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Snooping Around Snopes: Assessing Assessments of Fake News
Snopes.com has become an indispensable and entertaining site for assessing the status of the urban legends and fake news stories that fascinate us. Any teacher or parent of high school students in the early fall of 2016 had toView Tool »
On the Beautiful and the Sublime
On the Beautiful and the Sublime…Aesthetics as Subjective Experience One of the longstanding questions that’s been debated in the field of aesthetics involves the nature of Beauty; one question in this area asks us where Beauty lies, in the objectView Tool »
Truth, Lies and Bullshit
Part 1: What is the difference between Truth, a Lie and Bullshit? Students should begin by writing brief definitions of these words –> WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? TRUTH, LIE, SATIRE/ JOKE, FICTION, MISTAKE, BULLSHIT (or, politely, BS) After 10 minutes, discuss how these concepts overlapView Tool »
Nagel’s What is it like to be a bat?
In his article, “What is it like to be a bat?” Thomas Nagel argues that there are facts about the conscious experience that are subjective and can only be known from that subjective perspective. Even if we know all theView Tool »
Searle’s Chinese Room: Do computers think?
Can a computer think? John Searle’s Chinese Room argument can be used to argue that computers do not “think,” that computers do not understand the symbols that they process. For example, if you’re typing an email to your friend onView Tool »
God: All-Good or All-Evil…is there any Difference?
A Topic Concerning the Question of Evil A long-simmering debate in theology involves the status of the classical definition of God. Traditionally, one area of agreement between Theists and Atheists has been in the definition of God; without this agreement,View Tool »
Animal Minds: puzzling over Puppies and Parrots
For much of modern science, since the Enlightenment, animals were generally thought to be automatons: materialist robots programmed to behave in certain ways. Rene Descartes drew a sharp distinction between thinking beings, humans, and everything else, matter. 20th Century behaviorismView Tool »
The Problem of Evil
In the Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions, one of the major problems for theists [those who believe that there is a God] is the “Problem of Evil.” It runs like this: If God is all-good, all-knowing, and all-powerful, how can there be evilView Tool »
Can God be Happy or Sad?
One of the central questions in Theology involves the nature of God. While religious studies employs different standards of proof that other disciplines in philosophy, one longstanding method has involved looking for logical consistency among different traits proposed. In thisView Tool »
Personal Identity in Memento
Personal Identity I ask students to bring their baby or early childhood pictures to class. After they try matching names with images of their classmates, I ask a question about their own picture: Are you the same person todayView Tool »