The Singularity is Near!

Check out this article from Scientific American about the Singularity University.  The topics discussed are mind uploading, immortality, human enhancement, artificial intelligence, and the singularity.  The singularity is the point in time when artificial intelligence becomes so smart that it escapes human control and begins to evolve on its own.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/e-zimmer-can-you-live-forever/

“Philosophy Now” Magazine, the Multiverse, and Love Drugs

Philosophy Now is a philosophy magazine with some free articles and others accessible for a subscription fee.  There are many free articles covering many contemporary problems in philosophy.

Homepage and latest issue: https://philosophynow.org/

Click on the “Free Articles” tab to see a list of free articles.  I’ve given links for two of them below.

This article is about the ethics of using drugs that would enhance the feeling of love toward one’s marriage partner in order to eliminate adultery.  The Brave New World is going to be awesome.  https://philosophynow.org/issues/91/Love_and_Other_Drugs

This one is about atheism and the atheist’s need for evidence.  This is a nice discussion of the nature of logic and argumentation in the context of religious belief.  https://philosophynow.org/issues/78/Wheres_The_Evidence

Here is a good article on the idea of a multiverse (possible worlds) as an answer to the fine-tuning problem: https://philosophynow.org/issues/89/The_Multiverse_Conundrum  This article might require a subscription, but I was able to read the entire article before returning to it and finding my access blocked.

 

Demand for Philosophy Courses Highest ever at CFCC

**Update**

As of 4 pm Tuesday, January 6, all 11 philosophy sections are full with no empty seats.  That adds up to 238 students registered in philosophy classes at CFCC.  A new record.

(Original Post)  The Humanities and Fine Arts Department is currently offering 11 sections of Philosophy and planning to add one or two more in the second mini-session for Spring 2015.  All of the sections are full or nearly full.  We are currently offering PHI 215, PHI 230, and PHI 240.

The number of sections and the total number of students are historical highs for CFCC, and we still haven’t met the demand.  It looks like a renaissance for Philosophy at CFCC.  If you are interested in taking courses or majoring in Philosophy, please contact me (Dr. Brandon) with any questions at ebrandon@cfcc.edu.

Also, visit the UNC Wilmington Philosophy and Religion Department online.

 

Torture and Philosophy

With the release of the Senate report on the CIA’s torture program and the revelation that the CIA program was more extensive and more brutal than previously described, the ethical status of torture is once again a current issue.  Here are some articles by David Luban, who has been writing about the ethical problems with torture for the last decade or so.  I’ve also included a link to a paper about the use of torture in TV, especially the show “24”.

David Luban, “Liberalism, Torture, and the Ticking Bomb,” Virginia Law Review (2005)

http://scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1163&context=facpub

David Luban, “Torture, American-Style,” The Washington Post (2005)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/25/AR2005112501552_2.html

David Luban, “Torture and the Professions,” Georgetown Faculty Working Papers (2008)

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1154189

The article is “Defining Dilemmas Down: the Case of 24,” John M. Parrish, Essays in Philosophy (2002)

http://commons.pacificu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1330&context=eip