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    Pei-chien
    Let your actions be like clouds going by; the clouds going by are mindless. Let your stillness be as the valley spirit; the valley spirit is undying. When action accompanies stillness and stillness combines with action, then the duality of action and stillness no longer arises.
    Pei-chien
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    What part do emotions play in our appreciation of art? Jesse Prinz explores the sense of wonder at artworks in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

    What is a conspiracy? Why do conspiracies - real or imagined -  matter to philsophy? Cassim Quaassam explores these questions in conversation with Nigel Warburton

    Are all truths relative? That's an attractive idea for many people. Tim Williamson, Wykeham Professor of Logic at Oxford University discusses why and attempts to immunise us against sloppy thinking in this area.

    How does your view of the self affect your attitude to your own death? Shaun Nichols discusses this question in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

    Warning: this episode on the philosophy of swearing includes swearing. Rebecca Roache discusses swearing and whether there are good arguments for refraining from it. 

    We're all irrational some of the time, probably more of the time than we are ready to acknowledge.  Lisa Bortolotti discusses the nature of irrationality with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. 

    There are many ways to deceive with words, some of which don't involve lying. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Jonathan Webber considers whether it matters or not if you lie. 

    Albert Camus described suicide as the 'one really serious philosophical problem'. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Simon Critchley discusses suicide with Nigel Warburton.

    There's still a 3rd from the top spot for $200 available. As noted previously, ates will be lower this summer ($300/top spot, $250/2nd from top), because I will be blogging a bit less regularly. There is at least one top...

    Here, following up on this. ADDENDUM: Because the FP blog is hosted in the United Kingdom, and this item was posted by a resident of the United Kingdom, its postings are subject to English libel law, which includes takedown provisions...

    Identity politics...for kids!?!? If only it was a Marxist school, they'd appreciate the cosmopolitan ideal. (Thanks to Chris Morris for the pointer.)

    Here. (Thanks to Ravi Sama for the pointer.)

    Egads! (Thanks to Dean Rowan for the pointer.)

    MOVING TO FRONT, WITH ADDITIONS AND DELETIONS This omits some philosophers who do not have such pages (like Tyler Burge [circa 8,000 cites], Allan Gibbard [circa 8,000 cites], Alvin Goldman [circa 15,000 cites], Philip Kitcher [circa 10,000 cites], Alasdair MacIntyre...

    I wonder what his students make of this: Here’s a depressing thought that sometimes occurs to me: someone I teach may, one day, end up in a position of elected power. It’s not an unreasonable fear. The Houses of Parliament...

    by Grant Bartley

    Is a chimpanzee a person? • Is an android a person? • Editing the human germline — News reports by Anja Steinbauer

    Daniel Vargas Gómez considers what we encounter when we encounter art.

    Alistair MacFarlane appreciates the life of an infamous art prophet.

    Launt Thompson argues that some popular trends in art criticism are fallacies.

    The following answers to this artful question each win a random book.

    Siobhan Lyons argues that modernist artistic values of sincere self-expression are culturally reasserting themselves.

    Ralph Blumenau tells us what great thinkers said about great music.

    Grant Bartley from Philosophy Now (and author of The Metarevolution) is joined by members of London philosophy groups Philosophy For All and the Philosophical Society of England to debate an argument advanced by PFA member Kieran Quill that according to quantum mechanics the universe is mental in nature. Join us to hear the fallout. First broadcast on 29 June 2014 on Resonance FM.

    Ludwig Wittgenstein worked out how language has meaning, twice. He also thought that some of the most important things we can know we can’t express at all. Grant Bartley from Philosophy Now finds out the meaning and limits of language from guest Daniel Hutto from the University of Wollongong, NSW. First broadcast on 22 June 2014 on Resonance FM.

    Might Nietzsche be right, claiming that lying is “a condition of life?” – Or Kant, arguing that lying means annihilating human dignity? Is it ever acceptable for governments to lie to the public or for individuals to lie to the government? Anja Steinbauer is joined by politician and philosopher Shahrar Ali and moral philosopher Piers Benn to discuss whether lying can be a good thing. First broadcast on 15 June 2014 on Resonance FM.

    What is meta-ethics? How does meta-ethics differ from ethics, and what does it tell us about ethics? Why is it important for how we should live our lives? Join Grant Bartley from Philosophy Now and his guests Edward Harcourt from Keble College, Oxford, and Richard Rowland from the University of Warwick, to find the answers to these questions and more. First broadcast on 8 June 2014 on Resonance FM.

    Join Grant Bartley from Philosophy Now and guests John Callanan from King’s College, London, and Andrew Ward from the University of York to talk about the most important idea you’ve never heard of, and some other persuasive arguments from revolutionary but unfortunately unknown-to-the-world philosopher Immanuel Kant. First broadcast on 1 June 2014 on Resonance FM.

    Join Grant Bartley from Philosophy Now and guests Philip Goff from the University of Liverpool and Tom McClelland from the University of Manchester as they try to work out how all that electricity between your nerve cells relates to and produces all your experiences and thoughts. First broadcast on 25 May 2014 on Resonance FM.

    What has Buddhism to offer the 21st Century? Join Anja Steinbauer and her guests, Martin Muchall and Rick Lewis, for a critical discussion of ideas in and about Buddhism. First broadcast on 18 May 2014 on Resonance FM.

    Isaiah Berlin said of David Hume, “No man has influenced the history of philosophy to a deeper or more disturbing degree.” Join Grant Bartley from Philosophy Now plus guests Jane O’Grady, Peter Kail and James Arnold to find out why. First broadcast on 11 May 2014 on Resonance FM.

    Written By Seth Lazar Australian National University Earlier this year, the British Army Reserves launched a recruitment drive, emphasising  the opportunities that volunteering affords: world travel, professional training, excitement and comradeship.[1]  In this sense it was typical. Military recruitment tends not to mention the possibility of being complicit in murder. But those who are considering […]

    Written by Johann Ahola-Launonen University of Helsinki How should bioethical discussion be? The academic debate entails a tension between different parties, which often are difficult to compare. To mention some, for example, some draw from the tradition of liberal consequentialism and demand for rationalism and the avoidance of lofty moral arguments. Others descend from the […]

    Written by William Isdale, of The University of Queensland  As many readers will be aware, this year will mark the conclusion of the Millennium Development Goals. For some of these goals, expectations have been exceeded; for instance, the goal of halving global poverty (defined as living on less then US$1.25 a day) was achieved back […]

    A recent series of papers have constructed a biochemical pathway that allows yeast to produce opiates. It is not quite a sugar-to-heroin home brew yet, but putting together the pieces looks fairly doable in the very near term. I think I called the news almost exactly five years ago on this blog. People, including the […]

    by Dominic Wilkinson, @Neonatalethics The Court of Protection is due to review very soon the case of a teenager with a relapsed brain tumour. The young man had been diagnosed with the tumour as a baby, but it has apparently come back and spread so that according to his neurosurgeon he has been “going in […]

    Written by Darlei Dall’Agnol [1] Professor of Ethics at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brasil   We humans are, as social beings, care-dependent creatures. Since the very moment we are born (or even before), we need all sorts of attention to meet our basic needs: we must be fed, clothed, sheltered, protected from many […]

    Authors: Calum Miller, Final year medical student, University of Oxford; C’Zar Bernstein, BPhil graduate philosophy student, University of Oxford; Joao Fabiano, DPhil philosophy student, University of Oxford; Mahmood Naji, Final year medical student, University of Oxford One of the first things we did after seeing the election news on the morning after the election was to post a […]

    The public outcry at the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service that Lord Janner was not fit to stand trial for 22 sex offences, the last of which were allegedly committed in the 1980s, appears to have led the CPS to initiate a review. Janner’s case raises several issues about the punishment of crimes that may […]

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    • Socrates and Glaucon on the Home Shopping Network

      by , McSweeneys (19 May 2010)

      Rebekah Frumkin

      Rebekah Frumkin

      SOCRATES: Good evening, Glaucon. You look troubled.

      GLAUCON: I am, Socrates.

      SOCRATES: What worries you so?

      GLAUCON: Look at my kitchen floor. That brown scum is the stain of fowl livers. I spilled them earlier today and cleaned them up, but the stains remain.

      SOCRATES: I see.

      GLAUCON: The stains are attracting countless pests with their foul odor and bacteria. There is no way to clean them up.

      SOCRATES: Are you sure of that?

      GLAUCON: Yes. To do so, I would need some convenient means of cleaning and sterilization.

      SOCRATES: And you are convinced such a means does not exist?

      GLAUCON: Socrates, I have lived in this city for the majority of my life and, knowing the things I know, I do not think it is possible for something to clean and sterilize at the same time.

      SOCRATES: Tell me, Glaucon, what does “clean” mean?

      GLAUCON: Why, it means the opposite of dirty, Socrates.

      SOCRATES: Surely it must mean something more than that.

      GLAUCON: I don’t understand, Socrates.

      SOCRATES: If “clean” means the opposite of “dirty,” then to clean is to rid a space of dirt or plague, yes?

      GLAUCON: Yes, Socrates.

      SOCRATES: So cleanliness is the complete obliteration of dirt, bacteria and unsightly stains. Am I right?

      GLAUCON: Yes, Socrates.

      SOCRATES: So to effectively clean, one must also sterilize, as a sterile surface is one that is also not dirty?

      GLAUCON: Yes, Socrates.

      SOCRATES: But an ordinary mop will not do this?

      GLAUCON: No, Socrates. Look what a hassle it is for me to use! And none of the stains are coming off!

      SOCRATES: Yes. It is quite impossible to get one’s kitchen satisfactorily clean with an ordinary mop. But one could add Dirt-Fighting Technology™ to an ordinary mop, could he not?

      GLAUCON: It depends on what sort of technology it is.

      SOCRATES: It would consist of the elongation of the mop’s bristles and an internal motor that causes the mop’s head to swivel conveniently with the flip of a switch.

      GLAUCON: Then yes, I agree that one could add such technology to an ordinary mop. But would it still be an ordinary mop, Socrates?

      SOCRATES: Very astute, Glaucon. It would not. For convenience’s sake, let’s call it the EZ-Klean Mop™. Now answer me this: would the EZ-Klean Mop ™, given that it has the Dirt-Fighting Technology™ I’ve just described, be able to more effectively rid spaces of dirt or plague?

      GLAUCON: Yes.

      SOCRATES: So you agree that it can clean better than an ordinary mop?

      GLAUCON: I believe so.

      SOCRATES: You’re not fully convinced?

      GLAUCON: I see that it can clean, but how will I sterilize my kitchen floor with it, Socrates? I need to get these stains out.

      SOCRATES: I will answer your question with a question, Glaucon. What do you suppose the good men at Monsanto have been doing for the past fifteen years?

      GLAUCON: I don’t know, Socrates.

      SOCRATES: They’ve been developing a Dirt-Fighting Formula™ that is stronger than any soap. This formula is safe to use in the home, and it can sterilize any surface. Do you suppose such a formula could increase the cleaning power of the EZ-Klean Mop™?

      GLAUCON: Yes, Socrates.

      SOCRATES: And you’ve already admitted that, with its longer bristles and swiveling head, the EZ-Klean Mop™ can clean far better than an ordinary mop, have you not?

      GLAUCON: I have.

      SOCRATES: And I’ve just said that the Dirt-Fighting Formula™, which is sold with the EZ-Klean Mop™, can sterilize any surface, have I not?

      GLAUCON: You have.

      SOCRATES: So it seems to me that such a thing exists which can both sterilize and clean: The EZ-Klean Mop™.

      GLAUCON: Why, you’re right, Socrates.

      SOCRATES: Are you satisfied now, Glaucon?

      GLAUCON: Well… not just yet, Socrates. I’d like to own such a mop.

      SOCRATES: You can, Glaucon. How much are you willing to pay for the EZ-Klean Mop™?

      GLAUCON: Sixty dollars.

      SOCRATES: But the mop only costs $49.99, Glaucon. As this is less than you were originally willing to pay, I assume you would willingly pay this amount.

      GLAUCON: Yes, Socrates!

      SOCRATES: Call the number at the bottom of your screen, Glaucon, and the EZ-Klean Mop™ will be shipped directly to your home. And if you call now, you’ll receive a free can of SprayOn Hair™. Bald to fab in minutes!

      GLAUCON: Thank you, Socrates! This will make my life so much easier!

      SOCRATES: Do not thank me, Glaucon, for I have merely demonstrated to you what you already know about the EZ-Klean Mop™.

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