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Philosophy NowPhilosophy Now

Philosophy Now

August - September 2019

Philosophy Now is a magazine for everyone interested in ideas. It isn't afraid to tackle all the major questions of life, the universe and everything. It tries to corrupt innocent citizens by convincing them that philosophy can be exciting, worthwhile and comprehensible, and also to provide some light and enjoyable reading matter for those already ensnared by the muse, such as philosophy students and academics. It contains articles on all aspects of philosophy, plus book reviews, film reviews, news, cartoons, and the occasional short story.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Anja Publications Ltd
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6 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time1 min.
philosophy now

Philosophy Now, 43a Jerningham Road, Telegraph Hill, London SE14 5NQ United Kingdom Tel. 020 7639 7314 editors@philosophynow.org philosophynow.org Editor-in-Chief Rick Lewis Editors Grant Bartley, Anja Steinbauer Digital Editor Bora Dogan Design Grant Bartley, Tim Beardmore-Gray, Rick Lewis, Anja Steinbauer Book Reviews Editor Teresa Britton Film Editor Thomas Wartenberg Editorial Assistant Tim Beardmore-Gray Marketing Sue Roberts Administration Ewa Stacey, Tim Beardmore-Gray Advertising Team Jay Sanders, Ellen Stevens jay.sanders@philosophynow.org UK Editorial Board Rick Lewis, Anja Steinbauer, Bora Dogan, Grant Bartley US Editorial Board Dr Timothy J. Madigan (St John Fisher College), Prof. Charles Echelbarger, Prof. Raymond Pfeiffer, Prof. Massimo Pigliucci (CUNY - City College), Prof. Teresa Britton (Eastern Illinois Univ.) Contributing Editors Alexander Razin (Moscow State Univ.) Laura Roberts (Univ. of Queensland) David Boersema (Pacific University) UK Editorial Advisors Piers Benn, Constantine Sandis, Gordon Giles, Paul Gregory, John Heawood US Editorial Advisors Prof. Raymond Angelo Belliotti, Toni Vogel Carey, Prof. Harvey Siegel, Prof. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong Cover Image Stephen Lillie 2019.…

access_time4 min.
scientific knowledge

The scientific method is the path to knowledge in the secular age, many would say (especially secularists). But which science? Physics, biology, anthropology, sociology? And which method? Experiments, field observations, mathematical modelling, or some combination of these? And which knowledge? Current scientific knowledge, or some future ideal scientific knowledge? Welcome to our issue on science and philosophy. Two of the articles reflect on what biology can tell us about personal identity, a key question in philosophy. But the first three pieces look at the nature of the scientific method itself. And one thing they collectively demonstrate is that there is no single ‘scientific method’. There are actually several different methods, and which is used depends on what is being investigated. For instance, as far as I know, no experiment has ever…

access_time3 min.
news

Brainy Monkeys In an attempt to better understand human intelligence, Chinese scientists have implanted human genes in monkey brains. The gene microcephalin (MCPH1), thought to play a crucial role in human fetal brain development, was implanted in the brains of eleven rhesus monkey embryos by means of an engineered virus. Their brain development took longer than normal but the six who survived to adulthood performed much better than their peers in a control group when tested for short term memory and reaction times. The study by Lei Shi and others, published in the Beijing journal National Science Review, was a collaboration between Kunming Institute of Zoology in Yunan, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the University of North Carolina. The Poison, the Fish & the Solution In order to demonstrate that a chemical substance…

access_time1 min.
ai exhibition review

Ever wanted to smell the flowers of a tree that humans cut to extinction in 1912? Or to give your therapist a Turing Test? Then the Barbican, London, is where you need to be right now. Co-curated by philosopher Dr Suzanne Livingston and running until 26 August, AI: More Than Human is a thought provoking, thoroughly interactive exhibition. It opens by placing the pursuit of Artificial Intelligence within the context of the perennial human desire to awake the inanimate. Traditional Shinto beliefs, the Jewish Golem, alchemy, and Frankenstein are all explored as expressions of this desire. Visitors are then treated to a thorough history of AI as we know it today, from Ada Lovelace to AlphaGo. The timelines and reading materials are plentiful here, but neatly presented on interactive screens. Those…

access_time18 min.
philosophy of science the first 2½ millennia

With which of these three propositions do you most agree? A scientific theory must be: 1) A logically coherent explanation.2) Supported by evidence.3) Useful. If you are firmly of the opinion that one of these is the defining feature of science, then in philosophical terms you are either (1) a rationalist, (2) an empiricist, or (3) a pragmatist. Moreover, if you happen to be a scientist, then it is likely that your main interest is (1) Theoretical, (2) Experimental, or (3) Instrumental. More generally, you might just like to (1) Have an idea about how something works, (2) Find out how it works, or (3) Just make it work. When philosophers of science are doing what they are paid for, one of the key things they consider is what blend of the above…

access_time11 min.
einstein vs logical positivism

Logical positivism was a philosophical movement of the 1920s and 30s which wanted to introduce the methodology of science and mathematics to philosophy. As part of this ambition, the Vienna Circle (Wiener Kreis in German) of logical positivists tried to purge philosophy of metaphysics – by which they meant any speculation that could not be tested using the methods of modern empirical science. The members of the Vienna Circle, including its nominal leader Moritz Schlick, found the speculative claims of traditional metaphysics, especially those based on religion, to be false, uncertain, or sterile. For Rudolph Carnap, another influential member of the Circle, “the (pseudo)statements of metaphysics do not serve for the description of states of affairs.” They are, like poetry and music, “in the domain of art and not in the…

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