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How is this argument valid? Either Oscar is an octopus or he is a whale. Oscar is a zebra. Therefore, Oscar is an octopus.

Validity in an argument comes Stephen Maitzen 2/15/18 (changed 2/16/18) Permalink Validity in an argument comes down to one question: Is it possible for all the argument's premises to be true and its conclusion false? If no, then the argument is valid. So, assuming it is impossible for Oscar to be both a whale and a zebra, the argument is valid. Even so, the... Read more

All chariot racers are musicians. Some chariot racers are soldiers. Therefore, some musicians are soldiers. Valid or Invalid?

Valid. Your second premise Alexander George 2/15/18 (changed 2/15/18) Permalink Valid. Your second premise tells you that some chariot racer is a soldier. Let's call him "Alfred". So Alfred is a chariot racer and Alfred is a soldier. So Alfred is a chariot racer. This last fact, combined with the first premise, tells us that Alfred is a musician. But... Read more

Hello my question is about the Kalam Cosmological Argument. I personally do agree with the premises and the conclusion, however a person on youtube said that you cannot say that an infinite regress does not make sense but an infinite being does. So my questions are what is the difference between an infinite regress and an infinite being, can you say they are both absurd? Does an infinite being make sense?

A response to Jonathan's Stephen Maitzen 12/29/17 (changed 12/29/17) Permalink A response to Jonathan's point: To deny that the universe had a beginning is not to deny that a Big Bang occurred several billion years ago, nor is it to discount the evidence for such an event. But the available evidence doesn't imply, and it may not even favor, the claim t... Read more

Hello my question is about the Kalam Cosmological Argument. I personally do agree with the premises and the conclusion, however a person on youtube said that you cannot say that an infinite regress does not make sense but an infinite being does. So my questions are what is the difference between an infinite regress and an infinite being, can you say they are both absurd? Does an infinite being make sense?

A response to Jonathan's Stephen Maitzen 12/29/17 (changed 12/29/17) Permalink A response to Jonathan's point: To deny that the universe had a beginning is not to deny that a Big Bang occurred several billion years ago, nor is it to discount the evidence for such an event. But the available evidence doesn't imply, and it may not even favor, the claim t... Read more

Suppose a friend tells us something that happened with him and asks us to keep it a secret. Suppose it is nothing very important, but our friend thinks it is. Suppose the story could have been known by many people, because it happened in a public place, but in fact no relevant person knows of it, except for our friend and us. Do we have the duty to keep it a secret? It seems that if we have that duty, it is only because our friend asked us to do so. But do people have the power to create duties for other people only by asking them to do something?

Let's consider two scenarios. Allen Stairs 12/28/17 (changed 12/28/17) Permalink Let's consider two scenarios. 1) The friend asks you to promise not to divulge what she's about to tell you. You agree and then she tells you the "secret." 2) The friend tells you her story without any preamble to her tale. Then she asks you to promise not to tell anyone. I... Read more

Hello my question is about the Kalam Cosmological Argument. I personally do agree with the premises and the conclusion, however a person on youtube said that you cannot say that an infinite regress does not make sense but an infinite being does. So my questions are what is the difference between an infinite regress and an infinite being, can you say they are both absurd? Does an infinite being make sense?

A response to Jonathan's Stephen Maitzen 12/29/17 (changed 12/29/17) Permalink A response to Jonathan's point: To deny that the universe had a beginning is not to deny that a Big Bang occurred several billion years ago, nor is it to discount the evidence for such an event. But the available evidence doesn't imply, and it may not even favor, the claim t... Read more

Hello my question is about the Kalam Cosmological Argument. I personally do agree with the premises and the conclusion, however a person on youtube said that you cannot say that an infinite regress does not make sense but an infinite being does. So my questions are what is the difference between an infinite regress and an infinite being, can you say they are both absurd? Does an infinite being make sense?

A response to Jonathan's Stephen Maitzen 12/29/17 (changed 12/29/17) Permalink A response to Jonathan's point: To deny that the universe had a beginning is not to deny that a Big Bang occurred several billion years ago, nor is it to discount the evidence for such an event. But the available evidence doesn't imply, and it may not even favor, the claim t... Read more

I've often heard it said that Americans are uncomfortable with sex, and that this is seen in the fact that it is often forbidden to depict sexuality or nudity in popular media, yet depictions of graphic violence are ubiquitous. Implicit in this observation is that depictions of violence should rightly seem as bad, or worse, than depictions of sex. But what makes any such depiction bad? Is it just a matter of the psychological distress they cause? Is it that they encourage people to do what they depict? Are some things just intrinsically obscene?

I think what you say about Jonathan Westphal 12/23/17 (changed 1/25/18) Permalink I think what you say about American attitudes towards sex may be true, if we stick to the surface of the culture, and these attitudes are Puritanical compared with European ones, for example French and Swedish ones. What makes depictions of violence wrong, surely, is not just t... Read more

Hello, why a thing cannot exist without any properties ? (like being just itself)

I see no reason why Stephen Maitzen 12/21/17 (changed 12/21/17) Permalink I see no reason why properties do not include being identical to the number 7 and being distinct from the number 7. If so, then -- necessarily -- everything that exists has exactly one of those two properties. The number 7 has the former property; everything else has the latter propert... Read more

Some of the states of consciousness or physiological reactions that movies seem calculated to produce are arguably pleasurable in themselves (for instance, consider comedies and porn films), but there are some emotions that aren't as obviously pleasurable (for instance, fear, disgust, pity) but which still have a market, and there are some emotions that don't seem to have a market at all (for instance, anger). Have philosophers said much in the way of explaining the attraction of non-pleasurable emotions?

There's a large literature on Allen Stairs 12/14/17 (changed 12/14/17) Permalink There's a large literature on this problem, going back at least four decades. The most oft-cited paper is Kendall Walton's "Fearing Fictions," Journal of Philosophy 75 (1):5-27 (1978). Walton's thesis, developed at length in his later book, is that when we are "frightened"... Read more

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