PROGRESS AND THE FUTURE OF PHILOSOPHY
Houlgate Books
by Laurence D. Houlgate
1M ago
  PROGRESS AND THE FUTURE OF PHILOSOPHY In the first chapter of Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill reflects on “the little progress” that philosophers have made about the criterion of right and wrong.  He writes that although the debate has been going on for more than two thousand years, philosophers are still locked in a “vigorous warfare” about the foundations of morality.  The progress of which Mill speaks is not confined to the debate about the foundations of morality.  Philosophers have also been arguing for centuries about the correct justification of such beliefs as th ..read more
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Must Christians Oppose Abortion?
Houlgate Books
by Laurence D. Houlgate
3M ago
  Guest post by Dr. John Messerly, author of the blog Reason and Meaning: Philosophical Reflections on Life, Death, and the Meaning of Life.  Printed here with permission. Must Christians Oppose Abortion?  Most professional philosophers do not find abortion morally problematic. Still, many Christians believe they must oppose abortion on religious grounds. But must they? Does such opposition really derive from Christian Scripture or church tradition?  Religious scriptures are problematic for multiple reasons. Typically they survived as oral traditions before ..read more
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Woke Opinions: Governor Ron DiSantis vs John Stuart Mill
Houlgate Books
by Laurence D. Houlgate
3M ago
The Many Meanings of 'Woke' A few weeks ago I received an email from a website subscriber who was worriedabout allowing his son to read my study guides on the classics of philosophy.   Here is what he wrote: “My concern is: are these studied from the perspective of the time they lived or are they critiqued from today’s woke perspective? I am not a fan of today’s logic or lack of it and believe these men need to be studied from their point of view.”    I replied that there is no such thing as “today’s logic.”  Like mathematics, there is only one logic in philosophy, al ..read more
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Philosophies of life are usually not philosophical
Houlgate Books
by Laurence D. Houlgate
4M ago
Analytic philosophy and questions about the philosophy of life I recently heard that many college students come into their first philosophy class expecting that they will study and discuss a variety of philosophies of life.  They hope that they might find advice about how they should live their life. They are disappointed when they find out that question “What are the best philosophies of life?” is not on the professor’s syllabus. The absence of philosophy of life questions in a philosophy class is more likely to happen if the professor is an analytic philosopher who thinks that all legit ..read more
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ABORTING A HUMAN EMBRYO IS NOT MURDER
Houlgate Books
by Laurence D. Houlgate
7M ago
  The idea of a natural right is nonsense  At this writing, the U.S. Supreme Court has removed a constitutional right: the right of a woman to to have an abortion in the first trimester of her pregnancy.  From now on, it will be up to the states to decide whether women should be allowed to abort a fetus under certain conditions or not at all.   In some states the legislature might decide to treat all abortions as murder. Punishment of a woman for aborting a fetus at any stage of her pregnancy will be prosecuted and punished the same as if she had killed her newborn child.&n ..read more
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THE U.S. SUPREME COURT AND THE POLITICS OF ABORTION
Houlgate Books
by Laurence D. Houlgate
7M ago
    I am writing this on the day of a huge protest at the White House demanding action by the president to do more to help women whose right to abortion has been taken away by the US Supreme Court. President Biden said that the Court's decision to overturn Roe v Wade was a "political" decision that can only be reversed by appointing liberal justices to the Court or by electing liberal senators who will vote to codify Roe v. Wade. In other words, we should make another political decision about abortion by replacing pro-life justices with pro-choice justices.    When it i ..read more
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CLASSIC PHILOSOPHERS ON ABORTION AND ABORTION LAW
Houlgate Books
by Laurence D. Houlgate
8M ago
Classic Philosophers on Abortion and Abortion Law    Here is a set of quotes from ancient and modern philosophers that are either about the ethics and laws of abortion or are relevant to same. Plato, Republic Book V (c. 375 BCE) We begin with two quotes from Plato approving infanticide and one quote from his student Aristotle who supports abortion in cases in which couples have had too many children.    "... the children of inferior parents, or any child of the others that is born defective, they will hide in a secret and unknown place, as is appropriate." (460c)   "Ha ..read more
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SUPREME COURT ABORTION DECISION COUNTDOWN
Houlgate Books
by Laurence D. Houlgate
8M ago
  What can philosophy contribute to the lengthy, widespread, and often emotional abortion law debate?   ..read more
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PHILOSOPHY NOTES Part 8 The Fly in the Fly Bottle
Houlgate Books
by Laurence D. Houlgate
1y ago
  Philosophy Notes, Part 8 At the conclusion of Part 7 of Philosophy Notes, I promised to give some examples of philosophical problems that can be “made to disappear” (Wittgenstein) by showing the fly (the philosopher) the way out of the fly bottle, that is, by showing that what is presented as a problem is not a problem at all.  My hope is that a few frustrated philosophers who are reading this blog can also be shown the way out of their own fly bottle. Let’s start by going far back in time to Plato’s answer to the question “How is it possible for one and the same person to be ang ..read more
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PHILOSOPHY NOTES Part 7 Wittgenstein and the Death of Philosophy
Houlgate Books
by Laurence D. Houlgate
1y ago
  PHILOSOPHY NOTES  Part 7  Wittgenstein and The Death of Philosophy About twenty years ago I was told that I had stage 4 Melanoma (skin cancer).  My wife and I were very frightened by the diagnosis.  We realized that our lives might change significantly: surgery, chemotherapy, anxiety, constant worry about a possible spread of the cancer, loss of income, death, and the terrible effect of my death on my wife and our child’s future.  But as it turned out, the surgery was successful and there was no sign that the cancer had metastasized (spread).  Although I s ..read more
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