Philosopher of the month: Sir Karl Raimund Popper [timeline]

This August, the OUP Philosophy team honours Sir Karl Raimund Popper (1902–1994) as their Philosopher of the Month. A British (Austrian-born) philosopher, Popper’s considerable reputation comes from
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This August, the OUP Philosophy team honours Sir Karl Raimund Popper (1902–1994) as their Philosopher of the Month. A British (Austrian-born) philosopher, Popper’s considerable reputation comes from his work on the philosophy of science and his political philosophy. Popper is widely regarded as one of the greatest thinkers of the twentieth century. Born to a middle-class Jewish family in Vienna, Popper studied mathematics, physics, and psychology at the University of Vienna, graduating with a doctorate in psychology in 1928. His first book The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge was shorted down to become arguably his most famous work and also the first to be published by the philosopher, Logik der Forschung (1934). The Vienna Circle became interested in Popper’s work after this despite it contesting some of their basic concepts. Popper shared their interest in distinguishing between science and other activities, but in contrast to them never supported the idea that. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

Quackery and Straws

[From the archives, originally published 25/9/2011] As Edgar Allen Poe, wrote in The Literati of 1850: “There are very few points of classical scholarship which are not the common property of
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[From the archives, originally published 25/9/2011] As Edgar Allen Poe, wrote in The Literati of 1850: “There are very few points of classical scholarship which are not the common property of “the learned” … and in composing any book of reference recourse is unscrupulously and even necessarily had in all cases to similar books which have preceded… it is the practice of quacks to paraphrase page after page … preserving the spirit of the whole, its information…, while everything is so completely re-written as to leave no room for a direct charge of plagiarism…. he who, in availing himself of the labors of his predecessors (and it is clear that all scholars must …) who shall copy verbatim the passages to be desired… even if he fail to make direct acknowledgment of indebtedness — is unquestionably less of the plagiarist than the disingenuous and contemptible quack who wriggles himself, as above…” As Poe noted “the design in any such compilation is … to make a. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy

Meet the <strong>New Optimists</strong>. This stubbornly cheerful lot rejects doom-mongering. But is the world really getting better?

Meet the New Optimists. This stubbornly cheerful lot rejects doom-mongering. But is the world really getting
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Meet the New Optimists. This stubbornly cheerful lot rejects doom-mongering. But is the world really getting better?

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Octopuses play, solve puzzles and navigate mazes. But no matter how much you appreciate their <strong>squishy sentience</strong>, they will never love you back

Octopuses play, solve puzzles and navigate mazes. But no matter how much you appreciate their squishy sentience, they will never love you
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Octopuses play, solve puzzles and navigate mazes. But no matter how much you appreciate their squishy sentience, they will never love you back

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

When a tuberculosis epidemic resulted in a glut of x-rays, it became an opportunity to subvert <strong>Soviet censorship</strong> of music

When a tuberculosis epidemic resulted in a glut of x-rays, it became an opportunity to subvert Soviet censorship of
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When a tuberculosis epidemic resulted in a glut of x-rays, it became an opportunity to subvert Soviet censorship of music

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

What Can be Owned?

Embed from Getty Images One rather interesting philosophical question is that of what can, and perhaps more importantly cannot, be owned. There is, as one might imagine, considerable dispute over
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Embed from Getty Images One rather interesting philosophical question is that of what can, and perhaps more importantly cannot, be owned. There is, as one might imagine, considerable dispute over this matter. One major historical example of such a dispute is the debate over whether people can be owned. A more recent example is the debate over the ownership of genes. While each specific dispute needs to be addressed on its own merits, it is certainly worth considering the broader question of what can and what cannot be property. Addressing this matter begins with the foundation of ownership—that is, what justifies the claim that one owns something, whatever that something might be. This is, of course, the philosophical problem of property. Many are not even aware there is such a philosophical problem—they uncritically accept the current system, though they might have some complaints about its particulars. But, to simply assume that the existing system of property is correct (or. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy

Publicity

[Revised entry by Axel Gosseries and Tom Parr on August 4, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Publicity can be opposed both to privacy and to secrecy. This entry will mostly be
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[Revised entry by Axel Gosseries and Tom Parr on August 4, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Publicity can be opposed both to privacy and to secrecy. This entry will mostly be dealing with the latter meaning. In everyday life, calls for more transparency or openness in political and economic life may seem rather uncontroversial. Still, the precise reasons why and the extent to which publicity should be guaranteed are not straightforward. Moral and political philosophers, along with social scientists, have until now provided us with only fragmentary elements in this respect. We shall review here what has been gathered so...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Religious Language

[New Entry by Michael Scott on August 4, 2017.] The principal aim of research on religious language is to give an account of the meaning of religious sentences and utterances. Religious sentences
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[New Entry by Michael Scott on August 4, 2017.] The principal aim of research on religious language is to give an account of the meaning of religious sentences and utterances. Religious sentences are generally taken to be have a religious subject matter; a religious utterance is the production in speech or writing of a token religious sentence. In principle, religious subject matters could encompass a variety of agents, states of affairs or properties - such as God, deities, angels, miracles, redemption, grace, holiness, sinfulness. Most attention, however, has been devoted...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Algebra

[Revised entry by Vaughan Pratt on August 4, 2017. Changes to: Main text] Algebra is a branch of mathematics sibling to geometry, analysis (calculus), number theory, combinatorics, etc. Although
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[Revised entry by Vaughan Pratt on August 4, 2017. Changes to: Main text] Algebra is a branch of mathematics sibling to geometry, analysis (calculus), number theory, combinatorics, etc. Although algebra has its roots in numerical domains such as the reals and the complex numbers, in its full generality it differs from its siblings in serving no specific mathematical domain. Whereas geometry treats spatial entities, analysis continuous variation, number theory integer arithmetic, and combinatorics discrete structures, algebra is equally...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

When did disagreeing with someone become akin to oppression? When we conflated <strong>our opinions and our identities</strong>

When did disagreeing with someone become akin to oppression? When we conflated our opinions and our
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When did disagreeing with someone become akin to oppression? When we conflated our opinions and our identities

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily