall in love, they may know very little about one another but this is not relevant; in fact its part of its virtue. Common sense becomes a ballast and the lovers discard it, intentionally or not, for the possibility that all the promises they hope are true will be realized. To those on the outside, their relationship may seem silly at best and dangerous or harmful at worst. Yet they jump in with both feet, critics and naysayers be damned. [More]

Good Even If Not True: Anderson on Religion

Bruce Anderson, for the Spectator, opines about his atheism and the factors that caused him to reject the Christianity of his youth. Religion is attractive, culturally indispensible, and may even be necessary. Unfortunately, it’s probably not true, says Anderson, and that creates his intellect... [More]

Is Religion to Blame?

Is religion truly the cause of human suffering through conflict? Is this ingrained notion correct? A philosophical examination of war is a complex issue. Although warfare and conflict are common throughout human history, the causes of conflict are not simple. For something as complex as war, single-attribute causes are rare. There are a variety of reasons people, groups, and nations enter into conflicts and one of them has been religion. But does that mean that most wars are based on religious differences? [More]

Faith and Reason in Tension

“Faith has declined in contemporary western culture because contemporary westerners have become emotionally and imaginatively impoverished. We have ceased to care in the right way about the right things.” – C. Stephen Evans, “Kierkegaard: An Introduction” Reason: If anyone is to have justified beli... [More]

Christianity and Christmas

Ross Douthat, for the New York Times, uses the upcoming premier Christian holiday to reflect, briefly, on Christianity in America. His reflection focuses on Christianity primarily as a social and political force through two recent book-length treatments that attempt the same. His essay is notable no... [More]

Second Annual Notre Dame/Northwestern Graduate Epistemology Conference

Keynote Speaker: Ernest Sosa, Board of Governors Professor of Philosophy, Rutgers University. The philosophy departments at the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University are proud to announce the second annual Graduate Epistemology Conference, including a Symposium on Disagreement. Submi... [More]

PhilPapers Philosophy Survey Updated

PhilPapers recently updated the home page for their 2009 Philosophical survey (see details below). The survey asked questions on a variety of topics and surveyed over 1800 faculty and PhDs as well as over 800 graduate students. Here are some of the results: Epistemic justification: internalism or e... [More]

Thinking About Dexter

If you had the skill, opportunity, and will to kill murderers that the police were unable to catch, would you? Before answering too quickly, suppose one of the murderers you were stalking killed one of your children, or a spouse, or a parent. Suppose the police, after investigating the murder for mo... [More]