The hottest Philosophy Substack posts right now

And their main takeaways
Top Philosophy Topics
Astral Codex Ten β€’ 14522 implied HN points β€’ 28 Feb 24
  1. Some actions considered acceptable by many are questioned by those who identify as utilitarian or consequentialist, highlighting differing moral perspectives.
  2. Utilitarians may advocate for policies that involve sacrificing or compromising certain ethical norms for the greater good, whereas non-utilitarians may not view these actions in the same light.
  3. The perception of utilitarians being more willing to do harm for the greater good may stem from the discomfort with the idea of calculating morality and the juxtaposition of sacred values with utilitarian reasoning.
The Honest Broker β€’ 23072 implied HN points β€’ 02 Feb 24
  1. The rule of the 6 spheres focuses on balancing six key aspects of life like vocation, community, family, mind, body, and spirit.
  2. Balancing these spheres is crucial for a fulfilling life, and neglecting any one of them can lead to feelings of imbalance and quiet desperation.
  3. Constructing a personal worldview based on your own values and virtues is important for guiding your daily life and decision-making.
Noahpinion β€’ 3882 implied HN points β€’ 19 Mar 24
  1. Beliefs can be like a consumption good, costing time and effort, especially when they require action to support them.
  2. Luxury beliefs confer status on the wealthy while inflicting costs on lower classes, such as fancy vocabulary, views on drug policy, and family structure.
  3. Different meanings of belief exist, from willingness to bet on an outcome to a feeling of truth and rightness in a statement.
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Richard Hanania's Newsletter β€’ 2048 implied HN points β€’ 11 Mar 24
  1. Social conservatives make claims about higher-order effects to justify their positions on issues like abortion and euthanasia, but these claims often lack evidence or are disproven by cross-national comparisons.
  2. Slippery slope arguments can be valid in limited contexts, but broad claims like legalizing prostitution affecting overall societal values need substantial evidence, which is often lacking.
  3. Government policies in free countries have limited influence on shaping culture predictably; the impact is often chaotic and hard to plan for, as seen by historical examples of social policies not aligning with expected cultural changes.
The Honest Broker β€’ 26862 implied HN points β€’ 04 Nov 23
  1. The philosophy of Effective Altruism may prioritize long-term consequences over immediate actions, leading to risky ethical decisions.
  2. Analytic philosophy, specifically of the Anglo-American variety, can promote perspectives that prioritize maximizing pleasure, potentially leading to damaging outcomes.
  3. Beware of philosophical systems that justify harmful actions by focusing on a 'larger context' and be cautious of practitioners who calculate consequences before performing acts of kindness or generosity.
uTobian β€’ 4952 implied HN points β€’ 21 Jan 24
  1. In modern times, freedom is often associated with unrestrained passion, but the idea of freedom through personal restraint from ancient times is considered a better path to happiness and fulfillment.
  2. The writings of NiccolΓ² Machiavelli marked a shift in the concept of freedom towards acknowledging human selfishness and focusing on political security through class conflict.
  3. The current crisis in science and medicine is prompting a reevaluation of the assumption that scientists and doctors are inherently virtuous, suggesting the need for reforms based on the idea that they may be motivated by greed and power.
The Upheaval β€’ 2026 implied HN points β€’ 15 Feb 24
  1. According to Confucius, the basics of governance consist of having enough armaments, food, and the trust of the common people.
  2. Confucius emphasizes that the trust of the people is the most crucial element for a state to stand, even above food and armaments.
  3. The modern political leaders seem to have forgotten these fundamental principles, failing to prioritize security, defense, and the trust of the common people.
Secretum Secretorum β€’ 1161 implied HN points β€’ 02 Mar 24
  1. Traumatic transcendence challenges the concept that extreme states of consciousness can manipulate physics, prompting a need for deeper understanding through experiments induced by profound suffering.
  2. Evidence and reasoning suggest that consciousness may transcend normal physics, as seen in tales from folklore and religious history, trauma-related phenomenon, and philosophical arguments against materialism.
  3. Love plays an integral role in traumatic transcendence and mystical experiences, emphasizing a connection between profound experiences and emotion, challenging traditional metaphysical paradigms.
The Novelleist β€’ 1075 implied HN points β€’ 04 Mar 24
  1. There are good people who do positive things, but also 'that guy' who causes harm and makes rules and regulations necessary.
  2. Bad actors may be a small percentage, but their impact can be significant, leading to the need for larger systems to handle such individuals.
  3. While rules and regulations are essential for addressing bad behavior, they can sometimes become burdensome due to the actions of a few individuals.
The Algorithmic Bridge β€’ 668 implied HN points β€’ 12 Mar 24
  1. Boredom was never the problem, but not experiencing it is a challenge in the modern world.
  2. The most crucial skill in the 21st century is learning how to be bored and find tranquility in silence.
  3. Constant external stimulation has made us fear boredom, but embracing it can help us grow and stand out in a world of overwhelming entertainment.
Contemplations on the Tree of Woe β€’ 1040 implied HN points β€’ 28 Feb 24
  1. Anthrophysiocracy explores the idea that there are objectively better social structures for human flourishing based on human nature, which varies across populations.
  2. The concept of constrained and unconstrained viewpoints on human nature influences political ideologies and social debates, with implications for societal structures and governance.
  3. Biological differences among human populations impact behavior and societal organization, challenging the notion of a universal governing system and emphasizing the importance of diverse self-governance.
Contemplations on the Tree of Woe β€’ 1017 implied HN points β€’ 21 Feb 24
  1. The curriculum lays out a detailed progression through moral philosophy starting with Ayn Rand and then exploring Alasdair Macintyre's work, culminating in a comparison of their differing ethical frameworks.
  2. The reading list focuses on books that challenge modern ethical frameworks and call for a return to Aristotelian ethics, emphasizing the balance between rational and social aspects of human nature.
  3. Supplemental reading includes works by Aristotle, Ayn Rand, and other philosophers, offering further insights into moral philosophy and ethics.
Archedelia β€’ 1631 implied HN points β€’ 30 Jan 24
  1. The nobility in an aristocratic society upholds standards that tie them to the common good, unlike meritocrats.
  2. Meritocrats are individuals who rely on intelligence and hard work for their position, without a sense of duty to sustain culture.
  3. The bourgeoisie, as described by François Furet, is defined by wealth and lacks a specific tradition or place in the community.
ideassleepfuriously β€’ 1375 implied HN points β€’ 31 Jan 24
  1. Human inequality is a reality that cannot be denied - some are faster, smarter, or more talented than others.
  2. There are distinct but related conceptions of equality: empirical, metaphysical, moral, and political equality.
  3. Political equality, where individuals are treated equally under the law, is a pragmatic and fair form of equality to strive for.
Justin E. H. Smith's Hinternet β€’ 915 implied HN points β€’ 04 Feb 24
  1. The author believes writing is not a lifestyle to be celebrated, but rather a bad habit.
  2. They express frustration with the cultural recursion and excessive focus on writing within platforms like Substack.
  3. The author emphasizes the importance of conveying a unique sensibility through writing rather than focusing on writing rituals and advice.
Secretum Secretorum β€’ 808 implied HN points β€’ 03 Feb 24
  1. The idea of dangerous ideas includes those that can harm the world, pose threats, or are inherently dangerous in various aspects like technology, science, or philosophy.
  2. The concept of 'white balls' representing beneficial ideas and 'black balls' representing pernicious ideas explores human creativity and the potential risks and benefits of various thought processes.
  3. The post challenges readers to consider whether pursuing dangerous ideas, like founding a Journal of Dangerous Ideas, is a bold approach worth taking or if it leads to unnecessary risks.
Logging the World β€’ 418 implied HN points β€’ 25 Feb 24
  1. Spurious precision in quantifying data can lead to misleading conclusions. It's important to question the validity and relevance of highly specific measurements.
  2. Success in fields like sports, work, or academia is influenced by luck and chance. It's crucial to acknowledge these factors in evaluating performance and outcomes.
  3. Random events play a significant role in everyone's career. It's essential to maintain perspective during both highs and lows, understanding the impact of chance in long-term success.
Egg Report β€’ 569 implied HN points β€’ 10 Feb 24
  1. In the realm of computation, complex statements can be broken down into simple ones, reflecting a mono-causal, universalist view of reality.
  2. Projects like AI and VR are attempts to recreate intelligence and reality, each carrying metaphysical claims about the simplicity and illusory nature of complexity.
  3. Engaging with computers and writing code trains individuals to think in a certain way, guiding them towards a robotic mindset and reinforcing metaphysical assumptions.