Philosophy can often be obscure. But is that because it’s complex, or made so?
We might hope that good arguments will eventually drive out bad arguments – in what Timothy Williamson calls “a reverse analogue of Gresham’s Law” – and we might want (almost?) complete freedom for ideas…
Wildlife corridors: four proposals to ‘rewild’ portions of North America.
Proposals to set aside vast tracts of land for wildlife raise ethical questions, challenging the human-centric view of the value of life.
Peter Singer and Anthony Fisher faced off in a debate over euthanasia on Thursday night.
Sydney University Catholic Society/YouTube
The goal in the Peter Singer-Anthony Fisher debate on euthanasia was never to change anyone’s mind but to speak to an existing base.
Our democratic ship of state is in bad shape.
Campaigns are now more focused on how to manipulate the electorate so you can govern as you see fit once you get power.
Moral judgment should not be based on knowledge that comes only from hindsight.
The film 13 Minutes dramatises an attempt by Georg Elser to assassinate Hitler in 1939, to prevent the war the Führer was preparing for. How clear-cut was the moral justification for that act?
René Magritte’s The False Mirror (1928).
© 2015 C. Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
A philosopher's thoughts on how an individual can overcome the feeling of helplessness in the face of global climate change.
Most of us can’t bend it like Beckham, for various reasons. But is that necessarily the worst thing?
Rather than hold on to the idea of equality of opportunity, it might be more accurate to say that we don’t really support it because it comes at too high a price.
Teaching Plato in Palestine?
Does God exist? Is piety worth it? Can violence be justified? Philosophy can offer a way to engage with these questions on which there are often widely differing beliefs.
How would Descartes approach this?
Child thinking via ClaudioValdes/www.shutterstock.com
Can you and should you stop free thought? Not in primary school.
Giving, or contributing, beyond ourselves is one of the strongest predictors of happiness and health.
A philosophy based on giving of ourselves to others may help us live more meaningful and fulfilling lives, while helping to bridge the extremes of our emotions and beliefs.
Religions can promote division and inequality in our societies.
Fundamentalists become warriors with a simple message of salvation that is found in a naïve and literal interpretation of ancient, sacred texts.
The pope's encyclical on ecology addresses all individuals who want to live with integrity – and their ability to take personal actions on global problems.
Is a person more than their brain?
The science behind an Italian doctor's plans to give a man a whole new body might be advanced, but philosophers have been asking what makes a person for centuries.
The debate about ethics classes in schools risks placing ethics in opposition to religion, whereas the classes will ultimately benefit all.
Seeking constant distractions and identifying with brands and status symbols, we struggle to escape the superficial self.
Shutterstock/Sean De Burca
In the first of our series, On Happiness, the question is whether unsustainable consumption and debt can ever bring us happiness. The global financial question was a chance to take stock, yet did we learn anything?
Under certain conditions, war may be morally permissible, or even necessary.
EPA/Said Yusuf Warsame
Political leaders frequently invoke Just War Theory to ground their explanations of why they are waging war against another state and how they plan to do so. What are the key components of this moral position?
There is precious little dignity available for those Australians who are in the last stages of their lives.
The contrast between rights with dignity and rights without is increasingly apparent with regard to two groups of Australians: retirees and those in aged-care facilities.
I have always been interested in how we try to understand the world in which we live, and artworks provide us with a great stimulus for such discussions. My research focuses on aesthetics, ethics and education…
Socrates made people think, but he also made them rather irritated.
Earlier this year, the ethicist Walter-Sinnot Armstrong asked whether philosophers were out of touch with, even contemptuous, of ordinary people and everyday life. The picture he paints isn’t flattering…
Former SS member Oskar Groening, 93, is on trial, charged with accessory in the murder of about 300,000 people at Auschwitz.
EPA/AXEL HEIMKEN / POOL
Oskar Groening has declared his moral guilt as an Auschwitz accountant. His trial, currently underway, points to difficult questions about the implications of our own participation in collective activities.