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    Rumi, Mathnawi III, 3020-3024
    The lover's food is the love of the bread; no bread need be at hand: no one who is sincere in his love is a slave to existence. Lovers have nothing to do with existence; lovers have the interest without the capital. Without wings they fly around the world; without hands they carry the polo ball off the field. That dervish who caught the scent of Reality used to weave basket even though his hand had been cut off. Lover have pitched their tents in nonexistence: they are of one quality and one essence, as nonexistence is.
    Rumi, Mathnawi III, 3020-3024
  • Philosophy Feeds

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    • Ethics

    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.

    Many philosophers argue in favour of the welfare of animals because of their capacity for feeling pain. Harvard philosopher Christine Korsgaard is unusual in using Kantian arguments to defend the status of animals as ends in themselves. She discusses her approach with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

    Interesting item from the UK, with a particular focus on the dissertation options at Oxford Philosophy. (Thanks to Mark van Atten for the pointer.)

    An undergraduate student writes: You've linked to two articles by Todd Gitlin recently. Both indicate troubling characteristics of college students that are possibly (at least in part) attributable to the influence that capitalism exerts on American culture (e.g. freshmen are...

    MOVING TO FRONT FROM YESTERDAY, AN INTERESTING DISCUSSION IN THE COMMENTS; MORE CONTRIBUTIOSN WELCOME Stefan Sciaraffa (McMaster) calls my attention to a striking item by philosopher Elizabeth Barnes (Virginia); an excerpt: I have sat in philosophy seminars where it was...

    The published version, for those who are interested.

    David Owens (ethics, philosophy of action), Professor of Philosophy at the University of Reading, has accepted appointment as Professor of Moral Philosophy at King's College, London. Together with the strong group in moral and political philosophy on the law faculty...

    Available here. Attrition appears to be much lower than when I was at Michigan in the late 80s and early 90s. In my class of nine (seven men, two women), the two women did not complete the program, but all...

    The full report. Briefly: Michael LaCour, a PhD candidate in poli sci at UCLA, got a lot of attention for a paper co-authored with Donald Green in 2014: LaCour and Green (2014, Science) report a remarkable result: a ~20-minute conversation...

    by Rick Lewis

    Irving Singer dies • Heidegger notebooks shock • Old skull prompts philosophical questions — News reports by Sue Roberts and Anja Steinbauer

    Robin Rymarczuk is Michel Foucault’s ‘friend’.

    Peter Benson tells us how critiques of both Marx and capitalist society have evolved in France, with special reference to Jean Baudrillard and Bernard Stiegler.

    Danelle Gallo compares the ecstacies of Georges Bataille and Yves Klein.

    Yonathan Listik puts in a linguistic performance to communicate Derrida’s linguistic performance.

    James Alexander finds Alain Badiou guilty of horrors but sometimes worth reading.

    Alejandra Mancilla uses an example from Robert Nozick to question the claims to ownership made by breeders of genetically modified organisms.

    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.

    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 […]

    There appears to be lot of disagreement in moral philosophy.  Whether these many apparent disagreements are deep and irresolvable, I believe there is at least one thing it is reasonable to agree on right now, whatever general moral view we adopt:  that it is very important to reduce the risk that all intelligent beings on […]

    Participating in that great experiment of the internet—social media in particular—runs some risks; an emotional tweet, a late-night blog entry, or a Facebook post after a couple of pints can not only get you into trouble with friends and family, but at times, even cost you your job and bring world-wide notoriety. Justine Sacco is […]

    Let us suppose we have a treatment and we want to find out if it works. Call this treatment drug X. While we have observational data that it works—that is, patients say it works or, that it appears to work given certain tests—observational data can be misleading. As Edzard Ernst writes: Whenever a patient or […]

    A recent post on this blog by a lecturer from Royal Holloway has caused negative comment and attention. All posts on the blog reflect the author’s own arguments, and are not a reflection of the views of other blog writers, of the Centre, or of the University. Blog authors include staff and students of Oxford […]

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  • Poem

    • Invisible Healing

      Invisible Healing

      Some scars don’t become invisible     by disappearing,   but by being incorporated. Both can be   forms of healing.
  • Random Band Names

    • Band Names Back

      Band Names Back

      The Trove Down with the Invisible Regime (02/18/2011) – There is a possible revolution on every corner. Greenage in Your Gourd! (01/10/2011) – Yerba, Baby. My life is so much… Continue Reading →
    • Lens of Craft

      Lens of Craft

      Plato argues, in The Republic, that engaging the world through the lens of a craft intimates – even instantiates – Good.
  • Next latest

    • 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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