Indoctrination: What is it to Indoctrinate Someone? 

An empty classroom.

Author: Chris Ranalli Categories: Philosophy of Education, Epistemology, or Theory of Knowledge, Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, Logic and Reasoning Word Count: 998 words Listen here Schools are supposed to educate students by teaching them important facts and skills. However, schools are sometimes accused of indoctrinating students: e.g., coercing them into believing religious views, failing … Continue reading Indoctrination: What is it to Indoctrinate Someone? 

George Orwell’s Philosophical Views

George Orwell, author of Animal Farm and 1984.

Author: Mark Satta Categories: Social and Political Philosophy, Epistemology, Ethics, Philosophy of Mind and Language Word Count: 1000 Listen here George Orwell (1903-1950) was an early twentieth-century writer best known as the author of Animal Farm and 1984. He also wrote essays, novels, and non-fiction books. While not trained as a philosopher, Orwell’s writings include … Continue reading George Orwell’s Philosophical Views

Reason is the Slave to the Passions: Hume on Reason vs. Desire

David Hume

Author: Daniel Weltman Category: Ethics, Historical Philosophy, Logic and Reasoning, Epistemology, or Theory of Knowledge Word Count: 998   Imagine you’re offered a delicious piece of cake. You know it’s very unhealthy. Your stomach tells you to eat it, but your brain tells you to refuse. Maybe you listen to your brain and you ignore both … Continue reading Reason is the Slave to the Passions: Hume on Reason vs. Desire

Critical Thinking: What is it to be a Critical Thinker?

Know the Facts: A WPA (Works Progress Administration, part of the New Deal) poster, imploring the public to develop critical thinking skills. Circa late 1930-early 1940s.

Author: Carolina Flores Categories: Logic and Reasoning, Philosophy of Education, Epistemology, or Theory of Knowledge Word count: 997 Listen here We often urge others to think critically. What does that really mean? How can we think critically? This essay presents a general account of what it is to be a critical thinker and outlines both … Continue reading Critical Thinking: What is it to be a Critical Thinker?

Moore’s Proof of an External World: Responding to External World Skepticism

Author: Chris Ranalli Categories: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Historical Philosophy Word count: 1000 External world skepticism is the view that we cannot know anything about the external world: we can’t know that we have hands, that there are other people, or, in general, know that anything external to our minds exists. Such skeptics commonly argue that we … Continue reading Moore’s Proof of an External World: Responding to External World Skepticism

Pascal’s Wager: A Pragmatic Argument for Belief in God

Pascal's wager image: person praying in front of a pile of poker chips.

Author: Liz Jackson Categories: Philosophy of Religion, Epistemology, or Theory of Knowledge, Historical Philosophy, Logic and Reasoning Word Count: 996 Should you believe there’s a God? To answer this, we might examine arguments for theism—like first-cause and design arguments—and arguments for atheism—like arguments from evil. These arguments offer evidence for and against God’s existence.[1] Pascal’s … Continue reading Pascal’s Wager: A Pragmatic Argument for Belief in God

Conspiracy Theories

"The Pigpen Cipher" by Matthew Phelan.

Author: Jared Millson Category: Epistemology, Philosophy of Science, Social and Political Philosophy, Ethics Word count: 997 NASA faked the first moon landing.[1] The US government orchestrated the attacks on 9/11.[2] A cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles running a global child sex-trafficking ring is plotting against Donald Trump, who is battling them. [3] Each of these claims … Continue reading Conspiracy Theories

al-Ghazālī’s Dream Argument for Skepticism

al-Ghazālī'

Author: John Ramsey Categories: Epistemology, Historical Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Islamic Philosophy Word Count: 997 Right now you probably think that you are awake, that you are not asleep and dreaming. But do you know you aren’t dreaming? French philosopher René Descartes (1596–1650) famously asked a question like this at the beginning of his Meditations … Continue reading al-Ghazālī’s Dream Argument for Skepticism