Monday, February 27, 2017

How to research for arguments for your Philosophy Paper

I know some of you have asked me where to find reliable arguments in favor and against our topics.

I cannot do this for you. It's part of the effort to find it yourself. So, I'm going to help you help yourself:

1- Make a PHI Paper Folder with FOR and AGAINST points

2- Type: "Fast food, arguments in favor" and then "fast food, arguments against" in your google search bar.

3- Narrow the search by typing "fast food, .org" and "fast food, .edu" you get a more specialized more reliable kind of aggregation.

After you look for  .org and .edu articles, look for magazines like The Economist, The Atlantic, National Review, The New Yorker, Scientific American, or reputed newspapers like New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, CNN, etc.

So, in the FOR subfolder I find:

this (from The New Yorker),
this (from The Atlantic, discussing the issues)
this (with the best 7 Fast Food restaurants)
this, (at

Now you would do the same now with the AGAINST subfolder.

Another option is google scholar

If you have three article in each file, you have plenty to start, then as your discussion gets more interesting, you may want to search in more detail. For example, suppose you are talking about a particular issue, like obesity. I typed for a more specific search: "fast food, obesity, .edu". I got 15 M articles!

this Princeton study on the effects of Fast Food on obesity.

If you don't find the topics it's because you are not doing a good search. Believe me, the topics are out there!

Determinism vs. Free will vs Compatibilism (videos)

This is an interesting video on determinism & free will. 

This one about compatibilism.

Thanks to Ryan LaPointe

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

MINDWORK: let's find likes and dislikes by tracing back their causal series

write down the following:

1. 3 foods you hate, dislike, or love,
2. 3 genres of music you hate, dislike or love,
3. 3 movies you hate, dislike or love,
4. 3 individuals you hate, dislike, or love,
5. your actual major (why not your second choice of major),
6. your present boyfriend & your previous boyfriend,

next, find in each case try to put together a tentative series, think of what triggered the series and how did it become a behavioral disposition. you may have to go back to your infancy (ages 4-8), look for events, picture your parents or family members, or a teacher, or a friend or admired peer, whether they play as reward or aversives,

remember for the determinist, no disposition happens on its own. it must have a cause, we only have to find it!

for you foodies or chocolate or avocado haters, we've talked about this in class already (scroll down the oxford academic article.

student assistants TR classes

TR 8:25am

Maria Trinidad Guerra

TR 11:15am

Federico Colombo
Tamara Jean
Daniela Silva

Saturday, February 18, 2017

brain causing our minds

see how brain causes mind states. this is a good introduction to brain function (read the whole thing)

which you need to know when we discuss hard determinism, because it all happens inside the brain.

Monday, February 13, 2017

something i wrote about roaches 4 u

click here.

can a computer think, fall in love, understand? (Triff's movie list)

conceivably, yes!(you don't need brains to think)

Her (Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson)

Blade Runner (Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young)

ExMachina (Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson )

tHE maTRIX (Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss)

and the best of all:

2001 A Space Odyssey (directed by Stanley Kubrick)

PHI 2010 HONORS philosophy paper (second assignment)

How to argue your thesis and a counter thesis (in four paragraphs)

Phi 2010 Student Assistants (Honors Classes)


Rose Norton
Sebastian Gallo
Sebastian Espina
Kiana Vidal


Mia Marotta
Marcos Perez
Nicole Rodriguez
Karina Rivadeneira


Darlin Gonzalez
Alejandro Fortes
Ana Suarez
Maria Guirado

Philosophy Club Constitution

We have our Philosophy Club Constitution, furnished by Sebastian Gallo!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

If you have a special need for testing let me know ASAP

Dear students: I know some of you have given me letters regarding arrangements for taking the exam. But I need to have which group you belong to.

So, could you send me an email to with your name and group (days of the week) you belong to so I can go ahead and have these tests ready for you for test next week? Understandably, the people at testing require detailed information for these accommodations.

Example, Angel Vicario, MWF 10am HONORS, or Julia Smith, T,R 8:25am.