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Answer Man

January 17, 2019 Philosophy


Philosophy professor’s internet advice points out the limits of common sense.

By Chris Carroll | Illustration by Jason A. Keisling | Terp

Is there a point in listening to sad music? Does pure chance actually exist? Is dating my brother’s ex-girlfriend immoral if it freaks out my family? For more than a decade, philosophy Professor and Associate Chair Allen Stairs has fielded questions like these on, where he and colleagues worldwide wrestle with “Dear Abby”-style relationship questions alongside inquiries into the nature of reality. Stairs, who studies the meaning of quantum physics, actually prefers the former—he finds it refreshing not to hand out answers, but to help people carefully examine problems—and he’s become the site’s No. 1 contributor, approaching 700 responses.

Read the complete article in Terp.