My Responses To Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s Remarks On Philosophy

Recently Neil DeGrasse Tyson made some controversial comments dismissing the value of philosophy for scientists and explaining why he discourages physics students from studying philosophy. Massimo Pigliucci has the key quotes from Tyson from a couple of sources and makes some terrific points in reply.

Today Tom Williamson was kind enough to invite me onto his Skeptic Canary Show to join talk about Tyson’s remarks. Jonathan MS Pearce of author of the blog A Tippling Philosopher and the book Beyond An Absence of Faith: Stories About the Loss of Faith and the Discovery of Self was on the entire show. I was only there for the last half hour, starting at 30:27 of the video above.

And below I am re-embedding my original appearance on the Skeptic Canary Show in which I had a full hour to talk about philosophy, science, and morality. This is from almost three months ago now (back in those hoary days of yore when it was Richard Dawkins taking potshots at philosophers in loose, off the cuff remarks).

Finally, I also appeared on the Skeptic Canary‘s special 50th episode as part of a larger panel. I spoke only a couple times. Once my remarks were in response to the question of whether to talk to believers “softly” or “loudly”. Here was my answer. My other remarks were in answer to the question of whether Christians were oppressed by atheists. Here was my answer.

The full video with all the panelists is below:

Your Thoughts?

If you enjoy reading my philosophical blog posts, consider taking one of my online philosophy classes! I earned my PhD and taught 93 university classes before I went into business for myself. My online classes involve live, interactive class discussions with me and your fellow students held over videoconference (using Google Hangout, which downloads in just seconds). Classes involve personalized attention to your own ideas and questions. Course content winds up tailored to your interests as lively and rigorous class discussions determine where exactly we go. Classes are flexible enough to meet the needs of both beginners and students with existing philosophical background

My classes require no outside reading or homework or grades–only a once weekly 2.5 hour commitment that fits the schedules of busy people. My classes are university quality but I can offer no university credit whatsoever. New classes start up every month and you can join existing groups of students if you want. Click on the classes that interest you below and find the course descriptions, up-to-date schedules, and self-registration. 1-on-1 classes can be arranged by appointment if you write me at



Patheos Atheist LogoLike Camels With Hammers and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.