Philosophy Compass July Issue

The latest issue form Philosophy Compass is out now, featuring the following great articles, surveying the most recent scholarly literature in philosophy:

PHCO pebbles banner Online ISSN: 1747-9991    Print ISSN: 1747-9991
Philosophy Compass
Volume4, Issue4,2009.
Early View (Articles Available Online in Advance of Print)
© 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd Continue reading “Philosophy Compass July Issue”
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Extra Dimensions Restricted by Black Hole

Extra dimensions must be smaller than previously thought.
If there are extra dimensions, they must be smaller than previously thought.

Though extra dimensions may sound like the stuff of science fiction, they are taken quite seriously by contemporary physicists and philosophers of physics. In addition to the three spatial dimensions we’re familiar with — up/down, left/right, forward/back — theories such as string theory postulate as many as 7 additional spatial dimensions. If such a theory were correct, the landscape of the three-dimensionalism / four-dimensionalism debate would need reformulation; perhaps objects are really perduring eleven-dimensional spacetime worms! Continue reading “Extra Dimensions Restricted by Black Hole”

Peter Singer in NYT on rationing health care

PeterSinger(cropped)Check it out here.  Will Wilkinson excerpts this part:

If the Department of Transportation [followed the principle that it was impossible to put a dollar value on human life] it would exhaust its entire budget on road safety. Fortunately the department sets a limit on how much it is willing to pay to save one human life. Continue reading “Peter Singer in NYT on rationing health care”

Brains, death, and definition

In the latest issue of The New Atlantis Alan Rubenstein—a staff member of the United States President’s Council on Bioethics—discusses a report written by that council, entitled and about, Controversies in the Determination of Death. “At stake in the report,” he says, “is the moral status of those human beings who are ‘suspended at the threshold.’” Continue reading “Brains, death, and definition”

All’s Well That Ends Well

746px-Slippery_when_wet_iconBertrand Russell once suggested that Western philosophy began with Thales. His insight gains a humorous edge when juxtaposed with a popular biographical tidbit about the ancient Greek. For one day, as the story goes, Thales was so entirely absorbed with contemplating the heavens above that he fell head-long into a well directly in front of him. Continue reading “All’s Well That Ends Well”

Searching for Justice in Injustice

We live in a world of unambiguous and alarming injustices. The World Bank estimated that in 2005 about 1.4 billion people in the developing world (one in four) were living on less than $1.25 a day. We all acknowledge the existence of an unfortunately considerable number of people in society suffering from a wide range of disadvantages – and the injustice that this situation represents. Nonetheless, contemporary philosophers struggle to define a plain set of justice principles that should govern the ideal institutions. Continue reading “Searching for Justice in Injustice”

Crabs In Love

Horseshoe_crab_pair Interpreters of Plato’s Symposium continue to disagree over the ‘theory of desire’ presented by the dialogue. Does the figure of Socrates suggest that our embodied love relationships serve as the mere tools by which we are propelled ‘upward’ to the love of higher, intelligible things (i.e., the Beautiful, a ‘God’)? Or, might the interruption within the text by the beautiful Alcibiades mark a clear re-valuation of our desirous experiences in the sensible realm? Continue reading “Crabs In Love”