What Is Necessary Knowledge?

In philosophy, questions about the nature of knowledge are some of the oldest. They have kept philosophers busy for well over 2,000 years and continue doing so today. The branch of philosophy that tries to answer questions about knowledge - epistemology - is considered one of the core building blocks of philosophical thinking. However, philosophy …

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Philosophical Notes: Is Kant an Enlightenment Thinker?

There are different views about this question. Some scholars see the 18th-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant as one of the central Enlightenment thinkers, while others claim that in him we can already see the shift away from the self-confident optimism about the power of human reason that marked the Enlightenment age. However, any answer to …

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Spreading the Word: New Research on Emotions

This Friday I share with you a fascinating TED talk on emotions. In it, the neuroscientist and professor of psychology Lisa Feldman Barrett talks about the latest research and findings on the nature of our emotions. Where do they come from, what they are, to what extent we can control them, and more. Frankly, I …

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Intuitive Beliefs, Cups, and Worldviews

I like a nice cup of good black tea. In fact, one such cup stands in front of me just now as I am typing this. I do not have any doubts about it, I do not need to reflect on it to establish whether it is indeed so. There it is - my cup …

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Our Beliefs Develop in Circles

Have you ever wondered how your beliefs are formed? We all have worldviews that are informed by our beliefs about life. But how are our beliefs created? And by whom? In this article, I explore one possible answer offered by cognitive science. Especially its new branch of inquiry - cognitive science of religion (CSR) - …

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Spreading the Word: Your Thoughts Matter

This Friday I share with you a short video on the fascinating trait of our brain - neuroplasticity. What does it mean? In very simple terms - our brain remains flexible and constantly adapts and learns throughout our lives. I referred to this in my last article on the evolutionary science behind our belief forming …

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Could Our Beliefs Be an Evolutionary Advantage?

The current world population amounts to approximately 7,8 billion people. You, me, all of us. According to the latest estimations, roughly 85% of us feel affiliated with one of the currently practised religions. The remaining 15% do not necessarily all identify as atheists, some see themselves as agnostic or simply non-religious, having no strong views …

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