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Genuine Pretending: On the Philosophy of the Zhuangzi

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2018.06.18 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Hans-Georg Moeller and Paul J. D'Ambrosio, Genuine Pretending: On the Philosophy of the Zhuangzi, Columbia University Press, 2017, 221 pp., $35.00, ISBN 9780231183994. Reviewed by Susan Blake, Bard College "A romp through 'the vast wilds of open nowhere'" -- Roger Ebert "Better than any existing work on humor" -- Aristotle "Nothing more than a success" -- Guy Smiley "A demonstration of nothing . . . in a technical sense" -- Ford Prefect "A tour de force through the 'homeland of non-even-anything'" -- Steven Colbert This book presents a novel reading of the Zhuangzi that illuminates its humor and presents it as responding to philosophical concerns of its day. To the extent that these philosophical concerns are also those of the present day -- the search for a sane and healthy response to the impossible demands of sincerity -- we can, through... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Idealism: New Essays in Metaphysics

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2018.06.17 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Tyron Goldschmidt and Kenneth L. Pearce (ed.), Idealism: New Essays in Metaphysics, Oxford University Press, 2017, 336 pp., $60.00, ISBN 9780198746973. Reviewed by Adam P. Taylor, North Dakota State University The familiar narrative about the early days of analytic philosophy tells us of its triumph over the needless metaphysical excesses of its immediate forerunners, the idealists. In one form or another, idealism was the paramount philosophical view of the 19th century. Nowadays, however, the bulwarks of idealism are largely abandoned. Few defend the view, and fewer still are willing to take the time to consider its claims seriously. Materialism and dualism dominate the philosophical landscape. The essays offered in this volume are, the editors tell us, intended to "correct the unjustified neglect of idealism by presenting a variety of arguments for and against various versions of idealism" (p. ix). In. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Revitalizing the Epistemology of Religion

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Philosophers studying epistemology debate the exact nature of knowledge, typically by examining the “evidence” behind one’s beliefs: logical processes, sensory perception, and so on. They also wonder about how much we can know. Knowledge about the empirical world is perhaps one thing; yet what about our beliefs in the areas of history, or mathematics, or morality, or politics? Or religion? Religious belief is subject to constant scrutiny in both philosophy and some popular culture. Should people believe that there is a God or deity of some kind–what kind of evidence or grounds might there be either for or against its, or their, existence? Matters of religion can seem to mimic morality or politics in at least these ways: it can be rather unclear what counts as the right sort of evidence for believing one way or another on some question. And the social nature of our coming to believe (or disbelieve) anything about these domains means that we are largely dependent on testimony from. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

A good death beyond dignity?

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According to the Australian euthanasia activist Philip Nitschke, to choose when you die is “a fundamental human right. It’s not just some medical privilege for the very sick. If you’ve got the precious gift of life, you should be able to give that gift away at the time of your choosing.” This view combines two extreme standpoints in the debate on euthanasia and assisted suicide: First, it claims that that you should be allowed to end your life as you please, unbound by further qualifications such as a grim medical diagnosis; and second, it says that we should treat this decision with utmost importance, as a claim right which can hardly be overridden by conflicting considerations. As one normative consequence of this idea, you might think that ending your own life should be as easy and comfortable as possible. To this end, Nitschke, together with the Dutch engineer Alex Bannink, has developed the ”Sarco”  (from “sarcophagus”, an ancient coffin made of stone or other durable materials).. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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