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

Featured Article · Daily Nous

Philosophical Work Supported by Berggruen Fellowship Program

The Berggruen Institute has a fellowship program to support academics and others across a range of disciplines, and among its most recent class of fellows are some philosophy professors and others working on philosophical subjects. ¶ The fellowship program supports work on topics related to several themes concerning “great transformations”: the Future of Capitalism, Globalization and Geopolitics, Transformations of the Human, and the Future of Democracy. [M.C. Escher, “Metamorphosis II” (detail)]The following are fellows from departments of philosophy, along with brief descriptions of what they’ll be working on during their fellowships: Weiwan Duan (Department of Philosophy of Science and Technology in the Institute of Philosophy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences) —  ethical issues around facial recognition technology development and implementation. Yuk Hui (City University of Hong Kong) — issues in philosophy of technology. Qiaoying Lu (Peking University) — how to understand “minimal cognition” in light of evolution, and how to extend our understanding of human cognition and AI cognition. Sebastian Sunday Grève (Peking University)...

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Recent Media · Podcasts & Lectures

A Confederacy of Dunces: quotes (21) : So we see that even when Fortuna spins us downward, the wheel sometimes halts for a moment and we find ourselves in a good, small cycle within the larger bad cycle. The universe, of course, is based upon ...
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Zeno’s Conscience: quotes (19) : My deeply felt desire for novelty was satisfied by Giovanni Malfenti, so different from me and from all the people whose company and friendship I had sought in the past. Having gone though two university depar ...
pro Man Without Qualities -


Paranoid @ 50 : On this day, Paranoid, was released. To mark this milestone, Rhino have released a fancy vinyl package. This classic album was the first of a three classic album run of 70s foundational soundscapes, the others being Master of ...
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The Moviegoer: quotes (21) : “One last question to satisfy my idle curiosity. What has been going on in your mind during all the years when we listened to music together, read the Crito, and spoke together—or was it only I who spoke—good Lord ...
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Spontaneous Urban Planning at the Intersection of Markets, Democracy and Science : Conference issue of C+T classical liberalismdemocracyJane JacobsscienceSpontaneous orderurban planning ...
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Speech Acts: [Revised entry by Mitchell Green on September 24, 2020. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] We are attuned in everyday conversation not primarily to the sentences we utter to one another, but to the speech acts tha ...
meta pro trad Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


The Legacy of Schopenhauer’s Metaphysics: The general attitude towards Arthur Schopenhauer’s metaphysics is rather fiercely critical and at times even tendentious. It seems that the figure of Schopenhauer as an irredeemably flawed, stubborn, ...
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Discrimination and coin tosses: Bob is deciding whom to hire for a job where race is clearly irrelevant to job performance. There are two clear front-runners. Bob hires the white front-runner because that candidate is white. Bob has done some ...
meta Alexander Pruss -


Theophrastus: [Revised entry by Katerina Ierodiakonou on September 24, 2020. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Theophrastus (c. 371 - 287 BCE) was a Peripatetic philosopher who was Aristotle’s close colleague and successor at the L ...
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Philosophical Work Supported by Berggruen Fellowship Program
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Preparing for the end of the world as we know it
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Unraveling the evolutionary role of affordances: Unraveling the evolutionary role of affordancesby Manuel Heras-Escribano (June 2020) Affordances, or the possibilities for acting in our environments, are pervasive in everyday life. We are ...
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Volunteering for a Covid Vaccine Trial: Fulfilling Hindu Obligations or Fostering Pharmaceutical Company Profits?: When I learned about the invitation to enroll in Moderna’s phase 3 clinical trial of mRNA-1273, its investigational vaccine  ag ... Hastings Bioethics -



G.A. Barnard’s 105th Birthday: The Bayesian “catch-all” factor: probability vs likelihood
meta sci Error Statistics -


The Ethics and Epistemology of Trust: The Ethics and Epistemology of Trust Trust is a topic of long-standing philosophical interest because it is indispensable to the success of almost every kind of coordinated human activity, from politics a ...
meta pro trad Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


The Music of Dan Fogelberg

Peoria Riverfront Park Dan Fogelberg Memorial Site “To every man the mystery Sings a different song He fills his page of history Dreams his dreams and is gone.” A few weeks ago I wrote a post about an especially moving song about death by the American musician Dan Fogelberg whose lyrical rhymes often touch on existential themes. I have listened to his entire musical opus and virtually every song he wrote says something profound about life. He is also a master of surprising phrases such as in “sweetest sorrow,” “thundering, velvet hand,” or evocative poetry like “Burning lines in the book of our lives.” Here are some more of his beautiful words and music. Part of the Plan I have these moments, all steady and strong I’m feeling so holy and humble The next thing I know, I’m all worried and weak And I feel myself starting to crumble The meanings get lost and the teachings get tossed And you don’t know what you’re g... Read More ›

Reason and Meaning · Featured Blog

Climate Migration
I strongly recommend the following two interactive articles about the great climate migration. Part 1, “The Great Climate Migration,” shows how roughly 20% of the currently populated parts of the world will become virtually ...Read More ›

Roger Ebert’s Last Words
The short clip above is from the audiobook of the Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert’s Life Itself: A Memoir. It is reminiscent of David Hume’s ruminations about his impending death. It is one of the most profound and movin...Read More ›

The Life and Death of Roger Ebert
I recently watched Life Itself, the documentary about the Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert (1942 – 2013). It has a rotten tomatoes score of 100% among top critics. The documentary is based on h...Read More ›

Live Exhibit: Bayes Factors & Those 6 ASA P-value Principles
. Live Exhibit: So what happens if you replace “p-values” with “Bayes Factors” in the 6 principles from the 2016 American Statistical Association (ASA) Statement on P-values?  Does the one positive assertion hold?...Read More ›

September 24: Bayes factors from all sides: who’s worried, who’s not, and why (R. Morey)
Information and directions for joining our forum are here.   Upcoming talks will include Stephen Senn (Statistical consultant, Scotland, November 19, 2020); Deborah Mayo (Philosophy, Virginia Tech, December 19, 2020); and Alexander...Read More ›

Wittgenstein's Heirs and Editors
 Christian Erbacher's excellent new book is available free (for a limited time only) online here. Read More ›

A Confederacy of Dunces: quotes (20) : I am really quite fatigued as my first working day draws to a close. I do not wish to suggest, however, that I am disheartened or depressed or defeated. For the first time in my life I have met the syste ...
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Pathologizing Ideology, Epistemic Modesty and Instrumental Rationality : Here is an open access reprint in VoegelinView (with minor amendments) of a chapter that first appeared in The Mystery of Rationality: Mind, Beliefs and the Social Scien ...
meta sci Man Without Qualities -


Zeno’s Conscience: quotes (18) : Mother Nature wants this but cannot direct us openly, because at that time of life we haven’t the slightest thought of children, so she induces us to believe that our wife will also bring about a renewal of ou ...
meta trad Man Without Qualities -


The Moviegoer: quotes (20) : It is my mother’s way to see life, past and present, in terms of a standard comic exaggeration. If she had spent four years in Buchenwald, she would recollect it so: “So I said to him: listen, Mister, if you think ...
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A Confederacy of Dunces: quotes (19) : He noticed with interest that the old woman was beginning to nod at her desk. Working conditions looked wonderful. “I have a valve which is subject to vicissitudes which may force me to lie abed on ...
pro sci Man Without Qualities -


EPISTEME: Epistemic Norms as Social Norms Conference Issue : Volume 17 – Special Issue 3 – September 2020 EPISTEMEepistemic normsEpistemologysocial epistemology ...
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Zeno’s Conscience: quotes (17) : IN THE MIND of a young man from a middle-class family, the concept of human life is associated with that of a career, and in early youth the career is that of Napoleon I. This is not to say that the young man ...
pro trad Man Without Qualities -


I checked: I called the Chatham County Board of Elections and I think I am okay. The nice young lady at the other end of the phone told me that my vote has already been scanned into the system and will be reported on election day along with ...
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NOW I AM REALLY FRIGHTENED: Well, I took the suggestion to read this article in the Atlantic and now I am really scared. What can I do? The only thing I can think of is to call the Chatham County Board of Elections and make sure that my abse...
meta The Philosopher’s Stone -



A Norm for Self-Citation (guest post by Colin Klein)
pro Daily Nous -


Gödel Without Tears, not quite the end: I was intending to post Chapter 17 today — the final chapter, dealing with Löb’s Theorem and related results. But looking again at my draft version yesterday, I thought it was/is rather a me...
meta pro sci trad Logic Matters -


Challenges for Women in Online Philosophy: Performativity and Clout: Despite believing in the value of online philosophy, I myself have limited philosophical engagements online. Online philosophy is a vast terrain, spanning from philosophy di...
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DONE AND DONE: Okay, I have donated $250 to each of four candidates or funds recommended by readers who offered suggestions. That takes care of my royalty check with a bit more added from what I save by only eating half a dinner each night wi...
meta pro The Philosopher’s Stone -


A REQUEST FOR HELP: I have a serious question for my readership. Because I am committed to keeping Susie and myself safe from the virus, and also because of physical considerations attendant upon my age, I cannot really get out and do door-to...
meta pro The Philosopher’s Stone -


The Copernican Principle of Consciousness: According to the Copernican Principle in cosmology, we should assume that we do not occupy a special or privileged place in the cosmos, such as its exact center. According to the Anthropic Principle ...
meta sci Splintered Mind -


CFP: Inaugural Conference – Society for the Study of Women in Phenomenology – March 19-20 2021.: Call for Papers The Society for the Study of Women in Phenomenology (SSWPH) announces its inaugural international conference to be held virtu ...
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The Music of Dan Fogelberg
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Make Arrangements with Yourself: Reading Samuel Johnson’s poem reminded me of the enigmatic lines of Neil Young which may refer in an oblique way to hire purchase agreements/arrangements whereby when you have paid half the price of a vehicle ...
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82 - What should we do about facial recognition technology?
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Not "New Wave," not "Dark Wave," not even "Cold Wave." No, it's... : "Tragic Wave." Here’s the band, Drab Majesty with "Too Soon," from the "Demonstration" LP. First some Wikipedia though. Link’s below the embedded video. From Wik ...
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From doxastic obligations to obligations to imagine – An initial case study: sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > ...
meta trad The Junkyard -


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