Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Logical Form: Between Logic and Natural Language

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2018.07.17 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Andrea Iacona, Logical Form: Between Logic and Natural Language, Springer, 2018, 133pp., $89.99, ISBN 9783319741536. Reviewed by Gilad Nir, University of LeipzigGilad Nir, University of Leipzig The notion of logical form plays various roles in contemporary philosophy. It is appealed to when we evaluate the validity of arguments; it is said to underlie the structure of sentences; it forms part of theories of meaning; and it figures in debates over the kind of commitments we undertake in asserting sentences. Andrea Iacona's book aims to undermine the idea that there is a single unified notion at the basis of these various philosophical practices. The book advances the following argument. There is a widespread assumption, which is wrongheaded according to Iacona, that there is a single notion of logical form that can serve two distinct roles. The first is the role assigned to it... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Biodeconstruction: Jacques Derrida and the Life Sciences

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2018.07.16 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Francesco Vitale, Biodeconstruction: Jacques Derrida and the Life Sciences, Mauro Senatore (tr.), SUNY Press, 2018, 256 pp., $90.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781438468853. Reviewed by Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Francesco Vitale has written a remarkable book. It rests on an extended analysis of the largely unpublished seminar La vie la mort that Jacques Derrida gave in the winter of 1975-76. The rumor is widespread that Derrida was more or less agnostic about the scientific developments of his time. This book tells us otherwise. Apparently, Derrida had a deep interest in the development of the life sciences, beginning with the physiological underpinnings of Freud's fin de siècle meta-psychological writings up to mid-twentieth century molecular biology, and including the evolution of humankind. One has only to recall the importance of paleontologist André Leroi-Gourhan's Gesture. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Enactivist Interventions: Rethinking the Mind

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2018.07.15 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Shaun Gallagher, Enactivist Interventions: Rethinking the Mind, Oxford University Press, 249 pp., $40.00, ISBN 9780198794325. Reviewed by Rick Grush, UC San Diego Enactivism is one of the central themes in current philosophy of cognitive science, and Shaun Gallagher is among the leading proponents of the approach. These reasons alone would be sufficient for this book to qualify as required reading for anyone wanting to stay current with the subfield. The book provides an excellent and easy-to-read introduction to core issues and overview of the central debates, and it provides some fascinating applications of the framework. And I'm not just saying that -- I've already recommended it to a number of people. I do have a few gripes, but I'll get to those. After an introductory chapter, Chapter 2 takes on... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Acts, Attitudes, and the Separateness of Persons

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I previously explained how Seth Lazar's first objection to my view was confused. His second, however, is more interesting.  Lazar writes:Chappell thinks the objection has to do only with attitudes. His token-pluralistic utilitarianism can, in its deontic verdicts, be extensionally identical to token-monistic utilitarianism (according to which only aggregate well-being is non-instrumentally valuable), but preferable since it encourages us to adopt the appropriate attitude to the losses inflicted in the pursuit of the overall good. This misunderstands the separateness of persons worry. It has nothing to do with our attitudes: it concerns instead what we ought to do. We ought not assume that benefits to one person can cancel out same-sized costs to another.I agree with that last sentence.  Indeed, that is the heart of my account of the separateness of persons: that we should not treat people as fungible, such that "benefits to one person can cancel out same-sized. . .

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