Philosophy for Everyone

A session at FtBConscience 2

Sunday 2nd February, 2014

12:00pm to 1:00pm

What is philosophy? What use is it for the average Jane or Joe? How can laypeople learn it, benefit from it, and apply it in their lives? Dan Fincke (philosophy professor at Hofstra and CCNY) and Richard Carrier (author and philosopher, with a Ph.D. in the history of philosophy from Columbia University) are joined by Julia Galef (co-founder and president of the Center for Applied Rationality) and Jess Whittlestone (communications director for 80000hours, High Impact Ethical Careers) to discuss it. Everyone on the panel has real-world experience with practical, applied philosophy, and in the second half we will be taking questions from the audience. This discussion will be aimed at anyone who doesn't have a Ph.D. in philosophy, and will focus on the real-world benefits and applications of philosophy, not its arcane bits. Learn how you can study philosophy in your spare time and use it in your everyday life, your personal development and life goals, your voting and activism, and more. The panelists might also address some myths and negative stereotypes about philosophy. And they will definitely be talking about how they, personally, study and make use of philosophy in their life and work, and how others can, too.

(For some useful introductory readings in practical and applied philosophy, see the first page of Richard Carrier's recommendations list.)

About the speakers

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Dan Fincke

Philosophy Professor

Dr. Daniel Fincke has his PhD in Philosophy from Fordham University and he taught philosophy at universities for 11 years. He has a private online philosophy practice whereby he uses Google Hangout to interactively teach people philosophy and counsel them about their philosophical problems. He has two blogs, Camels With Hammers and Empowerment Ethics, and will premiere his new podcast Hammering Out Ethics with Dan Fincke later this month.

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Julia Galef

President and Co-Founder, Center for Applied Rationality

Julia Galef is the president and co-founder of the Center for Applied Rationality (rationality.org), an organization teaching math- and cognitive science-based techniques for effective decisionmaking. Julia has written about science and rationality for publications including Science, Scientific American, Popular Science, The Philosopher's Magazine, 3 Quarks Daily, and her personal blog, Measure of Doubt. In her spare time, she co-hosts the Rationally Speaking Podcast, and gives talks about rationality at universities, organizations, and conferences. Julia received her B.A. in Statistics from Columbia University in 2005.

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Jess Whittlestone

Research Associate at 80,000 Hours

Jess Whittlestone is a research associate at 80,000 Hours, a non-profit organisation aimed at helping people to make more difference with their careers. She played a central role in growing the Centre for Effective Altruism, a collection of organisations with the common theme of combining empathy, reason and evidence to make the world a better place as effectively as possible, where she led the design of a coaching process to help people have more impact with their career decisions. She holds a First Class Masters degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from Oxford University, and is currently studying for a PhD in Behavioural Science at Warwick Business School.

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Dr. Richard Carrier

Author, Philosopher, and Historian

Richard Carrier, Ph.D., is a philosopher and historian, specializing in contemporary philosophy of naturalism and Greco-Roman philosophy, science, and religion, including the origins of Christianity. As an independent scholar he blogs regularly and lectures for community groups worldwide, and is the author of Sense and Goodness without God, Proving History, Why I Am Not a Christian, as well as other books and chapters and articles in magazines and academic journals. For more about him and his work see richardcarrier.info.

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Time 12:00pm1:00pm CST

Date Sun 2nd February 2014

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Books by speaker

  • Science Education in the Early Roman Empire
  • On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt
  • Hitler Homer Bible Christ

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