I understand I’m arriving a little late to this phenomenon, but I think this video provides clear evidence for why you should do philosophy - that is to say, so you can know what things mean.

Thanks to Melissa for the tip!

Thanks to Melissa for the tip!

RITHMOMACHIA


The Philosophers’ Game

About the Philosophy for Secondary Students Program


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Socrates and Glaucon on the Home Shopping Network


  • SOCRATES: Good evening, Glaucon. You look troubled.
  • GLAUCON: I am, Socrates.
  • SOCRATES: What worries you so?
  • GLAUCON: Look at my kitchen floor. That brown scum is the stain of fowl livers. I spilled them earlier today and cleaned them up, but the stains remain.
  • SOCRATES: I see.
  • GLAUCON: The stains are attracting countless pests with their foul odor and bacteria. There is no way to clean them up.
  • SOCRATES: Are you sure of that?
  • GLAUCON: Yes. To do so, I would need some convenient means of cleaning and sterilization.
  • SOCRATES: And you are convinced such a means does not exist?
  • GLAUCON: Socrates, I have lived in this city for the majority of my life and, knowing the things I know, I do not think it is possible for something to clean and sterilize at the same time.
  • SOCRATES: Tell me, Glaucon, what does "clean" mean?
  • GLAUCON: Why, it means the opposite of dirty, Socrates.
  • SOCRATES: Surely it must mean something more than that.
  • GLAUCON: I don't understand, Socrates.
  • SOCRATES: If "clean" means the opposite of "dirty," then to clean is to rid a space of dirt or plague, yes?
  • GLAUCON: Yes, Socrates.
  • SOCRATES: So cleanliness is the complete obliteration of dirt, bacteria and unsightly stains. Am I right?
  • GLAUCON: Yes, Socrates.
  • SOCRATES: So to effectively clean, one must also sterilize, as a sterile surface is one that is also not dirty?
  • GLAUCON: Yes, Socrates.
  • SOCRATES: But an ordinary mop will not do this?
  • GLAUCON: No, Socrates. Look what a hassle it is for me to use! And none of the stains are coming off!
  • SOCRATES: Yes. It is quite impossible to get one's kitchen satisfactorily clean with an ordinary mop. But one could add Dirt-Fighting Technology™ to an ordinary mop, could he not?
  • GLAUCON: It depends on what sort of technology it is.
  • SOCRATES: It would consist of the elongation of the mop's bristles and an internal motor that causes the mop's head to swivel conveniently with the flip of a switch.
  • GLAUCON: Then yes, I agree that one could add such technology to an ordinary mop. But would it still be an ordinary mop, Socrates?
  • SOCRATES: Very astute, Glaucon. It would not. For convenience's sake, let's call it the EZ-Klean Mop™. Now answer me this: would the EZ-Klean Mop ™, given that it has the Dirt-Fighting Technology™ I've just described, be able to more effectively rid spaces of dirt or plague?
  • GLAUCON: Yes.
  • SOCRATES: So you agree that it can clean better than an ordinary mop?
  • GLAUCON: I believe so.
  • SOCRATES: You're not fully convinced?
  • GLAUCON: I see that it can clean, but how will I sterilize my kitchen floor with it, Socrates? I need to get these stains out.
  • SOCRATES: I will answer your question with a question, Glaucon. What do you suppose the good men at Monsanto have been doing for the past fifteen years?
  • GLAUCON: I don't know, Socrates.
  • SOCRATES: They've been developing a Dirt-Fighting Formula™ that is stronger than any soap. This formula is safe to use in the home, and it can sterilize any surface. Do you suppose such a formula could increase the cleaning power of the EZ-Klean Mop™?
  • GLAUCON: Yes, Socrates.
  • SOCRATES: And you've already admitted that, with its longer bristles and swiveling head, the EZ-Klean Mop™ can clean far better than an ordinary mop, have you not?
  • GLAUCON: I have.
  • SOCRATES: And I've just said that the Dirt-Fighting Formula™, which is sold with the EZ-Klean Mop™, can sterilize any surface, have I not?
  • GLAUCON: You have.
  • SOCRATES: So it seems to me that such a thing exists which can both sterilize and clean: The EZ-Klean Mop™.
  • GLAUCON: Why, you're right, Socrates.
  • SOCRATES: Are you satisfied now, Glaucon?
  • GLAUCON: Well... not just yet, Socrates. I'd like to own such a mop.
  • SOCRATES: You can, Glaucon. How much are you willing to pay for the EZ-Klean Mop™?
  • GLAUCON: Sixty dollars.
  • SOCRATES: But the mop only costs $49.99, Glaucon. As this is less than you were originally willing to pay, I assume you would willingly pay this amount.
  • GLAUCON: Yes, Socrates!
  • SOCRATES: Call the number at the bottom of your screen, Glaucon, and the EZ-Klean Mop™ will be shipped directly to your home. And if you call now, you'll receive a free can of SprayOn Hair™. Bald to fab in minutes!
  • GLAUCON: Thank you, Socrates! This will make my life so much easier!
  • SOCRATES: Do not thank me, Glaucon, for I have merely demonstrated to you what you already know about the EZ-Klean Mop™.
  • (via McSweeny's.)
Taken from “Hark! A Vagrant” to commemorate the epic Portland trip. James Billingsley briefly succeeded to the throne of Portland in a Stumptown coffeeshop before finding out that they could not take debit in America, at which point he had to relinquish the kingship to a man with a strange mechanical eye-patch who will no longer be discussed.

Taken from “Hark! A Vagrant” to commemorate the epic Portland trip. James Billingsley briefly succeeded to the throne of Portland in a Stumptown coffeeshop before finding out that they could not take debit in America, at which point he had to relinquish the kingship to a man with a strange mechanical eye-patch who will no longer be discussed.

Graduating philosophy students looking for a foot in the door take note!

Graduating philosophy students looking for a foot in the door take note!

Mike Anthony Wages a Cold War on Stalinist Metaphysics (Now in 3D!)


This paper raises and defends three classes of objections to Ted Sider’s argument from vagueness in his recent work, Four-Dimensionalism. The first class argues that Sider’s case for four-dimensionalism is superfluous, that is, “mereologically promiscuous three-dimensionalists” can accept his argument yet maintain a compatible variety of three-dimensionalism that accepts the existence of temporal parts as improper parts of otherwise enduring wholes. Second, Sider’s argument begs the question of unrestricted composition by presupposing an unrestricted conception of objecthood that the three-dimensionalist can freely reject. Finally, Sider’s project offends ontology by undermining a deep ontological distinction between temporal existence and extension. Even assuming that any defense of this distinction will be circular, Sider’s account contradicts our commonsense and reflective thought concerning existence without sufficient reason to justify this revision. Since three-dimensionalism can preserve our distinctions inconjunction with granting existence to temporal parts, it is to be preferred.

Anthony, Mike, “Improper Parts, Restricted Existence, and Use: Three Arguments against Ted Sider’s Four-Dimensionalism” (Presented this Saturday at the Pacific University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference in Portland, OR: Marsh 206, 8:00-8:45)

Update: Congratulations to Mike for winning Best Paper at the conference!

"You think Kant is tough? Try reading Scotus in the original."

"You think Kant is tough? Try reading Scotus in the original."