SS: A guided tour

The Bell Tower, Tower of

London: Thomas More, Elizabeth

I, and Other Histories, Part 1

An interesting and informative description of a visit to various locations in the UK. Enjoy the trip!
From “Ordinary Philosophy” : ~ Ordinary Philosophy is a labor of love and ad-free, supported by patrons and readers like you. Any support you can offer will be deeply appreciated!

Opportunity knocketh!


Come celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Russell Archives at McMaster University!

Registration is now open for the upcoming SSHAP conference to be held June 19-21 at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON. Please follow the link below to our web portal where you can register for the conference.

The fees are as follows:

Registration (includes, conference material, boxed lunches, coffee breaks and transaction fee ($5))

  • Full-time: $105
  • Student/Retired/Unemployed: $65

Please note that registration closes on JUNE 1st.

All further information can be found on our website:


Sandra Lapointe

#Philosopher @McMasterU




The events of the year 2016 have led many critical observers to doubt
the stability and longevity of democracy. Ideally, democracy effectuates
the rule of reason. Debates in elected assemblies and in society as a
whole should serve the process of finding best reasons for political
decisions. However, the mechanisms that currently produce such decisions
are vulnerable to misuse. Arguably, they need to be redesigned in an
attempt to make them “foolproof” – i.e., to design them in a way to make
misuse inherently impossible or to minimize its negative consequences.

Empirical evidence suggests that political agents may generally lack the
required competence for deliberation and debate. Even very intelligent
people systematically tend to focus on information that confirms what
they already believe and dismiss information that contradicts it.
Instead of seeking rational debate, people often cling to forms of
modern tribalism. In addition, modern communication networks are swiftly
replacing traditional print and broadcast news media. This shift
presents deliberative democracy with opportunities but also risks, as
these communication networks neither encourage a balanced exchange of
information nor systematically check its quality.

In view of these developments, the question of the desired relation
between democracy, deliberation, and truth looms large. Moral Philosophy
and Politics invites contributions that seek to articulate this relation
from the viewpoint of philosophy and political science. Suitable
contributions may address such questions as:

  • How, if at all, can we improve public opinion formation?
  • Is deliberation the best way to generate political decisions in modern
  • How can we make democracy more resistant to populism and other forms
    of mass manipulation?   Should politics be allowed (and perhaps even
    obligated) to exert influence on opinion formation in society?
  • Is there a way to methodically and impartially check the quality of
    debate in the public sphere?
  • Are political polarization and “echo chambers” a problem for
    democracy? And, if so, how can we guard against their formation and
  • What ought to be the role of science and the humanities in the
    democratic process?

Papers should be submitted by June 30, 2018 and should not exceed
8000 words; shorter articles will also be accepted for review.

All submissions will undergo MOPP’s double-blind refereeing process.
Please note that this process is not organized by the guest editors but
by the journal’s founding editors who will also have the final word on
publication decisions.

The journal’s manuscript submission site can accessed here:

Guest editors:
David Lanius (Karlsruhe)
Ioannis Votsis (London)

Dr. Ioannis Votsis


Thanks to the internet!

Open Culture is one of the great doorways to courses and information! For example:


When you dive into our collection of 1,300 Free Online Courses, you can begin an intellectual journey that can last for many months, if not years. The collection lets you drop into the classrooms of leading universities (like Stanford, Harvard, MIT and Oxford) and essentially audit their courses for free. You get to be a fly on the wall and soak up whatever knowledge you want. All you need is an internet connection and some free time on your hands.

Today, we’re featuring two courses taught by Professor Richard Bulliet at Columbia University, which will teach you the history of the world in 46 lectures. The first course, History of the World to 1500 CE (available on YouTube and iTunes Video, or fully streamable below) takes you from prehistoric times to 1500, the cusp of early modernity. The origins of agriculture; the Greek, Roman and Persian empires; the rise of Islam and Christian medieval kingdoms; transformations in Asia; and the Maritime revolution — they’re all covered here.

In the second course, History of the World Since 1500 CE (find it on YouTube, iTunes or embedded below), Bulliet focuses on the rise of colonialism in the Americas and India; historical developments in China, Japan and Korea; the Industrial Revolution; the Ottoman Empire; the emergence of Social Darwinism; and various key moments in 20th century history.

Bulliet helped write the popular textbook The Earth and its Peoples: A Global History, and it serves as the main textbook for the course. Above, we’re starting you off with Lecture 2, which moves from the Origins of Agriculture to the First River – Valley Civilizations, circa 8000-1500 B.C.E. The first lecture deals with methodological issues that underpin the course. All of the remaining lectures are available below.

Once you get the big picture with Professor Bulliet, don’t forget to visit our collection of Free Online History Courses, a subset of our big collection, 1,300 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.