Philosophical Discussion of Immortality Technology

Detail from The Fountain of Youth (1546) by Lucas Cranach the Elder. Courtesy Wikipedia    By Francesca Minverva and Adrian Rorheim / 08.08.2017 Minverva: Philosophy postdoc, University of Ghent Rorheim: Researcher and editor, Effective Altruism Foundation, Berlin Immortality has gone secular. Unhooked from the realm of gods and angels, it’s now the subject of serious investment – both intellectual[…]

How Quantum Mechanics can Change Computing

Looking inside a quantum computer. IBM Research By Dr. Jonathan Katz / 08.23.2017 Director, Maryland Cybersecurity Center Professor of Computer Science University of Maryland In early July, Google announced that it will expand its commercially available cloud computing services to include quantum computing. A similar service has been available from IBM since May. These aren’t services most regular people[…]

The Science behind Brewing Beer

“New Belgium Beers on Tap” by Quan Ha via Flickr Creative Commons By Megan Ray Nichols / 08.23.2017 There are people who drink beer and then there are people who love beer. Beer lovers talk about their beer as much as they drink it. They discuss their favorite brands, perfect pouring methods, reissues of old[…]

God and Morality in John Locke’s ‘Essay Concerning Human Understanding’

Portrait of John Locke, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1697 / State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia By Dr. Garth Kemerling / 11.12.2011 Professor of Philosophy Capella University Philosophy Pages God Like many of his English contemporaries, Locke was deeply interested in matters of faith and religion. Keenly aware of the theological controversies of the day, he developed[…]

The Limits of Knowledge in John Locke’s ‘Essay Concerning Human Understanding’

Portrait of John Locke, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1697 / State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia By Dr. Garth Kemerling / 11.12.2011 Professor of Philosophy Capella University Philosophy Pages One of the most basic themes of Locke’s epistemology is that since we cannot know everything, we would be well-advised to observe and respect the extent and limitations[…]

How Ancient Cultures Explained Eclipses

A 1765 painting of Helios, the personification of the sun in Greek mythology. Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Roger Culver / 08.16.2017 Emeritus Professor of Physics Colorado State University On August 21, a total solar eclipse will be visible across parts of the United States. As the Earth and moon sweep through space in their annual journey[…]

How Subversive Artists Made Thrift Shopping Cool

Customers shop during at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Out of the Closet thrift store in Columbus, Ohio. Jay LaPrete/AP By Dr. Jennifer Le Zotte / 08.15.2017 Assistant Professor of Material Culture and History University of North Carolina Wilmington National Thrift Shop Day (August 17) exists alongside other quirky holidays like Play Your Ukulele Day (February 2)[…]

Exploring Knowledge in John Locke’s ‘Essay Concerning Human Understanding’

Portrait of John Locke, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1697 / State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia By Dr. Garth Kemerling / 11.12.2011 Professor of Philosophy Capella University Philosophy Pages Having explained the origin of our ideas and the use of words to signify them, Locke was prepared to consider the nature of human knowledge. He began with[…]

The Use of Language in John Locke’s ‘Essay Concerning Human Understanding’

Portrait of John Locke, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1697 / State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia By Dr. Garth Kemerling / 11.12.2011 Professor of Philosophy Capella University Philosophy Pages Since the significatory function of words is especially vital for the achievement and expression of human knowledge, Locke devoted an entire Book of the Essay to his careful examination of[…]

Complex Ideas in John Locke’s ‘Essay Concerning Human Understanding’

Portrait of John Locke, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1697 / State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia By Dr. Garth Kemerling / 11.12.2011 Professor of Philosophy Capella University Philosophy Pages Although he granted that some groups of simple ideas naturally occur together in our experience, Locke supposed that most of our complex ideas are manufactured in the human[…]

Simple Ideas in John Locke’s ‘Essay Concerning Human Understanding’

Portrait of John Locke, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1697 / State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia By Dr. Garth Kemerling / 11.12.2011 Professor of Philosophy Capella University Philosophy Pages Locke used the word “idea” for the most basic unit of human thought, subsuming under this term every kind of mental content from concrete sensory impressions to abstract[…]

The Road to India’s Partition

People fleeing on bullock carts as mass migration happened during the partition. AP Photo By Dr. Halmanti Roy / 08.14.2017 Associate Professor of History University of Dayton As citizens of India and Pakistan celebrate 70 years of their independence in August, they will also remember 1947 as the momentous year of their simultaneous birth. That year,[…]

Glen Campbell Combined Rural Grit and Urban Sheen – Like a Rhinestone Cowboy

In Las Vegas, 1970. EPA By Dr. Adam Behr / 08.10.2017 Lecturer in Popular and Contemporary Music Newcastle University The American singer Glen Campbell did not care for musical boundaries. He probably enjoyed hearing The Meters, doyens of New Orleans funk, covering Wichita Lineman, as much as he enjoyed performing a slow, country-tinged version of Foo Fighters’[…]

Bullying and Suicide: Bringing an End to the Madness

Child suicide, such as the 2013 death of 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick, has often been blamed on bullying. AP Photo/Brian Blanco By Dr. Melissa Holt / 08.10.2017 Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology Boston University Bullying, as many people know, can be a tremendously painful experience for a young person. The point has been driven home over the[…]

An Introduction to John Locke’s ‘Essay Concerning Human Understanding’

Portrait of John Locke, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1697 / State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia By Dr. Garth Kemerling / 11.12.2011 Professor of Philosophy Capella University Philosophy Pages John Locke’s An Essay Concerning Human Understanding is a classic statement of empiricist epistemology. Written in a straightforward, uncomplicated style, the Essay attempts nothing less than a fundamental account of human knowledge—its origin[…]

Tracing the Links between Research and Real-World Applications

Basic research and applications coexist in a tangled two-way ecosystem. lenggirl, Shutterstock    By Dr. Benjamin F. Jones (left) and Dr. Mohammad Ahmadpoor (right) / 08.10.2017 Jones: Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy Ahmadpoor: Postdoctoral Fellow of Strategy J.L. Kellogg School of Management Northwestern University What does hailing a ride with Uber have to do with 19th-century geometry and[…]

Seeing without Eyes – the Unexpected World of Nonvisual Photoreception

Color-changing cells in an Atlantic squid’s skin contain light-sensitive pigments. Alexandra Kingston By Dr. Thomas Cronin / 08.09.2017 Professor of Biological Sciences University of Maryland, Baltimore County We humans are uncommonly visual creatures. And those of us endowed with normal sight are used to thinking of our eyes as vital to how we experience the world.[…]

Today in History: Cleopatra Commits Suicide, 30 BCE

Cleopatra Before Caesar by Jean-Léon Gérôme, oil on canvas, 1866. Cleopatra confronts Gaius Julius Caesar after emerging from a roll of carpet. The Egyptian Queen had been driven from the palace in Alexandria by her brother/husband Ptolemy XIII. She had to disguise herself to regain entry and treat with Caesar for protection and restoration of her throne. By Dr. Joshua J. Mark /[…]

The Power of the Past in Grounding Us

Leonard Woolley’s excavation of Ur, 1900. / Courtesy Boston Public Library By Ben Thomas / 08.17.2017 In his essay The Machine-Tooled Happyland (1965), Ray Bradbury lays out his vision for the theme park of the future. Along with standard-issue attractions such as carousels and rollercoasters, tomorrow’s theme park must also contain an ‘audio-animatronic museum’, which features ‘Robot[…]

What Can the Brain Reveal about Gratitude?

New research is exploring the brain regions linked to gratitude—and it helps explain gratitude’s many benefits. By Dr. Glenn Fox / 08.04.2017 Postdoctoral Researcher in Neuroscience University of Southern California Imagine you are on the run from a Nazi manhunt and are taken under the protection of a stranger. This stranger spends the winter providing[…]

Jewish Sources in the Narrative of Abraham in the ‘General estoria’

San Fernando Valley Credit: Oakshade, Wikimedia Commons By Dr. David A. Wacks / 05.24.2017 Professor of Spanish Department of Romance Languages University of Oregon I wrote about the influence of Jewish exegesis in the development of fictionality, that is, those aspects of prose fiction that serve to enhance the as-if function of fiction and make possible the suspension of disbelief required[…]