Why doesn’t public policy reflect more the preferences of ordinary citizens? The answer is institutional.
Does doing the most good you can do just mean giving the most money to the world’s poor?
Art and beauty have a peculiar kind of relationship and have been uneasily coupled since perhaps the beginning of human history. But the two have always been separable, as the 20th century demonstrated. Art always occupies a particular time and space, but beauty resides somewhere in the excitement of our brains, and we as a species still crave art that excites in this way.
Many public intellectuals espouse a view of Nature as tending toward truth and goodness, without much justification.
We’ve managed to bring the planet to the brink of catastrophe. Can we manage to pull it back?
Should the social sciences be like the natural sciences? Wilhelm Dilthey didn’t think so; he contended that the concept of Verstehen is crucial in our interpretation of human thought and behavior. Whereas we look for explanations of phenomena in the natural sciences, Verstehen as applied to the social sciences means interpreting human behavior.
Two years after 9/11, several New Yorkers packed into a courtroom in order to hear a court case on the semantics of the word occurrence. The question was this: Was the attack on One and Two World Trade Center one event or two?
To construct a superintelligence, we would have to understand human intelligence at a deep level. It’s doubtful we’ll ever be able to do this.
It was not until I read Carroll’s book that I realized I was operating under a tacit assumption: Art ought to express something of the author’s emotions.
The movement away from Anarchy is not to be confused with anarchism.
Henry David Thoreau thought our biological nature explained both our savagery and our spirituality.
Emerson’s ideal involves a background assumption about how human nature works.
Sandel’s attempt to understand America’s modern malaises relies on telling the wrong story of America’s competing visions and the way these visions evolved.
What are your thoughts on machines that can predict what you’re going to do in the next five minutes? Do you think that everything that happens now in the universe was causally determined by some event(s) that happened before it? When professional philosophers check people’s intuitions it looks as though sometimes people generally agree that we have free will even if Continue Reading …
In Arthur Schopenhauer’s essay “On Thinking for Oneself” (1851), he writes that there are few people who possess a natural love of learning and that they will only learn from others if they find something that triggers an innate interest inside themselves. Thinking must be kindled, like a fire by a draught; it must be sustained by some interest in the matter Continue Reading …
In light of the most recent PEL episode, we folks in PEL’s Not School will be holding a discussion on free will this month through next month. Some of the conversation will be continuous with and complementary to the PEL guys’ discussion as well as perhaps raise other issues. For the remainder of this month, we’ll be reading John Searle’s Continue Reading …