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Philosophy Reflections

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  • 21
    Jul

    2020

    COVID, Crisis and the Nature of Religion

    What is the nature of human religiosity? For much of the 19th and 20th centuries, psychologists treated this area of human life as a disposition – something Gordon Allport termed a ‘sentiment’.[1]...

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  • 3
    Jul

    2020

    In the Footsteps of Thoreau

    Many people I know have been out walking more, since COVID-19 upended our routines and transformed our daily lives. For a while, during the first shutdown, the activity of walking was the only way in...

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  • 22
    Jun

    2020

    Harms, Benefits, and Trade-Offs in a Pandemic

    A crucial topic in moral philosophy involves the aggregation and comparison of harms and benefits.  How many, for instance, minor headaches relieved is worth a single human life?  How many people...

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  • 16
    Jun

    2020

    Knowledge and Newspapers

    Recently while teaching my Theory of Knowledge class on Zoom I asked the students whether they should believe what they read in the newspapers. Their confident answer was that they should not – newspapers...

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  • 16
    Jun

    2020

    Kant on Sympathy with the Fate of Others

    During the strange week in March that began almost normally and ended with the shuttering of campuses and a series of rushed goodbyes, the students in my course on Kant’s moral philosophy half-jokingly...

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  • 5
    Jun

    2020

    Blame and Creating Risks for Others

    Before turning to the pandemic, allow me to tell a story. One of my cousins—let’s call him “Walt”—grew up loving cars. As a 12-year-old, Walt could name the make and model of every car we passed...

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  • 5
    Jun

    2020

    Virtual Emotions in a Pandemic

    Writers, cinematographers, and philosophers have often wondered what love could look like in a virtual age. Could we fall in love with a sophisticated AI? Will there be a time in which people think that...

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  • 4
    Jun

    2020

    Uncertainty in a Pandemic

    So much about COVID-19 seems uncertain. When will a vaccine be widely available and how many will refuse it? What’s the infection fatality rate? To what extent are we undercounting, or over-counting,...

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