In this Wireless Philosophy video, Berislav Marušić (Brandeis University) talks about promises to do difficult things, such as the promise to spend the rest of one's life with someone. Beri explains that such promises pose a philosophical problem: they seem to be either insincere, in case one doesn't believe that one will keep them, or irrational, in case one does believe it. He describes how exactly the problem arises and sketches five possible responses.
In this Wireless Philosophy video, Joseph Wu (University of Cambridge) introduces you to the slippery slope argument. This argument is that when one event occurs, other related events will follow, and this slippery slope will eventually lead to undesirable consequences. Wu walks us through this rhetorical strategy and shows us how to avoid committing a fallacy.
Socrates famously said "The unexamined life is not worth living." In this Wireless Philosophy video, Mitch Green (University of Connecticut) introduces a few interpretations of Socrates famous dictum, and considers what it means to live an examined life.
Sponsored by the UCONN Humanities Institute and John Templeton Foundation's "Humility and Conviction in Public Life" project (https://humilityandconviction.uconn.edu/).
"But why?". In this Wireless Philosophy video, Kevin McCain (University of Alabama at Birmingham) explains the Epistemic Regress Problem. The epistemic regress problem arises from the need to give a reason for your belief, a reason for that reason, and so on. After explaining the problem, he explains how the problem has been used to argue in favor of skepticism, and discusses three possible solutions to the problem.
What makes a judgment count as intuitive? How is intuition different from perception and reasoning? In this Wireless Philosophy video, Jennifer Nagel (University of Toronto) examines the nature of intuition and the role played by intuitions in philosophy.
In this Wireless Philosophy video, Jonathan Weisberg (University of Toronto) explains Bertrand's Paradox, a famous paradox in probability theory. Beginning with the square factory example, he'll talk about how Bertrand's Paradox reveals a puzzling problem for the principle of indifference and the implications of this paradox for scientific reasoning.
Almost everyone fears death. But is this fear rational? Should we fear death? In this Wireless Philosophy video, Travis Timmerman (Seton Hall University) discusses the Symmetry Argument against the badness of death. He explains why one of the most popular responses to the argument fails. He also offers his own response, one that preserves the judgment that death can be bad for the one who dies.
In this Wireless Philosophy video, Geoff Sayre-McCord (UNC) discusses why we should vote. Geoff reviews some of the traditional arguments against our reason to vote; for instance, why should we vote if it makes no difference to the outcome of the election? After reviewing these positions, he looks at some counterarguments before leaving it up to you to figure out why you should vote.
In this Wireless Philosophy video, Geoff Pynn (Northern Illinois) explains epistemic contextualism, which says that the word “know” is a context-sensitive term. Geoff describes how contextualists claim to dissolve the problem of radical skepticism, and discusses the argument for contextualism from our ordinary linguistic usage.
In this Wireless Philosophy video, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (Duke University) introduces a new approach to causation: contrastivism. At odds with traditional philosophical approaches to causation, contrastive causation holds that causal statements are true only relative to a set of relevant alternatives.
People tend to value knowledge; it’s better to know something than just to believe it, even if your belief is correct by pure luck. But why? What’s so great about knowledge? In this Wireless Philosophy video, Jeremy Fantl (University of Calgary) explains the so-called “Meno problem” – the problem of explaining why knowledge is distinctively valuable.
In this Wireless Philosophy video, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (Duke University) introduces a new approach to the problem of free will: contrastivism. At odds with traditional philosophical approaches to free will, contrastivism holds that people are free only relative to relevant alternatives. This approach gives us two kinds on freedom - freedom from causation and freedom from constraint - and it helps philosophers resolve a number of complex philosophical issues with free will.
In this Wireless Philosophy video, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (Duke University) introduces contrastivism, a new approach to philosophy. At odds with traditional philosophical positions, contrastivism holds that particular philosophical concepts or positions only succeed or fail relative to contrast classes, or relevant alternatives. This approach may help philosophers resolve a number of complex philosophical issues.
In this Wireless Philosophy video, Paul Humphreys (University of Virginia) introduces the concept of emergence. Emergence occurs when features of the world are not reducible to arrangements of fundamental entities.
In this Wireless Philosophy video, David Miguel Gray (Colgate University) introduces sociohistorical theories of race. Gray introduces socially constructed categories and what it means to think about categories in this way. This is part 3a of a four part series, “Racial Ontology: A Guide for the Perplexed."