Cultural Evolution: Conceptual Challenges

2016.05.06 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Tim Lewens, Cultural Evolution: Conceptual Challenges, Oxford University Press, 2015, 205pp., $45.00 (hbk), ISBN
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2016.05.06 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Tim Lewens, Cultural Evolution: Conceptual Challenges, Oxford University Press, 2015, 205pp., $45.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780199674183.   Reviewed by Lenny Moss, University of Exeter This is an unusual, one might even say peculiar, book. Contrary to what one might expect from the bold parsimony of its title, Tim Lewens is not presenting a first-order exposition on cultural evolution as such but rather something of a second-order intervention into debates about recent work in cultural evolution. As more of a mediator or referee than an expositor offering a critical entrée to the uninitiated, his sense of accountability is more about being judicious on the micro-level than that of setting out a critical contextualization of 'cultural evolutionary theory' on the macro-level. "Cultural evolution" can, and has, meant many different things to many different people. Lewens' specification of cultural evolution tends to be. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

<strong>Sincerity and irony in art</strong>. What can beatniks, punks, and hipsters teach us about commitment, both aesthetic and political?

Sincerity and irony in art. What can beatniks, punks, and hipsters teach us about commitment, both aesthetic and
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Sincerity and irony in art. What can beatniks, punks, and hipsters teach us about commitment, both aesthetic and political?

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

<strong>What word processing wrought</strong>. Easily, endlessly editable text lets you go on revising forever. It&rsquo;s a blessing. And a curse

What word processing wrought. Easily, endlessly editable text lets you go on revising forever. It&amp;rsquo;s a blessing. And a
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What word processing wrought. Easily, endlessly editable text lets you go on revising forever. It’s a blessing. And a curse

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Pumpkin, Basil, Citrus, Red Pepper, Artichoke, Cherry, Buttercup. What's with the oddly horticultural <strong>lingo of Israeli soldiers</strong>?

Pumpkin, Basil, Citrus, Red Pepper, Artichoke, Cherry, Buttercup. What&#39;s with the oddly horticultural lingo of Israeli
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Pumpkin, Basil, Citrus, Red Pepper, Artichoke, Cherry, Buttercup. What's with the oddly horticultural lingo of Israeli soldiers?

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Freedom and Self-Creation: Anselmian Libertarianism

2016.05.05 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Katherin A. Rogers,&#160;Freedom and Self-Creation: Anselmian Libertarianism, Oxford University Press, 2015, 248pp., $74.00 (hbk),
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2016.05.05 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Katherin A. Rogers, Freedom and Self-Creation: Anselmian Libertarianism, Oxford University Press, 2015, 248pp., $74.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198743972. Reviewed by Tomas Ekenberg, Uppsala University The kind of project that Katherin A. Rogers embarks on in her book has the potential to be invaluable. For those of us who believe neither in simple philosophical progress (be it through progressive accumulation of solutions or through successive paradigm shifts) nor in the presence of unchanging perennial problems, this is a type of work that presents unique opportunities to challenge contemporary philosophical prejudices and recover important insights that we have lost over the course of the centuries. It is also very difficult work, since it requires both a sensitivity to historical context and a keen sense of what is important here and now. The risk of distorting the philosophies of old is always there, as is the. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Trump’s Enquiring Rhetoric

Embed from Getty Images As this is being written, Donald Trump is the last surviving Republican presidential candidate. His final opponents, Cruz and Kasich, suspended their campaigns, though
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Embed from Getty Images As this is being written, Donald Trump is the last surviving Republican presidential candidate. His final opponents, Cruz and Kasich, suspended their campaigns, though perhaps visions of a contested convention still haunt their dreams. Cruz left the field of battle with a bizarre Trump arrow lodged in his buttocks: Trump had attacked Cruz by alleging that Ted Cruz’ father was associated with Lee Harvey Oswald. The basis for this claim was an article in the National Enquirer, a tabloid that has claimed Justice Scalia was assassinated by a hooker working for the CIA. While this tabloid has no credibility, the fact that Trump used it as a source necessitated an investigation into the claim about Cruz’ father. As should be expected, Politifact ranked it as Pants on Fire. I almost suspect that Trump is trolling the media and laughing about how he has forced them to seriously consider and thoroughly investigate claims that are utterly lacking in evidence (such as. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy

The value of simplicity and complexity in art is a matter of taste. In science, the <strong>search for simple theories</strong> is a requirement. But is simpler better?

The value of simplicity and complexity in art is a matter of taste. In science, the search for simple theories is a requirement. But is simpler
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The value of simplicity and complexity in art is a matter of taste. In science, the search for simple theories is a requirement. But is simpler better?

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

If secularism is a powerful force, why is it so often on the losing side of history? Because <strong>religion is no atavistic holdover</strong>; it's here to stay

If secularism is a powerful force, why is it so often on the losing side of history? Because religion is no atavistic holdover; it&#39;s here to
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If secularism is a powerful force, why is it so often on the losing side of history? Because religion is no atavistic holdover; it's here to stay

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

A mad old man who imagines himself a knight rides forth on his frail horse, Rocinante. <strong>The modern era</strong> - and with it the novel - is born

A mad old man who imagines himself a knight rides forth on his frail horse, Rocinante. The modern era - and with it the novel - is
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A mad old man who imagines himself a knight rides forth on his frail horse, Rocinante. The modern era - and with it the novel - is born

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

The Everlasting Check: Hume on Miracles

2016.05.04 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Alexander George, The Everlasting Check: Hume on Miracles, Harvard University Press, 2016, 98pp., $24.95 (hbk), ISBN
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2016.05.04 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Alexander George, The Everlasting Check: Hume on Miracles, Harvard University Press, 2016, 98pp., $24.95 (hbk), ISBN 9780674289246. Reviewed by Kenneth P. Winkler, Yale University This lovely book -- wise, humane, brief, and beautifully written -- offers both a sympathetic reconstruction of Hume's argument concerning miracles and a series of illuminating reflections on the argument's nature and significance. The book is an ideal point of entry into the argument for students and general readers, but scholars too will find that it gives them plenty to learn from -- as well as plenty to contend with. In chapter 1, Alexander George explains how Hume understands "miracle." Hume defines a miracle as "a violation of the laws of nature" ("Of Miracles," section 10, paragraph 12 in An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding), but George advises us to "turn away . . . from Hume's explicit definitions," at least at. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News