Solve suffering by blowing up the universe? The dubious philosophy of human extinction

Driven by a desire to eliminate pain, some people have shockingly advocated taking the rest of nature with us.

Thomas Moynihan, Researcher, Future of Humanity Institute, University of Oxford • conversation
Nov. 17, 2020 ~8 min

extinction philosophy history-of-science interdisciplinarity suffering

If a robot is conscious, is it OK to turn it off? The moral implications of building true AIs

Philosophers say now is the time to mull over what qualities should grant an artificially intelligent machine moral standing.

Anand Vaidya, Associate Professor of Philosophy, San José State University • conversation
Oct. 27, 2020 ~10 min

 artificial-intelligence  robots  philosophy  consciousness  star-trek  peter-singer  turing-test  deep-blue  human-consciousness

Challenge trials for a coronavirus vaccine are unethical – except for in one unlikely scenario

Challenge trials – purposefully exposing volunteers to the coronavirus – could speed up the development of a vaccine. But there are serious ethical concerns with this approach.

Ben Bramble, Visiting Fellow, Princeton University • conversation
Aug. 24, 2020 ~8 min

covid-19 coronavirus ethics risk pandemic philosophy vaccines sars-cov-2 viruses lockdown bioethics essential-workers

Strong opinions are irrational – here's why we should all be agnostic

Those with strong beliefs tend to be admired.

Darren Bradley, Associate Professor, University of Leeds • conversation
April 30, 2020 ~7 min

philosophy debate wisdom-of-crowds argument epistemology disagreements echo-chambers

Devs: explaining the philosophy at the centre of Alex Garland's mind-bending TV show

If every action spilts the universe into different versions, what does that mean for free will?

Benjamin Curtis, Lecturer in Philosophy and Ethics, Nottingham Trent University • conversation
April 30, 2020 ~6 min

philosophy quantum-mechanics free-will determinism

Why can't I stop thinking about my dead parents?

Whether we miss them, feel guilty about not having appreciated them more or struggle to forgive them, remembering our parents can hurt. Here's how to move on.

Silvia Panizza, Teaching Fellow, University College Dublin • conversation
April 16, 2020 ~11 min

children parents death psychology memory philosophy lifes-big-questions forgiveness loss

Why coronavirus death rates can't be summed up in one simple number

A lot of numbers are being tossed around about COVID-19 and what to expect in the future. They're being used to make critical public health decisions, but they aren't as simple as they appear.

Jonathan Fuller, Assistant Professor, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh • conversation
April 10, 2020 ~8 min

health medicine covid-19 coronavirus death policy statistics philosophy social-distancing coronavirus-2020 death-rates

Free thought: can you ever be a truly independent thinker?

The captain of a ship, or a soul, doesn't sail while ignoring the wind – sometimes they go with it, sometimes against it, but they always account for it.

Tom Stafford, Lecturer in Psychology and Cognitive Science, University of Sheffield • conversation
March 12, 2020 ~8 min

 brain  psychology  philosophy  advertising  free-will  culture  lifes-big-questions

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