Consciousness Explained in Three Billion Pages

Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman has recently been getting popular attention for a theory that holds consciousness as fundamental—that is, “…not as something derivative or emergent from a prior physical world”, which he supports with a novel account of the relationship between objects and perception… Continue Reading

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Designer Babies: Reproduction Rights and (So-Called) Disability

Here’s an interesting case: A deaf couple decide they’d like to have a deaf baby, and manage to do so — twice, in fact — by enlisting a sperm donor with five generations of congenital deafness. Did this couple do something wrong by — to paraphrase Alta… Continue Reading

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You Are (Probably Not) a Computer Simulation

This is a revised version of an article that originally appeared in the Spring 2014 edition of The Gadfly, Columbia University’s undergraduate philosophy magazine. Are you a computer simulation? Oxford-based philosopher Nick Bostrom argues that it’s highly probable that you are.… Continue Reading

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The Failure of Philosophy: A Success Story

This article, which deals with the relationship of failure to philosophy, originally appeared in The Gadfly (Columbia University’s Undergraduate Philosophy Journal). The images are of an architectural model that is not executable at the size of a building, yet represents the… Continue Reading

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The Genetically Modified Guitarist: Genetic Enhancement, Musical Experience, and the Good Art Gene

The following article originally appeared in The Gadfly, Columbia University’s Undergraduate Philosophy Journal. In an episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast (5/16/2009) dealing with the topic of genetic enhancement, host Nigel Warburton poses a thought experiment to his guest, philosopher Allen Buchanan, in… Continue Reading

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