Confucius on Loyalty and Betrayal
Would you send your father to prison?
For Confucius, one’s personal loyalties to family, friends, co-workers and superiors are more important than the rules of some abstract ethical theory. (more...)
Kant on Autonomy and Human Rights
Are humans meant to be free?
The theory of evolution changed our understanding of our own humanity, but overlooks that we are able to act against our instincts and to be truly free. (more...)
Thales of Miletus
A stroll through the history of philosophy
Thales of Miletus is generally cited as one of the first philosophers, although his contributions extended to many sciences and even to business endeavors. (more...)
Aristotle and the Roots of Deep Ecology
Modern ecological ethics reaches back to Aristotle and his idea that the flourishing of any one thing is dependent on the flourishing of everything else. (more...)
Life Is a Skill
Aristotle on living a life well through exercising one’s virtues. (more...)
Kant’s Ethics: What is a Categorical Imperative?
A Daily Philosophy primer
Kant’s ethics is based on the value of one’s motivation and two so-called Categorical Imperatives, or general rules that must apply to every action. (more...)
Aristotle on moral development
The three types of human beings
For Aristotle, the moral development of a person progresses in three stages: from akrates, to enkrates, to sophron or wise person. (more...)
Do Unicorns Exist?
And what, please, is an ontological commitment?
A rant about the ontological commitment of the existential quantifier. (more...)
Love is All Around
Eryximachos’ views in Plato’s Symposion
In Plato’s Symposion, the doctor Eryximachos says that love is the harmony of opposites. This resonates with beliefs in the traditional medicine of many cultures, as well as with our concept of a “balanced” person. (more...)
September 26: Happy Birthday, Martin Heidegger!
September 26: Martin Heidegger’s Birthday (1889-1976) (more...)
Can love be forever?
In Plato’s Symposium, Plato defines love as the desire for the eternal possession of the good. (more...)
September 23: Happy Birthday, Kublai Khan!
Xanadu, poets, pop singers, and a day devoid of significance
Did you know that singer Olivia Newton-John is the granddaughter of the famous physicist Max Born, one of the two people who claimed to have discovered the uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics? (more...)
Let’s Talk About Love
The complexities of understanding love
Love is a very complex phenomenon that encompasses sex, friendship, self-love and selflessness, as well as God’s love in many religious traditions. (more...)
September 22: John Conway (1937-2020)
The inventor of the Game of Life
John Horton Conway (1937-2020), mathematician, inventor of the “Game of Life” simulation of cellular automata. (more...)
September 21: Happy Birthday, Bill Murray!
Without Bill Murray many movies of the past 44 years would have been a lot less memorable. (more...)
Freedom is always the freedom to think otherwise
Rosa Luxemburg today
Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919), socialist revolutionary, once said: “Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently.” (more...)
August 27: Happy Birthday, Human Rights!
August 27, 1789: Declaration of the Rights of the Man and the Citizen
The French Declaration of the Rights of the Man and the Citizen is a remarkable document, not only because its main ideas found their way into many national constitutions and the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (more...)
August 26: Happy Birthday, Mother Teresa!
Being good doesn’t mean that one has to be perfect.
Mother Teresa, born August 26, was a divisive Saint who devoted her life to the care of the poorest in Calcutta, India. (more...)
August 25: Happy Birthday, Galileo’s Telescope!
Was Galileo ultimately right?
Being right is a relative thing. No one illustrates this better than today’s celebrant: Galileo’s telescope, presented to the world on August 25, 1609. (more...)
August 25: Happy Birthday, Gutenberg Bible!
How the world changed on an August afternoon in 1456
In 1456, Johannes Gutenberg of Mainz, Germany, printed the first Bible with his new printing press using moveable type. In time, this led to an explosion of books and literacy and to the world as we know it today. (more...)