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Philosophical Humour Philosophy

Steve Martin does Socrates

Steve Martin is no stranger to philosophy, appearing in such philosophical comedies as All of Me and The Man with Two Brains. Here, we see him take on the role of Socrates in his final moments. Enjoy.

Categories
Philosophical Humour Philosophy

Philosophy football

There’s not much philosophical humour out there but the best of it comes from Monty Python. Socrates, when he’s not drinking hemlock, is a great header of the ball.

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Philosophy

Moral Philosophy

Ethics, or moral philosophy, can be divided into three related areas: Meta-Ethics, Normative Ethics, and Applied Ethics.  Meta-ethics addresses questions about the nature of ethics itself. For example, ‘Is morality subjective or objective?’ is a meta-ethical question which concerns the nature of morality itself.  Normative Ethics focuses on the ethical standards (norms) on which moral conduct is based.  As such, we might ask whether the rightness and wrongness of an act determined its consequences or whether we should always act in accordance with duty.  Finally, Applied Ethics applies philosophical theory to practical issues.  It addresses questions such as ‘Is abortion permissible?’, ‘Is there a distinction between killing and letting die?’, and ‘’Are all animals equal?’.

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Philosophy

Philosophy of Religion

God has had a substantial role in the history of philosophy. For example, Descartes attempts to escape solipsism by appeal to the clear and distinct idea of God; he also invokes the Almighty in his attempt to explain the problem of causal interaction. In addition, Berkeley required the intervention of God in order to account for the continued existence of the world not perceived. However, most (but certainly not all) modern philosophers are atheists; indeed many actually hold religion responsible for a great many of the world’s ails. Given the role that religion continues to play in our lives it is important for philosophy to consider the arguments for and against the existence of God.

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Philosophy

Philosophy of Mind

The mind/ body problem is as old as philosophy itself. Usually, people fall into one of two camps here – materialism (also known as physicalism) or dualism. Materialists believe that there is essentially one kind of thing in the world – matter. As such, everything – including our thoughts, feelings, and conscious experience in general – can be reduced to no more than the function of neurons firing in our brain (or whatever science tells us happens in there). Dualists, on the other hand, believe in the existence two fundamental ‘substances’ – matter and mind. Mind, they argue, is non-physical. Today, the vast majority of philosophers advocate some form of materialism and support for dualism is, sadly, waning.

Categories
Philosophy

Epistemology

If one subject, more than any other, has come to dominate philosophical inquiry it is epistemology.  Epistemology deals with questions concerning the nature of knowledge, what we can know, and how we come to know it.  Modern philosophy’s focus on epistemology might be considered the legacy of René Descartes; however, as we have already seen, epistemological concerns were being addressed as early as Plato.