Are We Animals? Animalism and Personal Identity

Woman and a dog in a car.

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.[1] 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

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

Frege’s Puzzle and the Meaning of Words

Clark Kent and Superman

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

Is Death Bad? Epicurus and Lucretius on the Fear of Death

By The Death Bed, 1896 by Edvard Munch

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

The Knowledge Argument Against Physicalism

A red tomato.

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

Ignorance and Blame: Can Ignorance Excuse?

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.[1] But if I put arsenic in your tea because I keep arsenic and sugar … Continue reading Ignorance and Blame: Can Ignorance Excuse?