Author: Kristin Seemuth Whaley Category: Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion Word Count: 995 What are we? Philosophers often look for answers that capture what we are fundamentally—what makes us who we are. Maybe we’re non-physical souls or minds. Maybe we’re our thoughts and our memories. Or, perhaps we’re physical things like bodies or brains. According to a … Continue reading Are We Animals? Animalism and Personal Identity
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
Author: Graham Seth Moore Category: Philosophy of Mind and Language Word Count: 996 We sometimes use multiple names for the same person or thing without realizing it. Imagine an ancient astronomer sees a heavenly body in the evening and names it ‘Hesperus.’ They also see a heavenly body in the morning and name it ‘Phosphorus.’ … Continue reading Frege’s Puzzle and the Meaning of Words
Author: Thomas Metcalf Category: Metaphilosophy Word count: 1000 If you’ve ever wondered whether God exists, whether life has purpose, whether beauty is in the eye of the beholder, what makes actions right or wrong, or whether a law is fair or just, then you’ve thought about philosophy. And these are just a few philosophical topics. … Continue reading What is Philosophy?
Author: Frederik Kaufman Categories: Ethics, Metaphysics, Historical Philosophy Word count: 987 Most people think dying would be bad for them and so they fear it. Is that fear rational? The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus (341-270 BCE) says no. He argues that death— as the permanent extinction of consciousness—is not bad, so we should not fear … Continue reading Is Death Bad? Epicurus and Lucretius on the Fear of Death
Author: A.G. Holdier Category: Philosophy of Religion, Metaphysics, Ethics Word Count: 995 Many religious traditions picture Hell as a place of immense suffering that some people experience after they die. But who might go to Hell, and why, and for how long? And, although many people believe there is a Hell, might they be mistaken? … Continue reading Hell and Universalism
Author: Tufan Kıymaz Category: Philosophy of Mind and Language, Metaphysics Word Count: 1000 In philosophy of mind, physicalism is the view that mental states, like beliefs, feelings and desires, are nothing over and above the physical states of the brain: we don’t have souls or any non-physical features, and so all facts about our minds … Continue reading The Knowledge Argument Against Physicalism
Author: Daniel Peterson Categories: Epistemology, Philosophy of Science, Logic and Reasoning Word count: 998 Imagine that Beauty takes part in an experiment: on Sunday night, she is put to sleep. Then, the experimenters flip a fair coin. If the coin lands heads, Beauty is awakened on Monday, then is put back to sleep until the … Continue reading The Sleeping Beauty Problem
Author: Darren Hibbs Categories: Philosophy of Language, Metaphysics Word Count: 1000 How tall do you have to be to be tall? How much hair do you have to lose to be bald? How old do you have to be to be old? It is an unremarkable feature of language that words such as ‘tall’, ‘bald’, and … Continue reading Vagueness
Author: Daniel Miller Categories: Ethics, Metaphysics Word Count: 1000 Sometimes ignorance is a legitimate excuse for morally wrong behavior, and sometimes it isn’t. If someone has secretly replaced my sugar with arsenic, then I’m blameless for putting arsenic in your tea. But if I put arsenic in your tea because I keep arsenic and sugar … Continue reading Ignorance and Blame: Can Ignorance Excuse?