Current & Timely

  • “Take the Red Pill”

    It’s a tantalizing idea that dates back to the parable of the cave in Plato’s Republic VII: a special perspective unclouded by the illusions…

  • Ancient Cynicism, ancient philosophy for contemporary life

    To combat the corrosive affects of contemporary cynicism implicit in the ineffectual carping that has so many people feeling defeated these days, Arthur C.…

  • Ancient Philosophy, Classical Education, & Class

    Edith Hall and Ansgar Allen are interviewed by Tom Sutcliffe on BBC’s “Start of the Week”. Edith Hall talks about the value of reading…

  • Argument and Civility

    Catherine Hundleby, a friend of firstphilosophy.ca and one of our earliest contributors, has died. Catherine was a fine philosopher and better person. Her TEDx…

  • Contemporary theories of knowledge

    What is knowledge? How much can we know? And how do we know anything? One major field of philosophy is the study of knowledge,…

  • Economics & Human Sympathetic Faculties

    Economists often venerate Adam Smith’s monumental Wealth of Nations (1776) as the Newtonian origin of their discipline. Smith’s memorable image of an invisible hand…

  • Four Formidable Women Philosophers

    Remarkably, Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Mary Midgley, and Iris Murdoch graduated from Oxford within a few years of each other in the 1930s. Each…

  • Gabrielle Suchon, Seventeenth Century Feminist

    The range of respectable lives for Seventeenth Century women in Europe was sharply restricted. As a young woman Gabrielle Suchon had two options available…

  • Laughing Matters: But how?

    What provokes us to laugh? Aristotle dropped some hints about laughter and comedy in what remains of his Poetics, but the account of Comic…

  • Mediaeval and Modern Roots of Computers

    Long before the advent of modern computers, even before electricity was harnessed to power the kind of circuitry that makes large-scale computational processing possible,…

  • Nature and Human Nature in Aesop’s Fables

    Since ancient times, readers have recognized that the dogs, foxes, lions, ants, grasshoppers, and other creatures in Aesop’s fables represent features or types of…

  • Philosophers informing sides in the Ukraine

    Detectable traces of philosophical influence are evident in the maneuvers of both Vladimir Putin and NATO. Santiago Zabala and Claudio Gallo help make sense…

  • Philosophy as Poetry – Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logio-Philosophicus

    Ludwig Wittgenstein‘s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus is a bold experiment in literary form and expression, in addition to being a monumental work of 20th Century philosophy.…

  • Philosophy on Television: The Good Place

    Six unlikely friends, romance, snappy, funny dialogue, and… loads of philosophy. The Good Place has an unusual combination of elements for network television, but…

  • PI Day!

    Now that all the celebrations are over and we’ve cleaned up after the party, everyone at firstphilosophy.ca is counting down the days until PI…

  • Pragmatism or Philosophy? Countering authoritarianism

    In 1996, Richard Rorty delivered a series of lectures at the University of Girona in Catalonia, Spain. By then, Rorty had long turned away…

  • Pyrrhonian Skepticism, an ancient school for contemporary life

    Two different ancient schools called themselves “skeptical”, the Academic Skeptics and the Pyrrhonian Skeptics. Both expressed fundamental doubts about the possibility of human knowledge.…

  • Should we eat meat?

    Meat eating, like almost anything else we do, raises its own moral questions. Traditionally, objections to meat eating concentrated on the ethics of killing…

  • The Centenary of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus

    Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logio-Philosophicus is an ambitious reconsideration of what philosophy is and what it can accomplish. A previous item on First Philosophy celebrates…

  • The evolution of evolutionary theory

    Unlike Archimedes — who made one of his defining discoveries in a single flash, a Eureka moment — Darwin’s hypothesis about natural selection emerged…

  • Theodor Lessing – prophet, outcast, & anti-Nazi

    Theodor Lessing–controversialist, satirist, and spur to Nazi flanks–fled Germany in early 1933 to Marienbad, Czechoslovakia. He foresaw danger on the horizon in his native…

  • Varieties of BS

    “BS!”, like “bull!”, “crap!”, “humbug!”, “buncome!” and similar expressions, can seriously damn a rival’s claim or their personal authority. It can also serve as…

  • What makes misinformation stick? Certainty

    One way to combat mis-information and dis-information is to reinforce good information with patiently explained evidence. But according to Ilana Redstone, the deeper problem…

  • Why is it so difficult to be rational?

    Being a rational agent is difficult. But why? We often think of it as psychological challenge, which it is. But that’s not the only…

  • World Philosophy Day

    On the occasion of World Philosophy Day 2020, UNESCO is offering a range of content for the Late Night with Philosophers event on 20…

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