The Practical Ontologist
»The Practical Ontologist« is a compendium of online philosophical production. Every few hours it automatically aggregates, analyzes, and updates.

Featured Article · An und für sich

Knot of the Soul Book Event: Encountering the Invisible

This post comes to us from Ali Altaf Mian, Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at Seattle University. His review essay on Knot of the Soul, forthcoming in qui parle, particularly considers how Pandolfo inhabits the “ethics of psychoanalysis” and the citational status of the Qur’an in her ethnography. ¶ — ¶ Say (O Muhammad): It has been revealed to me that a company of the Jinn gave ear [to the Qur’an], and they said: Lo! We have heard a marvelous Qur’an. ¶ —Qur’an 72:1. ¶ DJINN: according to the Muslim conception bodies (adjsam) composed of vapour or flame, intelligent, imperceptible to our senses, capable of appearing under different forms and of carrying out heavy labours (al-Baydawi, Comm. to Kur’an, LXXII, 1; al-Damiri, Hayawan, s.v. djinn). They were created of smokeless flame (Kur’an, LV, 14) while mankind and the angels, the other two classes of intelligent beings, were created of clay and light. They are capable of salvation; Muhammad was sent...

Read More › - meta trad

Recent Media · Podcasts & Lectures

“You’ll look funny when you’re fifty” : H/T Gid. Check out the Jay Glennie-Sandy Lieberson interview here in support of this “coffee table” book. Donald Cammelljames foxMick JaggerNicolas Roegperformancepersonal identityphilosophi ...
meta pro Man Without Qualities -


Hayek and the Methodenstreit at the LSE : Recent Jeremy Shearmur article. Austrian EconomicsFriedrich HayekHistory of Economic ThoughtJeremy ShearmurLiberalismLondon School of Economicsmethodology ...
pro trad Man Without Qualities -


Cryptographic stigmergy : As someone who more or less tracks the various (theoretical and practical) applications of stigmergy this one here is a first. I faintly grasp the issues in blockchain and cryptocurrency so I’m curious as to wh ...
meta sci trad Man Without Qualities -


Terminal Abstraction and the Radically Human: What follows is a response to a point made by David Roden in the post “Against Non-Philosophical Humanism“. I am not critiquing the Post-humanist stance as such, though. I found Roden& ...
meta trad Synthetic Zero -


“it’s fragments that feel true”: More and more it’s fragments that feel true. by Antonio Dias Fragments show their edges. Edges that intrude into the illusion of completion. Edges that cannot be ignored. Fragments insist there is more we don ...
meta trad Synthetic Zero -


The Ethics of Giving: Philosophers' Perspectives on Philanthropy: 2018.11.19 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Paul Woodruff (ed.), The Ethics of Giving: Philosophers’ Perspectives on Philanthropy, Oxford Univers ...
pro Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews -


Enowning: Pernicious positionality in The Korea Times. Technology, to [Heidegger], was a way of revealing the true nature of reality. Accordingly, modern technology reveals the world as a raw material, available for production and manipulation strivi ...
trad value Enowning -


Enowning: In Wired, David Weinberger on humans’ systems of causation vs. machines’ correlations. This is bringing us to locate knowledge outside of our heads. We can only know what we know because we are deeply in league with alien tools ...
meta Enowning -


NAVEL GAZING: While walking this morning [unusually early – I started before 5 am] I was reflecting that on my blog lately I have been wearing my heart on my sleeve. “Where does that expression come from?” I mused. I had a vague recollectio ...
meta trad The Philosopher’s Stone -


Enowning: Forward from history. To understand history cannot mean anything else than to understand ourselves—not in the sense that we might establish various things about ourselves, but that we experience what we ought to be. GA 19, Plato&rs ...
meta sci trad Enowning -



Philosophers at War
meta pro trad Philosophy by the Way -


York Vision Science Summer School 2019: All Expenses Paid: The Centre for Vision Research (CVR) at York University in Toronto, Canada offers a one-week, all-expenses-paid undergraduate summer school on vision science June 3-7, 2019. This year ...
pro Brains Blog -


Bonheur du Jour – Escritoire of the Day: In eighteenth-century French, the “Bonheur du jour”, literally the “happiness of the day”, was a small escritoire or writing desk with many drawers – and even secret drawers, or compartments. It was a ...
meta trad The Philosophical Salon -


Knot of the Soul Book Event: Encountering the Invisible: This post comes to us from Ali Altaf Mian, Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at Seattle University. His review essay on Knot of the Soul, forthcoming in qui parle, particularly con ...
meta trad An und für sich -


A Philosopher’s Lifelong Search for Meaning – Part 5 – Transhumanism and Meaning: continued from a previous entry A Fully Meaningful Cosmos Thus there are good reasons to believe that individual and cosmic death might be avoided. Yet immora ...
meta trad Reason and Meaning -


The Meaning of Authorship

Cicero said that philosophers decry glory yet, at the same time, put their names on their books. It is a charge of irony that extends not only to the philosophers, but possibly to Cicero himself, and most importantly, to this current piece of philosophy. Yet, at the same time, if you notice, there is no name placed on it. It is a collection of ideas, put together seemingly by individuals, one or many, quickly or slowly, with in depth or perfunctory reflection. The mistakes and insights (often one and the same) are there for anyone to find. They aren’t obstructed by the reputation of an author. The irony, rather, is found in the performance of scholarly reference, which signals that Cicero and, by association, the current document are meant to be taken seriously. Since the current piece is authorless, there is no ‘holist’ citation (since authored pieces as wholes are self-citation), though the possibility of internal citation is still open. In either case the idea does not speak fo... Read More ›

The Vim · Featured Blog

Don’t Read Harry Frankfurt’s “On Bullshit”
American philosopher Harry Frankfurt published an essay on bullshit in 1986. It worked its way into culture after 2005, when it was published as a small book. Now in the Trump age, it has worked its way into mainstream political commenta...Read More ›

Who to Vote For
Elections are about who to vote for. We assume that the question is answered with names of candidates. But notice that the phrase ‘who to vote for’ is ambiguous. It could also have the sense of who to vote on behalf of, who to vote for ...Read More ›

Podcast: Our Post-Truth Era
“Post-truth” was the 2016 word of the year, inspired by Trump and Brexit. But what does it mean? Is it coherent? Can we ever actually be post-truth? If so, are we now? Dylan and Zach subject the concept to some analysis. They base their ...Read More ›

I’m No Longer Going to Argue about Veganism
Discussing the ethics of veganism with nonvegans can be painful. I’ve heard all the objections: But I really like meat [usually bacon] or dairy [usually cheese]. Animals are here for humans to eat. What about protein? Humans have evolv...Read More ›

Podcast: Comparing Trump and Obama
Justin and Zach sit down to talk about what it means to have a fundamentally uninformed president. There are more philosophical issues here than you might think: What does it mean to be informed? How informed should we expect a presiden...Read More ›

Kavanaugh and Democratic Defeat
  After the GOP showed, yet again, their selective empathy and willingness to jettison all moral principles for the sake of power, it is worth panning back to notice how effective their tactics truly are. We already know from observ...Read More ›

From Mishima with love : Here’s another somewhat pretentious Johnny-come-lately review of Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters but fortunately there is this little nugget of a footnote to Mishima’s life. JapanMishima: A Life in Four C ...
meta pro Man Without Qualities -



The Ecological Marx (1): The Emergence of Ecological Marx
trad Synthetic Zero -


Tragic Perception: Meditation, Ethics, and The Human Condition: The following essay was written by Max Finkel as the basis of his final presentation for his degree in the Applied Meditation Studies program at the Won Institute of Graduate Stu ...
meta trad Synthetic Zero -


Cosmos + Taxis now listed on Complexity Explorer : We are pleased to announce that C+T is now listed on Santa Fe Institute’s Complexity Explorer, the preeminent curated open access site for complexity studies of a technical and non-tech ...
meta pro trad Man Without Qualities -


Percy on the Allure of Violence and Destruction : In Walker Percy, Philosopher brian a. smithdestructionmalaiseviolenceWalker Percy ...
meta pro Man Without Qualities -



What Lies Beneath: The Understatement of Existential Climate Risk
meta pro Synthetic Zero -


James Gardner March: I know who I am : H/T Brendan Markey-Towler for bringing this obituary to my attention. His seminal book, Organizations, written jointly with Herbert A. Simon in 1958 . . . In an October 3 memoriam published in Le Monde T ...
pro Man Without Qualities -


The Emergence of First-Order Logic: [New Entry by William Ewald on November 17, 2018.] For anybody schooled in modern logic, first-order logic can seem an entirely natural object of study, and its discovery inevitable. It is semantically com...
meta sci trad Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -



Adolf Grünbaum (1923-2018)
pro trad Daily Nous -



Vincent Shen (1949-2018)
pro Daily Nous -


THANK YOU: Thank you all for taking the time to reassure me that you are there, reading and enjoying what I have written. I feel a little like Sally Field accepting her second Oscar, who said, famously, “I can’t deny the fact that you ...
meta pro trad The Philosopher’s Stone -


Ways of being and quantifying: Pluralists about ways of being say that there are multiple ways to be (e.g., substance and accident, divine being and finite being, the ten categories, or maybe even some indefinitely extendible list) and there ...
meta trad Alexander Pruss -


Legalism in Chinese Philosophy: [Revised entry by Yuri Pines on November 16, 2018. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Legalism is a popular - albeit quite inaccurate - designation of an intellectual current that gained considerable popula...
meta trad Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


Substance: [Revised entry by Howard Robinson on November 16, 2018. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Many of the concepts analysed by philosophers have their origin in ordinary - or at least extra-philosophical - language. Perception, kn...
meta trad value Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -



The Meaning of Authorship
meta trad The Vim -



Mementos for Excursion 2 Tour II: Falsification, Pseudoscience, Induction (2.3-2.7)
meta sci Error Statistics -



“Transgender: A Dialogue”
meta pro sci trad What's Wrong? -


Consciousness, Higher-Order Theories of: I have been asked to write an entry on higher-order theories of consciousness for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which apparently has not ever had an entry on this! Below is a very (very) ro ...
meta sci Philosophy Sucks! -


Why is ethics impossible for object-oriented ontology?: Speculative theists during the early to mid 1800’s were attempting to work out Schelling’s various criticisms of Hegel. One output of those criticisms was that of Christian H ...
meta trad value After Nature -


Women and academic careers: When individuals could decide quite openly that one would not have an academic career. The Woman Who Loves Giraffes (2018) Plot In1956, four years before Jane Goodall ventured into the world of chimpanzees ...
pro trad Feminist Philosophers -


Women in Ireland worry: does wearing a thong mean you can’t be raped?: This issue is not exactly protection, unless one sees the (alleged) rapist as protected: Rape trial sparks thong protests in Ireland A teenager’s underwear was used as e ...
meta pro value Feminist Philosophers -


Yesterday’s Frontpage