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.
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.
Epistemic Justification: What is Rational Belief?
Rational or reasonable beliefs are often described by philosophers as "epistemically justified." This is an introduction to the concept of epistemic justification.
The Doctrine of Double Effect: Do Intentions Matter to Ethics?
An introduction to the Doctrine of Double Effect, which claims that it is permissible to harm someone if it will also result in good consequences that outweigh the harm and the harm is just a “side-effect” of your action, rather than something you intend to make happen.
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.
Self-Knowledge: Knowing Your Own Mind
We usually know our own mental states better than others know them. And we usually come to know them in different ways than how others come to know them. How do we come to possess self-knowledge?
The Meaning of Life: What’s the Point?
Does life’s having meaning depend on a supernatural reality? Is death a threat to life’s meaning? Is life the sort of thing that can have a “meaning”? In what sense? Here we will consider some approaches to questions about the meaning of life.
Arguments: Why Do You Believe What You Believe?
This essay is an introduction to what arguments are and how they can be good or bad.
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.