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In Western culture, relativism has often been associated with the rejection of a religious perspective. Most religions are founded upon some metaphysical and ethical tenets that cannot be rejected, on pain of being regarded as an infidel. Relativism is the stance maintaining that a given claim holds relative to a parameter, which can be dependent or independent ...

Philosophy Spotlight10

Maps, Boundaries, and Philosophy

Thursday April 17, 2014
Mapping - as a device for classifying, orienting, comprehending - is so important to humans, that we may as well call our species Homo taxonomicus. After organizing a panel on maps and boundaries, I decided to devote the new articles to the philosophy of maps and boundaries. During the panel, a student asked a question that is important and not easy to answer: what cannot be mapped? Another really good question, that I did not take up in the new articles, is how new technologies are contributing to change the role of maps in our lives. Then, for us that do philosophy, there is another question: can the history of philosophy, or philosophical theories, be mapped? I hope you enjoy these new readings and please keep sending in comments and suggestions.

The Sublime, The Picturesque, and The Beautiful

Wednesday March 5, 2014
The sublime, the picturesque, and the beautiful are of philosophical importance, especially for those working aesthetics. The first two of them, however, are more sparsely and less accurately used in everyday discourse and the relationship between the three ideas is often unclear. I hence decided to devote a number of articles to the three ideas. The sublime has also received the attention of important philosophers, such as Burke, Kant, and Schopenhauer. For this reason, I compiled a list of philosophical quotes on the sublime and devoted an article to the so-called paradox of the sublime, which parallels the paradox of tragedy. I hope you enjoy those new pieces, and please keep sending suggestions.

The Conscious Vegetarian

Monday February 24, 2014
Lately I have been thinking about the many facets of vegetarianism, especially in connection to the more and more likely prospect that lab-grown meat will hit supermarkets in the future. This possibility has divided vegetarians and animal right activists. But, it is far from being the only major ground upon which schism among contemporary vegetarianisms originate. The conscious vegetarian, as I see it, faces three major questions, which regard, respectively: whats counts as an animal and an animal part; how to deal with the probability that some foods are contaminated with animal parts; and how to devise appropriate circumstances in which exceptions to the rule should be made. As I hope you enjoy those new articles, I urge anyone who has suggestions or comments to get in touch.

Simplicity and Philosophy

Friday January 17, 2014
Simplicity and its opposite - complexity - is one of those pairs of concepts that we may use at least once a day in our life, on a par with just and unjust, good and bad, beautiful and ugly. However, academics have not thought as much about simplicity and complexity as they have pondered the other pairs. In philosophy, the most studied idea is probably simplicity in the natural sciences. But, not only simplicity and complexity deserve a treatment of their own. Simplicity is quite interestingly connected with the development of computing machines and with the ethical and political dilemmas that such machines pose to our societies; moreover, simplicity is intertwined with the history of capitalism and, more generally, with economic success. That these new articles may inspire some reader to go deeper in the philosophical analysis of simplicity and complexity.

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