Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

What is the place of human beings in the world

Philosophers disagree on what philosophy is supposed to do, but one popular candidate for what is part of the philosophical project is to try to understand the place of human beings in the world. What is our significance in the world as whole? What place do human beings have in the universe and in all of […] The post What is the place of human beings in the world appeared first on OUPblog.         Related StoriesLet people change their mindsHow fake things can still help us learnThe remarkable life of philosopher Frank [More]

Understanding the Brain

“Maybe human brains aren’t equipped to understand themselves.” That thought is offered up by Grigori Guitchounts, a Ph.D. student in neuroscience at Harvard University, in an article surveying some current brain research at Nautilus. One branch of such research is connectomics, which “strives to chart the entirety of the connections among neurons in a brain.” Guitchounts writes: In principle, a complete connectome would contain all the information necessary to provide a solid base on which to build a holistic understanding of the brain. We could see what each brain part is, how it supports the whole, and how it ought to interact with the other parts and the environment.  Jeff Lichtman, a professor of molecular and cellular biology at Harvard, works in this area, attempting to provide a map of the brain. Here’s how he does it: The 68-year-old neuroscientist’s weapon of choice is a 61-beam electron microscope, which Lichtman’s team uses to visualize the tiniest of details in brain tissue… [and] a machine that can only be described as a fancy deli slicer. The machine cuts pieces of brain tissue into 30-nanometer-thick sections, which it then pastes onto a tape conveyor belt. The tape goes on silicon wafers, and into Lichtman’s electron microscope, where billions of electrons blast the brain slices, generating images that reveal nanometer-scale features of neurons, their axons, dendrites, and the synapses through which they exchange [More]

New: Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Consciousness

The International Journal of Machine Consciousness, which ceased publication in 2014, is being reborn as the Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Consciousness. The new journal will offer a multidisciplinary platform to discuss AI and consciousness in the light of robotics and artificial systems, computational science, psychology, philosophy of mind, ethics, and neuroscience. The aims and scope of the journal are: (i) articles that take inspiration from biological consciousness and/or that explore theoretical issues of consciousness to build robots and AI systems that show forms of functional consciousness; (ii) articles that employ robots and AI systems as tools to model and better understand biological mechanisms of consciousness; (iii) articles that discuss ethical problems emerging or uncovered through the overlap of AI and consciousness, and that investigate the ethical and societal impact of consciousness and the limits of it, and (iv) to pursue the hybridization between the field of AI and the field of consciousness studies. The journal’s editor in chief is Antonio Chella, a professor of robotics at the University of Palermo, and its executive editors are David Gamez (computer science, Middlesex) and Riccardo Manzotti (philosophy, IULM Milan). There are a number of philosophers on the editorial board, including Peter Boltuc (U. Illinois, Springfield), Selmer Bringsjord (Rensselaer Polytechnic), Chuanfei Chin (National University of Singapore), Ron Chrisley [More]

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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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