All Questions

5
votes
1answer
130 views

Is experimental philosophy considered legitimate?

I recently heard a science podcast in which Josh Knobe was interviewed about experimental philosophy. It seemed like a pretty cool field. Is experimental philosophy considered legitimate by the ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Will philosophy ever come to an “end”?

People often talk about the "end" of physics, but what about an end of philosophy? Let me explain. My philosophy professor said that philosophy is kind of the parent discipline of all fields of ...
7
votes
3answers
269 views

Is there a formal presentation of Maturana's “Autopoiesis”

I have been reading through "Autopoiesis and Cognition" by Humberto R. Maturana and Francisco J. Varela. One of their goals in defining autopoiesis and the supporting concepts of simple and composite ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there a cogent argument against the principle of sufficient reason?

As far as I can see, there are no significant arguments against the principle that all events have a cause, which is to say the principle of sufficient reason. (It's important to note that the ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How can we understand the Schematism of the Pure Concepts of the Understanding?

This has been a particularly difficult section for me. Please forgive me if things sound opaque, but Kant is a particularly difficult writer and my reading is hurt by the fact that it isn't occurring ...
-1
votes
3answers
516 views

100 coins paradox [closed]

I was wondering what are some proposed solutions in the literature to the following, well-known paradox: Say two rational, intelligent players A and B stand in front of a stack of 100 coins, and ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Falsifiability, facts, opinions, and tautologies

Wikipedia says: In the same way, "all men are mortal" is unfalsifiable: even if someone is observed who has not died so far, he could still die in the next instant. By contrast, "all men are ...
2
votes
2answers
314 views

If a company trained an employee, would it be unethical for him/her to apply their knowledge elsewhere?

I hear a lot about employers not paying employees for training. They want employees to pay and earn the skills for themselves, during their own time. But, if companies do provide training, they tend ...
-1
votes
3answers
2k views

How can we identify the soul or spirit in an object? what is the difference between man and machine? [closed]

If you consider a human and a very smart computer, you have no trouble turning off the computer but most people would consider "turning off" a person to be bad. If a computer becomes as smart as a ...
3
votes
4answers
830 views

relative merits of presentism, eternalism and the growing block universe [closed]

What are the relative merits of the different philosphies of time. Presentism states that only the present now exists, a la Julian Barbour. Eternalism posits an object spacetime stage where everything ...
2
votes
2answers
175 views

Tabula rasa versus heritability

Are there any current day Philosphers who still follow the Tabula rasa approach in the nature versus nurture argument and how do they explain the heritability of traits?
42
votes
18answers
32k views

Why is Ayn Rand's Objectivism philosophy dismissed by academics?

This is a question in response to this other one that I asked. I didn't really get a satisfactory answer, mostly because it seems like Rand's work is largely ignored by academics. The highest voted ...
14
votes
8answers
5k views

Is everyone considered a “philosopher”?

Is every person who has ever questioned what they did or what they are going to do a philosopher? Does this idea fall under philosophy in any way, or is it merely a semantic debate?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Is property an absolute or utilitarian right?

It seems to me that property cannot be considered an intrinsic part of human nature, not in the way life is, for example. Property defines a relationship between two objects that only has a basis in ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

What philosophers have built on Ayn Rand's Objectivism?

Ayn Rand's Objectivism philosophy has always intrigued me. And it seems to still have a lot of influence over certain politicians and thought leaders. Have any philosophers taken up the mantle where ...
6
votes
2answers
473 views

Did Aristotle know about non-empirical science?

In Aristotles' Metaphysics the following can be read: Met. I 981a: […] αποβαίνει δ` ἐπιστήμη καὶ τέχνη διὰ τῆς ἐμπειρίας τοῖς ἀνθρώποις. […] but really science and art come to men through ...
3
votes
2answers
284 views

Is it ethical to give a hitchiker a ride [closed]

You are driving in a car and see a woman standing in a bus stop trying to hitchhike. Is it ethical to give her a lift? I can think of two reasons against: 1) By giving her a ride, you are actually ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Can we be Boltzmann brains? Or, how can we be sure there is no conspiracy about the past?

The way things are traditionally presented about time, there is the present, the past is fixed, and the future is open. The second law of thermodynamics is invoked. But how can we be so sure the past ...
16
votes
4answers
697 views

What are some good books about the philosophy of quantum mechanics?

I am fascinated about the implications of quantum mechanics to philosophy. Where can I find good references to the philosophy of quantum mechanics, and its implications for realism/antirealism, holism,...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

Are all facts worth knowing?

It is generally considered beneficial to discover some scientific law or invent an object that is said to further the state of mankind. All inventions and scientific discovery hinges in some way on ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How do we know how to follow a rule?

This question seems to either be at the forefront or the background of countless philosophical enquiries. Much has been written on Wittgenstein's rule paradox (e.g. Kirke's Wittgenstein: On Rules and ...
7
votes
3answers
952 views

Is there a definition for “context”?

What is the/a definition for the term 'context'? The term is used everywhere, and the dictionaries only give a description of it's meaning.Definitions for other terms such as concept, perspective, ...
3
votes
2answers
781 views

Meaning of θυμοειδής in Plato

What is the meaning of the Greek word θυμοειδής (thumoeides or thymoeidês) in Plato? (I believe it occurs in the Phaedrus and the Republic.) What is its etymology? It apears to me to possibly come ...
6
votes
1answer
383 views

Does rational choice theory stack up against reality?

Rational choice theory has been criticised on the grounds that "consumers are not rational, so doesn't make much sense because utility functions can't model consumer preferences." But is there actual ...
8
votes
8answers
6k views

Which philosophers have written about fear?

It occurred to me some time ago that fear is the result of a lack of control, and try as I might I cannot conceive fear existing without this vacancy. Looked at from the other direction, in a ...
4
votes
2answers
390 views

Is the conservation of matter/energy principle and 'quanta' of Physics implicit in Lucretius ontology?

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophys entry on Lucretius has: "First comes, in effect, Lucretius' ontology. Nothing comes into being out of nothing or perishes into nothing. The only two per se ...
10
votes
5answers
520 views

As a result of human progression in science (specifically medicine), have we created ourselves a plateau in the evolutionary process?

It is assumed, for the purpose of this question, that Charles Darwin, in the 19th Century, formulated the concept of "Survival of the Fittest". Penned in his book "The Origin of the Species", which ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How can we know if God is lying or not? [closed]

Stated more generally: Are there entities whose claims—by the nature of their existence—are outside the scope of rational inquiry? Consider the example of the Abrahamic God, the relevant matter not ...
63
votes
16answers
16k views

Is it immoral to download music illegally?

I should first point out that the title is more to capture a common occurrence of the broader idea I want to address in this question. It is also somewhat incorrect in that—at least in the US—I'm not ...
4
votes
6answers
1k views

Is unauthorized downloading of music stealing?

On the one hand, when you download music you are merely making a copy of something. You aren't depriving someone of a physical object. You aren't really taking anything. On the other hand, when you ...
11
votes
5answers
7k views

Which of Kant's writings would be a good introduction to his work?

I've been planning to read some of Kant's work for a while, but have no idea where to start. Which of his writings would be a good initial introduction to his philosophical views?
13
votes
9answers
7k views

Is absolute ethical veganism an irrational position?

I have a handful of friends who are strictly vegan, and I talked with each of them before about their views. At least 3 of them have said to me that under no circumstance would they eat an animal or ...
14
votes
8answers
37k views

What is the difference between philosophy and religion?

How do you make the distinction between philosophy and religion? Are there some philosophies/religions that are hard to categorize as being one or the other?
13
votes
4answers
981 views

If zombies are possible would that imply that physicalism is false?

The SEP article on Zombies writes: Zombies in philosophy are imaginary creatures used to illuminate problems about consciousness and its relation to the physical world. Unlike those in films or ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Why can't (or shouldn't) economists answer normative questions?

Normative questions are those which: affirm how things should or ought to be, how to value them, which things are good or bad, which actions are right or wrong. Normative is usually contrasted ...
3
votes
3answers
255 views

Are there token events?

The type/token distinction appears to be generally explained in terms of objects. A given Honda Accord is, e.g., a token of of the type "Honda Accord". However, the literature I have read seems to do ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

What makes a good question?

Most philosophy begins with a question. I'm wondering why certain questions provoke more profound thoughts than others. What characteristics do good questions share with each other? How can we go ...
-3
votes
1answer
108 views

Philosophy and actuality [closed]

According to the understanding of Nietzsche's superman did Hitler live up to Nietzsche ideal of the superman? (IMPORTANT NOTE: I am by NO means a Fan of Hitler this is a question of scholarly interest)...
3
votes
7answers
599 views

Is work neccessary to be happy?

I've been following some online discussions about the current economic situation. There are a number of solutions proposed to the economic malaise across much of the developed world, but one idea ...
10
votes
4answers
18k views

What were the government ideals for the Socrates and Aristotle?

Winston Churchill famously quipped, "The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter." Plato also seems to have held such a view, where he wrote in The ...
4
votes
2answers
451 views

Self referential paradoxial statement with a twist

Self referential statements can be paradoxical as known since ancient times. (Some of this basic paradoxes had immense impact on my own field -mathematics.) Of course, paradoxical self-referential ...
2
votes
2answers
173 views

What, if any, common fallacy would relate to an appeal to the importance or gravity of a situation?

Is there any common fallacy that might fit the following 'syllogism'? X is important, or urgent Therefore, X Here's an example of a conversation where this could come up: It's conceivable that our ...
47
votes
8answers
49k views

What is the difference between metaphysics and ontology?

I know that ontology is a sub-field of metaphysics. But I can't see the difference between them. I mean ontology is defined as "The study of being and existence", and metaphysics is defined as "...
3
votes
2answers
242 views

Books/Pieces/Essays about self-worth? [closed]

I'm interested in reading some good books/pieces/essays about self-worth (ultimate meaning of life, learning, working, etc). It's hard to precisely define the topic, but anything you think is ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

How should we characterize the relationship between mathematics and philosophy of mathematics?

How should we characterize the relationship between mathematics and philosophy of mathematics? Specifically, in what ways might the study of philosophy of mathematics make a mathematician better at ...
0
votes
2answers
615 views

Does time exist? [closed]

When we try to define time, we define it based on an event which happens periodically. For example, in a clock,we say that the time elapsed is 1 minute if the second hand completes 1 revolution. Here ...
0
votes
2answers
463 views

Why is left and right different from up and down? [closed]

If you put a banner in front of a mirror, it flips the left-right axis, but not the down-up axis. Why don't all directions have equal merit in the universe? How does this relate to the time dimension -...
10
votes
6answers
46k views

What is the relationship between philosophy and science?

While philosophy and science as held as separate disciplines (and often taught in completely different colleges within a university [i.e. College of Liberal Arts vs. College of Science]), it is ...
13
votes
4answers
29k views

Is there a correct or better order to read Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates?

I would like to read the text written by Aristotle, Plato, Socrates and so on. Is there any reference of the best order to read them? Is the chronological order the best or correct one? Or is there a ...
3
votes
1answer
163 views

Are there purely-mathematics-based explanations of existence?

I'm asking for the name of a philosophy and any authors, books, or articles that explore a particular philosophy. The philosophy is motivated in part by a question of, "in what is our universe/...

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