Recent Responses

Recent Responses

Response by Stephen Maitzen on 4/29/19

I can't think of any ordinary sense of "opposite" that allows for the existence of opposite shapes (i.e., closed plane figures). But you and your friends could invent a technical sense of "opposite" that allows for opposite shapes. Maybe the opposite of a shape is the mirror image of the shape along the vertical axis, or along the horizontal axis, or along some oblique axis, provided that opposite shapes never look the same. On that definition, a circle wouldn't have an opposite shape, but a triangle could....more

Response by Stephen Maitzen on 4/28/19

Not if they really are necessary truths. By definition, any necessary truth couldn't possibly have been false.

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Response by Stephen Maitzen on 4/28/19

Your comment runs together two things that ought to be kept distinct: (1) Can we choose our preferences? (2) Could we have chosen otherwise than we in fact chose? I'll take them up in turn.

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Response by Charles Taliaferro on 3/15/19

According to many (but perhaps not all) Christians and many secular philosophers (and persons of other faiths) marriage is fundamentally based on the vows that persons make to each other. So, for many Christians in the west, the church does not actually marry two persons; the church recognizes and proclaims (and blesses) the marriage. Insofar as "the married man" and his spouse have ended their vow (whether they think of this as breaking the vow or releasing each other from their vow), the marriage has ended, even if it is still a legal matter of divorce....more

Response by Allen Stairs on 3/14/19

I think your counterargument is conflating issues that need to be kept distinct.

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Response by Allen Stairs on 2/26/19

Here is a sampling of views on time that you'll find in recent literature:

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Response by Allen Stairs on 2/22/19

If you obsess too much about more or less anything, it can be bad for you, but some of the topics that philosophy deals with can be more troublesome for some people. I have in mind especially some forms of radical skepticism. I have met people who've been obsessed with the possibility that they don't really know that there's an external world, or that there are other people. I've had them in my office, clearly distressed. I'd guess that there were already some underlying problems....more

Response by Charles Taliaferro on 2/16/19

If by "philosophy" we mean something like having a view of reality and values then it is hard to imagine not having a philosophy. If we mean something more like "disciplined reflection on reality and values," then it also seems hard to imagine that doing more philosophy would be harmful. And if we go to the etymology of "philosophy" (from the Greek "philo," meaning "love" and "sophia" meaning "love") then it is (again) hard to imagine that doing philosophy would ever be bad. After all, if engaging in what we call philosophy was unwise, one should not do it.

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Response by Jonathan Westphal on 2/8/19

Questions do not have solutions, so your question needs rephrasing. It contains a category mistake. Perhaps one could say that questions are to answers as problems are to solutions. At any rate, it is questions have answers, and problems that have solutions. So we can put your question as this: 'Is no philosophical question answerable?'

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Response by Allen Stairs on 2/7/19

There's a problem with your symbolization. The word "since" isn't a conditional. It's more like a conjunction, but better yet, we can treat it as simply giving us another premise. So in a slightly modified version of your notation, the argument would be

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