Ebola, Ethics & Safety

Kaci Hickox, a nurse from my home state of Maine, returned to the United States after serving as a health care worker in the Ebola outbreak. Rather than being greeted as a hero, she was confined to
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English: Color-enhanced electron micrograph of Ebola virus particles. Polski: Mikrofotografia elektronowa cząsteczek wirusa Ebola w fałszywych kolorach. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Kaci Hickox, a nurse from my home state of Maine, returned to the United States after serving as a health care worker in the Ebola outbreak. Rather than being greeted as a hero, she was confined to an unheated tent with a box for a toilet and no shower. She did not have any symptoms and tested negative for Ebola. After threatening a lawsuit, she was released and allowed to return to Maine. After arriving home, she refused to be quarantined again. She did, however, state that she would be following the CDC protocols. Her situation puts a face on a general moral concern, namely the ethics of balancing rights with safety. While past outbreaks of Ebola in Africa were met largely with indifference from the West (aside from those who went to render aid, of course), the current outbreak has infected the United. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy

Religious Pluralism and Values in the Public Sphere

2014.10.32 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Lenn E. Goodman, Religious Pluralism and Values in the Public Sphere, Cambridge University Press, 2014, 221pp., $28.99 (pbk),
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2014.10.32 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Lenn E. Goodman, Religious Pluralism and Values in the Public Sphere, Cambridge University Press, 2014, 221pp., $28.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781107658059. Reviewed by Maeve Cooke, University College Dublin Lenn Goodman makes a powerful plea for a cultural pluralism that finds its ideal in an on-going conversation among cultures in all their richness and individuals in all their uniqueness. His vision of pluralism starts from the dignity of the human person, is rooted in an idea of openness to others and emphasizes the importance of fostering cultural conditions that would safeguard dignity and enable individual human flourishing. Far from denying our deep differences with one another, he enjoins us to see these differences as opportunities for learning, and as reminders of the partiality of our own commitments and convictions. While his argument applies to all cultural differences, not merely religious ones, his. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

The Chapter: A History

Chapters: They organize our books and provide a metaphor for our lives. Where did they come from? A befuddled 15th-century scholar…
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Chapters: They organize our books and provide a metaphor for our lives. Where did they come from? A befuddled 15th-century scholar… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

The Curse of Byron

On June 16, 1816, Byron told a group of friends, “We will each write a ghost story.• John Polidori wrote “The Vampyre.” Byron took credit…
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On June 16, 1816, Byron told a group of friends, “We will each write a ghost story.• John Polidori wrote “The Vampyre.” Byron took credit… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Klinghoffer at the Met

The Death of Klinghoffer is the kind of opera that incites outrage. But it is hardly agitprop. It is moving and intelligent. It is a work of art…
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The Death of Klinghoffer is the kind of opera that incites outrage. But it is hardly agitprop. It is moving and intelligent. It is a work of art… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Well-Being: Happiness in a Worthwhile Life

2014.10.31 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Neera K. Badhwar, Well-Being: Happiness in a Worthwhile Life, Oxford University Press, 2014, 264pp., $65.00 (hbk), ISBN
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2014.10.31 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Neera K. Badhwar, Well-Being: Happiness in a Worthwhile Life, Oxford University Press, 2014, 264pp., $65.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780195323276. Reviewed by Jean Kazez, Southern Methodist University Must we be good to live good lives, as many ancient philosophers believed? It's an attractive idea. If that were so, we could answer the question "Why be moral?" We could also think that bad people automatically receive their just deserts to the extent that being bad makes their lives worse for them as well as for others. Unfortunately, though, the arguments of the ancients aren't entirely convincing. One can't help but wonder whether personal well-being is really bound up with moral virtue or, rather, this is just a beautiful idea, or a product of wishful thinking, or a remnant of Greek high-mindedness. Neera Badhwar aims to make a compelling case that personal well-being -- the highest prudential good, as she calls it. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Question about Mind - Allen Stairs responds

Hello, My name is Kyle, I'm a physics student. I have zero training in philosophy, save for an introductory philosophy course in my freshman year. I've been thinking about something quite
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Hello, My name is Kyle, I'm a physics student. I have zero training in philosophy, save for an introductory philosophy course in my freshman year. I've been thinking about something quite frequently, and would like to hear an opinion from somebody who is knowledgable in the subject; The mind and the ego is a construct of the brain( at least as far as I know), and it's experiences. And I think it's fair to say that the brain is a clever organization of atoms, in what is essentially a computer. It has memories, which I think forms the ego, in a seemingly contiguous storyline. The hardware of the brain is however constantly changing, with atoms being lost and gained, through cell death, reproduction, respiration, and other biochemical functions, and yet our subjective experience remains. Suppose this effect is recreated in hypothetical setting where it is possible to create an exact replica of a person(A) to an artificially constructed person (b). Now, the copy is an exact replica, with. . .

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News source: AskPhilosophers.org | "All"

Question about Profession - Allen Stairs responds

Should philosophers be able to speak as well as they write? For most people, speech is a more common form of communication in day to day life than the printed text so it bothers me whenever I watch
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Should philosophers be able to speak as well as they write? For most people, speech is a more common form of communication in day to day life than the printed text so it bothers me whenever I watch online philosophy talks or even live philosophy lectures just how boring many philosophers deliver their material. There are exceptions of course (John Searle comes to mind) but is this because philosophers think being charismatic or funny somehow detracts from the material itself? Response from: Allen Stairs "Should" is a bit strong here. Some people have a talent for public speaking; some don't. My unscientific canvassing of my own experience suggests that there's more or less no correlation between how good a philosopher someone is and how good they are at pubic speaking.

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News source: AskPhilosophers.org | "All"

Truth and Pluralism: Current Debates

2014.10.30 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Nikolaj J. L. L. Pedersen and Cory D. Wright (eds.), Truth and Pluralism: Current Debates, Oxford University Press, 2013, 353pp.,
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2014.10.30 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Nikolaj J. L. L. Pedersen and Cory D. Wright (eds.), Truth and Pluralism: Current Debates, Oxford University Press, 2013, 353pp., $78.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780195387469. Reviewed by Matti Eklund, Uppsala University Truth pluralism as it has mostly been discussed in the literature is the idea that truth consists of different things in different regions of discourse. For example, sometimes but not always it amounts to correspondence. This idea might at least at first sound decidedly unattractive. Of course, in some sense the truth of the claim that 2+2=4 consists of something different from the truth of the claim that roses are red, but that's just a matter of 2+2's being 4 being different from roses' being red. Truth doesn't come into it. Compare existence and identity. Pluralism about existence and pluralism about identity sound at first like equally obvious non-starters. Perhaps the existence of numbers is. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Epistemic Relativism: A Constructive Critique

2014.10.29 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Markus Seidel, Epistemic Relativism: A Constructive Critique, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, 284pp., $105.00 (hbk), ISBN
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2014.10.29 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Markus Seidel, Epistemic Relativism: A Constructive Critique, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, 284pp., $105.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781137377883. Reviewed by John K. Davis, California State University, Fullerton Natural science is one of the last places you would expect to find evidence for epistemic relativism, yet the sociology of scientific knowledge is sometimes cited as an important motivation for the view, and its practitioners sometimes sound like relativists. Given the recent rise of relativism, it is time to look more closely at this. This book is meant to discuss and evaluate epistemic relativism in general through a close examination of a view in the sociology of scientific knowledge called the "Strong Program" or "Edinburgh Relativism." Thus, Markus Seidel has two projects: to determine whether the claims made by the Strong Program support epistemic relativism (normative and not merely descriptive), and to. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News