Formal Logic: Symbolizing Arguments in Sentential Logic

Author: Thomas MetcalfCategory: Logic and ReasoningWord count: 1000 An argument is a set of statements (the premises) intended to provide evidence for, or prove, some conclusion.[1] Formal logic is a tool we can use to present and evaluate arguments. Some arguments are better than others and formal logic can help us see exactly how some … Continue reading Formal Logic: Symbolizing Arguments in Sentential Logic

Ethics and the Expected Consequences of Voting

An "I Voted" sticker.

Author: Thomas Metcalf Categories: Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy Word count: 995 Your vote normally only has a very small chance of changing the outcome of any election for a public office.[1] For your vote to make that difference, thousands or millions of other votes would need to end up in a tie, which is … Continue reading Ethics and the Expected Consequences of Voting

Arguments for Capitalism and Socialism

Author: Thomas Metcalf Category: Social and Political Philosophy Wordcount: 993 Editor’s Note: This essay is the second in a two-part series authored by Tom on the topic of capitalism and socialism. The first essay, on defining capitalism and socialism, can be viewed here. Suppose I had a magic wand that allowed one to produce 500 … Continue reading Arguments for Capitalism and Socialism

Defining Capitalism and Socialism

Image of a finger pointing at an entry in a dictionary.

Author: Thomas Metcalf Category: Social and Political Philosophy Wordcount: 999 Editor’s Note: This essay is the first in a two-part series authored by Tom on the topic of capitalism and socialism. The second essay, on evaluating capitalism and socialism, can be viewed here. Should our society be capitalist, socialist, or something in between? To adjudicate … Continue reading Defining Capitalism and Socialism

The Fine-Tuning Argument for the Existence of God

Photo from Astronaut Alexander Gerst Aboard The International Space Station

Author: Thomas Metcalf Category: Philosophy of Religion Word count: 987 Here’s a simple experiment to help test whether God exists: Hold a refrigerator magnet about one inch above a paperclip. If the magnet picks up the paperclip, then that tiny magnet was able to overcome the gravity of an entire planet.[1] How might this provide … Continue reading The Fine-Tuning Argument for the Existence of God

Design Arguments for the Existence of God

Photo from Astronaut Alexander Gerst Aboard The International Space Station

Author: Thomas Metcalf Category: Philosophy of Religion Word count: 990 The universe, or some of the objects in it, exhibit order, complexity, efficiency, and perhaps purpose. Many everyday objects with those features—e.g., watches and houses—were intentionally designed. Should we conclude, therefore, that some of the “natural” objects in the universe, or the universe itself, was … Continue reading Design Arguments for the Existence of God

Philosophy and Its Contrast with Science

Author: Thomas Metcalf Category: Metaphilosophy, Philosophy of Science Word Count: 931 Philosophy and science are both ways of learning about ourselves and about the rest of the world. In this article, we’ll review the two main perspectives on the question of whether and to what degree science and philosophy overlap. This will turn out to … Continue reading Philosophy and Its Contrast with Science