A Short Reflection on a Child’s Inclination Towards Philosophy

I am sure by now we have all heard some version of the saying “Children are natural philosophers”. Children are imaginative, and they rely on their imagination to make assessments of the world around them; because of this, children seem to be inclined to some of the biggest questions considered in philosophical discourse. However, people shy away from this. They tell children not to concern themselves with such big matters, and to focus on the ‘better things in life’, like simply being a child. But I would argue that it is important for children to ask these questions, and itContinue reading “A Short Reflection on a Child’s Inclination Towards Philosophy”

My Journey to Define Philosophy

A few months ago, me and a friend were discussing a conversation we had had with another philosophically-inclined individual over the VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service, Discord. From my poor memory, I recall his argument to be something like: “Numbers cannot be infinite, because numbers must correspond to objects in reality, but reality contains only a finite number of objects.” My friend and I did not find this argument compelling, and argued that numbers were in fact infinite, and attempted to give reasons for why this is so. At the end, neither side was convinced by the other’s argument.Continue reading “My Journey to Define Philosophy”

On the Death and Resurrection of Philosophy

I think that when we killed God, Philosophy too was struck down in grief. Is it any surprise that these two were tied together by fate, when the most famous philosopher concluded his most famous speech with the declaration “Now we go our separate ways. You to live, and me to die. Only God knows which is best.”? I think that Philosophy has lost its soul. Be it to cold logicians or moralistic activists, it doesn’t matter, the result is the same. Philosophy is rendered either a dead machine, or an undead, shambling corpse. Whichever is the case, it isContinue reading “On the Death and Resurrection of Philosophy”

First In-Person Discussion Night in 2 Years!

On March 30th, CUPS hosted the first in-person discussion night in over 2 years, led by Professor Hoyeck discussing Blade Runner 2049. It was a huge success with over 20 people in attendance, with snacks and coffee supplied by Happy Goat Coffee co. Professor Hoyeck started by leading students to go through a quick summary of the movie, explaining various differences between the original Blade Runner and the new version. Opinions varied across the board on which movie was better, but Professor Hoyeck showed good arguments to align 2049 as a more subtle philosophical interest due to its focus onContinue reading “First In-Person Discussion Night in 2 Years!”

Similarities Between Philosophy and Law

There are many similarities between Philosophy and Law as faculties of knowledge. I would go as far as to say that studying Philosophy might prepare someone for studying and practicing law and other work in social justice. I think that since Philosophy is about uncovering the nature of things, of all things, it enables the kind of analytical thinking that is a pillar for a successful justice system. The first connection between Philosophy and legal practice is the general form of philosophical information and knowledge. Argument theory and logic are fundamentals in studying Philosophy and are applied in all philosophicalContinue reading “Similarities Between Philosophy and Law”

The Philosophical Insights of my Grandmother

On the 29th my maternal grandmother stopped over at my parent’s house to join us for a meal. She brought over a duck for us to eat. She also brought over insights that amount to nothing less than most important contribution to philosophy so far this century. I, happening to be vegetarian (a person who for the sake of argument, can be described as one who refrains from eating the bodies of animals), refused to eat any of the duck. My grandmother was confused by my reluctance to eat any of the bird. She responded to my reluctance with anContinue reading “The Philosophical Insights of my Grandmother”


The morbid wonder of Takato Yamamoto’s Heisei Aestheticism. On January 15, 1960, amidst the quiet hills and rolling waves of Japan’s Akita Prefecture, a still unknown Takato Yamamoto was born. It had been a turbulent road for Japan up until this point; a nation suffering still from the throes of the Second World War ended only a decade and a half earlier by the consumptive hand of two nuclear devastations. Yet, this was not the Japan Yamamoto would come to know. It was a Japan of old, a bygone era, though one whose ethereal pall would forever shroud the nationContinue reading “LIFE, DEATH, AND THE BEAUTY WITHIN THE PAIN”

Why Does Algorithmic Data Collection Make Us Anxious?

By Emily Carr                    Looking back into history, the existence of algorithmic marketing techniques trace back to the earliest types of media platforms. Back before digital algorithms, certain flyers would be posted in certain neighbourhoods and not in others, and advertisements for certain kinds of goods or services would appear in certain genres of newspaper. The collection of information on individuals has always been used as an efficient and successful means for profit acquisition. In recent times, digital algorithms are used by powerful corporations like Amazon to expose individuals to personalized content, such as “What Else You Might Like” after makingContinue reading “Why Does Algorithmic Data Collection Make Us Anxious?”

Philosopher Spotlight: Spinoza, a Joyful Heretic

            Historically, the work of 17th century philosopher Baruch Spinoza (born Baruch Espinosa), evoked controversy. In 1656 he was excommunicated, or issued a “cherem”, from his Sephardic Jewish religious community on the basis of the “abominable heresies which he practiced and taught”.[i] The larger world of Christian Europe was no more pleased with him. In 1697, for example, Pierre Bayle, a French Protestant philosopher, wrote that the philosophical system described in Spinoza’s Opera Posthuma (works published after Spinoza’s death) “is the most monstrous hypothesis that could be imagined…”.[ii]             The rejection of Spinoza’s thought from the religious communities around himContinue reading “Philosopher Spotlight: Spinoza, a Joyful Heretic”

Problematic Intersections of Science and Everyday Language

It cannot be denied that science has gifted us all (well those of us with wealth anyways) many new ways to affirm our rights in the face of metaphysical indifference to them. Through science we have cured an immense number of diseases previously thought to be incurable, managed to develop fast acting international methods for communication via the jet engine, and then demolished the standards set by the jet engine through the internet and digital communication. And the mainstream has come to recognize science (generally) for its contributions to the human project. In this recognition, scientific terminology and concepts haveContinue reading “Problematic Intersections of Science and Everyday Language”

A Realistic Day In the Life of a Philosophy Student

I am in my fourth year here at Carleton, and like many other students at this point, I have reached a new level of appreciating a good cup of coffee in the morning and a glass of wine at night (keeping in mind the golden mean of Plato of course). I think I have a relatively normal life, but I leave that up to you to judge. As a philosophy student, I think my day-to-day work likely looks a little different than a lot of other students in different programs. Perhaps this will be of some insight to see whatContinue reading “A Realistic Day In the Life of a Philosophy Student”

Philosophy in Europe with Carleton’s Joshua Shepherd

By: Emily Carr Doctor Joshua Shepherd is one of Carleton’s Philosophy professors currently away on sabbatical this semester (Fall 2022). Back home in Ottawa, you might find Shepherd teaching undergraduate Philosophy courses that synchronize cognitive studies and philosophy (such as PHIL 1301: Mind, World and Knowledge or PHIL 2550: Moral Psychology). Shepherd first discovered his interest in Philosophy through linguistic and metaphysical Philosophy, which brought him to pursue a master’s degree in Philosophy at Colorado State University, focusing in on the philosophy of cognitive science, and ultimately completing a thesis on moral particularism. Following this degree, he continued philosophical studiesContinue reading “Philosophy in Europe with Carleton’s Joshua Shepherd”

Philosophy and Laypeople

I want to use this blog to comment on philosophy in relation to laypeople. Philosophy is perhaps the most misunderstood discipline by the general public, in part because its without conventional boundaries, both in terms of the subjects and methods of research that define conceivably any other discipline. When I first told my grandmother I was switching into philosophy she was supportive of my decision, but it was clear she had a very poor grasp of what it was that interests me academically. She talked a bit about her youth, and essentially wanting to participate in discourse at that timeContinue reading “Philosophy and Laypeople”

Philosopher Spotlight: Cornel West

Dr. Cornel West is a contemporary philosopher who focuses on the analysis of socio-political philosophy and responsibility through his understanding of social service as an act of love.

The Philosophy of Books & Libraries With Carleton’s Larry Thompson

Larry Thompson has had a home at Carleton University since he studied English Literature in an undergraduate degree between 1983-1987, that is, “Back when Dunton Tower was called the ‘Arts Tower’” (Thompson). On campus, Thompson’s worldviews were challenged by literary and Philosophical texts presented by his professors and the MacOdrum Library shelves. After this, he continued studies in engineering, and later found a passion in something that ties both of his academic subjects together in a sense: Printing. Today, Thompson finds himself back in MacOdrum Library, where his role is “Master Printer” as well as research specialist for the PhilosophyContinue reading “The Philosophy of Books & Libraries With Carleton’s Larry Thompson”

Cognitive Philosophy, Reality and Literature With Carleton’s Donald Beecher

Donald Beecher made it all the way from sunny California to Carleton University’s English department. Here on campus, Beecher is a professor for graduate and undergraduate students, as well as a writer, editor and translator, and philosophical thinker. As an experienced editor and translator of early literary texts, Beecher has published a variety of works both on his own and in collaboration with colleagues, through such publishing houses as McGill-Queen’s UP, University of Toronto Press, and Broadview. Beecher also created a publication series for early music through which he has published numerous performance editions of compositions created between 1500 andContinue reading “Cognitive Philosophy, Reality and Literature With Carleton’s Donald Beecher”

Odd Times Back On Campus

Back to in-person classes! But what does this mean for students? For me, coming back to in-person classes was something I had been looking forward to ever since they left. Though coming up to my first day back, I was so worried about what it would be like. Would I accidentally somehow break a rule? What if a student in one of my classes is an anti-masker, and I must witness an argument? Also, we can’t walk in the tunnels?! Winter will certainly be a cold one at Carleton if I am to walk outside. Alas, amidst all these worriesContinue reading “Odd Times Back On Campus”

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