This paper seems meant to raise questions. Likely it does: “Painlessly Killing Predators,” Ben Bramble [pictured here], Journal of Applied Philosophy, epub 2020. (Thanks to Achim Reisdorf for bringing this to our attention.) The author explains: “Animals suffer harms not only in human captivity but in the wild as well. Some of these latter harms are […]
Drunk philosophers, studied in a bar in France
Ig Nobel Prize winner Laurent Bègue and colleague Aaron Duke have a new study about the effect of drunkenness on philosophy. The study is: “The drunk utilitarian: Blood alcohol concentration predicts utilitarian responses in moral dilemmas,” Aaron A. Duke and Laurent Bègue, Cognition, 134 (2015): 121-127. The 2013 Ig Nobel Prize for psychology was awarded to Laurent […]
Would this scholarly paper exist if Dr. Lebens hadn’t written it?
“This paper wants to know whether it would exist, or could exist, in worlds in which I didn’t write it. Before we can answer this question, we first of all have to inquire as to what, exactly, this paper is. After exploring two forms of Platonism (pure and impure), and a theory that defines literary […]
Eating plants – is it wrong?
Vegetarians sometimes get challenged with questions along the lines of “If you think it’s unethical to eat animals, how about plants, maybe they have feelings too?” What are the ethical implications of/for a pea in a bowl of pea soup for example? Just such a question has been considered by Michael Marder, who is Ikerbasque […]
Holes in donuts – the philosophical implications (part 2)
In 2001, professor Achille C. Varzi, of Columbia University, New York, very probably became the first philosopher to author a paper focusing specifically on the ramifications of holes in donuts (that’s ‘doughnuts’ in the UK), as we reported. But the paper wasn’t, in the literal sense, the last word on donut holes. In 2012 the subject […]
Holes in doughnuts – the philosophical implications (part 1)
Achille C. Varzi, who is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, New York, is interested in the philosophical implications of holes and voids, prompting a unique investigation into a special subset of hole-bearing entities – namely doughnuts (that’s ‘donuts’ US). “A doughnut always comes with a hole. If you think you can come up with […]
Stupidity – special issues
It was back in May last year that Improbable drew attention to the forthcoming special edition of the journal ‘parallax’ – the ‘Stupidity’ issue. We are delighted to announce that it’s no longer forthcoming, as it’s now been published. The journal carries at least four scholarly papers which focus directly on stupidity – and which […]
A philosopher unshod
“All you really need to do is take off your shoes and listen to your feet. It’s really that simple.” —So writes the modern philosopher John Sifferman.
Two John Perrys, different initials
One letter, especially if it’s a middle initial of a person’s name, can make a difference. Consider the case of two John Perrys. John R. Perry is a professor of philosophy, who among many other things devised the Theory of Structured Procrastination, for which he was awarded the 2011 Ig Nobel Prize in literature. John […]