Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Gunk as you never knew it

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“Is everything entirely made up of atoms?…Or is everything made up of atomless ‘gunk’—as Lewis (1991: 20) calls it—that divides forever into smaller and smaller parts?” (Varzi 2014) The thought that matter is divisible has both intuitive appeal and empirical justification, and is a widespread position amongst ancient and modern philosophers. The thought that matter is unlimitedly divisible on the other hand has intuitive appeal, but not empirical justification, which is why there are only few philosophers upholding this view; for instance, Aristotle. But the thought that matter is unlimitedly divided is neither intuitive nor empirically justifiable, and has been very rarely endorsed in the history of metaphysics; Leibniz is one of the few exceptions. Yet, unlimited division is the keystone of two ancient metaphysical systems that in many other respects are different from one another: Anaxagoras’s and the Stoics’. Anna Marmodoro’s book argues that both. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

How well do you know Sir Karl Raimund Popper? [quiz]

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This  August, the OUP Philosophy team honours Sir Karl Raimund Popper (1902–1994) as their Philosopher of the Month. A British (Austrian-born) philosopher, Popper’s considerable reputation comes from his work on the philosophy of science and his political philosophy. Popper is widely regarded as one of the greatest thinkers of the twentieth century. Think you know Karl Popper? Test your knowledge of his life and work with our quiz! Quiz image: photo of Karl Popper. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.  Featured image:  Seefeld in Tirol mountain landscape, Kaltwassersee. Photo by barnyz. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 via Flickr.    The post How well do you know Sir Karl Raimund Popper? [quiz] appeared first on OUPblog.         Related StoriesPhilosopher of the month: Sir Karl Raimund Popper [timeline]What can the Zombie Apocalypse teach us about ourselves? [Video]Why a deteriorating doctor-patient relationship should worry us 

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

How books are read is as important as what&rsquo;s in them. <strong>Reading out loud</strong>, for instance, was seen as a defense against the "seductive, enervating dangers" of sentimental novels

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How books are read is as important as what’s in them. Reading out loud, for instance, was seen as a defense against the "seductive, enervating dangers" of sentimental novels

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Evolution

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[Revised entry by Roberta L. Millstein on August 25, 2017. Changes to: 0] Evolution in its contemporary meaning in biology typically refers to the changes in the proportions of biological types in a population over time (see the entry on the concept of evolution to 1872 for earlier meanings). As evolution is too large of a topic to address thoroughly in one entry, the primary goal of this entry is to serve as a broad overview of contemporary issues in evolution with links to other entries where more in-depth discussion can be found....

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Johann Gottfried von Herder

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[Revised entry by Michael Forster on August 25, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, supplement.html] Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744 - 1803) is a philosopher of the first importance. This judgment largely turns on the intrinsic quality of his ideas (of which this article will try to give some impression). But another aspect of it is his intellectual influence. This has been immense both within philosophy and beyond it (much greater than is usually realized). For example, Hegel's philosophy turns out to be largely a sort of elaborate systematic development of Herder's ideas (especially concerning language, the mind,...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Gun Drones

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Taking the obvious step in done technology, Duke Robotics has developed a small armed drone called the Tikad. One weapon loadout is an assault rifle that can be fired by the human operator of the device. The drone can presumably carry other weapons of similar size and weight, such as a grenade launcher. This drone differs from previous armed drones, like the Predator, in that it is small and relatively cheap. As with many other areas of technology, the innovation is in the ease of use and lower cost. This makes the Tikad type drone far more accessible than previous drones, which is both good and bad. On the positive side, the military and police can deploy more drones and thus reduce human casualties. For example, the police could send a drone in to observe and possibly engage during a hostage situation and not put officers in danger. On the negative side, the lower cost and ease of use means that such armed drones can be more easily deployed by terrorists, criminals and oppressive. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy

What can the Zombie Apocalypse teach us about ourselves? [Video]

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Stories of the Zombie Apocalypse are more than just entertainment. Zombies embody our fears of illness and death, and the stories that revolve around them force us to confront those fears–working almost as a coping mechanism. The following excerpt from Living with the Living Dead analyzes the symbolism behind apocalyptic film and television. In the accompanying video, author Greg Garrett answers the question: why have cultures and societies, over the ages, used images of death and the walking dead to create meaning of their times? Like war stories, like disaster films, like any kind of narrative that revolts and scares yet also delights us, the Zombie Apocalypse offers a laboratory for observing human emotion and experience. Its excess opens up a multitude of responses that don’t get explored in the course of our everyday lives, although these same choices lurk underneath the surface of all our lives. It would seem, then, that in its headline for a recent discussion of The. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

The Ethics of War: Essays

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2017.08.12 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Saba Bazargan-Forward and Samuel C. Rickless (eds.), The Ethics of War: Essays, Oxford University Press, 2017, 304pp., $78.00, ISBN 9780199376148.   Reviewed by Uwe Steinhoff, University of Hong Kong On the back cover the book is advertised as "The authoritative anthology on the ethics and law of war." This might be an overstatement. While the best-edited volumes on just war theory focus on a particular issue (for instance, preventive war, humanitarian intervention, or legitimate authority), this volume does not really form a coherent whole.   In fact, Nancy Sherman's "Moral Recovery After War" has very little to do with either the laws or the ethics of war, dealing instead, as she herself acknowledges, with "philosophical moral psychology" (244). Moreover, the contributions by Adil Ahmad Haque on the principle of discrimination, of Kai Draper on the doctrine of double effect, and... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

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