Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Philosophers' Cafe

This Friday, 3 PM in GH 316. The Philosophers' Cafe. We'll discuss the ethical issues surrounding the human use of animals.

Join us!

Philosophy Advising

Philosophy students who need an advising appointment can go to Sign up for a 30-minute slot. Email me at if you have questions.

NKU Student Forum

NKU students are invited to attend a Strategic Plan feedback session on Wednesday, April 2, from 3:30-4:30 p.m., in the University Center Ballroom.

This hour-long session will consist of four 15-minute rounds that will allow you to give your insights and feedback at stations set up around Ballroom on topics (enrollment strategies, academic innovation, student retention and success, financial resources, marketing and public awareness, facilities and sustainability, technology support, and community engagement) that are of most interest to you.

It’s like speed dating for our future. This is your chance to help shape NKU as we approach our 50th Anniversary in 2018. We hope to see you there!

You can learn more about the forum and RSVP at this website:
Fall 2014
Time to register for fall classes.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Film and Philosophy: Being John Malkovich

Being John Malkovich
Join us this Friday, March 21, from 3:00-4:30 in GH 316 as the Film and Philosophy series presents Being John Malkovich. The 1999 Spike Jonze movie is most certainly the funniest film on free will, personal identity, and the nature of mind that you will ever see. Discussion and snacks, as always.

Enhanced punishment: can technology increase life sentences?

Rebecca Roach, a philosopher at Oxford, talks about how new technologies might change future punishment.
Technology, then, offers (or will one day offer) untapped possibilities to make punishment for the worst criminals more severe without resorting to inhumane methods or substantially overhauling the current UK legal system. What constitutes humane treatment in the context of the suggestions I have made is, of course, debatable. But I believe it is an issue worth debating.
Enhanced punishment: can technology increase life sentences?

Also, read this interview with Roach at Aeon Magazine, Hell on earth: What happens to life sentences if the human lifespan is radically extended? A philosopher talks about future punishment

The Experience Machine

What makes life worth living? Robert Nozick introduces a thought experiment--the experience machine--to refute one answer to the question.

Suppose there were an experience machine that would give you any experience you desired. Superduper neuropsychologists could stimulate your brain so that you would think and feel you were writing a great novel, or making a friend, or reading an interesting book. All the time you would be floating in a tank, with electrodes attached to your brain. Should you plug into this machine for life, preprogramming your life's experiences?... Of course, while in the tank, you won't know that you're there; you'll think it's all actually happening. . . . Would you plug in? What else can matter to us, other than how our lives feel from the inside?

3quarksdaily: The Experience Machine

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Philosophers among the most famous people

Still wondering whether Philosophy is worth studying? The ten most famous people in the last 6,000 years.

1. Aristotle
2. Plato
3. Jesus Christ
4. Socrates
5. Alexander the Great
6. Leonardo Da Vinci
7. Confucius
8. Julius Caesar
9. Homer
10. Pythagoras

Who’s More Famous Than Jesus? -

Friday, March 07, 2014

Is Philosophy the Most Practical Major?

What makes philosophy different? It can seem self-absorbed; philosophers themselves joke about Arthur Koestler's definition: "the systematic abuse of a terminology specially invented for that purpose." But it also is a tool (like history and religious studies) for thinking about everything else, and every profession from law and medicine to motorcycle maintenance.
Is Philosophy the Most Practical Major? - Edward Tenner - The Atlantic

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

The Unexpected Way Philosophy Majors Are Changing The World Of Business

"You go into the humanities to pursue your intellectual passion, and it just so happens as a byproduct that you emerge as a desired commodity for industry," said Horowitz. "Such is the halo of human flourishing."

The Unexpected Way Philosophy Majors Are Changing The World Of Business

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Louise Antony on Atheism

Louise Antony
Gary Gutting interviews philosopher Louise Antony.
So the question is, why do I say that theism is false, rather than just unproven? Because the question has been settled to my satisfaction. I say “there is no God” with the same confidence I say “there are no ghosts” or “there is no magic.” The main issue is supernaturalism — I deny that there are beings or phenomena outside the scope of natural law.
Read more at the NY Times.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Interview: David Chalmers and Andy Clark

Interview: David Chalmers and Andy Clark | New Philosopher:

Andy Clark is a Chair in Logic and Metaphysics at the University of Edinburgh. He was Director of the Philosophy/Neuroscience/Psychology Program at Washington University in St. Louis. Andy’s interests span not just philosophy of mind, but also artificial intelligence, including robotics, artificial life and embodied cognition. David Chalmers is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and director of the Centre for Consciousness at Australian National University. He is also Professor of Philosophy and co-director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness at New York University. David is best known for his work on consciousness, but is also interested in metaphysics and epistemology, and the foundations of cognitive science.

Interview with Daniel Stoljar

Daniel Stoljar
An interview with philosopher Daniel Stoljar.
Daniel Stoljar thinks all the time about what we can and can’t learn from introspection, about ignorance and the imagination, the epistemic view of consciousness, the ignorance hypothesis, slugs and tiles, distinctions between empirical and philosophical questions, physicalism as weltanschauung, whether materialism is part of a scientific world view, on materialism and physics and on whether metaphysics harmonising with science is any different from tourism doing so also. This one keeps hooking to the body. Brawlin’.
epistemic consciousness