There has been much recent discussion of monuments. Such discussions focus primarily on artefactual monuments. Interestingly, however, the first entity designated as a U.S. national monument was a naturalentity: Devil’s Tower. I seek to provide a philosophical analysis of this, and other, natural entities that are designated as monuments. I argue that many of them are genuine monuments but that, in virtue of being so, are subject to three concerns: first, they treat natural entities inappropriately; second, they give rise to a problematic form of ecotourism; and third, they invite a particular kind of political controversy. Forming a contrast, I then argue that designated wilderness areas are a sort of countermonument and that, in virtue of how they differ from monuments, avoid the three previous worries. In this way, my discussion provides a philosophical diagnosis of how The Antiquities Act and The Wilderness Act differ in their approach to the natural environment.
I present an epistemic argument against a variety of illusionist theses about the nature of the self and consciousness. Illusionism about xis the view that while the experience of xis real, xs are not real. For example, the experience of red is real, but redness isn’t real. Likewise illusionists about the self and consciousness argue that the experience of the self and consciousness is real, but the self and consciousness (under some definition of them) are not real. Rather, they are presentations of something as being other than it is. Neural-Bi-Directional Illusionism is the thesis that both the self and consciousness are illusions produced by the brain. I offer an epistemic argument against this contemporary position.
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