When is a revolution not a revolution? Edmund Burke and the new America

Edmund Burke (1729-1797) was an Irish statesman, author and orator, chiefly remembered for his championing of various causes such as Catholic emancipation, reform of the government of India and
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Edmund Burke (1729-1797) was an Irish statesman, author, and orator chiefly remembered for his championing of various causes such as Catholic emancipation, reform of the government of India, and preserving the balance of the British constitution. It is commonly assumed that Edmund Burke took up incongruous positions on the American and French Revolutions: that he was an enthusiastic supporter of the Americans, and a bitter opponent of the French. Much ingenuity was expended by Burke’s contemporaries and others since, in seeking to explain this seemingly considerable change in his political beliefs — a shift to the right, from Whiggism towards a more conservative stance. Burke’s speeches provide an interesting window into this apparent volte-face, with Burke himself denying that there had been any such change. In his Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs of 1791, he wrote of himself in the third person that “if he could venture to value himself upon anything, it is on the virtue. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

The history behind selected family names in Britain and Ireland [map]

We all have a surname, but how many of us know anything about its roots – origin, history, and what it means today? Family names are evidence of the diverse language and cultural movement of people
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We all have a surname, but how many of us know anything about its roots – origin, history, and what it means today? Family names are evidence of the diverse language and cultural movement of people who have settled in Britain and Ireland over history. Surnames can be varied, but not uncommon — for example there a large amount of occupational names like Smith and Baker, names linked to a place such as Hill or Green as well as nicknames like Goodfellow and Longbones. In the map below you can explore some of the local surnames across the UK, in current and former counties, from the 1881 census (England, Scotland, and Wales) and in the 1847-64 censuses (Northern and Southern Ireland). The names reflect an abundance of cultural influences, including French, Dutch, Jewish, and Scandinavian. Can you find yours? Featured image credit: Highlands And Islands Scotland by LoboStudioHamburg. Public Domain via Pixabay. The post The history behind selected family names in Britain and Ireland. . .

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News source: Linguistics – OUPblog

Chomsky at 88

Few probably anticipated that the boy who was born on this day in 1928 would become one of the founding fathers of modern linguistics and one of the world’s foremost intellectuals. Noam Avram
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Few probably anticipated that the boy who was born on 7 December, 1928, would become one of the founding fathers of modern linguistics and one of the world’s foremost intellectuals. Noam Avram Chomsky’s foundational work has influenced, inspired, and divided scholars working on language for more than sixty years. A biological capacity for language Perhaps Chomsky’s most seminal contribution is the idea that there is a biological blueprint for language. This blueprint, shared by all humans, leaves room for individual variation within limits. But given ordinary exposure to speech, it is impossible for an ordinary child to not acquire at least one language. Similarly, a dry sponge spontaneously soaks up water. However, unlike a sponge, humans also come with restrictions on what a possible human language can be. Words are not just beads on a string, rather, they are hierarchically ordered. Hierarchy explains why standard English has The story about elephants is funny and not The story. . .

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News source: Linguistics – OUPblog

Besides furniture (Shaker) and flatware (Oneida), what have American <strong>utopian communities</strong> passed down through history? Prescient ideas, for one thing

Besides furniture (Shaker) and flatware (Oneida), what have American utopian communities passed down through history? Prescient ideas, for one
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Besides furniture (Shaker) and flatware (Oneida), what have American utopian communities passed down through history? Prescient ideas, for one thing

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Does the &ldquo;micro texture&rdquo; of <strong>Shakespeare&rsquo;s sonnets</strong> hold the key to a longtime literary mystery? Elaine Scarry thinks so. She might be the only one

Does the &amp;ldquo;micro texture&amp;rdquo; of Shakespeare&amp;rsquo;s sonnets hold the key to a longtime literary mystery? Elaine Scarry thinks so. She might be the only
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Does the “micro texture” of Shakespeare’s sonnets hold the key to a longtime literary mystery? Elaine Scarry thinks so. She might be the only one

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

The Natural and the Human: Science and the Shaping of Modernity, 1739-1841

2016.12.04 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Stephen Gaukroger, The Natural and the Human: Science and the Shaping of Modernity, 1739-1841, Oxford University Press, 2016,
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2016.12.04 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Stephen Gaukroger, The Natural and the Human: Science and the Shaping of Modernity, 1739-1841, Oxford University Press, 2016, 402pp., $50.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780199757634. Reviewed by Phillip R. Sloan, University of Notre Dame This third volume of Stephen Gaukroger's massive synthesis of the history of science, philosophy, and intellectual history since 1210, continues a general thematic across the Enlightenment-Romanticism boundary, and also moves from a primary focus on the physical sciences into medicine, natural history, and anthropology. Although it is possible to view each volume in this series as self-contained, their incorporation in a more general breathtaking synthesis at the hands of one scholar requires some attention to the larger project. The goals of this long study are pursued along two fronts. One thematic is to be an analysis of the interplay of natural philosophy and epistemology in a. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Amy Cuddy's TED talk on <strong>power poses</strong> &mdash; feet apart, hands on hips, head thrown back -- has been viewed 37 million times. How did such a flimsy idea become a sensation?

Amy Cuddy&#39;s TED talk on power poses &amp;mdash; feet apart, hands on hips, head thrown back -- has been viewed 37 million times. How did such a flimsy idea become a
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Amy Cuddy's TED talk on power poses — feet apart, hands on hips, head thrown back -- has been viewed 37 million times. How did such a flimsy idea become a sensation?

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Leibniz: Protestant Theologian

2016.12.03 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Irena Backus, Leibniz: Protestant Theologian, Oxford University Press, 2016, 322pp., $74.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780199891849.
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2016.12.03 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Irena Backus, Leibniz: Protestant Theologian, Oxford University Press, 2016, 322pp., $74.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780199891849. Reviewed by Mogens Lærke, CNRS/ ENS de Lyon Irena Backus' long-awaited monograph focuses on Leibniz's outlook on protestant theology, especially Calvinist theology, from the viewpoint of his own "evangelical" position (that is to say, Lutheran -- but Leibniz disliked the denomination, which he felt was sectarian.) She organizes her study thematically into three parts. The first part, containing two chapters, is about the "Eucharist and Substance." Backus here dedicates the most discussion to demonstrate that Leibniz's philosophical attempts at explaining transubstantiation in texts dating from the De transubstantiatione (1668) to the Examen religionis christianae (1686) were mainly about overcoming challenges to revealed religion posed by Cartesianism. She also, more convincingly,. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Epistemological Problems of Perception

[Revised entry by Jack Lyons on December 5, 2016. Changes to: 0] [Editor&#39;s Note: The following new entry by X replaces the former entry on this topic by the previous author.] The central problem in
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[Revised entry by Jack Lyons on December 5, 2016. Changes to: 0] [Editor's Note: The following new entry by X replaces the former entry on this topic by the previous author.] The central problem in the epistemology of perception is that of explaining how perception could give us knowledge or justified belief about an external world, about things outside of ourselves. This problem has...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Fake News II: Facebook

While a thorough analysis of the impact of fake news on the 2016 election will be an ongoing project, there are excellent reasons to believe that it was a real factor. For example, BuzzFeed’s
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While a thorough analysis of the impact of fake news on the 2016 election will be an ongoing project, there are excellent reasons to believe that it was a real factor. For example, BuzzFeed’s analysis showed how the fake news stories outperformed real news stories. When confronted with the claim that fake news on Facebook influenced the election results, Mark Zuckerberg’s initial reaction was denial. However, as critics have pointed out, to say that Facebook does not influence people is to tell advertisers that they are wasting their money on Facebook. While this might be the case, Zuckerberg cannot consistently pitch the influence of Facebook to his customers while denying that it has such influence. One of these claims must be mistaken. While my own observations do not constitute a proper study, I routinely observed people on Facebook treating fake news stories as if they were real.  In some cases, these errors were humorous—people had mistaken satire for real news. In other cases,. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy