Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Trump’s Abandoned Mob

After years of shaping his base, Trump incited them to launch an attack on the capitol to overturn the election. While resulting in surprisingly few deaths, this coup attempt failed. While the right attempted to blame the attack on Antifa, the FBI quickly refuted this absurd lie. As Trump’s final days in office approached, the [More]

The Risk of Excessive Conservatism

In 'Lessons from the Pandemic', I summarized what I took to be some of the biggest mistakes of the pandemic response, and tried to give a sense of the scale of the potential damage done, along with some concrete suggestions for how we might have done vastly better.  Some readers (e.g. here) seemed of the opinion that only those with "authority" should express such opinions, which I obviously disagree with.  But to better help such readers, it might be helpful to bracket any particular empirical details or examples and focus instead on the most general overarching claim of my post: that excessive conservatism risks immense harm in a pandemic.One doesn't need a medical degree to see that this more modest (yet still important) claim is true.  For it does not require us to establish that some unconventional pandemic policy truly would be much better; it suffices to note that an unconventional pandemic policy easily could be much better -- i.e., there's a non-trivial probability of this -- and since excessive conservatism would dismiss such unconventional proposals out of hand, such conservatism poses a significant risk of immense harm.  Since it is worth guarding against significant risks of immense harm, it is worth guarding against excessive conservatism in a pandemic. To turn this into a more pointed critique of the medical/policy establishment (and elite public opinion), we can simply observe that there is no evidence that said [More]

al-Farabi’s Philosophy of Society and Religion

[Revised entry by Nadja Germann on January 20, 2021. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] While al-Farabi does not have a specific term for 'philosophy of religion', he does in fact have one which can more or less literally be translated as 'philosophy of society', namely, falsafa madaniyya.[1] Notably, this notion embraces two chief moments. First, in line with Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, it comprises an intrinsically anthropological and ethical element; [More]