The Pulse Program at Boston College is a community service learning program that combines academic study of philosophy and theology with a year-long community service project. An analysis of the Pulse Program during the 2008–09 academic year revealed that participating students demonstrated a significant increase in their interest in philosophy; a greater likelihood of enrolling in additional philosophy coursework; and a deeper interest in philosophy than classmates not participating in service-learning. Interviews with participating students revealed that the Pulse Program highlighted (...) philosophy’s relevance to the “real world” as well as the useful role that philosophy can play in reflecting upon the social issues raised by students’ community service experiences. (shrink)
We offer a particularist defense of conspiratorial thinking. We explore the possibility that the presence of a certain kind of evidence—what we call "fortuitous data"—lends rational credence to conspiratorial thinking. In developing our argument, we introduce conspiracy theories and motivate our particularist approach (§1). We then introduce and define fortuitous data (§2). Lastly, we locate an instance of fortuitous data in one real world conspiracy, the Watergate scandal (§3).
One way of assessing the philosophical literature on causation is to consider views on the nature of the causal relation. Early theorists were 'monists', taking there to be one causal relation. More recent theorists, however, have turned to pluralism, which holds that the causal relation is only accurately captured by two (or more) relations. I argue that one way of being a pluralist – the way which takes there to be exactly two types of causation – is self defeating, if (...) it promises to handle intuitions about all causal situations. I illustrate the point via neuron diagrams. (shrink)