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Neil Tyson And The Value Of Philosophy

Reprinted from Scientia Salon. You can read the original here.It seems like my friend Neil deGrasse...

What Does It Mean For Something To Be Metaphysically Necessary?

I mentioned before, this semester I’m teaching a graduate level seminar on David Hume, and having...

David Hume And The Missing Shade Of Blue

This semester I’m teaching a graduate level course on “Hume Then and Now,” which aims at...

Is Theologian Alving Plantinga For Real? Alas, It Appears So

I keep hearing that Notre Dame philosopher and theologian Alvin Plantinga is a really smart guy...

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Massimo PigliucciRSS Feed of this column.

Massimo Pigliucci is Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York.

His research focuses on the structure of evolutionary theory, the relationship between science and philosophy

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Now that I am officially a philosopher (i.e., my salary is going to be paid by a philosophy, instead of a biology, department), I can indulge full time in reading philosophy without feeling guilty. I haven’t mastered the skill (of not feeling guilty) yet, but I’m working on it.

This is also why I’m starting an occasional series of blog posts devoted to individual philosophers, picked among those that strike my fancy for one reason or another. Obviously, a blog post is not the appropriate venue for even a superficial look at the entire body of work of a major philosopher, so what I’ll do instead is to briefly comment on a number of major themes relevant to each particular case, and hope to stimulate people to read more about that philosopher.

I regularly read the Huffington Post, for the good reason that it often sports intelligent articles written from a progressive standpoint, and because I believe in open access and open contribution to the socio-political discourse (otherwise, I wouldn’t bother writing this blog).

Then again, one of the drawbacks of openness is that you get crap together with the good stuff.

This isn’t altogether bad, since reading crap is a necessary component of developing one’s own sense of critical thinking, sharpening the baloney detector, so to speak. But crap needs to be responded to, especially when it comes from influential sources.

On Miracles

On Miracles

Jun 02 2009 | comment(s)

As I’ve often mentioned in this blog, philosopher David Hume famously said that “No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavours to establish,” setting the bar for believing in miracles properly high.
"The men are getting really angry and the women are a little too gleeful,” wrote New York Times columnist Lisa Belkin commenting on the overwhelming response she got for an article on a new study that found that men, too, may have a “biological clock” ticking when it comes to having what biologists would call “high quality” offspring.
I could write a book refuting the nonsense regularly expounded by New York Time’s columnist Stanley Fish. Oh, wait, I almost have written a book about it!

The success of religion may be the fault of non-believers (or, if you look at it the other way around, thank god for the atheists!) 

At least that is one interpretation of a recent individual-based simulation study of social evolution conducted by James Dow at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, and published in a recent issue of the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation (vol. 11, no.