This is "deep disagreement," and it's the form that most societal disagreements take. Understanding these disagreements will not inspire optimism about our ability to find consensus.
Mathematical ideas are some of the most transformative and beautiful in history. So why do they get so little attention?
How the Marxist ideas of a British historian ended up on the bookshelves of Indian civil servants and Brazilian housewives
Mary Shelley foresaw that artificial intelligence would be made monstrous, not by human hubris but by human cruelty.
The pragmatist philosopher William James had a crisp and consistent response when asked if life was worth living: maybe.
It's difficult to test whether poverty relief actually works. Do randomized controlled trials provide a scientific measure?
Human dignity is a concept with remarkably shallow historical roots. Is that why it is so presently endangered?
Does it matter whether our pleasures are spiritual or carnal, intellectual or stupid? Or are all pleasures pretty much the same?
How an impossibly flat expanse of absofreakinglutely nothing inspires creativity and transformation at Burning Man.
Say you could make a thousand digital replicas of yourself — should you? What happens when you want to get rid of them?
Buddhist monks follow a lot of rules – 253 in one tradition, 200 in another. The first of the rules to be established was not against murder; it was against sex.
The fantasy of living forever is just a fig leaf for the fear of death — and comes at great personal cost.
In recent years, engineers have been able to build on grander scales thanks to the strength and reliability of substances such as novel steel alloys. But as we enter the realm of megastructures, maintaining safety and structural integrity has become a fiendish challenge.
The lubricant of the scientific method is optimism, optimism that given patience and effort, often collaborative effort, comprehension will come.
Only we ourselves are privy to when we are behaving authentically or not.
What is life? For much of the 20th century, this question did not particularly concern biologists.
Optimists believe in good luck, pessimists in bad. But if it’s all a matter of perspective, does luck even exist?
What could compel the late Jonathan Zittell Smith, arguably the most influential scholar of religion of the past half-century, to declare that "religion is solely the creation of the scholar's study," and that it has "no independent existence apart from the academy"?
Pain and joy are two sides of the same coin — both are necessary for a fully lived life.
Does everything in the world boil down to basic units — or can emergence explain how distinctive new things arise?