The Comprehensible Philosophy Dictionary (July 10, 2012)
A dictionary of philosophical terms with definitions that are meant to be easy enough for people to understand, even if they lack extensive philosophical education. These terms can help us improve our thinking because many of them refer to concepts central to critical thinking and many others help us make important philosophical distinctions. (Updated 1/13/2013)
A dictionary of over 1,000 terms related to philosophy, logic, and critical thinking.
What is Philosophy? (December 8, 2006)
What is philosophy? Simply put, philosophers hope that they can understand the universe and use that knowledge to live a good life. (Updated 6/27/2011)
I introduce many of the basic ideas of philosophy, such as good argumentation, the distinction between philosophy and science, and skepticism. Philosophy is a quest to understand the universe and to live a better life based on that understanding.
How to Become a Philosopher (March 5, 2010)
Find out how you can think more like a philosopher. If you want to raise your philosophy grades, teach philosophy, attain a high level of critical thinking, or become enlightened, this book is a good start. (I updated the ebook on 10/10/2011).
Learn to think philosophically or teach others how to think philosophically. I introduce formal logic, the requirements for good reasoning, fallacies (poor reasoning), and more. Good not only for philosophy students, but for everyone interested in the truth.
What You Need From Propositional Logic (March 20, 2013)
Some of my key blog posts about propositional logic have been organized a free ebook. This ebook can greatly help people understand the importance of logically valid arguments and better understand logical form.
The focus of this book is propositional logic. I discuss the meaning of “logic,” the importance of logic, logical connectives, truth tables, natural deduction, and rules of inference.
Free Introduction to Moral Philosophy (September 6, 2010)
I attempt to answer questions, such as: What’s right and wrong? What’s the difference between good and poor moral reasoning? What are common myths about morality? (Updated 9/3/2011)
I discuss many myths about morality, how to do good moral reasoning to decide right from wrong, and various moral issues. (e.g. Is atheism or homosexuality wrong?)
Notes on Business Ethics (June 25, 2011)
I introduce moral philosophy and discuss moral issues involved with business. Moral theory is applied to various issues. (Updated 9/4/2011.)
I discuss moral philosophy and many moral issues concerning business. Capitalism, corporations, job discrimination, and many other issues are discussed.
Contemporary Metaethics Part 1 (September 10, 2009)
My reviews of several contemporary metaethics essays, which also includes an introduction to the basics, but does not include an in-depth discussion of intrinsic values. (Updated 6/24/2011)
Metaethics concerns what ethical words refer to. What does “right” and “good” refer to? Do they refer to anything at all? The major debates discussed feature arguments for and against “moral realism” (the idea that “something really matters.”) I summarize, review, and comment on many of the greatest metaethical essays of contemporary philosophy.
Is There A Meaning of Life? (January 21, 2010)
An introduction to the meaning of life, moral realism, intrinsic values, and my argument for moral realism. Includes a glossary that defines all the terms you might want to know. (Rough draft, updated 6/26/2010.)
This is a discussion that attempts to answer the question, “Is there a meaning of life?” This is a central moral question. If there is a meaning of life, then something “really matters” and we can find out what we ought to do. (Not everyone believes in a meaning of life. Some people are nihilists or relativists and think that value is a human creation.) I introduce the idea that the meaning of life requires “intrinsic value,” describe what it would mean for intrinsic value to exist, and argue that we have better reason to believe that intrinsic value exists than the opposite. I then defend the existence of intrinsic values from four objections.
Does Morality Require God? (June, 9, 2010)
The idea that life would be meaningless without God is not a tenable philosophical position. Many people have been raised to believe that God is necessary for morality and atheists are destined to be “relativists” who think morality is a “human invention.” This reasoning does not reflect the conclusions of philosophers (the experts concerning the origins and nature of morality). Philosophers take morality very seriously and very few of them think it is merely a human invention.
I argue that morality (intrinsic value) does not require God. If anything really matters, it can have value whether or not God exists.
A Moral Realist Point of View (September 26, 2010)
A sequel to “Is There A Meaning of Life?” I try to answer the questions, “How can a moral realist view ethics and life as a whole? What difference does moral realism make for a person?”
I discuss how moral realism can relate to our worldview, ethics, and our lives. My moral realist beliefs can be understood as being founded upon emergence. I also argue that moral realism does not have to be dangerous, painful, or unhealthy.
Two New Kinds of Stoicism (May 2008)
I develop two ethical theories based on Stoicism, which are meant to help us identify right and wrong behavior (and appropriate and inappropriate emotions). One ethical theory, Common Sense Stoicism, offers arguments for a certain “meaning of life” (group of intrinsic values). (My Master’s Thesis.)
This thesis introduces two new kinds of Stoic ethics: Neo-Aristonianism and Common Sense Stoicism. Although Ancient Stoicism requires us to accept the existence of divine reason (God), the two new kinds of Stoicism were developed to avoid such a requirement. Ancient Stoic ethics insisted that everything that happens has equal value because everything is part of the divine plan. This theory of values coupled with a moral psychology that states that desires are caused by value judgments lead Ancient Stoics to reject passions. Anger, for example, is caused by the belief that someone has done something of negative value. Neo-Aristonianism and Common Sense Stoicism reject the fact that everything that happens has equal value, and will consequentially find that passions can be appropriate.