Ricoeur on Moral Religion: A Hermeneutics of Life

2015.02.30 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews James Carter, Ricoeur on Moral Religion: A Hermeneutics of Life, Oxford University Press, 2014, 169pp., $85.00 (hbk), ISBN
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2015.02.30 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews James Carter, Ricoeur on Moral Religion: A Hermeneutics of Life, Oxford University Press, 2014, 169pp., $85.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198717157. Reviewed by David Pellauer, DePaul University James Carter proposes a "selective reading" (p. v) of Ricoeur's philosophy that he claims reveals the "architectonic" (p. ix) of Ricoeur's thought. Contrary to many current interpretations of Ricoeur, which characterize his numerous writings under the heading of a philosophical anthropology, this organizing principle turns out to be a "moral religion," in effect, a "civic or common religion" (p. 96) that does not depend on any particular religious tradition but that does make it possible for people to live together and to seek a good life. This moral religion is said to be derived from the philosophy of agency worked out in Ricoeur's later work and retroactively discernible in the early work, based on a "reflexive. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Review of Zizek

Few things are less funny than a book about humor. A joke explained is a joke failed. Especially if the explainer is Slavoj Žižek…
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Few things are less funny than a book about humor. A joke explained is a joke failed. Especially if the explainer is Slavoj Žižek… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Oliver Sacks and cancer

Oliver Sacks has months to live. There is no longer time for anything inessential – just himself, his work, his friends. And some silliness….
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Oliver Sacks has months to live. There is no longer time for anything inessential – just himself, his work, his friends. And some silliness…. more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Discrete or Continuous? The Quest for Fundamental Length in Modern Physics

2015.02.29 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Amit Hagar, Discrete or Continuous? The Quest for Fundamental Length in Modern Physics, Cambridge University Press, 2014, 276pp.,
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2015.02.29 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Amit Hagar, Discrete or Continuous? The Quest for Fundamental Length in Modern Physics, Cambridge University Press, 2014, 276pp., $90.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781107062801. Reviewed by Vincent Lam, University of Lausanne The issue of whether space (or spacetime) is fundamentally discrete or continuous has a long and venerable history at the intersection of mathematics, philosophy and physics, and lies at the heart of the current research in quantum gravity. Amit Hagar considers several episodes of this history, from Zeno's paradox of extension to important debates in the development of quantum field theories and to the little discussed correspondence between Einstein and W. F. G. Swann, before turning to the current debate in quantum gravity. A central thesis of the book is that certain spacetime and geometrical notions such as (fundamental) length are irreducible and have to be taken as primitive, on pain of. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Connectionism

[Revised entry by James Garson on February 19, 2015. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Connectionism is a movement in cognitive science that hopes to explain intellectual abilities using
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[Revised entry by James Garson on February 19, 2015. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Connectionism is a movement in cognitive science that hopes to explain intellectual abilities using artificial neural networks (also known as 'neural networks' or 'neural nets'). Neural networks are simplified models of the brain composed of large numbers of units (the analogs of neurons) together with weights that measure the strength of connections between the units. These weights model the effects of the synapses that link one...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Public Health Ethics

[Revised entry by Ruth Faden and Sirine Shebaya on February 19, 2015. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] At its core, public health is concerned with promoting and protecting the
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[Revised entry by Ruth Faden and Sirine Shebaya on February 19, 2015. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] At its core, public health is concerned with promoting and protecting the health of populations,[1] broadly understood. Collective interventions in service of population health often involve or require government action. In the United States, for example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Question about Rationality - Miriam Solomon responds

Do philosophers always embrace rationalism? Why not irrationalism? What's so bad about my voting for a political candidate based on how attractive his wife is? Response from: Miriam
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Do philosophers always embrace rationalism? Why not irrationalism? What's so bad about my voting for a political candidate based on how attractive his wife is? Response from: Miriam Solomon Philosophers are generally speaking fans of reason and rationality, but there are exceptions, e.g. David Hume, who wrote that reason is a "slave to the passions." There is also, often, unclarity about what the reasonable or rational thing to do is. In response to your final question: voting for a political candidate based on the attractiveness of his wife is inadvisable. If human flourishing in the future depends on who is elected, then voting in this way undermines your own interests, not to mention the interests of others.

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News source: AskPhilosophers.org | "All"

Gene

[Revised entry by Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Staffan Müller-Wille, and Robert Meunier on February 19, 2015. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] "There can be little doubt," philosopher and biochemist
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[Revised entry by Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Staffan Müller-Wille, and Robert Meunier on February 19, 2015. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] "There can be little doubt," philosopher and biochemist Lenny Moss claimed in 2003, "that the idea of 'the gene' has been the central organizing theme of twentieth century biology" (Moss 2003, xiii; cf. Keller 2000, 9). And yet it is clear that the science of genetics never provided one generally accepted definition of the gene. More than a hundred years of genetic research have rather resulted in the proliferation of a variety of gene concepts, which sometimes complement, sometimes contradict each other. Some philosophers and scientists have tried to...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

To push or not to push? Should that be the question?

Over at The Dance of Reason (Sac State's Philosophy blog), Dan Weijers reports an interesting experiment involving variations on the usual trolley cases. In short, he finds that: (a) in his sample
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Over at The Dance of Reason (Sac State's Philosophy blog), Dan Weijers reports an interesting experiment involving variations on the usual trolley cases. In short, he finds that:(a) in his sample many more than usual are willing to say pushing the large man in the standard Footbridge scenario is morally permissible,(b) more people are willing to say pushing is morally permissible if other options were available to the agent.If interested, please read the post over there. And, if you wish to comment, please do so there.

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News source: Experimental Philosophy

Reasonable science doubters

Vaccines, climate change, GMOs: Conspiracy-minded skeptics have declared war on scientific expertise. In this debate, facts are futile…
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Vaccines, climate change, GMOs: Conspiracy-minded skeptics have declared war on scientific expertise. In this debate, facts are futile… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily