What makes an idea valuable … that it is true or that it is startlingly new and different? “Even in the world of academia, most people aren’t motivated by the truth. What they want, above all, is not to be bored.”
The brain … it makes you think. Doesn’t it?
Who’s in charge — you or your brain?
“Are we governed by unconscious processes? Neuroscience believes so – but isn’t the human condition more complicated than that?” David Eagleman and Raymond Tallis offer different views.
Peter Singer’s utilitarianism in action
Join Wall Street to save the world. “Jason Trigg went into finance because he is after money — as much as he can earn. [H]e goes to work each morning for a high-frequency trading firm. It’s a hedge fund on steroids. He writes software that turns a lot of money into even more money. For his labors, he reaps an uptown salary — and over time his earning potential is unbounded. It’s all part of the plan. Why this compulsion? It’s not for fast cars or fancy houses. Trigg makes money just to give it away. His logic is simple: The more he makes, the more good he can do.”
Samuel Scheffler on the importance of the afterlife … seriously. “Astonishing though it may seem, there are ways in which the continuing existence of other people after our deaths — even that of complete strangers — matters more to us than does our own survival and that of our loved ones.”
The problems and questions discussed in analytic philosophy of religion. “… videos … shot during an international philosophy conference on “Minds – Human and Divine” in Munich 2012.”
What it means to lead a good life. A. C. Grayling’s review of James Miller’s Examined Lives. “His conclusion is a negative one: the combination of wisdom, self-understanding, and self-possession that Socrates’s successors took to be the gold standard for the philosophical life proved impossible for most of them to attain, and, in some cases, what they preached and what they practised fell widely apart.” Sarah Bakewell’s review in New York Times.
The Melian Dialogue …
Why do the battles over ancient Athens still rage, and were the Athenians too aggressive or not aggressive enough? What does “the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must” really mean?
Cartoons about epistemology?
Crazy Epistemology. Some pretty good philosophical cartoons from The New Yorker.
Free will: now you have it, now you don’t. “I was a free man until they brought the dessert menu around.” Good review of ideas about free will. More here.
Is morality a peculiarly human thing?