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Philosophy

Essays and videos on philosophy, the history of ideas, ethics and life’s big questions
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video

Metaphysics

Simple entities in universal harmony – Leibniz’s evocative perspective on reality

4 minutes

A couple lying on grass on a hill nearby an American listening station in Berlin
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essay

Metaphysics

What awaits us?

Humanity’s future remains as unthinkable as the still-uncolonised galaxy or the enduring mystery of our own births and deaths

Jennifer Banks

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essay

Logic and probability

What is incoherence?

We can all be inconsistent. Philosophy illuminates a bigger puzzle: how do we hold contradictory beliefs at the same time?

Alex Worsnip

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Thinkers and theories

Henri Bergson on why the existence of things precedes their possibility

3 minutes

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essay

Ethics

Ethics has no foundation

Ethical values can be both objective and knowable – torture really is wrong – yet not need any foundation outside themselves

Andrew Sepielli

Two dark haired twin girls in tartan dresses look through an unglazed window frame
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essay

Metaphysics

Both one and yet distinct

Being a twin (as our author knows) cracks open our ideas of the perfectly bounded self and might liberate us all

Helena de Bres

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video

Metaphysics

Why mathematical truths exist with or without minds to consider them

8 minutes

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essay

Metaphysics

Purposeful universe

Neither atheism nor theism adequately explains reality. That is why we must consider the middle ground between the two

Philip Goff

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Thinkers and theories

Why seek self-realisation?

In the face of climate crisis it might seem myopic but philosophers from Spinoza to Næss argue it is the only way forward

Helen De Cruz

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essay

History of ideas

The post-linguistic turn

Analytic and continental philosophers were once united in their obsession with language. But now new questions have arisen

Crispin Sartwell

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Beauty and aesthetics

Patterns of the lifeworld

Machine learning theory is shedding new light on how to think about the mysterious and ineffable nature of art

Peli Grietzer

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essay

Metaphysics

Are coincidences real?

I am an unequivocal rationalist and yet I still want to see something strange and wonderful in life’s weird coincidences

Paul Broks

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Consciousness and altered states

Stuck with the soul

The idea of the soul is obviously a nonsense, yet its immaterial mysterious nature has deep hooks in the human psyche

David P Barash

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video

Metaphysics

Bertrand Russell wanted to kill off causation. Can contemporary philosophy rescue it?

8 minutes

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essay

Metaphysics

We are interwoven beings

A dragon needs the clouds and the wind in order to fly. What happens when we too relinquish individualistic reasoning?

Mercedes Valmisa

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video

Thinkers and theories

Bernard Williams on Descartes’s audacious endeavour to prove knowledge is possible

43 minutes

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essay

Metaphysics

This essay isn’t true

Alethic nihilism is the theory that nothing is true. There is much to gain by taking this radical idea seriously

David Liggins

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essay

War and peace

Trenches in Chernobyl

Disturbing and inhaling radioactive dust, in their haste Russian soldiers unburied the wrecked, undead Earth itself

Michael Marder

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essay

Ethics

The lethal act

The Buddha taught not to kill, yet his followers have at times disobeyed him. Can murderers still be Buddhists?

Martin Kovan

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video

Metaphysics

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

9 minutes

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video

Logic and probability

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

6 minutes

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essay

Thinkers and theories

Why read Fichte today?

Inspired by Kant, Fichte launched a radical philosophical system based on subjectivity and aspiring to freedom for all

Gabriel Gottlieb

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video

Thinkers and theories

Metaphysics and beyond – Martha Nussbaum on Aristotle’s indelible ideas

43 minutes

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video

Metaphysics

Knowing if you’re awake seems simple. Why has it vexed philosophers for centuries?

5 minutes