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

Featured Article · Philosophy of Religion

Derek Michaud on “What Norms and Values Define Excellent Philosophy of Religion?”

Derek Michaud is Lecturer of Philosophy at the University of Maine. We invited him to answer the question “What norms or values define excellent philosophy of religion? as part of our “Philosophers of Religion on Philosophy of Religion” series. ¶ Excellence in the philosophy of religion, whether in scholarship, public presentation, or classroom instruction, is sensitive to the history and significance of religious ideas and practices for living human beings. The philosophy of religion is best when it seeks at once to contribute to philosophy as a sub-division thereof and generally to religious studies as one approach among many thereto. Philosophers of religion should remain therefore humble students of both religion and philosophy. ¶ Perhaps we should start with the obvious. When we speak of the “philosophy of religion” we assume, methodologically at least, that religion is not philosophy and philosophy is not religion. In modern Western philosophy, this is basically uncontroversial in theory. A fair approximation of the...

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Recent Media · Podcasts & Lectures


Time Is What We Are – Uncertain
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Michael Oakeshott on the History of Political Thought : What did Oakeshott mean by the “history of political thought”? This is the question Martyn Thompson addresses in his essay “Michael Oakeshott on the History of Political Thought.” He hig ...
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Motorcycles and the Meaning of Life : Check out Craig Bourne’s popular philosophy book — a couple of brief extracts below. Bike-wise, Moto Guzzi was my first love and with the release of the V7 III Carbon Dark (below), my pulse ha ...
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Has Ricky Gervais read Walker Percy? : Regarding suicide, in his very thoughtful review of After Life Philip Martin writes: I can’t be the only person who wonders if Gervais has read Walker Percy. after lifelost in the cosmosphilip mart ...
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Solti’s Parsifal : Below is Stephen Follows’ entry for Solti in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Solti, Sir Georg (1912–1997), conductor, was born György Stern in Vérmezö utca, in the Buda district of Budapest, on 21 October ...
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Pryor from NYU to UNC
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Women in Philosophy: The Limits of Consent in Sexual Ethics: by Ellie Anderson When it comes to sex, public discourse today revolves around consent. ‘Affirmative’ consent, ‘enthusiastic’ consent, and “Yes means yes!” movements abound. Consent ...
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Philosophers on Medicine Podcast: Philosophy Outside Academia: by Jonathan Fuller It is no revelation that there is philosophy in medicine. Bioethics contains ethics, and bioethics is a booming enterprise. But what about ... Read more... ...
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DePaul Students Ask University to Censure Philosophy Professor for Writings on Palestinians
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An Experiment in Philosophy and Poetry (guest post by Aaron Meskin)
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Contest Idea: Can You Write an Philosophical Argument That Convinces Research Participants to Give Some of Their Bonus Money to Charity?: In a series of studies supported by The Life You Can Save, Chris McVey and I have been showing research ...
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Derek Michaud on “What Norms and Values Define Excellent Philosophy of Religion?”
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Under-explored Epistemic Uses of the Imagination
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On Moral Truth: In March I gave a lecture on the concept of moral truth at Brown University. If you are interested in practical truth, practical reason, self-knowledge, or conscience, you may be interested in this.  You can download and liste ...
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Here at Feminist Philosophers…
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Derek Michaud on “What Norms and Values Define Excellent Philosophy of Religion?”

Derek Michaud is Lecturer of Philosophy at the University of Maine. We invited him to answer the question “What norms or values define excellent philosophy of religion? as part of our “Philosophers of Religion on Philosophy of Religion” series. Excellence in the philosophy of religion, whether in scholarship, public presentation, or classroom instruction, is sensitive to the history and significance of religious ideas and practices for living human beings. The philosophy of religion is best when it seeks at once to contribute to philosophy as a sub-division thereof and generally to religious studies as one approach among many thereto. Philosophers of religion should remain therefore humble students of both religion and philosophy. Perhaps we should start with the obvious. When we speak of the “philosophy of religion” we assume, methodologically at least, that religion is not philosophy and philosophy is not religion. In modern Western philosophy, this is basically uncon... Read More ›

Philosophy of Religion · Featured Blog

Conference Announcement: Varieties of Intentionality
Dates: Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 Location:   The New School, Arnhold Hall, Room I-202, 55 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011 Website: www.varietiesofintentionality.com  On Friday May 10 and Satu...Read More ›

4. Cognitive Structures, Predictive Coding and the Free Energy Principle
As I explained in the previous post, CSR’s account of scientific representation is based on the neuroscientific account of the brain-world relationship. The neuroscientific account is presented in terms of the Predictive Processing Theo...Read More ›

3. Introducing Cognitive Structures
In the previous post, I have remarked that the existing forms of SR do not use the full capacity of their logical frameworks to account for a substantial relation between the structure of the scientific theories and reality. If we regim...Read More ›

2. A Tale of Two Theories
Previously I introduced the problem of scientific representation and remarked that Cognitive Structural Realism (CSR) aims to address it. CSR is (evidently) a version of SR, but it is also the inheritor of Ronald Giere and colleagues’ C...Read More ›

Ophelia Deroy on Defining and measuring cognition ​in predictive accounts of the mind
The Brains blog is excited about the next Neural Mechanisms webinar this Friday. It is free. You can find information about how and when to join the webinar below or at the Neural Mechanisms website—where you can also join their mailing...Read More ›

1. Cognitive Structural Realism
I am grateful to John Schwenkler for giving me the opportunity to present my first book Cognitive Structural Realism, which aims to consolidate the ties between the philosophy of science and cognitive science. There already is some conn...Read More ›

A Confederacy of Dunces: John Miller in discussion with Jessica Hooten Wilson : Listen here. I’m pleased to say that Jessica is part of the lineup for this forthcoming volume. This is the first public airing of the bespoke cover art. &# ...
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Gatemouth : The maestro — born on this day. I pretty much have all of his back catalogue going back to the 50s. bluegrassbluesCajunClarence "Gatemouth" Browncountryfiddlefunk zydekoguitarJazzLouisianaSwingtexas ...
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Berlin, Hayek, Arendt and Oakeshott in Chinese : My chum Chor-yung Cheung, the author of the Hayek title, has alerted me to this series. Roy Tseng, who I also know, is the author of the Oakeshott volume; the Berlin book is by YEH Hao, a stude ...
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Un Début dans la Vie Humaine: Michael Oakeshott on education : Still on an educational theme, Paul’s chapter coincidently comes soon after I’d attended a conference on Maria Montessori. As a Montessori kid myself, I now see the ma ...
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Nefarious Agents: Elliot Abrams
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Education in the Marketplace : Published today. Had the pleasure of meeting Kevin in person this past weekend: he has a really sharp and interesting quality of mind. classical liberalismEducationKevin Currie-KnightLibertarianismPhilosophy of ...
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Philo of Alexandria: Philosophical Discourse/Ethical Discourse : Somehow I missed this recent book but not this announcement. Any conference with the participation of David Runia is a big deal. (Still working on a joint review of Maren Niehof ...
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Enowning: How to be more authentic....
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Talking Teaching: Building an Online Community: by Wendy Turgeon This post developed from a Blog Contributor who presented for the Talking Teaching discussion series hosted by the APA Committee on Teaching. ... Read more......
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A tale of three horses: Consider three horses: Alexander’s Bucephalus, Gandalf’s Shadowfax and Dawn. Here, I am using "Dawn" as the name of a horse that has come into existence just now, so that it is now the first moment of exist...
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Mind Chunks
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Suffering and Virtue: 2019.04.29 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Michael S. Brady, Suffering and Virtue, Oxford University Press, 2018, 178pp., $55.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198812807. Reviewed by Erica Lucast Stonestr...
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Law and Ideology: [Revised entry by Christine Sypnowich on April 23, 2019. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] If law is a system of enforceable rules governing social relations and legislated by a political system, it might seem obvious t...
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Documenting the Impact and Reach of the NEH: by Cecily Hill In 2017, in response to the Trump administration’s threat to cut funding to the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities ... Read more......
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A Case for Removing Confederate Monuments (Guest Post by Travis Timmerman for Applied Ethics April)
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Cluckology 3: The Problem of Non-Binary Questions.: APP Editors’ Note: If you’re using Windows, in order to make the cartoon image bigger and more readable, just hit “Ctrl +” twice or three times, whatever works best. If you’re using a Mac th ...
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Why Isn’t the Online World the “Real” World?: We often talk about a distinction between the online world and the “real” world? We say text or email conversations aren’t real conversations. We say we want to meet people IRL—’in real life ...
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Aristotelians ought to be presentists
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Hyperobjects in iD: Thanks to the amazing Greta Thunberg, I get to be in iD for the first time. I guess there was a very good review of Hyperobjects in Vice by Ingrid Luquet-Gad, that’s about it... And it’s an honor to be in there ...
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Croatian Dark Ecology: ...so glad to have been translated into this language! Soon, and I guess it’s somewhat close geographically speaking, comes Romanian Hyperobjects (I think! Hard to keep up.) ...
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What’s Wrong With Using Chalk On Tires For Parking Enforcement ?
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