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Philosophy

Essays and videos on philosophy, the history of ideas, ethics and life’s big questions
Moral mathematics | Aeon
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Ethics

Moral mathematics

Subjecting the problems of ethics to the cool quantifications of logic and probability can help us to be better people

Elad Uzan

AC Grayling: Why not nothing? | Aeon
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video

Metaphysics

Is the question ‘Why is there something instead of nothing?’ even worth asking?

9 minutes

The Boltzmann brain paradox | Aeon
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Logic and probability

Is it more likely you’re a person with a past, or an ephemeral brain in a void?

6 minutes

Gödel’s incompleteness theorem | Aeon
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Mathematics

How a verbal paradox shattered the notion of total certainty in mathematics

5 minutes

What is a law of nature? | Aeon
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Philosophy of science

What is a law of nature?

Laws of nature are impossible to break, and nearly as difficult to define. Just what kind of necessity do they possess?

Marc Lange

Bertrand’s paradox | Aeon
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Logic and probability

The unresolved probability paradox that goes to the heart of scientific objectivity

8 minutes

This paradoxical life | Aeon
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Logic and probability

This paradoxical life

When logic fails to make sense of a world noisy with inconsistency, paraconsistent logics hold out (im)possible solutions

Zach Weber

How an infinite hotel ran out of room | Aeon
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video

Mathematics

Check in to the Hilbert Hotel, and learn why some infinities are bigger than others

6 minutes

Degrees of uncertainty | Aeon
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Earth science and climate

How much can science really tell us about the future of climate change?

24 minutes

The impossible chessboard puzzle | Aeon
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video

Mathematics

This puzzle is nearly impossible – but working out why is its own brain-teaser

19 minutes

The paradox of the ravens | Aeon
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Logic and probability

Is a red apple proof that all ravens are black? A paradox of scientific logic

6 minutes

Peak ellipsis | Aeon
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Thinkers and theories

Peak ellipsis

Does philosophy reside in the unsayable or should it care only for precision? Carnap, Heidegger and the great divergence

Sam Dresser

Why do you believe what you do? Run some diagnostics on it | Aeon
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idea

Values and beliefs

Why do you believe what you do? Run some diagnostics on it

Miriam Schoenfield

The politics of logic | Aeon
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Political philosophy

The politics of logic

Should philosophy express the national character of a people? Bertrand Russell’s ‘scientific’ philosophy was a bulwark against nationalism

Alexander Klein

How ad hominem arguments can demolish appeals to authority | Aeon
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idea

Logic and probability

How ad hominem arguments can demolish appeals to authority

Moti Mizrahi

The concept of probability is not as simple as you think | Aeon
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idea

Logic and probability

The concept of probability is not as simple as you think

Nevin Climenhaga

Philosophy must be useful | Aeon
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Thinkers and theories

Philosophy must be useful

For Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle, much of philosophy was mere nonsense. Then came Frank Ramsey’s pragmatic alternative

Cheryl Misak

Slaying the Snark: what nonsense verse tells us about reality | Aeon
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idea

Stories and literature

Slaying the Snark: what nonsense verse tells us about reality

Nina Lyon

Reach out, listen, be patient. Good arguments can stop extremism | Aeon
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idea

Political philosophy

Reach out, listen, be patient. Good arguments can stop extremism

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Beyond reason: the mathematical equation for unconditional love | Aeon
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idea

Logic and probability

Beyond reason: the mathematical equation for unconditional love

Suki Finn

To my best belief: just what is the pragmatic theory of truth? | Aeon
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idea

Knowledge

To my best belief: just what is the pragmatic theory of truth?

Cheryl Misak

Is a hole a real thing, or just a place where something isn’t? | Aeon
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idea

Metaphysics

Is a hole a real thing, or just a place where something isn’t?

Suki Finn

What we say vs what we mean: what is conversational implicature? | Aeon
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Philosophy of language

What we say vs what we mean: what is conversational implicature?

Maria Kasmirli

What’s the best option? | Aeon
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Logic and probability

What’s the best option?

It seems only logical: if A is better than B, and B is better than C, then A is better than C. Right? Not necessarily

Larry Temkin