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

James Burnham, American Machiavelli

James Burnham, a socialist, CIA agent, philosopher, and Cold Warrior, was a master analyst of oligarchy, in his day and ours…
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James Burnham, a socialist, CIA agent, philosopher, and Cold Warrior, was a master analyst of oligarchy, in his day and ours… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Vladimir to Véra

Not salacious, as we’d think, they describe the mundane: trees, trousers, puddles. The surprisingly pretty love letters of Vladimir Nabokov…
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Not salacious, as we’d think, they describe the mundane: trees, trousers, puddles. The surprisingly pretty love letters of Vladimir Nabokov… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Message to the 21st Century

The 20th century comprised 100 years of horrors. The fault was not fear, greed, jealousy, or love of power. Ideas were to blame. Isaiah Berlin explains…
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The 20th century comprised 100 years of horrors. The fault was not fear, greed, jealousy, or love of power. Ideas were to blame. Isaiah Berlin explains… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Factions & Fallacies

http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/151367815 In general, human beings readily commit to factions and then engage in very predictable behavior: they regard their own factions as right, good and
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http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/151367815 In general, human beings readily commit to factions and then engage in very predictable behavior: they regard their own factions as right, good and truthful while casting opposing factions as wrong, evil and deceitful. While the best known factions tend to be political or religious, people can form factions around almost anything, ranging from sports teams to video game consoles. While there can be rational reasons to form and support a faction, factionalism tends to be fed and watered by cognitive biases and fallacies. The core cognitive bias of factionalism is what is commonly known as in group bias. This is the psychology tendency to easily form negative views of those outside of the faction. For example, Democrats often regard Republicans in negative terms, casting them as uncaring, sexist, racist and fixated on money. In turn, Republicans typically look at Republicans in negative terms and regard them as fixated on abortion, obsessed. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy

Barmy inventions

The Victorian age abounded in amateur tinkerers. Let us praise the inventions – collapsible hats, revolving heels – that didn’t change the world…
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The Victorian age abounded in amateur tinkerers. Let us praise the inventions – collapsible hats, revolving heels – that didn’t change the world… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Borges, literature, love

The maker of many mistakes in life, Borges didn’t give reality much credence. When things went wrong, “this is just an illusion”…
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The maker of many mistakes in life, Borges didn’t give reality much credence. When things went wrong, “this is just an illusion”… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Emotional Insight: The Epistemic Role of Emotional Experience

2014.10.28 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Michael S. Brady, Emotional Insight: The Epistemic Role of Emotional Experience, Oxford University Press, 2013, 204pp., $45.00
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2014.10.28 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Michael S. Brady, Emotional Insight: The Epistemic Role of Emotional Experience, Oxford University Press, 2013, 204pp., $45.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780199685523. Reviewed by John M. Monteleone, Hobart and William Smith Colleges Many suppose there to be a tension between having or feeling emotions, on the one hand, and cognitive success, on the other. However, the dominant trend in theorizing about emotions has turned quite against this intuition. What has emerged is what Karen Jones calls a "pro-emotion consensus," according to which emotions make essential and positive contributions to our cognitive success.[1] Michael Brady's book is a welcome contribution to the pro-emotion consensus. The book focuses on how exactly emotions contribute to our cognitive success, and therefore, what precisely is the positive epistemic value of emotions. It develops a thorough and fair criticism of what has seemed to be the. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News