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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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Richard Dawkins doesn’t usually strike me as being naïve, but one has to wonder when Dawkins abandons himself to the following sort of writing about his favorite topic these days, the incompatibility between science and religion, on his web site:

If you are even a teensy little bit into reason and rationality, then you are likely to wince every time you open a newspaper, surf the web or watch television. The wince of the week definitely came from an interview that ABC’s George Stephanopoulos conducted with G.O.P. House opposition leader John Boehner.
Today I was forwarded by several people a really bad and confused op-ed piece by New York Times columnist David Brooks. It is entitled “The End of Philosophy,” which naturally raised my baloney detector level to yellow alert.
The other day I posted on my FaceBook profile that I better hurry up to finish my presentation on epigenetic inheritance. One of my friends commented: “I have no idea what that means, but good luck to you!” Ironically, that is, in part, the point of my presentation: understanding what it all means. Let me explain.
Sometimes you open Nature magazine and are surprised by the latest discovery in quantum mechanics or molecular biology. Browsing through the March 5, 2009 issue I was stunned by an article penned by sociologist Harry Collins, entitled “We cannot live by scepticism alone” (The Brits call it “scepticism,” not “skepticism.”).
I have been downloading a cartload of books on my new Kindle lately, since I really enjoy the idea of walking into the subway carrying a rather inconspicuous, very light, yet incredibly large library with me. One of these books is Samir Okasha’s Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction, which I’m reading because I intend to review and promote it.