Reflections on Philosophy

Reflective thoughts on current and historical issues in philosophy

Here you will find musings and thought bubbles on various issues in contemporary philosophical research and the history of philosophy. The ideas expressed here are more personally reflective and less structured compared with our essays on philosophy.

Rational Realm welcomes contributions of personal reflections for publication on our site. Please review our submission guidelines and contact us.


  • Is Free Will Compatible with Determinism?

    Exploring whether human beings can possess genuine free will in a deterministic world and the implications for moral responsibility.

  • Donald Hoffman's Conscious Realism

    Leslie Allan summarizes neuroscientist Donald Hoffman's version of ontological idealism in which Hoffman presents the thesis that all that exists are conscious agents.


  • What's Wrong with Democracy?

    The rise of Donald Trump and the outcome of the Brexit vote indicate that our democratic systems of government are under stress.

  • Doing Good without God

    Read one atheist's story about how she practices effective altruism through Kiva microfinance.

  • Working Towards Alleviating Extreme Poverty

    Heather McLaughlin shares four straightforward and effective strategies for doing good better.

  • Moral Norms and Normativity

    Do moral norms differ from non-moral norms, such as norms of law, prudence, etiquette and game play? This preliminary analysis teases out what is common to all normative systems and what is different about moral norms.

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