Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Guns in Cars

While many American cities have seen a significant increase in the number of guns stolen from often unlocked cars, Tennessee seems to be the leader in this area. In 2016 2,203 guns were reported stolen from vehicles. In 2017 4,064 thefts were reported. The causes of the increase are no mystery. One factor is the [More]

Opportunity Hoarding III: Positive, Neutral & Negative Competition

Competition, by its very nature, yields winners and non-winners. For individuals and teams (individuals acting collectively) the results of a competition can be positive, neutral or negative for them. For example, a parent who leaks information about rival children to college admissions officers might get a positive outcome (her child is admitted over the competition) [More]

When Killing is Worse than Letting Die

Consider two plausible ethical claims: (1) It's much worse to kill someone for money than it is to refrain from saving a life due to the monetary cost. (2) There's no intrinsic or fundamental significance to the distinctions between doing and allowing, killing vs letting die, etc. (It's notoriously difficult to give a sound metaphysical account of these distinctions that seems to be getting at anything fundamentally important, after all.) Together, these points suggest that we should want to account for such distinctions having a kind of indirect significance -- say, by typically correlating with something else that has intrinsic significance.What might that "something else" be?  One striking thing about the ill-doer (in contrast to the ill-allower) is that their presence makes things worse than if they hadn't been there at all.  I don't think that necessarily makes any difference from the agent's perspective (they have just as strong a reason to prevent bad outcomes as they do to refrain from causing bad outcomes; there's no reason for them to privilege the status quo in their deliberations).  But it may make a difference to how others should regard the agent.  It could make sense for others to fear the ill-doer, for example, whereas there's typically no reason to fear an ill-allower who makes no difference to the situation. (Exceptions arise in "pre-emption" cases where a malicious ill-allower is ready & willing to do [More]

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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

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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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