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

Featured Article · Eric Linus Kaplan

Masters of Unknowing

My old friend Huang used to say to me “When I was a kid I wanted to know stuff but as I’ve become older it has started to seem to me both more important, and more difficult, and more fun to learn how to not know stuff.”  And I said, as I usually did by that point in the evening, cause I was tired and drunk from Mekong whiskey and my feet had finally stopped being numb and settled in to really hurting “What are you talking about?”  “I honestly don’t even know.” he said ‘Why would I think that you would understand?  You’re from Brooklyn, I’m from Mae Sariang, you’re a Jewish American, I’m a Chinese Thai.  Why would I think you would even understand?  Let’s talk about something else.”  But I said “Okay are you talking about local minimums?”  “What are you talking about?”asked Huang. ¶ “Local minimums mean you have climbed to the top of a...

Read More › - meta pro trad

Recent Media · Podcasts & Lectures


How We Think of Our Lives: Boredom in Contemporary Literature
pro IAI.tv -



The History and Politics of Boredom
meta trad IAI.tv -



Between Knowing and Believing
meta trad IAI.tv -



Beckett's Political Imagination
meta trad IAI.tv -



What Is Truth? Four Different Answers
meta sci trad IAI.tv -



Mini-Heap
pro Daily Nous -


Enowning: 3.A.M. interviews James Orr. Crudely put, Heidegger argued that most of the problems we encounter when thinking about time stem from treating it as a strange sort of substance, when it fact is no more than a way or ‘mode’ of being in the wo ...
meta trad Enowning -



The Worst Reviewer/Editor Comments You’ve Received
pro Daily Nous -



Should contemporary philosophers read Ockham? Or: what did history ever do for us? (guest post by Martin Lenz)
meta trad Daily Nous -



Vere Chappell (1930-2019)
pro trad Daily Nous -


Masters of Unknowing: My old friend Huang used to say to me “When I was a kid I wanted to know stuff but as I’ve become older it has started to seem to me both more important, and more difficult, and more fun to learn how to not k ...
meta pro trad Eric Linus Kaplan -


How can you be yourself if there is no self?: This post, which is cross-posted on Love of All Wisdom, follows seven posts of mine on that blog that articulate what I take to be a key, often implicit, ideal) underlying much modern Western popu ...
meta trad The Indian Philosophy Blog -


How can you be yourself if there is no self?: The rise of qualitative individualism in the West coincides relatively closely with Western interest in Buddhism. Nietzsche and Emerson, two of the most influential qualitative individualist think ...
meta trad Love of All Wisdom -


Reading WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY? (2): strange loops and concrete universality: FEEDBACK LOOPS The book WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY? can be seen as circular and self-correcting, and its end gives us important clues as to how to read its beginning. The book, ...
meta trad Agent Swarm -


Reading WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY? (1): quasi-causal reading and non-standard noesis: I am going to talk about my reading of Deleuze and Guattari’s last book written together: WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY? This poses the question of the criteria that on ...
trad Agent Swarm -


How We Think of Our Lives: Boredom in Contemporary Literature

I’m bored in the U.S.AHow did it happen?– Father John Misty, 'Bored in the U.S.A.' Recently I found myself teaching Donald Barthelme’s now classic postmodern story “The Balloon” to undergraduate students in an American literature survey.  When I canvassed for reactions to the piece, I was surprised to hear a majority of the students describe the story as “boring.”  Barthelme’s surrealistic tale, in which an enormous balloon inexplicably appears over a large swath of Manhattan one day and elicits a bevy of citizen reactions, isn’t exactly what one would call dull.  That’s a little like calling Dali’s drooping clocks tiresome.  Nevertheless, the story’s dizzying language, weirdness, and lack of plot failed to keep some students’ attention. But my students were in good reading company.  In The Pleasure of the Text (1973), even Roland Barthes admits he sometimes becomes bored while reading, though boredom’s threat also ensures his readerly bliss.  Yet what is indicative of the reader’s ... Read More ›

IAI.tv · Featured Blog

The History and Politics of Boredom
When you’re bored—really bored—it feels like forever. A lived eternity. And so for some people, boredom turns into negative revelation: of the meaninglessness of it all, the senselessness of life itself. But this nihilistic dynamic shoul...Read More ›

Between Knowing and Believing
Like everyone else, I long to know and embrace what is true and trustworthy. Yet as I get older, I have reluctantly come to the view that I know less and believe more – not because I have lapsed into some form of credulity, but rather be...Read More ›

Beckett's Political Imagination
Beckett’s work has become increasingly topical. Over the past six months, comparisons between the British government’s Brexit negotiations and Endgame have cropped up regularly in the press, and Waiting for Godot has been staged at the I...Read More ›

What Is Truth? Four Different Answers
Everyone knows that a belief is true if it corresponds with the facts. This is the first theory of truth, and it has only two problems: what to make of correspondence, and what to make of facts. Facts, said the twentieth century logician...Read More ›

How Western Philosophy Became Racist
Open up almost any book on the history of philosophy published over the last 150 years and you’ll likely find much the same story: philosophy arose out of the blue in ancient Greece about 2600 years ago, when Thales theorised that water ...Read More ›

Can There Be Belief Without Language?
We can wonder about what others are thinking or feeling without ever hearing them say a word. My toddler holds an empty ice cream cone, looking despondently at a melting ball of goo on the ground. It is obvious that she is sad she lost h...Read More ›


How Western Philosophy Became Racist
pro trad IAI.tv -



Can There Be Belief Without Language?
meta sci value IAI.tv -



Is Extinction Bad?
meta sci IAI.tv -



The Santa Claus Lie
meta sci IAI.tv -



The Philosophy of Fasting
meta IAI.tv -



The Philosophy of Punk
meta pro trad IAI.tv -



Modelling Life in Art and Science
meta sci IAI.tv -


Properties, relations and functions: Many philosophical discussions presuppose a picture of reality on which, fundamentally, there are objects which have properties and stand in relations. But if we look to how science describes the world, it...
meta sci value Alexander Pruss -


Enowning: Karen Siegel on her opera The Hat: Arendt Meets Heidegger...
pro trad Enowning -


Recently Published Book Spotlight: Neoliberalism’s Demons: Adam Kotsko teaches in the Shimer Great Books School of North Central College. He is the author, most recently, of The Prince of This World ... Read more......
pro Blog of the APA -



Mini-Heap
meta pro Daily Nous -


4. Composite Subjectivity and the Panpsychic Universe: So let’s circle back to the combination problem for panpsychism, that got me on this topic in the first place. Despite reading and writing a lot about it, I’m still never quite sure what ...
meta sci Brains Blog -



Fredonia Philosophy Saved, For Now
pro Daily Nous -



Mini-Heap
pro Daily Nous -


Me and my vulva: 100 women reveal all: From thi morning’s Guardian: First it was breasts, then penises – now photographer Laura Dodsworth has taken portraits of 100 vulvas. She tells Liv Little why. Below: eight women’s stories ...
meta pro value Feminist Philosophers -


1000-Word Philosophy Site: An excellent new resource, both for students and teachers! 1000-Word Philosophy introduces people to the key ideas of a topic in, well, 1000 words or less. Here’s a very nice example, by Taylor Cyr, on Manipul ...
pro trad PEA Soup -


CFP: RoME (U Colorado): The Center for Values and Social Policy in the Philosophy Department at the University of Colorado, Boulder is pleased to invite paper proposals for the twelfth annual RoME congress.  Papers from all areas of ethics an ...
pro trad PEA Soup -


The Philosophical Case for Robot Friendship: Here’s another new paper of mine. This one makes the case for robot friends. This actually started life as one of my more popular blog posts. The paper is obviously more fully developed than ...
pro Philosophical Disquisitions -


Bias in funding competitions focussed on Leadership: A Canadian study found that women do equally well in grant competition focussed on ideas. But men outperform women in competition on leadership, which is known to be stereotyped as male. Re ...
pro Feminist Philosophers -


CFP: Process thought and feminism: The 12th International Whitehead Conference will have a section on process thought and feminism. More information on https://www.whitehead2019.org/call-for-papers We are pleased to announce that the 12th Int ...
pro trad Feminist Philosophers -


Neoliberalism’s Demons Book Event: A Contribution from Amaryah Shaye Armstrong: This post is by Amaryah Shaye Armstrong, a doctoral candidate in the Graduate Department of Religion at Vanderbilt University. Neoliberalism’s Demons is an exciti ...
meta trad An und für sich -


Yesterday’s Frontpage