Posts tagged philosophy links

[Layer 7: Links] #002; Satirical Thought Experiment


Michael F. Patton Jr. of Syracuse University presents a quandry: what does a brain-in-a-vat do when it’s controlling a runaway train and has to decide between killing two different railmen (all utilitarian considerations included)? Definitely will put a smile on your face. Link.

(via a discussion board post on the Philosophers + Philosophy Facebook application)

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Philosophers’ Carnival #91

A Colourful Ferris Wheel at Luna Park, Sydney

I received many entries for the 91st Philosophers’ Carnival ( They all provided some thoughtful insights, so it was very difficult for me to narrow those all down to the submissions below. Thank you to everyone who sent in thier ideas. Without further ado, Philosophers’ Carnival #91!

Chris Hallquist presents The Inanity of Ontology : The Uncredible Hallq posted at The Uncredible Hallq — Thoughts on metaontology and whether or not two pieces of gum are really three things.

larryniven presents In which I disagree with Hume, among others posted at Rust Belt Philosophy — An evaluation of George Dickie’s paper “Iron, Leather, and Critical Principles” that particularly examines “the plausibility of real aesthetic principles.”

Kris Rhodes presents Orig/Deriv pt 2nd: When I read, must the words I’m reading have meaning for me only derivedly? posted at The Extended Cognition Blog — Original vs. derived meaning. Do words automatically trigger their meaning when we read them or do we assign meaning to words as we read?

Paul Gowder presents “I’m not a deliberative democrat, but I play one on TV.” posted at Uncommon Priors — A discussion of whether or not it “matters” if politicians lie, including ideas about whether the pattern of belief affects the normative outcome.

Richard presents Blameworthy Utilitarians posted at Philosophy, et cetera — A “sketch” of what it is to be a virtuous utilitarian.

Avery Archer presents Dilworth’s Propositional Indexing posted at The Space of Reasons — A study of John Dilworth’s theory of classification behavior as it relates to propositional thinking (and the possibility of assigning such behavior to animals that cannot communicate through speech).

Kenny Pearce presents Kant, Libertarianism, and the Limits of Contract Right posted at — Thoughts on the absolute freedom of contracts in libertarianism, Locke’s philosophy, and how Kantian morals can assist claims about this contractual freedom.

David Gawthorne presents Tye on Chalmers’ Argument for Possible Zombies posted at Intentional Objects — An entry on Tye’s treatment of Chalmers’ zombie argument. Touching on the issues of what it means for something to be positively conceivable and if existence can be a property.

Make sure to check out the next edition of the Philosophers’ Carnival at Philosophengang – The Philosopher’s Walk on June 15th!

Photos from stock.xchng.


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[Layer 7: Links] #001



The Big View – A website whose mission statement reads “if life is a journey, then philosophy is like a compass.” It is about “philosophy in the widest sense,” presenting overviews of a few philosophical topics: pre-Socratic Greek philosophy, Buddhism, the consequences of space time, an introduction to the philosophy of mind, and a copy of the Tao Te Ching. Also features a “past life calculator” and several essays on various topics. This site is in an aesthetically pleasing grayscale with intuitive navigation and lovely images. It has received over a million hits since October 1999 (last updated March 2008).

Pangloss Wisdom – A quote generator for your favorite optimist or Candide fan. Example: “Journalism is merely history’s first draft,” Geoffrey C. Ward.

The Cynic’s Sanctuary – The website for the author of The Cynic’s Dictionary which offers “disgruntled definitions.” This is not for the traditional Greek cynics but for those who present negative views in order to make the world a better place. The Sanctuary includes 714 things to be cynical about, a public list and message board for visitors to contribute their own cynicism, a Cynic’s Hall of Fame (includes Aesop and Jesus), and a quiz for one to know definitively whether or not they’re a cynic. If anything the site is worth looking at for the “What is Cynicism?” page which presents the following re-tooled view of a cynic:

Cynicism, after all, springs not from cruelty or viciousness, but from … a fatal love of virtue. If we were mere realists, we’d have no need for cynicism; the world would never disappoint us because we’d expect so little of it. But the best cynics are still idealists under their scarred hides. We wanted the world to be a better place, and we can’t shrug off the disappointment when it lets us down. Our cynicism gives us the painful power to behold life shorn of its sustaining illusions. … If we were activists, we’d do something constructive about our discontentment. But we’re smart enough to know that we won’t prevail…. So we retaliate with our special brand of wounded wit. If we can’t defeat our oppressors, at least we can mock them in good fellowship. That’s about as much justice as a cynic can expect.

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