This selection of six fundamental problems of contemporary philosophy aims to demonstrate that philosophical inquiry has not reached an end with the breakthroughs of modern science. Old questions, for instance about the existence of God, may be outdated, but the mysteries that surround the nature of the human being and its relation to reality are open research projects. The philosophy of science investigates questions like the relationship between mathematics and physics. Advances in artificial intelligence renew philosophical reflections about the nature rationality.
This short overview highlights the continuity between Aristotle's' philosophy of nature, his ethics, and his politics. Nature moves by itself; the principles of motion and rest are implicit in natural things. These same principles apply to human societies. States are constituted through their citizens (the material cause), they have a constitution of some kind (formal cause), they are created and administered by statesmen and politicians (efficient cause) and it is their purpose to allow humans to life a good life (final cause.)
Thanks to modern science, we now know more about religious history than ever: Scientific archaeology began in the 18th century, and since then excavators have been discovering and interpreting evidence. The archeological evidence enhances and corrects our knowledge derived from books and other preserved objects.
Some 30,000 years before the first religious writings were made, the Ice Age people of Europe and the Near East were creating shrines in caves, modeling images of divinities and shamans, and using art and music in ceremonies. Even the Neanderthals already buried some of the tribe’s deceased with objects , possibly symbolizing resurrection after death.
What are the themes that characterize contemporary existentialist thinking? Existence precedes essence, the self is a relationship between finiteness and infinity, freedom produces anxiety, human existence can only be understood from a subjective point of view, emotions reveal the truth of our lives, we strive for authenticity, our existence is fundamentally about ethics and responsibility.
The world’s population quadrupled between 1900 and 2000, and will reach 10 billion people around 2060. In some developed countries, the population is shrinking, but life expectancy is rising everywhere. Extreme poverty is getting eradicated, and the global economic system is changing.
Putin has long outlived his usefulness as a Russian leader. He only stays in power through manipulation and a corrupt system of oligarchs that still supports him. How will Russia determine its future, if democratic structures barely exist in a country that still dreams about its past super-power status?
Instead of representing the universe as a dimensional structure, can we think of it in terms of three different frontiers: the largest, the smallest, and the most complex? And where is the human being situated in this regard?
It is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, and has the highest density of world-class restaurants anywhere. But now, the wildfire season is a recurring event. What will the future bring for this beautiful valley in California?
This paper draws on early twentieth-century philosophical anthropology as well as cognitive science and evolutionary anthropology to examine how humans compensated for their biological underdetermination by becoming second-natured, empathetic, cooperative, symbol-using creatures.
This post looks at the mental health crisis in America and examines the way the Mental Health Care system operates. The existing political climate forces a political imperative: everything should be organized around commercial interests. But at the intersection of bureaucracy and actual care, “healthcare” loses, and the “system” wins .
South East Asia is a rapidly growing and transforming region of the world with around 650 million people. The post looks at the geography and history of the region.
Humanism also translates into a psychological perspective that emphasizes the study of the whole person. The post presents the key ideas of Humanistic psychology, and assesses its impact on the field.
We are experiencing a historical transition – human civilization will more and more coalesce into very large urban centers. In 1950 about 2/3 of the population worldwide lived in rural areas, and 1/3 in urban settlements. By 2050, we will roughly see the reverse distribution, with more than 6 billion people living in the crowded environment of urbanized areas. What does this mean for the future of our civilization?
Emmanuel Levinas is a unique philosopher in the 20th century. He re-thinks traditional philosophy from the perspective that justice should be the fundamental idea. His understanding of "justice" is not just another abstract idea, but originates in the encounter with the real other.