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Knowledge and Belief

    Knowledge and Belief   The traditional analysis of knowledge as true justified belief encourages the following picture (though it doesn’t strictly entail it): there is a common psychological element to knowledge and non-knowledge, which we can call “belief”, and knowledge is the result of supplementing this element with further conditions that together add […]

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Joshua Katz

Joshua Katz   Let’s be clear, the treatment of Professor Joshua Katz is just the latest example of American stupidity, hysteria, callousness, violence, cowardice, and general vileness to occur in American universities. How people can justify this evil is beyond me. As for his so-called friends—the ones who ran for the hills for rather obvious […]

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Holism and Existence

    Holism and Existence   Holism is an ontological doctrine: it says that the existence, nature and identity of individual things depend on their place in a wider whole consisting of other individual things. To be a certain entity is to stand in a network of related entities: the being of one thing is […]

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Morality as a System of Categorical Modals

  Morality as a System of Categorical Modals   We express our moral beliefs in sentences like these: “Murder is wrong”, “Stealing is wrong”, “Generosity is good”, and “Violence is bad”. What do they mean? Some have said they are equivalent to categorical imperatives, others suggest that hypothetical imperatives provide a better analysis; the concepts […]

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Driving and Abortion

  Driving and Abortion   It is legal to drive. But driving causes death. So if we are pro-life, we should be anti-driving. Therefore driving should be made illegal. Moreover, drivers know the risks they run by driving—there is a non-zero probability that they will kill someone in an accident—so it is unethical of them […]

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Abortion and the Body

    Abortion and the Body   We hear it argued that a woman has the right to abort her unborn baby because she has a right to choose what happens to her own body. This is a bad argument. First, it begs the question: an opponent will insist that the fetus is not part […]

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Philosophy as Surgery

    Philosophy as Surgery   The other day I was discussing a medical matter with my son, who is a surgeon, and he remarked, “I would take a knife to it”. The remark stuck with me and I began wondering if philosophy bears any analogy to surgery. Do we in philosophy ever “take a […]

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