Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

The Unbearable Lightness of Blogging: How to Save Your Posts from Catastrophe.

   Sumerian clay tablet with the text of the poem Inanna and Ebih by the priestess Enheduanna, Writing in cuneiform characters on clay tablets is a little laborious, but it ensures that your text is not vulnerable to accidental erasure: these tablets have survived for more than 5000 years. It is hard to think that the posts of our blogs will survive for so long. But, at least, we should try to protect them from accidental loss or direct attacks. Image from Wikipedia.  I don't know if it ever happened to you, but a few days ago I lost two post drafts in a row, the same day. Then I discovered something that I should have known: that Google's Blogger gives you zero chances to recover your text when you erase it by mistake. No way, impossible, I could have thrown those drafts into a black hole. No tragedy, but a few hours of work wasted. And that set my mind in motion: why is it that Google, the world's most powerful Internet company, can't provide even a minimal file recovery facility in their blogging platform? Call me paranoid, but I think they had something in mind when they structured Blogger the way it is. That is, prone to data loss. Just think of a few characteristics of the shiny new version of Blogger: there is no way to make an automatic backup. There is no trash can from which you can recover erased data. There is no way to disable the automatic saving that operates every two seconds or so, and that virtually guarantees that any [More]

Walter Benjamin

[Revised entry by Peter Osborne and Matthew Charles on October 14, 2020. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Walter Benjamin's importance as a philosopher and critical theorist can be gauged by the diversity of his intellectual influence and the continuing productivity of his thought. Primarily regarded as a literary critic and essayist, the philosophical basis of Benjamin's writings is increasingly acknowledged. They were a decisive influence upon Theodor W. Adorno's conception of philosophy's actuality or adequacy to the present (Adorno 1931). In the 1930s, Benjamin's efforts to develop a [More]

Kant’s View of the Mind and Consciousness of Self

[Revised entry by Andrew Brook and Julian Wuerth on October 8, 2020. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Even though Kant himself held that his view of the mind and consciousness were inessential to his main purpose, some of the ideas central to his point of view came to have an enormous influence on his successors. Some of his ideas are now central to cognitive science, for example. Other ideas equally central to his point of view had little influence on subsequent work. In this article, first we survey Kant's model as a whole and the claims in it that have been influential. Then we examine his claims about consciousness of self specifically. Many of his ideas that have not been influential are ideas about the consciousness of [More]

Is Tolerance Self-Undermining?

In light of all of the hullaballoo surrounding Brendan Eich’s resignation from Mozilla for his political views regarding same sex marriage, I have been musing over the meaning and practice of “tolerance”. In the name of “tolerance”, Eich was pressured to resign because he is supposedly intolerant of same sex marriage. However, supporters of Eich contend that this is just being intolerant in a different way, by refusing to tolerate Eich’s political beliefs. Who is right? In some ways, I think neither is, because the notion of “tolerance” seems to be self-contradictory, or at least, self-undermining. [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

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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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