Between people who unabashedly support eating meat and those who adopt moral vegetarianism, lie a number of people who are uncomfortably carnivorous and vaguely wish they could be vegetarians. Opposing animal suffering in principle, they can ignore it in practice, relying on the visual disconnect between supermarket meat and slaughterhouse practices not to trigger their moral emotions. But what if we could have the best of both worlds in reality—eat meat and not harm animals? The nascent biotechnology of tissue culture, (...) originally researched for medical applications, holds out just such a promise. Meat could be grown in vitro without killing animals. In fact, this technology may not just be an intriguing option, but might be our moral obligation to develop. (shrink)
In defending a new framework for incorporating metacognitive debiasing strategies into critical thinking education, Jeffrey Maynes draws on ecological rationality theory to argue that in felicitous environments, agents will achieve greater epistemic success by relying on heuristics rather than more ideally rational procedures. He considers a challenge presented by Mercier and Sperber’s “interactionist” thesis that individual biases contribute to successful group reasoning. I argue that the challenge can be met without assuming an individualist ideal of the critical thinker as a (...) solitary reasoner. Focusing on cognitive laziness and myside bias, I then argue that a more complete reckoning with the implications of interactionism about reasoning will require us to transcend individualism more fully to embrace the selection, design, regulation, and navigation of dialogic environments as central pedagogical aims of critical thinking education. (shrink)
The Case for Humanism is the premier textbook to introduce and help students think critically about the 'big ideas' of Western humanism—secularism, rationalism, materialism, science, democracy, individualism, and others—all powerful themes that run through Western thought from the ancient Greeks and the Enlightenment to the present day.
How secularism lost its soul -- Why belief belongs in public life (and unbelievers should be glad) -- Spinoza's guide to theocracy -- Why there are no religions of the book -- Has God found science? -- Darwin made me do it -- Original virtue -- The search for the theory of everyone -- Ethics from below -- The Umma and the community of conscience -- The future is openness.
Michael Rea has argued that philosophical naturalists cannot coherently regard the adoption of naturalism as a “research program” as more epistemically rational than the adoption of the alternatives, like intuitionism or supernatural theism. I show that Rea’s argument fails by overlooking several species of epistemic reasons for adopting research programs.