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Open for Debate

Red Pills and Rallying Lies: Conspiracy Theories, Skepticism, and Collective Action

Red Pills and Rallying Lies: Conspiracy Theories, Skepticism, and Collective Action

Posted on 12 December 2022 by

“Most of the things that we take to be a fact in our lives are told to us through our stories, or the news that we hear. So, my question […]

Philosophizing about Terrorism

Philosophizing about Terrorism

Posted on 28 November 2022 by

One evening almost exactly fifty years ago, a group of men and women in balaclavas abducted Mrs Jean McConville from her home in West Belfast. McConville, whose husband had died […]

Epistemic Virtues for Lawyers

Epistemic Virtues for Lawyers

Posted on 14 November 2022 by

Criticism of lawyers is ubiquitous. Thomas More, the author of Utopia, believed there is no need for lawyers in an ideal world, as its inhabitants will plead their own cause. […]

Epistemic Exploitation and Ontic Burnout

Epistemic Exploitation and Ontic Burnout

Posted on 31 October 2022 by

Picture a scene where, Amina, a Black woman, is out with a white male acquaintance, Ben. During the meal, a white woman approaches her, reaches out to touch her hair, […]

The Social Roots of Irrationality

The Social Roots of Irrationality

Posted on 17 October 2022 by

Many animals navigate their environments with the use of internal models. It is tempting to think of human beliefs as just a highly complex example of this strategy. On this […]

Two Types of Civility

Two Types of Civility

Posted on 3 October 2022 by

What is civility? It sounds fancy, but if we start with incivility we may get a better idea: incivility is obnoxiousness, rudeness, and generally a lot of what we would […]

The ambivalence of cynicism

The ambivalence of cynicism

Posted on 19 September 2022 by

Cynicism seems to have an ambivalent status. On the one hand, ‘being cynical’ might mean dogmatic scepticism about people’s moral character. A cynic can be arrogant – too smart, too […]

Thoughts for Sale

Thoughts for Sale

Posted on 5 September 2022 by

My father spent his career working in production for large bakeries, supervising and troubleshooting the mass production of bread and buns. He would get up at 5:00 in the morning, […]

WHY CARE ABOUT KNOWLEDGE?

WHY CARE ABOUT KNOWLEDGE?

Posted on 22 August 2022 by

We care about knowledge. Given a choice between getting information about my illness from a doctor or a quack, I’d always go with the doctor. Why? Because, unlike the quack, […]

Social media: a viral promoter of social ills?

Social media: a viral promoter of social ills?

Posted on 8 August 2022 by

Public discourse is the currency in which we exchange our attitudes and beliefs. Social media has proven a double-edged sword with respect to this exchange. On the one hand, it […]

“That’s not what I didn’t say”. Some thoughts on silence and deniability

“That’s not what I didn’t say”. Some thoughts on silence and deniability

Posted on 25 July 2022 by

In June 2020, there was a long moment of silence, when Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau was asked a question about his views on US president Donald Trump’s reaction to […]

Is being resilient an unfair burden?

Is being resilient an unfair burden?

Posted on 11 July 2022 by

Navigating the world of public debate can be a difficult task. There are many hurdles to overcome in the process of finding out about and sharing one’s views on social […]

Extended confirmation bias: When the mind leaks into algorithms

Extended confirmation bias: When the mind leaks into algorithms

Posted on 27 June 2022 by

 It’s no secret that when we are online, websites (Google, Facebook, YouTube etc.) often use algorithms to infer our preferences, interests, or attitudes from our digital footprints (our browsing, clicks, […]

The Internet Never Forgets: How Google Shapes and Cements Our Identities

The Internet Never Forgets: How Google Shapes and Cements Our Identities

Posted on 13 June 2022 by

I remember sneaking downstairs to use the computer. I was 11, personal computers weren’t really a thing yet. I couldn't use the computers at school because I was afraid a […]

What’s The Social Approach to Public Trust in Science?

What’s The Social Approach to Public Trust in Science?

Posted on 30 May 2022 by

In my previous post , I have argued that, while the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown into stark relief the practical importance of public trust in science, the dominant, individualistic approach […]

What’s Wrong with the Individualistic Approach to Public Trust in Science?

What’s Wrong with the Individualistic Approach to Public Trust in Science?

Posted on 16 May 2022 by

While academics and commentators have been worrying about distrust of science for some time now, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown into stark relief the full scale of the problem as […]

Sharing bullshit on social media

Sharing bullshit on social media

Posted on 2 May 2022 by

It’s another dull day of commuting to work, and you are waiting for the bus. Bored, you open your phone and start scrolling the all-too-familiar, endless cascade of mildly uninteresting […]

The Hidden Problem in Moral Imagination

The Hidden Problem in Moral Imagination

Posted on 18 April 2022 by

Be more imaginative? When we fail to treat someone in a morally appropriate way – say, being generous to the stranger in need, fair to the candidate who speaks with […]

How Dehumanization Works

How Dehumanization Works

Posted on 4 April 2022 by

On February 1, 1893, an intellectually disabled Black man was burned to death in Paris, Texas.  His death was not accidental. It was the culmination of several hours of torture, […]

On White Privilege and Anesthesia

On White Privilege and Anesthesia

Posted on 21 March 2022 by

America has, once again, entered a period of public racial reckoning. No single event has brought us to this place. A malignant presidency and the January 6th attack on the […]