Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Space I: The Survival Argument

The Trump administration has expressed an interest in space development, with some talk of moon missions and even a mission to Mars. While I disagree with Trump on most matters, I do agree that the United States should commit considerable resources to developing a meaningful presence beyond earth. This would include the creation of colonies. [More]

Living the Good Life

Philosophy is having a strange cultural moment. On the one hand, it is routinely presented as the quintessential example of an utterly useless academic field. Students who decide to major in philosophy in my department at the City College of New York are often asked by their peers, not to mention their parents, “What are [More]

The Conscience of Mitt Romney

Senator Mitt Romney made history by breaking with his party to vote to convict President Trump. Romney presented a well-crafted and well-argued speech that contrasts dramatically with the style and content of Trump’s speeches. I have, as one would suspect, been somewhat critical of Romney over the years, but I have always endeavored to be [More]

Nefsky on Tiny Chances and Tiny Differences

In her Philosophy Compass survey article, 'Collective Harm and the Inefficacy Problem', Julia Nefsky expresses skepticism about appeals to "expected value" to address worries about the ability of a single individual to really "make a difference".  In section 4.2, she notes that the relevant cases involve either "(A) an extremely small chance (as in the voting case) or (B) a chance at making only a very tiny difference."  Addressing each of these in turn:(A) Tiny chances. Here Nefsky adverts to Budolfson's arguments that we might learn details about buffers in the supply chain (etc.) that allow us to be disproportionately confident (beyond what raw averages would lead us to expect) that we are far from the collective threshold for triggering a change in production levels.  Budolfson's arguments are theoretically interesting, but not obviously applicable in practice.  They depend upon our collective consumption levels being stable or otherwise highly predictable across time (otherwise we couldn't be so confident that we're still far from the relevant thresholds).  But in the face of social movements encouraging people to address collective action problems (e.g. by eating less factory-farmed meat), I'm not sure that the relevant degree of consumer predictability is satisfied.  Especially for those of us who are considering making consumption changes in our own lives on the basis of moral reasons, it seems reasonable for us to [More]

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant and nine other people, including his daughter, died in a helicopter crash. Since he was a celebrity, his death was extensively covered. Since he was accused of sexual assault in 2003, that incident figured prominently in the discussion of his death, with writers struggling (in various degrees) with how to include that in [More]

A Good Place for Philosophy?

by Martine Mussies At the beginning of the 21st century, the philosophical discourse concerning good and evil seems to be subsumed into three major areas; meta-ethics which describes the nature of good and bad, normative ethics concerning how human beings ought to behave and applied ethics which attends to particular moral issues. All three of [More]

War Crimes

After assassinating Soleimani, Trump went on Twitter to threaten a “disproportionate response” to any Iranian retaliation and to destroy Iranian cultural sites. Intentionally targeting cultural property violates the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. As such, Trump seems to have been threatening to commit a war [More]

The Ethics of Assassination

The United States recently assassinated Iran’s Qassem Soleimani which raises, once again, moral questions about targeted killings of this sort. While it is easy to get bogged down in the particulars of this assassination, I will focus on the general matter of the ethics of assassination. While the definition of “assassination” can be debated and [More]

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Dr. Robert McKim
  • on Religious Diversity
  • Professor of Religion and Professor of Philosophy
  • Focuses on Philosophy of Religion
  • Ph.D. Yale

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Dr. Alvin Plantinga
  • on Where the Conflict Really Lies
  • Emeritus Professor of Philosophy (UND)
  • Focuses on Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion
  • Ph.D. Yale

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Dr. Peter Boghossian
  • on faith as a cognitive sickness
  • Teaches Philosophy at Portland State University (Oregon)
  • Focuses on atheism and critical thinking
  • Has a passion for teaching in prisons
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