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 Listen here 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 … Continue reading Is Death Bad? Epicurus and Lucretius on the Fear of Death

Hell and Universalism: Could God Sentence Anyone to Eternal Punishment?

Jacob van Swanenburg's painting "The Harrowing of Hell"

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: Could God Sentence Anyone to Eternal Punishment?

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?

William S. Jewett (1821–1873) The Promised Land - The Grayson Family, 1850

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?

Manipulation and Moral Responsibility

Image of string puppets, to illustrate manipulation.

Author: Taylor W. Cyr Category: Ethics, Metaphysics Word Count: 1000 Consider a case of manipulation:[1] Beth is a talented student with a well-rounded life. Her professor wants her to focus all her energies on school, at the expense of Beth’s hobbies and relationships. After failing to convince Beth to spend all of her time studying, … Continue reading Manipulation and Moral Responsibility

Possibility and Necessity: An Introduction to Modality

"Imagine The Possibilities" by Carol Groenen

Author: Andre Leo Rusavuk Category: Metaphysics Word count: 990 We frequently say things like, ‘This seems possible,’ ‘That can’t be done,’ ‘This must happen,’ ‘She might be able to . . ,’ ‘This is necessary for . .’ and so on.[1] Claims like these are modal claims. They involve the modal concepts of actuality, possibility, … Continue reading Possibility and Necessity: An Introduction to Modality

The Ontology of Race: What are Races?

A 1891 map from the philosopher Alfred Caldecott, which shows only three races.

Author: Abiral Chitrakar Phnuyal Category: Philosophy of Race, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Science, Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy Word Count: 998 Various racial concepts have been employed at different times in human history – most prominently since the 17th century[1] – to classify humans into groups, often to great social, political, ethical, medical, and scientific significance. … Continue reading The Ontology of Race: What are Races?

Time Travel

Author: Taylor W. Cyr Category: Metaphysics Word Count: 1000 Time travel is familiar from science fiction and is interesting to philosophers because of the metaphysical issues it raises: the nature of time, causation, personal identity, and freedom, among others.[1] It’s widely accepted that time travel to the future is possible, but the possibility of backward … Continue reading Time Travel