What is it to be a friend, especially a good friend? Aristotle’s claims about friendship began debates that continue today. This essay presents his views on friendship and a contemporary debate he inspired.
Category: Historical Philosophy
Plato’s Allegory of the Cave: the Journey Out of Ignorance
Plato’s book The Republic is a dialogue about justice. It contains the “Allegory of the Cave”, a fanciful story that illustrates some of Plato’s ideas about education and the distinction between appearance and reality. This essay introduces the Allegory and explains its meaning.
The Buddhist Theory of No-Self (Anātman/Anattā)
The Buddhist denial of the existence of the self is known as anātman (or anattā). This essay explores some of the basics of anātman/anattā.
The Philosophy of Humor: What Makes Something Funny?
What makes something funny? This essay reviews some theories of what it is for something to be funny.
Karl Marx’s Theory of History
An introduction to Karl Marx's theory of history, known as historical materialism.
This essay introduces the classical Aristotelian approach to syllogisms.
Philosophy of Space and Time: What is Space?
An introduction to the philosophy of space and time, focusing on the question, "What is space?"
The Ethics of Mozi: Social Organization and Impartial Care
An introduction to the ethics of Mo Di, or Mozi, (墨子, c. 470 – c. 391 BCE), the founding figure of Mohism, a philosophical, social, and self-defense movement during the Warring States era (479–221 BCE) in China.
G. E. M. Anscombe’s “Modern Moral Philosophy”
Author: Daniel Weltman Category: Ethics, Historical Philosophy Word Count: 1000 When discussing morality, we often talk about what we ought to do: e.g., “you ought not to cheat on that test” or “you shouldn’t steal candy from a baby.” The philosopher Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe (1919-2001) argues in her article "Modern Moral Philosophy" (1958) that … Continue reading G. E. M. Anscombe’s “Modern Moral Philosophy”
Why be Moral? Plato’s ‘Ring of Gyges’ Thought Experiment
What if you could steal, cheat, and violate any other moral norm without fear of punishment? Would you still have reason to do what’s right? The ancient Greek philosopher Plato (427—347 B.C.E.) considered this question in his dialogue, the Republic, which offers a blueprint for an ideal society. Plato thinks that you should do what’s right, even in these circumstances. This essay explains one of the strongest objections to his position.