Knowledge


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Beauty and aesthetics Bioethics Comparative philosophy Cosmopolitanism Death Ethics History of ideas Knowledge Logic and probability Meaning and the good life Metaphysics Philosophy of language Philosophy of mind Philosophy of religion Philosophy of science Political philosophy Thinkers and theories Values and beliefs Virtues and vices

The Sea of Ice (Das Eismeer), by Caspar David Friedrich (1823). Courtesy the Hamburger Kunsthalle/Wikipedia

Essay/
History of ideas
In praise of aphorisms

What if we see the history of philosophy not as a grand system of sustained critique but as a series of brilliant fragments?

Andrew Hui

From Le Petit Journal, 18 February 1912. Photo by Getty

Essay/
Ethics
The trolley problem problem

Are thoughts experiments experiments at all? Or something else? And do they help us think clearly about ethics or not?

James Wilson

Berlin, Potsdamer Platz (1932) by Carl Grossberg. Photo by AKG-Images

Essay/
Education
The scholar’s vocation

A century ago, Weber both diagnosed the ills of the corporatised, modern university, and pointed out the path beyond it

Chad Wellmon

Photo bt Emin Ozmen/Magnum Photos

Essay/
Knowledge
Nihilism

The risk of nihilism is that it alienates us from anything good or true. Yet believing in nothing has positive potential

Nolen Gertz

At the World Chess Championships in London, 2013. Photo by Andrew Testa/Panos

Essay/
Cognition and intelligence
Concentrate!

The challenge of chess – learning how to hold complexity in mind and still make good decisions – is also the challenge of life

Jonathan Rowson

Photo by Carmen Jiménez/EyeEm/Getty

Essay/
Meaning and the good life
On serendipity

A decades-long conversation between friends about books, photography and life, exploring what it is to know, to look, to see

Sven Birkerts & Christopher Benfey

Turkana warriors react after finding out that Nyangatom warriors are around their settlement in Ilemi Triangle, Kenya, on 17 July 2019. Photo by Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

Essay/
Human evolution
Suspicion makes us human

Conspiracy theories have always been with us, powered by an evolutionary drive to survive. How’s that working for us now?

Jan-Willem van Prooijen

Speakers corner, London, 1978. Photo by Rudolf Dietrich/ullstein bild/Getty

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Knowledge
Mistaken

Assuming that another person’s opinions are immune from criticism is not a marker of respect. It is, in fact, dehumanising

Daniel Ward

Hypnotism (c1845), daguerreotype by John Adams Whipple. Courtesy the Met Museum, New York

Essay/
Social psychology
Debunking debunked

Secular modernity requires the weeding out of all the baloney. Yet it’s not clear that we are any less credulous than before

Emily Ogden

Unreliable evidence. Photo by Xavier Zimbardo/Getty

Essay/
Knowledge
Knowledge is crude

Far from being a touchstone of the truth, knowledge is a stone-age concept that harms our dealings with the modern world

David Papineau

Photo by Michael Prince/Gallery Stock

Essay/
Human rights and justice
A survivor speaks

Victims of sexual assault are commonly judged by the consistency of their story. But consistency is not a high road to truth

Linda Martín Alcoff