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Recipients:  Original Contribution

The Original Contribution Award is a writer's award, designed to highlight creative, interesting and innovative contributions to the Philosophy Research Base.

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Heroism in Action 

"Heroism in Action" was created by three diverse students, Alice Barnes from Australia, Niccolò Dalla Palma from Italy, and Jonathan from the United States.  Using the latest in web technologies, this interactive website forces us to think about who our heroes are, about how we choose our heroes, and about who our heroes might be for a better future.  In this way, Heroism in Action not only recognizes the daily feats of heroism, but also encourages us to take action.  The lesson to be learned is that real heroism is not simply about death defying feats, but is about making a difference in the lives of others and their communities.


Metaphysics by Default

Created and Maintained by Wayne Stewart.

This easy-to-use site presents a well written ecological thesis which unites naturalism with metaphysics. In dedicating his work "to a new Athena, icon of Mind at peace with Nature," Stewart opens human thought to the recovery of our ethical relationship with what is more (or less) than merely human, even to the invertebrates, applying recent discoveries to the most ancient of philosophical concerns -- our ontologic and ethical relations with other living beings; forcing us to wonder just where our metaphysical logics of domination have come from. Are complex structures (like the central nervous system, memory, subjectivity, continuity) simply descriptions of nature's intricacy? Should they be used as criteria for justifying subordination? Or, can our concern over nature's 'superior' beings in some way extend an ethics beyond our traditional, historical hierarchies? 

In any event, if you've ever felt a (moral) difference between eating animals and eating vegetables, read Stewart's work to find out why. 

Site Description:

This site draws upon the works of naturalists -- also, it draws upon the works of metaphysical philosophers.  And this may seem an odd juxtaposition of materials, as the two disciplines share little common ground at present. Dialogues between naturalists and metaphysical philosophers can be contentious; and we, being audience to the ensuing disagreements, are led to believe that a fundamental dichotomy separates their disciplines -- or worse, to believe that one discipline can prosper only at the expense of the other.

But these common notions are not sound.  This document is an essay which proves that naturalism and metaphysical philosophy can coexist peacefully in the modern mind.

The essay itself comprises nineteen chapters.  The chapters are best read in sequential order, starting at Chapter 1.

Readers who desire to judge the philosophy's practical value may prefer to skip ahead to Chapter 18.  Metaphysics by Default can be useful to the ethicist or ecologist, and Chapter 18 explores this potential utility.

Readers who wonder at the inclusion of so much history in a modern work should hazard first the dedication of Chapter 19.  The dedication invokes qualities of Hellenic spirit which are lost to us, and which this modern essay perforce recovers.

Some supporting documents are also available through site navigation:


Public forums have been opened, and all are welcome to contribute messages.


A schedule  lists the dates of upcoming public lectures, along with transcripts and abstracts from previous lectures.


Appendices organize the essay's ancillary software programs and mathematical derivations.


Works cited within the essay are listed after the appendices.


 Our Awards:

ne plus ultraThe ne plus ultra Award gives recognition to superlative gateway sites that focus upon a particular subject or figure. 

original contribution awardThe Original Contribution Award gives recognition to interesting and innovative contributions to the Philosophy Research Base. 

virtual classroom awardThe Virtual Classroom Award gives recognition to websites specifically designed for interactive classroom education.

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