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

Featured Article · Reason and Meaning

Summary of the Sophists

Democritus (center) and Protagoras (right). 17th-century painting by Salvator Rosa. © Darrell Arnold Ph.D.– (Reprinted with Permission) https://darrellarnold.com/2019/08/15/other-sophists/ ¶ (A recent post summarized the views of Protagoras, who is generally regarded as the first and most important Sophist. Here is a brief summary of some other Sophists.) ¶ On various issues, the sophists were clearly not of one mind. Callicles and Hippias of Elis both disagreed with Protagoras about the primacy of convention over nature. Nature, they maintained, was primary. In fact, Callicles offers arguments that sound rather Nietzschen. The morals embodied in customs benefit those who are weak in society while holding back individuals who are by nature strong. According to natural justice, those who are strong should pursue their own interests and not be held back by social conventions. ¶ The view of the primacy of nature over convention leads Hippias is a fully different direction. He seems to have believed that there are unwritten laws of nature that could trump social...

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Recent Media · Podcasts & Lectures

Review of Walker Percy’s Symbol and Existence : Micah Mattix in The American Conservative (November/December 2019) meaningMicah Mattixphilosophical literaturePhilosophy of LanguagesemioticsWalker Percy ...
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Reclaiming Liberalism : In press — due December Preface — David F. Hardwick and Leslie Marsh 1. Reclaiming Democratic Classical Liberalism – David Ellerman 2. Democracy, Liberalism, and Discretion: The Political Puzzle of the Admi ...
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Smith, Justice, and the Scope of the Political : There was a time when many commentators thought that there was a problem with Adam Smith. The tendency to read Smith’s thought as marred by supposed tensions between the ‘sympathy’ of The Theor ...
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Value Realism and Moral Psychology: A Comparative Analysis of Iris Murdoch and Fyodor Dostoevsky : Nathan Carson’s recently published article in Philosophy and Literature. Nathan also wrote a chapter entitled “On Being Jaded: Walk ...
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Good Things Out of Nazareth: The Uncollected Letters of Flannery O’Connor and Friends : Here’s an interview with Ben Alexander about his recently published edited book. Ben also contributed to my Zygon symposium from a few years back. b ...
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Power and Technology: A Philosophical and Ethical Analysis: 2019.11.08 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Faridun Sattarov, Power and Technology: A Philosophical and Ethical Analysis, Rowman and Littlefield, 2019, 198pp ...
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Conscience and the deontic logic of attempts: When people talk of the value of obedience to conscience, it often makes it sound like there is some sort of a relationship to a mysterious faculty with a mysterious authority. And that may all be ...
meta trad Alexander Pruss -



Trade Publishers: You Need To Fact-Check Philosophy, Too
meta pro trad Daily Nous -


Alternate timelines: The following sound right: It is always the case that s if and only if s at all times. It is always the case that s if and only if it is, always was and always will be the case that s. But suppose, as may very well be t ...
meta sci trad Alexander Pruss -


DAY ONE: Well, I watched several hours of the hearings, and one simple fact seemed obvious, at least to me: whatever else the Democrats and their lawyers may be they are simply awful teachers. Let me explain.The testimony dealt at length wit ...
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Summary of the Sophists: Democritus (center) and Protagoras (right). 17th-century painting by Salvator Rosa. © Darrell Arnold Ph.D.– (Reprinted with Permission) https://darrellarnold.com/2019/08/15/other-sophists/ (A recent post summarized th ...
meta Reason and Meaning -


Arthur Christopher Benson's John Henry Cardinal Newman: What was his purpose in writing The Upton Letters (pub. 1905)anonymously? The new English Literature fellow at Magdalen College Cambridge since 1904 had a prose style which was unmistak ...
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Oppy and Lim on Five Proofs
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Fanged Noumena | pdf
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Electronic Health Records and medical mistakes: Electronic Health Record systems (EHRs) have been broadly implemented by hospitals and health systems around the country as a way of increasing the accuracy, availability, and timeliness of pati ... Understanding Society -


DAY ONE

Well, I watched several hours of the hearings, and one simple fact seemed obvious, at least to me: whatever else the Democrats and their lawyers may be they are simply awful teachers.  Let me explain.The testimony dealt at length with Ukraine.  I would estimate that there are maybe two million people in America who could more or less locate Ukraine on a map, which is to say fewer than 1% of the adults in this country.  The point of the hearings is to educate the American people about what is already known, not to discover new facts.  So the first thing any halfway decent teacher would do is put up a map on screenand spend ten minutes describing the location, the history, and a few salient facts about the country [such as:  Ukraine is the largest country, by area, in Europe;  Ukraine gave up the nuclear weapons it inherited from the Soviet Union in return for promises of protection, etc.]Did Adam Schiff do this?  Not even remotely.  So the enti... Read More ›

The Philosopher’s Stone · Featured Blog

THE WHORE OF MENSA
If there is anyone out there who has never read this classic short short story by Woody Allen, just click on this and enjoy.When he was young, he was to die for.Read More ›

HOW SOON THEY FORGET
All of us, I take it, are familiar with printed warnings, especially on milk and other dairy items, that a quart of milk or tub of cottage cheese is to be removed from the shelves after some specified date.  This is usually referred...Read More ›

IS THERE A DEEPER MEANING HERE?
Here is an idle thought I had this morning while walking in sub-freezing temperature.  In my adult lifetime there have been two full scale public education campaigns aimed at getting everyone to alter his or her settled habits, and ...Read More ›

AWRIGHT AWREADY
Next semester, probably starting in February, I shall deliver a series of videotaped lectures on David Hume's Theory of Knowledge which will be posted, as I deliver them, on YouTube.Don't say I never did anything for you.Read More ›

HE SAID IT BETTER
No sooner had I posted my last comment on the world than I clicked on HuffPost and read this much better expression of the same thought.  Oh well.Read More ›

THE MONEY IS WORRIED
Well, well, Mike Bloomberg suddenly emerges from seclusion to put his name into the first-deadline primary in Alabama.  Then word emerges that Clinton loyalist Eric Holder is dipping a toe in the water.  So long as Good Old Joe...Read More ›

Robert Musil : Born on this date (6 November). Here is Roger Kimball’s well-known take. Here too is The Monist issue dedicated to “The Philosophy of Robert Musil” and Mette Blok’s article “Robert Musil’s Li ...
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Cosmos + Taxis 7: 3+4 : Just published classical liberalismcosmos & taxisspontaneous orders ...
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Calmer Sutra : humoursatirethe chap ...
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British Labour and the Socialism of Fools: The Return of Left-Wing Antisemitism : Peter C. Grosvenor’s review essay in Nationalism and Ethnic Politics Volume 25, 2019 – Issue 2: 240-245 (Corrected for spelling). Sadly there are ma ...
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Why We Should Care About Our Corpse
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Rest in Peace
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Dressed to Kill
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New Ethics Center in Yaoundé, Cameroon: by Brian Berkey Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to be a part of the launch week event for the Ethics and Public Policy Laboratory (EthicsLab, for short), based at the Catholic University of Cen...
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Governing Least: A New England Libertarianism: 2019.11.07 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Dan Moller, Governing Least: A New England Libertarianism, Oxford University Press, 2019, 326pp., $35.00 (hbk), ISBN 978019086...
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THE WHORE OF MENSA: If there is anyone out there who has never read this classic short short story by Woody Allen, just click on this and enjoy.When he was young, he was to die for....
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New: Journal of Contemporary African Philosophy
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Enowning: The Being of the Entities Found in The Environment (S 15, B&T) From Epoché....
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HOW SOON THEY FORGET: All of us, I take it, are familiar with printed warnings, especially on milk and other dairy items, that a quart of milk or tub of cottage cheese is to be removed from the shelves after some specified date. This is usua...
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Omniscience: The following account of the doctrine of propositional omniscience is incomplete: x is omniscient iff x knows every truth and believes no falsehood. For suppose that x believes no falsehood and knows every truth but is sufferin...
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Who Cares about Happiness?
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Philip Goff Live!: Join me for another discussion with Philip Goff, a consciousness researcher at Durham University. This time we discuss themes from his new book Galileo’s Error Galileo’s Error on AmazonPhilip’s websitePhilip ...
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Teaching Logical Methods: It’s been a big year. At the start of 2019, Shawn Standefer and I decided to throw all our cards in the air and upend the curriculum for the Level 2 logic unit in the philosophy program here at Melbourne. We wr ...
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The Ethical Human: Zanna Clay/ Philip Pettit/ Simone Schnall Listen here or on YouTube Where do our ideas of right and wrong come from? Can the evolutionary processes that produced human beings explain the moral frameworks adopted by human so ...
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Movie Round Up: Doctor Sleep, Terminator: Dark Fate, and Ad Astra
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Schopenhauer and Nietzsche: Schopenhauer thought life was a dream and Nietzsche thought life was an interpretation. This reminds me of an interesting story. In the future every young man or woman upon initiation was given the services of a ...
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The ASA’s P-value Project: Why it’s Doing More Harm than Good (cont from 11/4/19)
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