Category Archives: philosophy

Russell Blackford on science, religion, accommodationism, and Faith Versus Fact

Over at the “Cogito” (philosophy) section of The Conversation website, Brother Russell Blackford discusses (and dismisses) the compatibility of science and religion in a short essay called “Against accomodationism: How science undermines religion.” A substantial part of his piece is also a review of Faith Versus Fact, which I’m happy to see is positive. I won’t summarize Russell’s […]

NYT: Science can’t save us from our “apocalyptic future”, but can philosophy help?

Roy Scranton served in the Army for four years (2002-2006), is now a doctoral candidate in English at Princeton, and, in October, published a book called Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization. He just reprised his thesis in the philosophy column “The Stone” at the New York Times in a […]

Is falsifiability essential to science?

The two articles I want to discuss today are fascinating, for they raise a problem that’s now vexing many scientists (especially physicists)—the problem of testability. (Thanks to reader Mark H. for calling my attention to them.) It all goes back to the philosopher Karl Popper (1902-1994). Popper’s views about what made a theory “scientific” were immensely influential. They’re summed […]

A disproof of objective or “scientifically based” morality

I’ve made this point before, but have revisited it after my recent post on animal suffering and how we shouldn’t ignore it. When thinking about how to judge human versus animal suffering, I realized that there’s no objective way to do this, and that when trying to figure out how to treat animals, we must ultimately […]

Anthony Grayling chastises Oxford for holding a Templeton “philosophy” conference on the Trinity

I reported earlier (see here and here), that the Templeton World Charity Foundation (TWCF), as well as two seemingly reputable philosophical societies (the Analysis Trust and the Aristotelian Society), are sponsoring a conference in Oxford next March on “The Metaphysics of the Trinity: New Directions“. This is part of a larger TWCF project on “Metaphysics of Entanglement,” which of […]

Studying the Trinity: More dollars wasted by Templeton and philosophy groups

Here’s part of an email announcement sent out by the “Philosophy Admin” of Oxford University, which may mean (but may not) that this ridiculous conference, part of an initiative that I’ve mentioned before, has the blessing of Oxford University. It certainly has the blessing of the Templeton World Charity foundation, the Analysis Trust (publishers of the reputable […]

Peter Boghossian on “the regressive left”

“The regressive left” is a term coined by Maajid Nawaz to refer to those leftists in bed with extreme Islamists. In this week’s “The Humanist Hour,” presented by the American Humanist Hour, philosopher Peter Boghossian talks, eloquently, about the regressive left and its attendant tropes (denigration of free speech, concepts of safe spaces, etc).  If […]

Stephen Law on scientism

On his eponymous website, writer/philosopher Stephen Law has a new post called “Scientism!“. I reproduce it in its entirety: SCIENTISM: here’s the final paragraph of the chapter I just finished which will appear in Massimo Pigliucci and Maarten Boudry’s forthcoming tome Science Unlimited. I have provided three illustrations of how the charge of scientism is […]

Moral, religious and free-will fictionalism: how dangerous are they?

At its philosophy website The Stone, the New York Times finally published an article that sparked my interest, though of course I don’t completely agree with it. It’s called “How to live a lie,” and it’s by William Irwin, a philosopher at King’s College in Pennsylvania. By “living a lie,” Irwin refers to three forms of “fictionalism”: […]

Does disbelief in free will make people cheat?

I’ve posted before about Greg Caruso, a philosophy professor who writes about the down side of believing in free will, including its support of a “just world” view in which people deserve what they get, and so shouldn’t get government help. (Many Republicans hold such a view.) Caruso’s also the author of Free Will and Consciousness: A Determinist Account of […]