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How do you decide whether you ought to do something? Chances are you’ve employed statements about how things are or have been as the basis for making a judgment call. The 18th-century Scottish philosopher David Hume forcefully argued against this approach. According to ‘Hume’s law’, also known as the ‘is/ought problem’, determining what you ought to do based on what is represents a logical mistake because there’s a gap that reason cannot bridge between the facts of the world and the values you might espouse.
Values and beliefs
A funeral director takes in bodies that social stigma leaves unclaimed
Philosophy of religion
What Zen Buddhist riddles reveal about knowledge and the unknowable
Revisiting ‘Powers of Ten’ – what we’ve learned about the Universe since 1977
Dance and theatre
Technology, philosophy, randomness – how Merce Cunningham pushed dance to its limits
Philosophy of mind
Embodied cognition seems intuitive, but philosophy can push it to some strange places
Animals and humans
An unflinching look at a provocative public dissection of a ‘surplus’ zoo lion
Beauty and aesthetics
Not just a meme, but a masterpiece – why the Mona Lisa earns its exalted place in art
How the Hindu myth of Annapurna, goddess of food, connects sustenance with spirituality
Computing and artificial intelligence
Who, exactly, authored this AI-generated spin on Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo?