Philosophy everyw...
Follow
Find
5.4K views | +0 today
Scooped by Wildcat2030
onto Philosophy everywhere everywhen
Scoop.it!

Julian Baggini — I still love Kierkegaard (A torrential thunderstorm at the heart)

Julian Baggini — I still love Kierkegaard (A torrential thunderstorm at the heart) | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it

He is the dramatic, torrential thunderstorm at the heart of philosophy and his provocation is more valuable than ever-

 

..Kierkegaard was not so much an oasis in this desert as a dramatic, torrential thunderstorm at the heart of it. Discovering him as a 17-year-old suddenly made philosophy and religion human and exciting, not arid and abstract. In part that’s because he was a complex personality with a tumultuous biography. Even his name emanates romantic darkness. ‘Søren’ is the Danish version of the Latin severus, meaning ‘severe’, ‘serious’ or ‘strict’, while ‘Kierkegaard’ means churchyard, with its traditional associations of the graveyard.

He knew intense love, and was engaged to Regine Olsen, whom he describes in his journals as ‘sovereign queen of my heart’. Yet in 1841, after four years of courtship, he called the engagement off, apparently because he did not believe he could give the marriage the commitment it deserved. He took love, God and philosophy so seriously that he did not see how he could allow himself all three.

He was a romantic iconoclast, who lived fast and died young, but on a rollercoaster of words and ideas rather than sex and booze. During the 1840s, books poured from his pen. In 1843 alone, he published three masterpieces, Either/Or, Fear and Trembling, and Repetition.

more...
No comment yet.
Philosophy everywhere everywhen
The First Law of Philosophy: For every philosopher, there exists an equal and opposite philosopher. The Second Law of Philosophy: They're bo
Curated by Wildcat2030
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Happiness and Its Discontents-So how else might we define happiness?

Happiness and Its Discontents-So how else might we define happiness? | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
Are you satisfied with your life? How are you feeling? Does either question tell us what we really want to know?

-

I would suggest that when we talk about happiness, we are actually referring, much of the time, to a complex emotional phenomenon. Call it emotional well-being. Happiness as emotional well-being concerns your emotions and moods, more broadly your emotional condition as a whole. To be happy is to inhabit a favorable emotional state.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Wildcat: Some nothings are like elephants really big elephants

Wildcat: Some nothings are like elephants really big elephants | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it

No one knows how many kinds of nothings there are, also there are many kinds of knowing and also many kinds of one, yes, and many kinds of no, and many kinds of things, obviously there are many kinds of nothings, also many kinds of kinds.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Do Brain Workouts Work? Science Isn't Sure

Do Brain Workouts Work? Science Isn't Sure | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
Tools like Lumosity promise to stimulate your mind, though researchers question how much they improve cognitive performance.

-

For a $14.95 monthly membership, the website Lumosity promises to “train” your brain with games designed to stave off mental decline. Users view a quick succession of bird images and numbers to test attention span, for instance, or match increasingly complex tile patterns to challenge memory.

While Lumosity is perhaps the best known of the brain-game websites, with 50 million subscribers in 180 countries, the cognitive training business is booming. Happy Neuron of Mountain View, Calif., promises “brain fitness for life.” Cogmed, owned by the British education company Pearson, says its training program will give students “improved attention and capacity for learning.” The Israeli firm Neuronix is developing a brain stimulation and cognitive training program that the company calls a “new hope for Alzheimer’s disease.”

And last month, in a move that could significantly improve the financial prospects for brain-game developers, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services began seeking comments on a proposal that would, in some cases, reimburse the cost of “memory fitness activities.”

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Why Study Philosophy? 'To Challenge Your Own Point of View'

Why Study Philosophy? 'To Challenge Your Own Point of View' | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
An interview with Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, author of Plato at the Googleplex

-

At a time when advances in science and technology have changed our understanding of our mental and physical selves, it is easy for some to dismiss the discipline of philosophy as obsolete. Stephen Hawking, boldly, argues that philosophy is dead.

Not according to Rebecca Newberger Goldstein. Goldstein, a philosopher and novelist, studied philosophy at Barnard and then earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton University. She has written several books, won a MacArthur “Genius Award” in 1996, and taught at several universities, including Barnard, Columbia, Rutgers, and Brandeis.

Goldstein’s forthcoming book, Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away, offers insight into the significant—and often invisible—progress that philosophy has made. I spoke with Goldstein about her take on the science vs. philosophy debates, how we can measure philosophy’s advances, and why an understanding of philosophy is critical to our lives today.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Can beauty help us to become better people? – John Armstrong – Aeon

Can beauty help us to become better people? – John Armstrong – Aeon | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
True beauty pleases the eye and the mind – but can it help us to become better people?

-

Schiller thinks of human nature as an arena in which two powerful psychological drives are at work. On the one hand, there is the ‘sense’ drive which lives in the moment and seeks immediate gratification. It craves contact and possession. It can be coarse, as when one yearns to swig great draughts of beer; but it can also be elevated. Schiller associated the sense drive with his friend Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who longed to see things with his own eyes. Goethe was a direct observer, a natural empiricist who immersed himself in practical detail.

The second drive identified by Schiller was the ‘form’ drive: the inner demand for coherence over time, for abstract understanding and rational order. This drive, thought Schiller, seeks to leave behind the peculiarities of one’s own experience and discover universal principles. It is at the heart of justice – which is not about getting what you want for yourself – and is animated by principle. When we think that a person is entitled to a fair trial, we are motivated, Schiller says, by the rational ‘form’ drive. We are loyal to the abstract, general ideal of due process.

What he’s calling the sense drive and the form drive are powerful impulses in us. But they are often in conflict. The demands of the short term are at odds with the hopes of the longer view. Comfort and ease struggle against a sense of duty and responsibility. The allure of freedom clashes with the longing to be steadfast and rooted in existing commitments.

more...
Adilson Camacho's curator insight, February 22, 12:24 AM

Unidade fazer SENTIDO e da forma ...

Rescooped by Wildcat2030 from Philosophy Hub
Scoop.it!

The Intersection of Neuroscience and Philosophy (Video)Patricia Churchland

Is there a science of the soul? Does how we think about the brain define how we think about ourselves?

 

Patricia Churchland, B. Phil., LLD (hon), Professor Emeritus, Department of Philosophy at UC San Diego, joins William Mobley, MD, PhD for a deeper look at the connections between neuroscience and philosophy.

 

Source : uctv.tv


Via Yannick Kilberger
more...
Adilson Camacho's curator insight, February 14, 8:28 AM

Há muitas interseções!

Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Stamatia Portanova: Moving Without a Body, MIT Press : Digicult | Digital Art, Design and Culture

Stamatia Portanova: Moving Without a Body, MIT Press : Digicult | Digital Art, Design and Culture | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it

In exploring contemporary digital dancing, she doesn’t deny the difference that the digital makes, in opposition to the organic experience of dance; the problem for her is not this difference itself. Rather, at issue with the digital is a tendency to hide its differential: its ability to make difference. The differential gets overlooked, for instance, when the difference that codification makes is reduced to convertibility: how does one thing retain its significance across different media? Portanova’s key insight is that a digital logic is fundamentally one of the cut: not as a means to an end, but as a “mathematical or numerical idea, in itself”.

This disjunctive potential, often considered a problem or a loss when it comes to the preservative or creative work of digi-dance, is here re-imagined for the positive creativity that a cut into the continuity that characterizes organic experience can allow. This is the work of imagination. While it may seem counterintuitive to revalorize ideas such as disembodiment and desubjectification, given how these are bound to the fear of digital technology, Portanova claims we need to ask new questions about the “status of the captured objects”, such as the data from Motion capture technologies, and on the relation between technological preservation and transcendental memory, or “pure memory” as a source not of preservation, but of change and creation. These are ethico-aesthetical questions. They are questions fundamentally about relation itself, seeing technology not simply as a tool or interface for relations between bodies and subjects, but as already participating in a relational ecology.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Love Makes Things Taste Sweeter

Love Makes Things Taste Sweeter | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
Writing about love made students rank candy and water as sweeter-tasting than writing about jealousy or other topics

-

Even water tastes sweeter when you're in love, new research finds.

But not every emotion heightens the senses. Jealousy fails to bring out bitter or sour tastes, despite metaphors that suggest it might, researchers report in the December 2013 issue of the journal Emotion.

That love alters one's sensory perceptions and jealousy does not is important to psychologists who study what are called "embodied" metaphors, or linguistic flourishes people quite literally feel in their bones. For example, studies have shown that people induced to feel lonely rate the temperature of the room as colder than do their unprimed counterparts. And the idea that important things have heft plays out physically, too: When someone believes a book is important, it feels heavier.

But "just because there is a metaphor does not necessarily imply that we will get these kind of sensations and perception effects," said study researcher Kai Qin Chan, a doctoral candidate at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

A Smart Movie That Questions Evolution (Yes, It's Possible!) | Underwire | Wired.com

A Smart Movie That Questions Evolution (Yes, It's Possible!) | Underwire | Wired.com | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
I Origins, which just debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, is out to make skeptics rethink spirituality.

The words “molecular biology thriller” don’t come up a lot when describing movies, but director Mike Cahill’s I Origins aims to be different. The film, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival this week, revolves around around the concept of ”irreducible complexity,” the argument put forth by proponents of intelligent design who believe some biological systems are too intricate to have evolved naturally. It’s not an easy concept to cram into a suspense thriller, but Cahill had a guiding principle: Make a movie compelling enough that even an evolutionary biologist or staunch atheist might stop and ponder.

In the film, a young molecular biology Ph.D. student named Ian Gray (Michael Pitt) is researching the development of the eyes — organs often cited by intelligent design proponents as examples of “irreducible complexity” – in an attempt to put the argument to rest forever. In the process, he discovers that eyes may not be the unique fingerprints we think they are, and may even have deeper and more ethereal purposes. The story is told from the perspective of Ian, a scientist and skeptic who was partly inspired by one of the most noted evolutionary biologists and staunch atheists in popular culture, The God Delusion author Richard Dawkins.

“I really got into Richard Dawkins [while making this movie] and kind of based the character off of him,” said Pitt. “If you could you convince Dawkins, then you will convince everybody. So we were setting up a really big challenge.”

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Sprezzatura: How Transhumanists Can Improve Themselves by Looking Into The Past

Sprezzatura: How Transhumanists Can Improve Themselves by Looking Into The Past | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
How can philosophies from the past be used for humanity’s future?

..

During the Renaissance Era in Europe, Greco-Roman philosophy became the backbone for the emergence of what we now call Renaissance humanism. This philosophy was initially created by Italian scholars and writers during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, in response for a need of scholastic education. This spreading philosophy sought to create a citizenry of individuals able to engage the civic life with their knowledge of the Humanities. The main motive for this movement was for the legacy revival that originated from classical antiquity, and the universal acceptance of all individuals. One basic concept from Renaissance humanism was that humans are empowered and limitless in their capacity for development, which led people to embrace all aspects of knowledge and develop their capabilities as much as possible. One humanist, Leon Battista Alberti, said that “A man can do all things if he will”. This led to the emergence of many known polymaths, including Leonardo da Vinci, who is referred to as a “Renaissance man” or a Homo Universalis. In fact, this phrase is frequently been used by futurists and transhumanists to reflect the idea of the technologically enhanced human being.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Quantum Theory Won't Save The Soul - Neuroskeptic | DiscoverMagazine.com

Quantum Theory Won't Save The Soul - Neuroskeptic | DiscoverMagazine.com | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
Could quantum mechanics save the soul? In the light of 20th century physics, is free will plausible? Such as been the hope of some philosophers, scientists

-

Could quantum mechanics save the soul? In the light of 20th century physics, is free will plausible?

 

Such as been the hope of some philosophers, scientists (and pretenders to those titles) – but neuroscientist Peter Clarke argues that it’s just not happening, in an interesting new paper: Neuroscience, quantum indeterminism and the Cartesian soul

Clarke first outlines the dualism of Rene Descartes, who famously believed in an immaterial human soul separate from the brain, and responsible for rational thought. But this implied that an immaterial soul could break the laws of physics, and affect some physical processes in the brain, in order to control our actions. Even in the 17th century, this was regarded as a bit much:

Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia (oldest daughter of King James VI), wrote: “…it would be easier for me to concede matter and extension to the soul, than to concede the capacity to move a body and to be moved by it to an immaterial thing.”

But the 20th century gave new life to dualism. Quantum theory taught that physics is non-deterministic on the smallest scales; most famously, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle states that we can’t know the exact properties of any particle for sure – only the probability of finding a certain kind of particle in a certain place.

more...
Pedro Tavares's curator insight, December 28, 2013 5:03 AM

Exemplo de Interdisciplinaridade do Saber ( e não multidisciplinaridade). Neurociência, indeterminismo quântico e a Alma Cartesiana.  

Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

The Tragedy of Common-Sense Morality: Our Intuition Is Not Good.

The Tragedy of Common-Sense Morality: Our Intuition Is Not Good. | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
Our instincts don't always serve us well. Moral psychologist Joshua Greene explains why, in the modern world, we need to figure out when to put our sense of right and wrong in manual mode.


Tiffany O’Callaghan: You say morality is more than it evolved to be. What do you mean?
Joshua Greene: Morality is essentially a suite of psychological mechanisms that enable us to cooperate. But, biologically at least, we only evolved to cooperate in a tribal way. Individuals who were more moral—more cooperative with those around them—could outcompete others who were not. However, we have the capacity to take a step back from this and ask what a more global morality would look like. Why are the lives of people on the other side of the world worth any less than those in my immediate community? Going through that reasoning process can allow our moral thinking to do something it never evolved to.

more...
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Judge Rules Chimps Can't Be Legal Persons, But Activists Vow to Fight On - Wired Science

Judge Rules Chimps Can't Be Legal Persons, But Activists Vow to Fight On - Wired Science | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it

Can a chimpanzee be considered a legal person? Not for now, a judge ruled this morning in Niagara County, New York, but the legal arguments are just beginning.

The hearing, conducted over the phone by Judge Ralph A. Boniello, III and attorneys from the Nonhuman Rights Project, a group that supports legal rights for chimpanzees, ended in the judge’s denial of a habeas corpus writ for a 26-year-old chimp named Kiko.

Had the writ been granted, Kiko’s owners would have been ordered to appear in court and justify his detainment, thus opening the door to consideration of something unprecedented in American history: the possibility of legal personhood for a non-human animal.

 

Judge Boniello’s was the third rejection of the Nonhuman Rights Project’s three lawsuits, filed last week on behalf of Kiko, who is owned by a couple living in nearby Niagara Falls; a chimpanzee named Tommy, who is kept alone in a warehouse in Gloversville, New York; and two Stony Brook University research chimps named Leo and Hercules. All the decisions will be appealed, with appellate court hearings expected in 2014.

more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Enrico Dall'Osto
Scoop.it!

TheArtsBox

TheArtsBox | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
Uno spazio per le arti
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Should biotech make life hellish for criminals? – Ross Andersen – Aeon

Should biotech make life hellish for criminals? – Ross Andersen – Aeon | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
Radical life extension would give humans the power to create an artificial hell for criminals. Should we?
Wildcat2030's insight:

brilliant read..

more...
Artur Alves's curator insight, March 18, 7:59 AM

Interview with Rachel Roache.

 

"I wanted to close by moving beyond imprisonment, to ask you about the future of punishment more broadly. Are there any alternative punishments that technology might enable, and that you can see on the horizon now? What surprising things might we see down the line?


Roache: We have been thinking a lot about surveillance and punishment lately. Already, we see governments using ankle bracelets to track people in various ways, and many of them are fairly elaborate. For instance, some of these devices allow you to commute to work, but they also give you a curfew and keep a close eye on your location. You can imagine this being refined further, so that your ankle bracelet bans you from entering establishments that sell alcohol. This could be used to punish people who happen to like going to pubs, or it could be used to reform severe alcoholics. Either way, technologies of this sort seem to be edging up to a level of behaviour control that makes some people uneasy, due to questions about personal autonomy.

It’s one thing to lose your personal liberty as a result of being confined in a prison, but you are still allowed to believe whatever you want while you are in there. In the UK, for instance, you cannot withhold religious manuscripts from a prisoner unless you have a very good reason. These concerns about autonomy become particularly potent when you start talking about brain implants that could potentially control behaviour directly. The classic example is Robert G Heath [a psychiatrist at Tulane University in New Orleans], who did this famously creepy experiment [in the 1950s] using electrodes in the brain in an attempt to modify behaviour in people who were prone to violent psychosis. The electrodes were ostensibly being used to treat the patients, but he was also, rather gleefully, trying to move them in a socially approved direction. You can really see that in his infamous [1972] paper on ‘curing’ homosexuals. I think most Western societies would say ‘no thanks’ to that kind of punishment.

To me, these questions about technology are interesting because they force us to rethink the truisms we currently hold about punishment. When we ask ourselves whether it’s inhumane to inflict a certain technology on someone, we have to make sure it’s not just the unfamiliarity that spooks us. And more importantly, we have to ask ourselves whether punishments like imprisonment are only considered humane because they are familiar, because we’ve all grown up in a world where imprisonment is what happens to people who commit crimes. Is it really OK to lock someone up for the best part of the only life they will ever have, or might it be more humane to tinker with their brains and set them free? When we ask that question, the goal isn’t simply to imagine a bunch of futuristic punishments – the goal is to look at today’s punishments through the lens of the future."

Sinaia Sinai's curator insight, March 25, 4:13 AM

Yes, brilliant read.

Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Philosophy of Cosmology

Philosophy of cosmology, philosophy of physics, philosophy of science, metaphysics, philosophy of mathematics, University of Oxford.

-

Philosophy of cosmology is an expanding discipline, directed to the conceptual foundations of cosmology and the philosophical contemplation of the universe
as a totality. It draws on the fundamental theories of physics — thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, quantum field theory, and special and general relativity — and on several branches of philosophy -- philosophy of physics, philosophy of science, metaphysics, philosophy of mathematics, and epistemology.

 

Central questions concern limits to explanation, physical infinity, laws, especially laws, if any, of initial conditions, selection effects and the anthropic principle, objective probability, the nature of space, time, and spacetime, the arrow of time,
the measurement problem of quantum mechanics, dark energy and quantum fluctuations, scale, the origins of structure formation, the origins and fate of the universe, and the place of life and intelligence within it.

more...
Margarida Sá Costa's curator insight, March 12, 7:28 AM

would love to know more about!  and you? what do you think about the unknown?

Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

The War on Reason

The War on Reason | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
Scientists and philosophers argue that human beings are little more than puppets of their biochemistry. Here's why they're wrong.
more...
Mark Waser's curator insight, April 2, 12:09 PM

Paul Bloom is always worth reading . . .

Rescooped by Wildcat2030 from Philosophy Hub
Scoop.it!

Emma Borg on Language and Context

Emma Borg on Language and Context | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it

What part does context play in determining the meaning of a sentence? Is there any room for literal meaning? Emma Borg discusses these questions with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

 

Source : philosophybites.com


Via Yannick Kilberger
more...
Pedro Tavares's curator insight, January 9, 4:10 AM

Os Significantes e os Significados. 

Rescooped by Wildcat2030 from Philosophy Hub
Scoop.it!

Sartre on Freedom-On Jean-Paul Sartre’s “Existentialism is a Humanism”, “Bad Faith”, and his play No Exit.

Sartre on Freedom-On Jean-Paul Sartre’s “Existentialism is a Humanism”, “Bad Faith”, and his play No Exit. | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it

 

On Jean-Paul Sartre’s “Existentialism is a Humanism”, “Bad Faith”, and his play No Exit.

 

What is human nature? Sartre says that there isn’t one, but there is a universal human condition, which is our absolute freedom. This freedom is a basic certainty in our experience, and it comes out of the mere fact of our being able to will, so no subsequent alleged science can contradict it...

 

Source : partiallyexaminedlife.com

 


Via Yannick Kilberger
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Where is the proof in pseudoscience? (excellent article)

Where is the proof in pseudoscience? (excellent article) | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
The word “pseudoscience” is used to describe something that is portrayed as scientific but fails to meet scientific criteria. This misrepresentation occurs because actual science has creditability (which…

-

The first and highest level at which science can be distinguished from pseudoscience involves how an area of study grows in knowledge and utility.

The philosopher John Dewey in his Theory of Inquiry said that we understand knowledge as that which is “so settled that it is available as a resource in further inquiry”.

This is an excellent description of how we come to “know” something in science. It shows how existing knowledge can be used to form new hypotheses, develop new theories and hence create new knowledge.

It is characteristic of science that our knowledge, so expressed, has grown enormously over the last few centuries, guided by the reality check of experimentation.

In short, the new knowledge works and is useful in finding more knowledge that also works.

Wildcat2030's insight:

excellent..

more...
Domenico D'Uva's curator insight, February 1, 6:31 AM

A great article that clearly explain what is science and what is not

Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Are we hardwired to believe we're immortal? - Futurity

Are we hardwired to believe we're immortal? - Futurity | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
A new study sheds light on questions of immortality by examining children's ideas about "prelife," the time before conception.

-

Most people, regardless of race, religion, or culture, believe they are immortal. That is, people believe that part of themselves—some indelible core, soul, or essence—will live forever.

Why is this belief so unshakable?

A new study published in the journal Child Development sheds light on these profound questions by examining children’s ideas about “prelife,” the time before conception.

Based on interviews with 283 children from two distinct cultures in Ecuador, the researchers say the findings suggest that our bias toward immortality is a part of human intuition that naturally emerges early in life.

And the part of us that is eternal, we believe, is not our skills or ability to reason, but rather our hopes, desires, and emotions. We are, in fact, what we feel.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

The sciphi of gay adoption

The sciphi of gay adoption | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
Gay marriage is rapidly becoming less and less controversial, at least in the Western world.

Gay marriage is rapidly becoming less and less controversial, at least in the Western world. Yes, the battle hasn’t been won just yet, both in Europe and in the US, but we are getting there at a pace that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.

The next frontier, it seems, is adoptions by gay parents. When I talk to even some of my somewhat progressive friends and relatives, including those in the Old Country, they seem to resist the idea of gay couples adopting children much more than they resisted (if they ever did) the idea of gay marriage. Why?

Time to deploy some good SciPhi, as I termed a hybrid of science and philosophy to be used to address practical personal or societal questions (rather than relying, say, on “common wisdom” or, worse, religious authority). For more on the sciphi approach, how it works, and a number of examples and applications, you may of course take a look at Answers for Aristotle.

SciPhi is relevant because opponents and proponents of these types of societal changes rely on a mix of (hopefully) logical arguments and (sometimes alleged) empirical evidence to make their respective cases. And as is well known to readers of this blog, I think the best way to build (or debunk) logical arguments is via philosophical analysis, while the best way to assess factual evidence is through the methods of the natural and social sciences. So let’s proceed and see where SciPhi gets us in the specific case of gay adoptions.

To begin with, let’s agree that the issue of gay adoptions is, in fact, intrinsically more complex than that of gay marriage. This is simply because the latter involves only consenting adults, while the former affects the (physical and psychological) welfare of children. Which is, of course, precisely why the notion is more controversial to begin with.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Breathing In vs. Spacing Out- Is mindfulness always best?

Breathing In vs. Spacing Out- Is mindfulness always best? | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it

Is mindfulness always best?

-

Two and a half millenniums ago, a prince named Siddhartha Gautama traveled to Bodh Gaya, India, and began to meditate beneath a tree. Forty-nine days of continuous meditation later, tradition tells us, he became the Buddha — the enlightened one.

More recently, a psychologist named Amishi Jha traveled to Hawaii to train United States Marines to use the same technique for shorter sessions to achieve a much different purpose: mental resilience in a war zone.

“We found that getting as little as 12 minutes of meditation practice a day helped the Marines to keep their attention and working memory — that is, the added ability to pay attention over time — stable,” said Jha, director of the University of Miami’s Contemplative Neuroscience, Mindfulness Research and Practice Initiative. “If they practiced less than 12 minutes or not at all, they degraded in their functioning.”

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

How Far Should We Go to Make the Transhumanist Wager?

How Far Should We Go to Make the Transhumanist Wager? | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
Futurist David Wood explores how to become our best selves

-

The concept of the "Transhumanist Wager"—a philosophical choice in the 21st Century about how much people should use science and technology to improve themselves and their lives—has been steadily becoming more widespread over the last year. As a transhumanist, I'm gratefulto see its popularity grow. The more people that understand the wager and what it means in their lives, the more people will understand transhumanism and what it can do for them. Without broad cultural support favoring radical science, medicine, and technology, our species will have a difficult time transitioning into a transhumanist-minded civilization.

David Wood is Chair of the London Futurists, a writer, and co-founder of Symbian (the company behind the world’s first successful smartphone operating system). He recently wrote a thoughtful essay about the Transhumanist Wager and the similarly named novel that first popularized it. Calling himself a "collaborative transhumanist," Wood eloquently sums up some of the most challenging ideas in making a Transhumanist Wager.

Wildcat2030's insight:

Still need to write my own review of the book, which is a must read for 2013, but I like very much Wood's review.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

The evolution of morality – Allen Buchanan and Russell Powell – Aeon

The evolution of morality – Allen Buchanan and Russell Powell – Aeon | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
Our morality may be a product of natural selection, but that doesn’t mean it's set in stone

-

For centuries now, conservative thinkers have argued that significant social reform is impossible, because human nature is inherently limited. The argument goes something like this: sure, it would be great to change the world, but it will never work, because people are too flawed, lacking the ability to see beyond their own interests and those of the groups to which they belong. They have permanent cognitive, motivational and emotional deficits that make any deliberate, systematic attempt to improve human society futile at best. Efforts to bring about social or moral progress are naive about the natural limits of the human animal and tend to have unintended consequences. They are likely to make things worse rather than better.

It’s tempting to nod along at this, and think humans are irredeemable, or at best, permanently flawed. But it’s not clear that such a view stands up to empirical scrutiny. For the conservative argument to prevail, it is not enough that humans exhibit tendencies toward selfishness, group-mindedness, partiality toward kin and kith, apathy toward strangers, and the like. It must also be the case that these tendencies are unalterable, either due to the inherent constraints of human psychology or to our inability to figure out how to modify these constraints without causing greater harms. The trouble is, these assumptions about human nature are largely based on anecdote or selective and controversial readings of history. A more thorough look at the historical record suggests they are due for revision.

 
more...
No comment yet.