With characteristic hilarity and insight, a recent Onion article discusses an upcoming video game’s character creator that is gender-fluid but forces players to be Christian: “We wanted to give gamers maximum customizability as they explore… except in the category of religion. That question has been answered by Jesus’ ascension.”

The cultural revolution that is sometimes called “wokeness” is a good thing, ambiguous though the term may be. …


The Witness by Jonathan Blow, 2016.

Jonathan Blow’s The Witness is one of my favorite video games of all time for many reasons, from the sophistication of the puzzles to the beautiful environments to the windmill videos. I wrote an article about what I took to be Blow’s epistemology when making the game, and I was subsequently interviewed about it on the excellent Parsing Science podcast.

As I note in the podcast and in the article, there’s a lot more philosophical analysis of the game to be done since my focus was only on epistemology. In fact, a full book could probably be written on the…


I’m one of those people that many on the political left love to hate: although I claim to be progressive (and my voting and charity record prove it), I am not fully woke. While I concur wholeheartedly with the lofty goal of inclusiveness, I don’t agree with many woke tactics for achieving it (see my argument regarding wokeness and religion here, for example).

But one central goal of this article is to steel man wokeness, or to home in on one aspect of wokeness that I think has generally been a force for good in this flawed world: the LGBTQ…


I’ve seen it so many times: an ardent church-goer who encounters philosophy and comes away with the impression that the age-old discipline is just “mind games and tricks”. Adding insult to injury this critic may go on to suggest that philosophy is simply a “matter of opinion”, failing to distinguish between epistemological relativism and a discipline that counts relativism itself as one theory worthy of (at least some) rational consideration.

To be sure, there are serious critiques of philosophy to be made and it deserves honest critiquing. Most theologians respect philosophy, understanding the way their own religious beliefs are founded…


If you ever have a political discussion with a group of leftists, one topic that is sure to elicit a chorus of mockery and belly laughs is the intelligence level of those on the right. They voted for Trump because they’re stupid! Don’t they understand that they’re voting against their own interests? Trevor Noah and John Oliver bits will be shared copiously, putting an exclamation point on the derision.

And if some rare soul at the table dares to challenge the narrative and arrest the others’ enjoyment of their sustainable cocktails by pointing out that there are, actually, intelligent republicans…


Not too long ago Neil deGrasse Tyson appeared on Coleman Hughes’ podcast to discuss policing and racism. When Hughes, a philosopher with a penchant for data, began to present statistics, Tyson was unimpressed. Referencing George Floyd, Tyson argued that such brutality should never happen at all and the fact that it does is a sign of a serious problem with our justice system. Underlying Tyson’s point is the idea that all people have an inherent dignity that should be protected, rather than compromised, by the system in place.

Tyson’s argument is a fair one. Obviously murder that is sanctioned by…


For a while I’ve been nursing the idea of writing something on meditation misunderstandings — be it a blog or a book — since many people I know or whose work I have read have similar misunderstandings that crop up again and again (I’m looking at you, John Horgan, here and even here). However, I now think that the topic of this particular writing should be more broad. So I’m doing this blog on spiritual misconceptions (mostly), all listed and discussed below. People buying into these misconceptions, in my view, are contributing to the stockpile of pseudo-spiritual nonsense in American…


How the unspoken rule of higher education impedes effective teaching and learning

Earlier this year, two students at my alma mater, the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), unsuccessfully tried to ban a longstanding class on the films of Woody Allen. When one student was asked whether they were infringing the professor’s First Amendment rights, she had an opportunity to put those basic college critical thinking skills to good use.

Would she, say, give a balance of values argument? That is, would she acknowledge the centrality of free speech to the academy while targeting the Allen class as an exception due to its promotion, in her eyes, of problematic morality?

Nope…

Luke Cuddy

Professor of Philosophy at Southwestern College, CA | Contributor to @andphilosophy | Blues Guitar Finger-Picker

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