Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Mike’s Free Encounter #17: Frostcursed Guard Post

This is the 17th in an ongoing series aimed to provide the overworked DM with ready-to run encounters. The PCs face off against a Frostcursed dwarf guard post. The encounter includes: History/Background for the encounter. New Monsters: Frostcursed Captain, Frostcursed Lieutenant, Frostcursed Sergeant, Frostcursed Priest, Frostcursed Warrior and Dwarven Skeleton. Encounter guide. Color Maps The [More]

Philosophers’ Scary Nicknames: A Halloween Game

Happy Halloween, philosofriends! To celebrate, I thought we could come up with scary nicknames for well-known philosophers. But there are some rules on how to do it… Using only the letters of a philosopher’s name, create a scary or evil-sounding nickname for that philosopher from some of them. You needn’t use all of the letters, and you can use the same letter as many times as you need to. You may add “the” if the nickname calls for it. Bonus points if the nickname is relevant to their ideas. (And don’t be mean.) Here are some examples: “Wicked” Henry Sidgwick Simone “Die More” de Beauvoir John “No Laws” Rawls Arthur “The Heart Eater” Schopenhauer David “Mad Mecha” Chalmers Susan “The” Wolf Your turn! Previous Halloween Posts: “Halloween Costumes of Famous Philosophers,” “Philosophy Horror Films“, “What Philosophical Idea Or Position Do You Find The Scariest?“, “Which Philosophy Ideas Make for Good Costumes?“, “Causes of Deaths of Philosophers”   The post Philosophers’ Scary Nicknames: A Halloween Game appeared first on Daily [More]

Rest in Peace

Nobody over the age of twenty is much afraid of Halloween, not nowadays. We treat it with endless irony. Our pumpkin heads no longer drive back the dark and the cold; their grins are cheery. However, our jokey version of confronting the growing cold and darkness as the death of the year approaches draws on far older and genuinely more frightening stories and customs that date from a time when death seemed ever present.The jack-o’-lantern as a trickster replicates the Gaelic lands’ fascination with the severed heads of enemies and also of sacrifices. The Gaelic tribes, according to Julius Caesar, who fought several wars with them, enjoyed sacrificing any captive that fell into their hands to the gods. They also displayed the heads of those they had killed as apotropaic figures- figures so scary that they drive back the scary - around their settlements. Houses once required a foundation sacrifice, to ensure the security of the building. Even in modern times in England, cats have been [More]

Ontology, Modality, and Mind: Themes from the Metaphysics of E. J. Lowe

2019.10.16 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Alexander Carruth, Sophie Gibb, and John Heil (eds.), Ontology, Modality, and Mind: Themes from the Metaphysics of E. J. Lowe, Oxford University Press, 2018, 195pp., $60.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198796299. Reviewed by Jonathan Tallant, University of Nottingham This volume of papers, edited by Alexander Carruth, Sophie Gibb and John Heil, is dedicated to the memory of the late E. J. (Jonathan) Lowe. From the outset in this review, I should declare an interest: as a former PhD student of Jonathan's, I have a particular emotional investment in this volume that may not be shared by all. In outline, the book contains a range of papers that engage with aspects of Jonathan's collected philosophical works, as well as a paper on metaphysics by Jonathan himself. The (acknowledged) challenges facing the editors in putting together this volume include the breadth of Jonathan's corpus of works as well as the fact that he defended a 'big picture' philosophical system, such that... Read [More]

John Scottus Eriugena

[Revised entry by Dermot Moran and Adrian Guiu on October 30, 2019. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Johannes (c.800 - c.877), who signed himself as "Eriugena" in one manuscript, and who was referred to by his contemporaries as "the Irishman" (scottus - in the ninth century Ireland was referred to as "Scotia Maior" and its inhabitants as "scotti") is the most significant Irish intellectual of the early monastic period. He is generally recognized to be both the most outstanding philosopher (in terms of [More]

Samuel Ibn Tibbon

[Revised entry by James T. Robinson on October 30, 2019. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Samuel Ibn Tibbon (c. 1165 - 1232) was a translator, philosopher, and philosophical commentator on the Bible. He is most famous for his translation of Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed from Arabic into Hebrew, but he translated other works by Maimonides, and produced the first Hebrew versions of Aristotle and Averroes. In addition to his work as translator, Ibn Tibbon was an original author in his own right. He wrote the first full [More]

The Dark Side

We all avidly watch films, read novels, and listen to stories that depict evil characters and their horrific deeds. We find ourselves both horrified and repulsed by such persons; yet the evil characters in novels and films often disconcertingly have the most appeal. It might be that examining the forbidden always provides a small shudder of excitement and fear, so evil in its many forms remains endlessly fascinating providing excellent material for writers, dramatists, journalists and others.  Accounts of evil do unerringly grab our attention and most of us are fascinated, horrified and captivated by the Iagos and Darth Vaders even while identifying with the aspirations and goals of the Othellos and Luke Skywalkers. Given that we recognize that evil involves the very worst types of actions and very worst kinds of people, why is this so?  In a recent IAI panel entitled the “The Lure of Lucifer: Why do we love Evil?’ the cultural critic Terry Eagleton suggested that as an historical [More]

Two Sides Problem: Presidential Responsibility

Baghdadi, the ISIS leader who proclaimed a short-lived caliphate, was recently killed by American forces. While the ISIS brand will continue to be a threat, this killing was a significant accomplishment. As would be expected, comparisons were immediately drawn between Obama’s announcement of the killing of bin Laden. Both leaders made the announcement in their [More]