Ask Philosophers

Ever wonder what real, working philosophers think about subjects like medical immortality or whether alcoholics should be allowed to breed? Ask Philosophers has assembled a couple dozen professional philosophers to provide commentary on questions from the general public.

There is a paradox surrounding philosophy that AskPhilosophers seeks to address. On the one hand, everyone confronts philosophical issues throughout his or her life. But on the other, very few have the opportunity to learn about philosophy, a subject that is usually taught only at the college level. (Why? There is no good reason for this and plenty of bad ones.) AskPhilosophers aims to bridge this gap by putting the skills and knowledge of trained philosophers at the service of the general public.

Is thought possible without language? (re: Helen Keller)” … “What, if anything, distinguishes natural from artistic beauty?” The answers aren’t always 100% satisfying (philosophy never is), but they do a great job of bringing clearer focus to the questions themselves.

Can Non-Being and Being occupy the same space at the same time?” How many hands do you have? Two? Or do you have three? Your left hand, your right hand, and the non-existent third hand that’s attached to your head? Obviously, that last “hand” shouldn’t count. To say that you don’t have a third hand isn’t to say that you have a hand that possesses the particularly stunting property of non-existence.

Especially amazing is the fact that the site has been so successful in getting real philosophers to engage the public so actively/enthusiastically. A wonderful experiment.

Music: Devendra Banhart :: Michigan State

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