Introduction

Want to know more about philosophy?

 

Want to know more about why anyone would want to know more about philosophy?

 

Want to know more about why anyone would want to know more about why anyone would want to know more about philosophy?

 

If so, you are the intended audience of this blog. My overall goal is to give you some highlights of philosophy: the problems, proposed solutions, and methods for evaluating these solutions. I hope to convey the passion and creativity of that sometimes peculiar tribe whose members inspire me daily.

 

If you already know a lot about philosophy, there might not be much that is new to you. But maybe you have someone in your life who wonders what you do and why, and maybe this blog will help them.

 

One of the reasons I love philosophy is that philosophers get geeked out by a huge array of problems. 

 

Not quite this big.

 

I place the problems philosophers worry about into three categories.

 

1. Problems that philosophers and other people worry about.

 

Does God exist?

 

Are we free?

 

How should we act?

 

2. Problems that other people worry about, transformed by philosophers into problems that other people basically never worry about.

 

Who am I?  >>>becomes>>>  What properties of person-stages account for the perdurance of persons over time?

 

What should I do when zombies attack?  >>>becomes>>>  Are zombies metaphysically possible, and if so, would it be ethical to kill them?

 

If Napoleon had not invaded Russia, would they speak French in Frankfurt?  >>>becomes>>>  What are the truth conditions for historical counterfactuals?

 

3. Problems that other people basically never worry about.

 

How does the word 'that' work?

 

What is an object?

 

Does Sherlock Holmes live at 221B Baker Street?

 

In this blog, I will discuss problems in all three categories. I hope to make the case that the habits of mind that drive philosophers to worry about problems in the third category are useful in making progress on the problems in the first two categories.

 

PRODUCT DISCLAIMERS

 

* The following pages are my reflections and explanations of various philosophical problems. Issues in philosophy are extensively debated. There will be many philosophers who disagree with many things I say. Because it would be annoying to say "Of course, there are some philosophers who disagree with this" all the time, I won't.

 

** Probably, I explain some things badly. If you notice a mistake I made or have an idea of how I could explain something more clearly, please write a comment! I would be very grateful.

 

*** Content may change as I am corrected and as I think of different ways to put things.

 

That's enough introduction. On to the problems!

 

(Want to know more about philosophers? This is what they look like.)

 

Benedict Cumberbatch
Next: Truth in Fiction
Hubble Deep Field
Philosophy is Awesome

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