History, philosophy, and political hope

Politics in general is all about how to develop, sustain, and revise institutions, practices, and policies that bind individuals together productively and that point toward more fulfilling
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Politics in general is all about how to develop, sustain, and revise institutions, practices, and policies that bind individuals together productively and that point toward more fulfilling individual and joint futures for them. Debates about how best to do this are natural. Should the US become yet more aggressively libertarian-individualist, or should a substantial social compact that enforces terms of fair cooperation via significant redistribution be instituted? Should the UK embrace European social democratic values and relations, or should it stand on its Anglo-Saxon distinctiveness? These important questions are increasingly addressed, however, in the absence of significant, articulate knowledge of political ideals that historically have informed political life. As a result, debates about these questions are typically shriller and less productive than they could and should be. Various forms of nativism and populism supplant more considered deliberations, for good enough reasons,. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

The 2-D Argument Against Metaethical Naturalism

A few years back I noted that 2-D semantics provides a straightforward refutation of synthetic metaethical naturalism (SEN):  SEN implies that moral terms differ in their primary and
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A few years back I noted that 2-D semantics provides a straightforward refutation of synthetic metaethical naturalism (SEN):  SEN implies that moral terms differ in their primary and secondary intensions, this is clearly false (moral terms are "semantically neutral", or exhibit 2-D symmetry, in that their application to a world does not vary depending on whether we consider it as actual or as counterfactual), and so SEN must be false.As I've been developing this argument in my paper 'Moral Symmetry and Two Dimensional Semantics', it occurs to me that 2-D semantics enables an even broader argument against metaethical naturalism.To address the Open Question Argument, naturalists are committed to a divergence between the intension of 'good' (and other moral terms) and its meaning or cognitive significance.  Such divergences are commonplace so far as the secondary intension is concerned: 'water' and 'H2O' have different meanings, despite picking out just the same stuff. . .

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News source: Philosophy, et cetera

In the increasingly rigid confines of the <strong>undergraduate mind</strong>, disagreement is regarded as a discomfort to avoid, rather than a value to embrace

In the increasingly rigid confines of the undergraduate mind, disagreement is regarded as a discomfort to avoid, rather than a value to
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In the increasingly rigid confines of the undergraduate mind, disagreement is regarded as a discomfort to avoid, rather than a value to embrace

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

<strong>Karl von Frisch</strong>, Jewish researcher of bees, was spared by the Nazis when a bee disease struck. He was known as &ldquo;the neutral scholar.&rdquo; But was he?

Karl von Frisch, Jewish researcher of bees, was spared by the Nazis when a bee disease struck. He was known as &amp;ldquo;the neutral scholar.&amp;rdquo; But was
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Karl von Frisch, Jewish researcher of bees, was spared by the Nazis when a bee disease struck. He was known as “the neutral scholar.” But was he?

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

The <strong>republic of letters</strong> has never been hospitable. The natives are irascible, hungry, and thirsty. The chronicle of dissolution begins in 1918

The republic of letters has never been hospitable. The natives are irascible, hungry, and thirsty. The chronicle of dissolution begins in
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The republic of letters has never been hospitable. The natives are irascible, hungry, and thirsty. The chronicle of dissolution begins in 1918

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Karl von Frisch, <strong>Jewish bee researcher</strong>, was spared by the Nazis when a bee disease struck. He was known as &ldquo;the neutral scholar.&rdquo; How neutral was he?

Karl von Frisch, Jewish bee researcher, was spared by the Nazis when a bee disease struck. He was known as &amp;ldquo;the neutral scholar.&amp;rdquo; How neutral was
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Karl von Frisch, Jewish bee researcher, was spared by the Nazis when a bee disease struck. He was known as “the neutral scholar.” How neutral was he?

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

The Gun and I: My Backstory

Like everyone else, how I look at the world is shaped by my psychological backstory. While, as a professional philosopher, I have an excellent logical toolkit, my use of these tools is shaped by how
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Like everyone else, how I look at the world is shaped by my psychological backstory. While, as a professional philosopher, I have an excellent logical toolkit, my use of these tools is shaped by how I feel about things. Since the matter of guns is a rather emotional issue, I need to sort out how my backstory influences how I assess arguments regarding guns. Academics, especially philosophers, are often cast as latte sipping effeminate liberals who would get the vapors if they so much as caught sight of a piece of manly steel. The positive version of this stereotype is that an academic is far too civil to have any truck with something as barbarous as guns and far too intelligent to believe that guns have any value. A true intellectual, or so the stereotype goes, should dismiss all pro-gun prattle with the wave of a hand, a bemused smile and a remark about people clinging to God and guns. This slides nicely into a rather negative stereotype of gun owners. Gun owners are all too often. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy

Experimental Philosophy 2.0

Check out my presumptuously titled new piece in Thought! In it, I argue for several modifications to experimental philosophy&#39;s self-conception which would circumvent several prominent objections to
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Check out my presumptuously titled new piece in Thought!  In it, I argue for several modifications to experimental philosophy's self-conception which would circumvent several prominent objections to the 'negative' project.

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News source: Experimental Philosophy

Dynamic Epistemic Logic

[New Entry by Alexandru Baltag and Bryan Renne on June 24, 2016.] Dynamic Epistemic Logic is the study of modal logics of model change. DEL (pronounced &quot;dell&quot;) is a highly active area of applied
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[New Entry by Alexandru Baltag and Bryan Renne on June 24, 2016.] Dynamic Epistemic Logic is the study of modal logics of model change. DEL (pronounced "dell") is a highly active area of applied logic that touches on topics in many areas, including Formal and Social Epistemology, Epistemic and Doxastic Logic, Belief Revision, multi-agent and distributed systems, Artificial Intelligence, Defeasible and Non-monotonic Reasoning, and Epistemic Game Theory. This article surveys DEL, identifying along the way a number of open questions and natural directions for further research. 1. Introduction 2. Public communication...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Obsessions with <strong>Truth and Beauty</strong> get in the way of art. Poetry isn&rsquo;t just about Shakespeare in the park and seminars on modernism &mdash; it&rsquo;s about politics

Obsessions with Truth and Beauty get in the way of art. Poetry isn&amp;rsquo;t just about Shakespeare in the park and seminars on modernism &amp;mdash; it&amp;rsquo;s about
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Obsessions with Truth and Beauty get in the way of art. Poetry isn’t just about Shakespeare in the park and seminars on modernism — it’s about politics

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily