Death

[Revised entry by Steven Luper on October 17, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] This article considers several questions concerning death and its ramifications. First, what constitutes
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[Revised entry by Steven Luper on October 17, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] This article considers several questions concerning death and its ramifications. First, what constitutes death? It is clear enough that people die when their lives end, but less clear what...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Reid on Memory and Personal Identity

[Revised entry by Rebecca Copenhaver on October 17, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Thomas Reid held a direct realist theory of memory. Like his direct realism about perception, Reid
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[Revised entry by Rebecca Copenhaver on October 17, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Thomas Reid held a direct realist theory of memory. Like his direct realism about perception, Reid developed his account as an alternative to the model of the mind that he called 'the theory of ideas.' On such a theory, mental operations such as perception...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Asteroid Mining & Death from Above

http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/475183125 Having written before on the ethics of asteroid mining, I thought I would return to this subject and address an additional moral concern, namely the
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http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/475183125 Having written before on the ethics of asteroid mining, I thought I would return to this subject and address an additional moral concern, namely the potential dangers of asteroid (and comet) mining. My concern here is not with the dangers to the miners (though that is obviously a matter of concern) but with dangers to the rest of us. While the mining of asteroids and comets is currently the stuff of science fiction, such mining is certainly possible and might even prove to be economically viable. One factor worth considering is the high cost of getting material into space from earth. Given this cost, constructing things in space using material mined in space might be cost effective. As such, we might someday see satellites built right in space from material harvested from asteroids. It is also worth considering that the cost of mining materials in space and shipping them to earth might also be low enough that space mining for this purpose. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy

Good Lives and Procreative Duties

Many philosophers seem inclined to accept(Procreative Axiological Asymmetry): While it would be bad, or undesirable, to bring a miserable life into existence, it isn't good, or desirable, to bring
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Many philosophers seem inclined to accept(Procreative Axiological Asymmetry): While it would be bad, or undesirable, to bring a miserable life into existence, it isn't good, or desirable, to bring an awesome life into existence.in order to secure(Procreative Deontic Asymmetry): While we are obliged to not bring miserable lives into existence, we are not obliged to bring awesome lives into existence.PDA is certainly very intuitive.  There seem several routes by which it could be defended.  Adopting PAA to this end strikes me as a particularly odd route for defending PDA.  In general, the inference(No Duty → No Good) We shouldn't be required to do X, therefore there is nothing good about Xdoes not seem a particularly appealing one.  It would be more than passing strange for a convinced opponent of Singer-style duties of beneficence (for example) to try to ground their view by claiming that the welfare of people in developing countries just doesn't matter.. . .

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News source: Philosophy, et cetera

Contemporary Dualism: A Defense

2014.10.17 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Andrea Lavazza and Howard Robinson (eds.), Contemporary Dualism: A Defense, Routledge, 2014, 292pp., $140.00 (hbk), ISBN
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2014.10.17 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Andrea Lavazza and Howard Robinson (eds.), Contemporary Dualism: A Defense, Routledge, 2014, 292pp., $140.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780415818827. Reviewed by Lynne Rudder Baker, University of Massachusetts Amherst This is a brave book. Dualism, the editors tell us, "has a bad reputation," and they seeks to revive mind-body dualism as a "progressive research programme." (Introduction 7, 5) Despite its "bad reputation" among mainstream philosophers, the book is testimony to the vibrancy of dualism today. With fourteen different papers (including the introduction), the absence of a single specific thesis of dualism is not surprising. With some exceptions (e.g., Martina Fürst, 130, n.1), the authors seem to think that we all know what physicalism or materialism is, and they have various conceptions of what physicalism or materialism (allegedly) cannot explain. The collection is divided into four sections: The Limits of. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Formal Causes: Definition, Explanation, and Primacy in Socratic and Aristotelian Thought

2014.10.16 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Michael T. Ferejohn, Formal Causes: Definition, Explanation, and Primacy in Socratic and Aristotelian Thought, Oxford University
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2014.10.16 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Michael T. Ferejohn, Formal Causes: Definition, Explanation, and Primacy in Socratic and Aristotelian Thought, Oxford University Press, 2013, 211pp., $65.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780199695300. Reviewed by James G. Lennox, University of Pittsburgh Aristotle refers to Socrates by name only a few times, but a consistent picture emerges from those references. In Formal Causes, Michael Ferejohn draws on more than three decades of sustained investigation into the connection between the epistemological concerns of certain 'Socratic' dialogues and those animating Aristotle's Analytics. Aristotle's principal debt to Socrates, as Ferejohn sees it, is the idea that definitions both identify what things are and, by virtue of that identification, are also fundamental explanatory starting points -- formal causes -- and thus serve as epistemological foundations. The argument for the interpretation on offer is rigorous, clear and. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Intellectual cowardice

Meek assertions, copious footnotes, weasel words like “perhaps”: Behold the intellectual cowardice of academics…
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Meek assertions, copious footnotes, weasel words like “perhaps”: Behold the intellectual cowardice of academics… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

The Immortal Evening

The immortal dinner of 1817. Around the table: Keats, Wordsworth, Benjamin Robert Haydon, and Charles Lamb. This meal wasn’t about the food …
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The immortal dinner of 1817. Around the table: Keats, Wordsworth, Benjamin Robert Haydon, and Charles Lamb. This meal wasn’t about the food … more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Are we free?

Do we have free will? Neuroscientists think they know; philosophers are unconvinced. But look closely at who is bankrolling these views…
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Do we have free will? Neuroscientists think they know; philosophers are unconvinced. But look closely at who is bankrolling these views… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Question about Art, Feminism - Nickolas Pappas responds

I recently saw "Gone Girl" (spoiler alert!) and have been reading articles about the portrayal of its female antagonist, who is manipulative and psychotic. Some argue that this portrayal is
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I recently saw "Gone Girl" (spoiler alert!) and have been reading articles about the portrayal of its female antagonist, who is manipulative and psychotic. Some argue that this portrayal is problematic, since it plays into misogynistic stereotypes about women. In response, others argue that while such pernicious stereotypes do exist, it must surely be permissible to create a character who is both female and psychotic--indeed, to insist that this character type just can't exist would be sexist itself. Both arguments seem plausible to me, but I'm not sure how to reconcile them. Yes, it's bad to perpetuate negative stereotypes. At the same time, we must have some freedom to create characters that exemplify such stereotypes. Women are sometimes psychotic--we should be able to write about that. But then it seems like we never have justification to criticize any fiction at all, since this kind of defense may always be invoked in any particular case. Response from: Nickolas Pappas I. . .

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News source: AskPhilosophers.org | "All"