Philosophy

26th International Conference of Philosophy under way in Athens

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The 26th International Conference of Philosophy is currently being held in Athens, aiming at providing a broad forum for exploring moral and political issues which are crucial and relevant to the views expressed in ancient Greek philosophy. The Conference “Greek Philosophy and Moral and Political Issues of our Global Era”, which started on July 12, has already attracted great interest ... Read More »

World’s earliest erotic graffiti found in unlikely setting on Aegean island

Erotic graffiti on Aegean island of Astypalaia

Racy inscriptions and phalluses carved into Astypalaia’s rocky peninsula shed light on very private lives of ancient Greece Wild, windswept, rocky and remote, Astypalaia is not an obvious place for the unearthing of some of the world’s earliest erotic graffiti. Certainly, Dr Andreas Vlachopoulos, a specialist in prehistoric archaeology, didn’t think so when he began fieldwork on the Aegean island four ... Read More »

Speaking to My Father in a Dead Dialect

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My parents’ skirmishes with standard Italian were nothing compared to the all-out war they waged on English. They would answer calls for their sons by saying “she’s a no’ home.” I took this gender-bending as an assertion of my individuality, my access to a world that separated me from all the other kids on the block. I may have lived ... Read More »

Collecting Art: Philanthropy or Self-Glorification?

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BASEL — The last few years have ushered in a new era in the craze for contemporary art, with prices reaching such dizzying heights that many feel inclined to predict its collapse. Yet, the bubble shows no sign of bursting. Art buying has become the favorite playground of a super-rich elite isolated from the economic realities that shape the lives ... Read More »

Sam Harris: Science can answer moral questions

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http://www.ted.com Questions of good and evil, right and wrong are commonly thought unanswerable by science. But Sam Harris argues that science can — and should — be an authority on moral issues, shaping human values and setting out what constitutes a good life. TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where ... Read More »

Thinking in a Foreign Language Could Sway Your Moral Judgments

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Would you kill one person to save five? This cruel dilemma pits the principle of thou-shalt-not-kill against simple math: Five is greater than one. But presumably it’s a dilemma each person solves the same way each time, unaffected by superficial things like the language in which it’s presented. After all, we like to think we abide by a consistent moral ... Read More »

Free Will [Sam Harris]

Free Will

A BELIEF IN FREE WILL touches nearly everything that human beings value. It is difficult to think about law, politics, religion, public policy, intimate relationships, morality—as well as feelings of remorse or personal achievement—without first imagining that every person is the true source of his or her thoughts and actions. And yet the facts tell us that free will is ... Read More »

Hello, Stranger

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If you’ve ever been on a subway or public bus, you know the rules. Don’t make eye contact, stay as far away from other people as the space allows, and for the love of God, don’t talk to anyone. But what if the rules are wrong? The behavioral scientists Nicholas Epley and Juliana Schroeder approached commuters in a Chicago area ... Read More »