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

Featured Article · PEA Soup

The All-New PEA Soup Prizes!!

We are very pleased to announce the all-new PEA Soup Prizes, generously funded by The Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics at DePauw University, totaling over $5,000!! There will be yearly and quarterly prizes awarded. The Yearly Prizes will be announced at the end of January (for the previous year’s posts), and the Quarterly Prizes will be announced shortly after the Featured Months (explained below the fold). These are very generous prizes, aimed at increasing the amount of high-quality content we’ve had the good fortune to have on the Soup for going on 15 years now(!), as well as to encourage more posts and discussion by our official contributors as well as submissions for publication on the blog by those not listed as official contributors. This information will also soon be permanently up under the tab “PEA Soup Prizes” at the top. ¶ ¶ Yearly Prizes: Best Discussion Originators (first place, $1,000; second place, $500): For this award category, all discussions of...

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Recent Media · Podcasts & Lectures


Hope and Vision in the Face of Collapse: The 4th R of Deep Adaptation
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Jimbo @ 75 : This article from five years ago. Just the other night after a long gap, I watched The Song Remains the Same again with a chum who hadn’t seen it before. Even on a first viewing, the in-your-face pomposity of it all, still ...
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Hayek’s Post-Positivist Empiricism: Experience Beyond Sensation : Jan Willem Lindemans’ chapter. Empiricismevolutionary epistemologyFriedrich HayekHayek in MindJan Willem LindemansKantphilosophical psychologypositivismsensory experience ...
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The Horizon of the Absolute
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Quicksand : This is the one song aside from Station to Station that has left Bowie commenters the most flummoxed. The most expansive discussion I’ve come across on Quicksand is on Arad Alper’s The Philosophy of Pop blog. While Chr ...
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Mentoring Workshop for Early-Career Women in Philosophy
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Artifacts, Aristotelianism and naturalism: One of the main reasons I don’t believe in (complex) artifacts is that the existence of an artifact would have to depend on our intentions. Whether some stones make up a sculpture depends on whether ...
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Peter Frederick Strawson: [Revised entry by Paul Snowdon and Anil Gomes on January 9, 2019. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Peter Frederick Strawson (1919 - 2006) was an Oxford-based philosopher whose career spanned the second half of ...
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Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Value: [Revised entry by Michael J. Zimmerman and Ben Bradley on January 9, 2019. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Intrinsic value has traditionally been thought to lie at the heart of ethics. Philosophers use a ...
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Philosophy Talk Podcast: Philosophy Outside Academia: By Ken Taylor and Cliff Sosis Cliff Sosis sat down to interview Ken Taylor of Philosophy Talk for his series, What Is It Like to ... Read more... ...
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The All-New PEA Soup Prizes!!
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Fear, Denial, and Loathing in the Philosophy of Mind.: THINKING FOR A LIVING: A PHILOSOPHER’S NOTEBOOK 17 PREVIOUS INSTALLMENTS #16: The political aesthetics of outer space. #15: The paradox of distributive social justice, and what is to be d ...
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Setiya on Murdoch: Just as anyone who might like Kacey Musgraves has almost certainly already heard her most recent album, so anyone with an interest in Iris Murdoch has probably already read Kieran Setiya’s review of Gary Browning on W ...
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The research university
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These are real things
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Sarah K. Robins Webinar on Memory & Optogenetic Intervention

The Brains blog is excited for the first webinar of the year over at Neural Mechanisms this Friday. The event is free. Find information about how and when to join the webinar here: https://www.neuralmechanisms.org/blog/january-03rd-2019 (and below). Memory and Optogenetic Intervention: Separating the Engram from the Ecphory Sarah Robins (University of Kansas) 11 January 2019h 15-17 – Greenwhich Mean Time Click to see what your local time is at this time. Abstract. Optogenetics makes possible the control of neural activity with light. In this paper, I explore how the development of this experimental tool has brought about methodological and theoretical advances in the neurobiological study of memory. I begin with Semon’s (1921) distinction between the engram and the ecphory, explaining how these concepts present a methodological challenge to investigating memory. Optogenetics provides a way to intervene into the engram without the ecphory tha... Read More ›

Brains Blog · Featured Blog

X-Phi Research Group at Florida State University
The Experimental Philosophy Research Group at Florida State University, which is co-directed by David Rose, Mike Bishop, Jack Justus, Al Mele, and yours truly, has a new website, including links to a number of resources that could be us...Read More ›

Empirically-Informed Approaches to Weakness of Will: A Brains Blog Roundtable
Weakness of will is a traditional puzzle in the philosophy of action. The puzzle goes something like this:  FOLK PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORY: If, at time t, an agent judges that it is better to do A than B, and she believes she is free...Read More ›

Upcoming Events at the Brains Blog
I am very pleased to announce a number of events that will take place on the Brains blog in early 2019: January 7-11: Roundtable discussion on weakness of will, organized by Julia Haas, with contributions from Nora Heinzelmann...Read More ›

CFP: Early Career Researcher Workshop in Philosophy of Mind and of Cognitive Science (Bochum)
Call for Papers: Second Bochum Early Career Researcher Workshop in Philosophy of Mind and of Cognitive Science Date: June 13th – June 14th, 2019 Location: Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany Submission deadline: March 17th, 2019 Keyno...Read More ›

CFP: Pluralistic Approaches to Folk Psychology
Special Issue of Synthese: “Folk Psychology: Pluralistic Approaches” Volume editors: Evan Westra (Toronto), Kristin Andrews (York), and Shannon Spaulding (Oklahoma State). Deadline: May 15th, 2019. Traditionally, ‘folk psychology’ has...Read More ›

The New X-phi Blog
Joe Ulatowski, Dan Weijers, and Justin Sytsma have recently revived the x-phi blog under the auspices of the Australasian Experimental Philosophy Group: xphiblog.com. Edouard Machery has recently put up a post on the Geography of Philoso...Read More ›

Call for Papers: Decentralised Governance: Hayek Amongst the Machines : Check out this Call for Papers Artificial intelligenceAustrian Economicsblockchaincosmos & taxiscryptocurrencydistributed knowledgedistributed ledger technologyFriedr ...
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Philo of Alexandria and the Construction of Jewishness in Early Christian Writings : I’ve just received my review copy of this which will appear as a joint review along with Philo of Alexandria: An Intellectual Biography. This past year ...
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The Moviegoer: Reissue : Reissue of Percy’s first novel with an afterword by Paul Elie. (Are there two afterwords? — both Elie and Richard Ford are listed). existentialismnew orleansPaul Eliephilosophical literatureRichard Fordthe ...
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C. S. Peirce and F. A. Hayek on the Abstract Nature of Sensation and Cognition : Jim Wible’s chapter. Charles Sanders PeirceCognitive neuroscienceFriedrich HayekHayek in MindJames wiblephilosophical psychology ...
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Reasons to Be Cheerful, Part 3 : As usual AllMusic gets it. The deeply funky grooves are down to Chaz Jankel, quite possibly the UK’s greatest funkmeister. The Sly influence is palpable and as a consequence this is solid party music to ...
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NOLA music picks : Here are my favourites from this year’s releases. In effect, a masterclass by each. OffBeat reviews here and here. Cajuncountryfunkin businessLouisianamusicnew orleansShamarr AllensoulYvette Landry ...
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The Emergent Patterns of Climate Change: You can’t understand climate change in pieces, says climate scientist Gavin Schmidt. It’s the whole, or it’s nothing. In this talk, Schmidt explains how he studies the big picture of ...
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Presentism and haecceities: Suppose that times are maximal consistent present-tense propositions. Then if we are to make sense of eternal recurrence—reality being exactly alike at two different times—it seems we need haecceities for events or...
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Semantic externalism and time: Here is a curious thing. Suppose that I’ve been lying in bed trying to fall asleep for a while. I’ve lost track of time. At t1, I know: “I haven’t fallen asleep yet.” At a later time t2, I know: “I haven’t falle...
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2018 Journal of the History of Philosophy Best Article Prize Awarded
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Enowning: Politico on the existence of Trump’s wall. The Wall exists, and yet it doesn’t. Philosophers and college burnouts have wrestled with precisely these sorts of existential dualities for generations. Descartes, of course, is famous for w...
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Philosophy of Religion: [Revised entry by Charles Taliaferro on January 8, 2019. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] First published Mon March 12, 2007; substantial revisions Wed Sep 11, 2013; substantially re-written in 2018 Philosophy of...
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To φ Or Not To φ
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X-Phi Research Group at Florida State University: The Experimental Philosophy Research Group at Florida State University, which is co-directed by David Rose, Mike Bishop, Jack Justus, Al Mele, and yours truly, has a new website, including lin ...
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New Article by Marika Rose and Anthony Paul Smith
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Not on our watch Oxford students vow: For their safe spaces and to drive upsetting thoughts from their heads those Oxford students who have signed a petition against Professor John Finnis on the grounds that he’s a terrible personpetitionshou ...
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Another video on Neoliberalism’s Demons: This one comes from my conversation with Anna Kornbluh at the Seminary Co-op in Chicago. ...
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Introduction: The Self-Emptying Subject Book Event: I’m very excited to launch our next book event, on Alex Dubilet’s The Self-Emptying Subject: Kenosis and Immanence, Medieval to Modern (Fordham University Press, 2018). We have s ...
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No Song for the Sidewalk: When I was growing up there were a few people who sang very memorable songs.  Probably I should not call them “songs” because they weren’t always musical, but I don’t know what to call them ot ...
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Identification and Self-knowledge: Luca Malatesti (left in the picture below) and Filip Čeč (right) collaborated on the project Classification and explanations of antisocial personality disorder and moral and legal responsibility in the conte ...
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