THE BLOG@PHILOSOPHERS' CORNER

The Lifespan of a Genre

Why do your musical tastes get frozen over in your twenties? What does this stagnation have to do with the evolution and historicization of music genres? Should we encourage ourselves to listen to new music past our 30s?

Read more

[AUDIO] When Driverless Cars Go Wrong

Driverless cars promise to make driving safer. Biut with the inevitability of accidents, who is to blame for the harm caused by them? Does responsibility lie with the car manufacturers, or must we simply accept that we cannot sometimes accidents will happen?

Read more

Does Work Give Our Lives Meaning?

The possibility of a world without work is making plenty of people nervous: what would it look like, will it actually be good for us, will life even be meaningful anymore? Is meaning the value by which we should be evaluating a world without work?

Read more

Envisioning Eastern Hegemony

What would a world run by Eastern values look like? Would the world look meaningfully different under Eastern versus Western hegemony. Or would there just be different groups of people running roughly similarly structured institutions?

Read more

[COMIC] Postmodernism Attacks!

There lingers an ominous line a thought in today's minds... it has infected experienced intellectuals and millennials alike, putting a spoke in the wheels of centuries of intellectual progress. Can the metaphysicians of the past join their powers to defeat this dangerous foe?

Read more

Can Free Speech Exclude?

Do bigots have an equal right to free speech? Do the marginalized have the right to silence bigots? Is excluding certain voices the best way to fight against oppression and marginalization?

Read more

Should Belief Aim at Truth?

Should your beliefs aim at the truth? Or should you just believe whatever makes your life better, whether it’s true or not? How could false beliefs ever make your life better?

Read more

Because You Are, I Am

The phrase "I think, therefore I am" or "Cogito ergo sum" might make Descartes the most-quoted philosopher of the last 400 years. But what’s the role of other people in the self? Does the self really come from one person’s solitary mind—or do the people around us inform who we refer to when we use the word “I”?

Read more

Watered-down Philosophy for Tech Bros

So-called "practical" philosophy is gaining popularity in Silicon Valley among tech executives who want to eliminate "bullshit" in their business lives. But is this trend doing more harm than good for the discipline? Does the notion that there is a "practical" philosophy imply that any philosophy not catering to the tech bro is therefore "impractical"?

Read more

Nozick, Libertarianism, and Philosophy

What are the merits of Robert Nozick's libertarian, small-government philosophy? Why did Nozick move away from libertarianism as his views on philosophy changed? And what was his vision for the future of analytic philosophy?

Read more

The Limits of Medical Consent

Is it ever permissible to force medical treatment on a patient against their will? What if they are so emotionally distraught that they can’t think straight? What if they might die without the treatment?

Read more

[AUDIO] What Constitutes Consent?

California law defines sexual consent as "Yes means Yes". In other words, the consent is "affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity," that can be revoked at any time. However, does this definition properly capture what constitutes consent?

Read more

Defense of Transracialism Goes Awry

In a recent article titled "In Defense of Transracialism" for the feminist philosophy journal Hypatia, philosopher Rebecca Tuvel penned a defense of "transracialism" through an argument that the logic which supports transgender individuals also should lead one to support transracial individuals in their decision to "change" races.

Read more

Is Human Monogamy Genetic?

Are humans "genetically programmed" towards monogamy? Does monogamy ensure that offspring are cared for? What bearing does this have on the ethics of cheating in a romantic relationship? And how do we account for polyamory?

Read more

All Machine and No Ghost

Hillary Clinton, E.T., and the Terminator walk into a bar, and plop themselves down on stools, and they each order a beer. How do physicalist theories of mind explain what's going on in their respective minds? Read our third and final installment on the mind-body problem to find out.

Read more

Slower Reading for Better Philosophy

A new book by Michelle Boulous Walker, Slow Philosophy: Reading Against the Institution, critiques the rapid tempos that adversely affect our relation to the world. Boulous Walker's focus is how something is lost for philosophy, both as an activity and a discipline, when it has to meet a certain pace of reading and production.

Read more

Why We Need Public Philosophy

The world is a cruel place that has no shortage of suffering. It is no wonder that scholars of all stripes have been pulled by the gravity of the moment to redirect their intellectual talents and capacities for research toward more immediately pressing and urgent questions. It is why public philosophy is more important than ever.

Read more

#FrancisOnFilm: Cezanne et Moi

What makes a friend? Cézanne et Moi is the story of the friendship between Émile Zola and Paul Cézanne. It is also a complex commentary on friendship itself: what friends owe each other, what friends should do for each other, and what breaks the bonds of friendship.

Read more

[AUDIO] Political Utopias: Just Wishful Thinking?

Are the political utopias we imagine simply a product of wishful thinking? Can we be too caught up in the promises of theory to see beyond our rose-colored glasses? Or are these utopias real objects to aim for, despite how far away they may seem?

Read more

Art, Origins, and the Fearless Girl

At first sight, Fearless Girl, standing across from Wall Street’s iconic Charging Bull, is a powerful symbol of opposition to patriarchal values, which are at their worst in the male-dominated world of high finance. But if you look to her origins, you might experience an astonishing flip of perspective.

Read more

Why Vote?

Alain Badiou, one of France's premiere philosophers and public intellectuals, recently wrote a column in Le Monde commenting on the current French election. After he runs through characteristics and relative merits of the top four contenders, he comes to an ironic conclusion: there is no reason to vote. 

Read more

Tricks for Political Persuasion

In these polarized times, it's hard to convince anyone of anything that they didn't already believe in. This consistent inability to reach any real mutual understanding can lead some to "agree to disagree," but when it comes to serious moral questions where lives are at stake, we need better tools of persuasion.

Read more

Phenomenology

Husserl founded phenomenology a century ago. Many important philosophers are phenomenologists, like Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Sartre. But what in the world is phenomenology?

Read more

[AUDIO] Can a Riot be Justifiable?

Political riots: are they a legitimate method for the people to express their discontent, or too chaotic and uncontrollable to be deemed effective? When a demonstration turns violent, can that violence ever be justified?

Read more

Are Taxes Fair?

It's Tax Day in America, so we have some questions for you: Do you think taxes are fair? How well do you know your own thoughts about taxes? How easily shaped by priming are your beliefs about taxes? You might be surprised to discover what experimental data shows about this!

Read more