Why Did a Billionaire Give $75 Million to a Philosophy Department?
Philosophy matters. The new challenges of the genomics revolution, the rise of AI, the growth in inequality, societal fragmentation, and our capacity for devastating war all invite philosophical perspective.Painting by Otto Scholderer / Wikicommons Last week, for the first time in recent memory, a news story in this troubling period had me, a bachelor of […]
Why We Had to Change the Meaning of Nothing
“Nothing,” in physics, is really quite something.Photograph by www.cafecredit.com / Flickr Nothing” isn’t what it used to be. It used to be something self-evident: the opposite, or the absence, of something. We still use the word this way colloquially, of course. When I’m asked, on the sidewalk, if I can spare some change or a […]
Why Christopher Hitchens Was a Hero to Scientists
Yesterday marked five years since the passing of Christopher Hitchens, a writer with friends and admirers spanning the political spectrum, every age, gender and sex, and a range of professions and confessions. Those who’ve read and heard him speak know he was an Anglo-American political journalist, a cultural and literary critic, and a public intellectual […]