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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

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.

Christmas Themes for Philosophers

Thursday December 26, 2013
Christmas provides for a series of philosophical topics. Some of them have been considered in Christmas and Philosophy, a volume published in 2010 for Wiley-Blackwell's Philosophy for Everyone series. I'm now adding a few more themes to the list: Christmas and the ethics of consumerism; On being good (for Christmas); Lying for Santa; and Christmas and environmental ethics. Christmas is entrenched with ideas of empathy and sympathy. They have been recently taken up in a talk by Brené Brow that has stirred more attention than the one usually reserved to academic talks. Thus, I decided to write an article on empathy and sympathy. Enjoy the new readings.

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