Cass Sunstein, nudge in chief

Cass Sunstein, mild-mannered, deliberative, professorial, occasionally a bureaucrat. Is he the most dangerous man in America?…
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Cass Sunstein, mild-mannered, deliberative, professorial, occasionally a bureaucrat. Is he the most dangerous man in America?… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Thomas Piketty, capital man

Like a wonky heir to Tocqueville, Thomas Piketty has arrived in America. He has data, charts, and a plan to stem the country’s “drift toward oligarchy”…
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Like a wonky heir to Tocqueville, Thomas Piketty has arrived in America. He has data, charts, and a plan to stem the country’s “drift toward oligarchy”… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Twittter, Facebook, and the novel

Here’s what confronts contemporary novelists: A social landscape changing so rapidly that it defies representation. Must be time for a new literary movement…
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Here’s what confronts contemporary novelists: A social landscape changing so rapidly that it defies representation. Must be time for a new literary movement… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Question about Language - Stephen Maitzen responds

Reading Wikipedia and a bit of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, I learn that, for most philosophers today, the distinction betweem analytic and synthetic truths or falsities is no longer
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Reading Wikipedia and a bit of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, I learn that, for most philosophers today, the distinction betweem analytic and synthetic truths or falsities is no longer acceptable. For them, there are no analytic truths. This rejection originates in Quine. I wonder if that is really so. Is there anything synthetic in mathematics? Is there anything synthetic in the thought that all birds are birds, or that all brown balls are brown things? How do philosophers argue that these truths are synthetic? Response from: Stephen Maitzen You're wise to consult the SEP for discussion of these questions and for citations to various published answers. Continue to do so. I'd question, however, whether "most philosophers today" reject the analytic/synthetic distinction. According to the recent PhilPapers survey, 64.9% of "target faculty" either "accept or lean toward" accepting the distinction (see this link). Reports of its demise would appear to be exaggerated.

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News source: AskPhilosophers.org | "All"

Question about Rationality, Religion - Stephen Maitzen responds

Is it right to call a believer rational even if she cannot prove articulately or give good arguments for her belief in God? Let's just say I ask a believer "Why do you believe in God?" and she
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Is it right to call a believer rational even if she cannot prove articulately or give good arguments for her belief in God? Let's just say I ask a believer "Why do you believe in God?" and she simply answered, "Because I've experienced God's grace in my life," and she needs no arguments or other evidences for her belief, is her position justifiable? I personally thinks it is but if that is the case, then what would make belief in God irrational, if simply certain personal experiences can justify such belief? Response from: Stephen Maitzen If she had reasons to believe, it would not be faith that she had but knowledge.I respectfully reject the implicit reasoning in Prof. Marino's claim. Someone's having reasons to believe may make her belief rational or epistemically justified, but her belief is knowledge only if her belief is true, and its truth doesn't follow from her having reasons to believe.[A]s human beings we still have to decide whether or not [to] believe in what falls. . .

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News source: AskPhilosophers.org | "All"

Lecturer of Philosophy

Job List:  Americas Name of institution:  Rensselaer Polytechnic
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Job List: 
Americas
Name of institution: 
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Town: 
Troy
Country: 
USA
. . .

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News source: Jobs In Philosophy

Question about Children - Allen Stairs responds

Hello philosophers, I'm finding it very difficult to understand the way modern society uses the word abuse . Recently I read about a case where a child was malnourished through being half starved ,
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Hello philosophers, I'm finding it very difficult to understand the way modern society uses the word abuse . Recently I read about a case where a child was malnourished through being half starved , it was rightly described as child abuse , why then are the countless cases of childhood obesity never described this way ? If it can be shown that a child's obesity is caused by overeating is it not surely as bad as half starving a child , and therefore should be termed child abuse ? Response from: Allen Stairs I don't think so. Here's why

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News source: AskPhilosophers.org | "All"

Question about Value - Allen Stairs responds

Is it possible for anything to matter? My teacher always tells me if I do bad in a drama scene, I shouldn't worry about it because no one will remember or care in a few weeks. Doesn't that apply to
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Is it possible for anything to matter? My teacher always tells me if I do bad in a drama scene, I shouldn't worry about it because no one will remember or care in a few weeks. Doesn't that apply to everything? If I cure cancer, surely that will affect almost everyone on the planet, but will anyone even appreciate it a million years after the fact? A billion? Humans can't last forever, and eventually our species will die - meaning no one will be alive to remember cancer even existed. Even Earth will die eventually. Even the Galaxy!! So how can anything I do be important in the grand scheme of things? Response from: Allen Stairs There's a classic paper by Thomas Nagel that addresses your question. It's called The Absurd. It appeared the Journal of Philosophy, v. 68 no. 20, 1971. A bit of googling just might find you the full text, though of course I could never actually suggest that you look for a copy produced without regard for copyright. Nagel thinks there's no getting around. . .

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News source: AskPhilosophers.org | "All"

Question about Rationality, Religion - Gordon Marino responds

Is it right to call a believer rational even if she cannot prove articulately or give good arguments for her belief in God? Let's just say I ask a believer "Why do you believe in God?" and she
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Is it right to call a believer rational even if she cannot prove articulately or give good arguments for her belief in God? Let's just say I ask a believer "Why do you believe in God?" and she simply answered, "Because I've experienced God's grace in my life," and she needs no arguments or other evidences for her belief, is her position justifiable? I personally thinks it is but if that is the case, then what would make belief in God irrational, if simply certain personal experiences can justify such belief? Response from: Gordon Marino If she had reasons to believe, it would not be faith that she had but knowledge. It might be hard to set up experiments and prove that love exists, and yet I would not call a person who believed in love on the basis of personal experience - irrational. Perhaps it would be irrational - to think- to imagine - that reason could take in the full sweep of reality. It might be reasonable to believe that there are limits to reason and yet as human. . .

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News source: AskPhilosophers.org | "All"

Philosophy Compass Free Virtual Issue on Meta-Philosophy of Religion

We are delighted to present this exciting virtual issue of Philosophy Compass articles, dealing with the Meta-Philosophy of Religion. The four articles below have been specially selected by the
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We are delighted to present this exciting virtual issue of Philosophy Compass articles, dealing with the Meta-Philosophy of Religion. The four articles below have been specially selected by the editor of our Philosophy of Religion section, Yujin Nagasawa, and will be available for free for the next six months, until October 2014. You can read…

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News source: The Prosblogion