Category Archives: philosophy

How do we deal with anti-Semitic philosophers of past centuries?

Here is a strange but timely article from the New York Times‘s philosophy column, “The Stone.” Laurie Shrage, a professor of philosophy at Florida International University, asks how we should deal with the palpable anti-Semitism of early philosophers. But in the course of her lucubrations, she conflates four distinct questions. Read the piece by clicking […]

Is there evidence for libertarian free will? Part 2.

Earlier today I discussed some of my problems with Alfred Mele’s 2014 book Free: Why Science Hasn’t Disproved Free Will. Like Dan Dennett, I agree that the book is somewhat tainted by being funded by and associated with a foundation (Templeton) that undoubtedly loves Mele’s ideas, but I’m not at all accusing Mele of writing […]

Is there evidence for libertarian free will? Part 1.

I’ll try to put up two posts on this topic today as a single one would probably be too long, falling into the TL; DR category. About two weeks ago, kvetching about the Templeton Foundation’s incursion into and corruption of philosophy and biology, I wrote about Dan Dennett’s criticism of Templeton. This came up when […]

Duck beaks, Umwelt and Kantian a prioris

by Matthew Cobb This article from the scientific journal Cell Reports, by Eve Schneider and colleagues from Yale, popped into my inbox this evening. I could see that it was about ducks and evolution, so I thought it would interest Jerry. It turns out to be pretty fascinating, and it tells us something important about […]

Another big Templeton grant for philosophy (religious philosophy, of course), and a note on Templeton’s corruption of the field

A certain philosopher who could be mistaken for Santa Claus called my attention to this article in the Daily Nous, a website devoted to the profession of philosophy—and by “profession” I mean “job”. Below you can read yesterday’s announcement of a big new John Templeton Foundation (JTF) grant by clicking on the screenshot, but I’ve […]

Massimo Pigliucci goes after “scientism” for the umpteenth time

Here we have philosophy professor Massimo Pigliucci speaking about scientism at last year’s CSIcon in Las Vegas; his title is “The variety of scientisms and the limits of science.” There are several talks recently posted from this meeting, which I think is the successor to Randi’s “The Amazing Meeting”, and I’ll highlight a few of […]

Are some truths not worth knowing?

I was listening for the first time to the famous “Four Horseman” video discussion with Richard Dawkins, Dan Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens, and noted that, near the end, they discuss the possibility that some scientific facts might not be worth knowing, or even be dangerous to know. (Dan mentions determinism, though he doesn’t […]

My podcast on free will at Left at the Valley

Left at the Valley is an atheist/science/politics podcast emanating from the Fraser Valley of Western Canada. I’ve been on it once before, talking about evolution, but this time they wanted to discuss free will. Before you get all het up and ready to pound the keys, I defined the kind of free will I’m discussing […]

Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ morals

Here’s the new Jesus and Mo strip, called “say”. The accusation is quite familiar to many of us; not only are we, as secularists, not supposed to have any “grounding” for our morality, but are also said to be arrogant and evincing morally superiority. Well, if “morally superior” means that we think about how to […]

Edinburgh Coursera lecture equating evolution and creationism as equally “faith based” vanishes from the web, but the science-bashing continues

Three days ago I put up a post showing a short lecture by philosopher S. Orestis Palermos that was part of a University of Edinburgh Coursera course on Science and Philosophy. His lecture basically equated evolutionary biology with creationism, dismissing both as “pseudoscience”. (The course was also sponsored by—to its eternal shame—the John Templeton Foundation.) […]