Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

The Border & Mercenaries?

When it is not lying about the 2020 election, creating laws to solve problems that do not exist, or doing other dishonest and awful things, the Republican party is focused on the border. Trump obsessed about his wall—but it is a “absentia monumentum, to make up a phrase. Now that Joe Biden is President, some [More]

Florida’s Political Survey

Governor DeSantis signed a law recently that includes a requirement to survey public university faculty and students about their political views. Institutions can lose funding if the results do not satisfy the Republican dominated state legislature. As would be suspected, there are many concerns about this law, or so Republicans have suggested. The survey results [More]

Can You Be a Good Billionaire?

Billionaires and their lesser cousins are generally lauded in American society. But there are some who condemn them simply for being billionaires. This leads to the moral issue of whether a person can be both morally good and a billionaire. The issue is whether, in general, you could be a billionaire and still plausibly be [More]

Helping Nature

On a morning run I came across a sign in the park informing me that the city was “helping nature by controlling invasive plants.” This process involves herbicides and machetes. My adopted city of Tallahassee is quite active in addressing invasive species. Laying aside the various concerns about herbicides, this raises many philosophical issues. On [More]

Cancel Culture & Critical Race Theory

In the context of their war on “cancel culture” Republicans professes a profound devotion to the First Amendment, freedom of expression and the marketplace of ideas. As noted in earlier essays, they generally frame these battles in disingenuous ways or simply lie. For example, Republicans have raged against the alleged cancellation of Dr. Seuss, but [More]

Five Fallacies of Collective Harm

It's often thought that "collective harm" can result from a collection of contributions despite each individual increment to the number of contributions allegedly making no difference at all. I think this is incoherent, or at any rate entirely unmotivated. There seem to be five main reasons why people tend to hold this dubious view. In this post, I'll briefly explain why each is misguided.(1) The Rounding to Zero Fallacy. As Parfit noted in his famous discussion of "moral mathematics", it's really important not to neglect tiny chances of having a huge impact.  The latter could well have high expected value, which you'll lose sight of if you mistakenly treat "tiny chance" as equivalent to "no chance at all". (Previously discussed here.)(2) The Chunky Fallacy involves claiming that a system "isn't sensitive to small changes" even though it is sensitive to large changes, and a sufficient number of small changes constitutes a large change. (I take this to include "threshold-moving" maneuvers; see, e.g., my response to the claim that "the system is not sensitive to a single vote, and anything close to even will be decided by the courts or the like.")(3) The First-Increment Fallacy involves generalizing from the first increment in a sequence, even when it is not representative.  Sinnott-Armstrong's argument that emergence blocks individual impact for GHG emissions rests on this fallacy.  (As do certain anti-aggregative intuitions.)(4) The [More]

Death Determiners

If a person dies in the United States and is not in the care of a doctor, then any investigation into their cause of death will probably be conducted by a medical examiner or coroner. To qualify as a medical examiner, a person must be a physician and they are often board qualified in forensic [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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