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"philosophy"16 articles archived since 1845

Journalist Chris Mooney Is Wrong, Again, about “Experts”

Journalist Chris Mooney Is Wrong, Again, about “Experts”

I recently knocked science journalist Chris Mooney for asserting that “You Have No Business Challenging Scientific Experts.” Non-experts have the right and even the duty, I retorted, to question scientific experts, who often get things wrong.

April 8, 2015 — John Horgan

Site Survey Shows 60 Percent Think Free Will Exists. Read Why.

We are responsible for our own actions. Of course we are. Sure about that? “I think I can?” “I think I can’t?” All philosophizing aside, the assumption that we have free will has been called into question by research that suggests our brains are deciding for us before we become conscious of the decisions streamed [...]

January 15, 2015 — Gary Stix

What We Talk about When We Talk about Holes

For Halloween, I wrote about a very scary topic: higher homotopy groups. Homotopy is an idea in topology, the field of math concerned with properties of shapes that stay the same no matter how you squish or stretch them, as long as you don’t tear them or glue things together.

December 25, 2014 — Evelyn Lamb
Why Life Does Not Really Exist

Why Life Does Not Really Exist

I have been fascinated with living things since childhood. Growing up in northern California, I spent a lot of time playing outdoors among plants and animals.

December 2, 2013 — Ferris Jabr
Steven Pinker, John Gray and the End of War

Steven Pinker, John Gray and the End of War

Fisticuffs have broken out in The Guardian between two intellectual big shots, philosopher John Gray and psychologist Steven Pinker. The fight, which features lots of rhetorical flourishes and high dudgeon, addresses a serious issue: Is humanity achieving moral progress?

April 1, 2015 — John Horgan
For Pi Day: A Reminiscence on “The Death of Proof”*

For Pi Day: A Reminiscence on “The Death of Proof”*

In 1993, when I was a full-time staff writer for Scientific American, my boss, Jonathan Piel, asked, or rather, commanded me to write an in-depth feature on something, anything, mathematical.

March 14, 2015 — John Horgan

Philosophy begins where physics ends, and physics begins where philosophy ends

Physicist Sean Carroll has some words of wisdom for physicists who might have less than complimentary things to say about philosophy. The most recent altercation between a physicist and philosophy came from Neil deGrasse Tyson who casually disparaged philosophy in a Q&A session, saying that it can be a time sink and it doesn’t actually [...]

June 23, 2014 — Ashutosh Jogalekar

GeoTag-X

Can citizen scientists be taught to recognize the important information in a photo and create useful datasets to aid those working on the ground during a disaster response?

July 14, 2015 — Larry Greenemeier
The Philosophy of Creativity

The Philosophy of Creativity

There is little that shapes the human experience as profoundly and pervasively as creativity. Creativity drives progress in every human endeavor, from the arts to the sciences, business, and technology.

May 12, 2014 — Scott Barry Kaufman
Troublemaker Lee Smolin Says Physics—and Its Laws—Must Evolve*

Troublemaker Lee Smolin Says Physics—and Its Laws—Must Evolve*

What separates good from bad troublemakers? Productive provocateurs from mere contrarians, bullshit artists, attention-seekers? This is the personalized equivalent of philosophy’s demarcation problem, which involves telling genuine from pseudo-science.

January 4, 2015 — John Horgan
Need a New Year’s Resolution? Believe in Free Will!

Need a New Year’s Resolution? Believe in Free Will!

New Year’s Day is approaching, a time when we—by which I mean I–brood over past failures and vow to improve ourselves: I will be less judgmental with my kids and more romantic with my girlfriend.

December 27, 2014 — John Horgan