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    Cheryl Misak has recently published a biography of F.P. Ramsey, the great Cambridge thinker who died at the age of only 26, but who nevertheless made a significant impact in several different fields including philosophy, mathematics, and economics. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast she discusses Ramsey's interactions with Wittgenstein. The two thinkers had very different personal styles and their philosophies reflect this.

    Philip Goff discusses some of Galileo's insights into the nature of matter. He then goes on to discuss his own view about consciousness, panpsychism. Goff believes that matter is conscious at some level. 

    In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast, recorded before the Covid-19 lockdowns, the political philosopher Elizabeth Anderson explains why we need to be prepared to talk more, even with people with whom we strongly disagree. 

     

    What is free will? Do we have it? These are difficult questions. Neuroscience seems to point in the direction of determinism. But Christian List suggests that there might still be room for genuine free will. 

     

    Some philosophers have drawn very strange conclusions about the nature of reality. Despite this Emily Thomas believes that their work may still be worth studying. They usually have had good reasons for what they concluded. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast she discusses several wildly implausible metaphysical theories with Nigel Warburton

    We are grateful for support from the Marc Sanders Foundation and from our Patreon donors. 

    Are thought experiments the best way of doing practical ethics? Not according to James Wilson. He thinks we need the rich detail of real cases or complex imaginary cases not a simplified version of reality to make sense of the moral problems we face. 

    We are grateful for support for this episode from the Marc Sanders Foundation and from our supporters on Patreon. 

    In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast, Kate Kirkpatrick, author of a new biography of Beauvoir, Becoming Beauvoir, discusses the relationship between the life and work of Simone de Beauvoir. Beauvoir is often portrayed as applying Jean-Paul Sartre's existentialism to the condition of women. Is this a fair assessment?

    We are grateful for support from the Marc Sanders Foundation

    'What is a woman?' has become a contentious question with practical implications. The philosopher Kathleen Stock gives an account of the category 'woman' and how we should think about it. She gives a different answer to this question which Amia Srinivassan addressed in a previous Philosophy Bites interview on this topic.

    Unfortunately, this essay by Adolph Reed is timely again. "Black Lives Matter," as I've noted before, identified a real phenomenon--police violence--and then consistently misdiagnosed it, as Reed demonstrates: Available data (see https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings/?tid=a_inl) indicate, to the surprise of no one who...

    Les Green (Oxford & Queen's U) comments (amusingly and aptly); an excerpt: Admittedly, there are disagreements about freedom. Some philosophers say these turn on people having different ‘concepts’ of freedom; others say that we have various ‘conceptions of the concept’...

    ...and 45% had no symptoms from it. As the article notes based on Indiana and other antibody studies, the infection fatality rate seems to be between .5 and 1%, which is still pretty awful, but not as awful as some...

    I'll be blogging less frequently in June and August, and probably not at all in July. Thanks, as always, for reading.

    Pretty remarkable, given the size of the country and the proximity (and ties) to China. Nothing like competent political leadership during a catastrophe.

    Scottish hard rock band, this comes from their second album:

    Yes to both. The Insurrection Act was utilized during the Civil Rights era to insure state compliance with court decisions in the American South, and it was utilized again during the urban riots of 1967 and 1968 in cities like...

    This is informative. (Thanks to Dr. David Ozonoff for the pointer.)

    Report by Anja Steinbauer

    Brandon Robshaw looks again at Nietzsche’s idea of the eternal repetition of life.

    David Birch compares the attitudes of Friedrich Nietzsche and Kanye West.

    Christopher Devlin Brown sees similarities and differences in Nietzsche’s and Plato’s critiques of art.

    Paul Doolan on what Nietzsche thought we can, and can’t, get out of history.

    Paul O’Mahoney considers the awful fate Nietzsche predicts for humanity.

    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: Dr Amna Whiston In this seminar (available on podcast), Professor Arthur Schafer discussed the ethical challenges involved in the Canadian euthanasia debate at the New St Cross Special Ethics Seminar (online). Professor Schafer, who has written extensively over the last thirty years about a range of topics that includes professional and bio-medical ethics, […]

    In the UK we’re past the peak of the coronavirus pandemic but new ethical issues are arising: the healthcare system is now under enormous pressure – it’s working less efficiently than before (because of precautions to protect healthcare personnel), and there’s an enormous backlog of patients whose treatments have been put on hold. Which non-Covid-19 […]

    by Roger Crisp Utilitarianism is in the news. It was widely believed that the UK government’s so-called ‘herd immunity’ strategy, which involved sacrificing the important interests of a relative few for the sake of benefits for the many, was motivated by a commitment to utilitarianism. Now several commentators around the world have suggested that decisions to ease […]

    By Charles Foster It has been a terrible few months for moral philosophers – and for utilitarians in particular. Their relevance to public discourse has never been greater, but never have their analyses been so humiliatingly sidelined by policy makers across the world. The world’s governments are all, it seems, ruled by a rather crude […]

    By Thomas Douglas, Jonathan Pugh and Lisa Forsberg Cross posted with the Journal of Medical Ethics Blog Governments worldwide have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic with sweeping constraints on freedom of movement, including various forms of isolation, quarantine, and ‘lockdown’. Governments have also introduced new legal instruments to guarantee the lawfulness of their measures. In […]

    Written by Alberto Giubilini Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities – Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics University of Oxford     Main point: Lockdown measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 have so far been compulsory in most countries. In the same way, use of contact tracing apps should be compulsory once lockdown measures […]

    Applications are open to join our two June short courses on the ethics and philosophy of neuroscience, psychiatry, and mental health which will be run online this year. For details and how to apply: Neuroethics, 15-19 June Philosophy, Psychiatry and Mental Health, 22-26 June  

    By Roger Crisp At a recent New St Cross Special Ethics Seminar Prof. Noam Zohar of the Dept. of Philosophy, Bar Ilan University and a member of Israel’s National Bioethics Council, spoke on ‘Debating Forced Medical Feeding: A Critical Examination of Israeli Responses to Hunger Strikes’. He began by setting his argument in the context of recent […]