Guns & Negligence

After each mass shooting in America, there is a push to do something about gun violence. After the slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School, some family members of the victims brought a lawsuit
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After each mass shooting in America, there is a push to do something about gun violence. After the slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School, some family members of the victims brought a lawsuit against Remington Arms. Remington manufactured the Bushmaster rifle used by the shooter. The lawsuit also includes Camfour (a firearm distributor) and Riverview Gun Sales (which sold the gun). On the face of it, the case would seem to have no legal merit—the main reason being the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a 2005 federal law. This law serves as a protection for liability in regards to the legal sales of firearms. While what a law means amounts to the opinions of the adjudicators and enforcers, there would seem to be little grounds for a lawsuit in this case: a legal product, the Bushmaster, was manufactured, distributed and sold in accord with the laws. The only criminal activity was on the part of the shooter. Interestingly, the case seems to be going forward. The. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy

The value of humanism

World Humanist Day is celebrated on 21 June, providing an opportunity for humanists and humanist organizations to promote the positive principles of Humanism. Celebration of the day began in the
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World Humanist Day is celebrated on 20 June, providing an opportunity for humanists and humanist organizations to promote the positive principles of Humanism. Celebration of the day began in the 1980s and support for it has grown ever since. This post explores some of the values of Humanism, specifically truth and realism. Humanism, as I see it, is a view that believes in secular enlightenment, in the importance of truth, rationality, and objectivity, and in the value and progress of our species. It rejects religion, and affirms, if not the perfectibility of human kind, at least our ability and resourcefulness in finding solutions to the problems that beset us. Some of these problems are old ones; others are new. Some are of our own making; others are not. But, whatever the difficulties, the humanist has faith in our capacity to confront and overcome them by the application of intelligence and hard work. A central humanist concern is the value of truth, of seeing things as they are.. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

Carroll on Zombies

Zombies are back in the news!  Via the DN Heap of Links, I see physicist Sean Carroll defending what appears to be a kind of analytical functionalism:What do we mean when we say “I am
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Zombies are back in the news!  Via the DN Heap of Links, I see physicist Sean Carroll defending what appears to be a kind of analytical functionalism:What do we mean when we say “I am experiencing the redness of red?” We mean something like this: There is a part of the universe I choose to call “me,” a collection of atoms interacting and evolving in certain ways. I attribute to “myself” a number of properties, some straightforwardly physical, and others inward and mental. There are certain processes that can transpire within the neurons and synapses of my brain, such that when they occur I say, “I am experiencing redness.” This is a useful thing to say, since it correlates in predictable ways with other features of the universe. For example, a person who knows I am having that experience might reliably infer the existence of red‐wavelength photons entering my eyes, and perhaps some object emitting or reflecting them. They could also ask me further questions such as “What. . .

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News source: Philosophy, et cetera

<strong>Wallace Stevens</strong>, having failed at journalism and law, began a long career in insurance. He didn't publish his poems until he was 35. His life is not crying out to be told. And yet&nbsp;

Wallace Stevens, having failed at journalism and law, began a long career in insurance. He didn&#39;t publish his poems until he was 35. His life is not crying out to be told. And
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Wallace Stevens, having failed at journalism and law, began a long career in insurance. He didn't publish his poems until he was 35. His life is not crying out to be told. And yet 

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

The first history of Nazi <strong>concentration camps</strong> appeared in 1946. Tens of thousands of studies have followed. Is it possible to say anything new? Yes

The first history of Nazi concentration camps appeared in 1946. Tens of thousands of studies have followed. Is it possible to say anything new?
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The first history of Nazi concentration camps appeared in 1946. Tens of thousands of studies have followed. Is it possible to say anything new? Yes

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Thirty-six percent of internet content is <strong>pornography</strong>. One in four internet searches is about porn. Cause for concern? Probably not

Thirty-six percent of internet content is pornography. One in four internet searches is about porn. Cause for concern? Probably
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Thirty-six percent of internet content is pornography. One in four internet searches is about porn. Cause for concern? Probably not

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Context

2016.06.20 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Robert Stalnaker, Context, Oxford University Press, 2014, 248pp., $29.95 (pbk), ISBN 9780198776871. Reviewed by Craige
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2016.06.20 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Robert Stalnaker, Context, Oxford University Press, 2014, 248pp., $29.95 (pbk), ISBN 9780198776871. Reviewed by Craige Roberts, Central European University Robert Stalnaker's early work on assertion (1979) and presupposition (1974) has played a central role in almost all contemporary thinking on the relationship between linguistic content and context, and on the relationship between semantics and pragmatics. Stalnaker has continued throughout his long career to reflect on these issues and their ramifications for both philosophy of language and philosophy of mind, with a long string of books and publications attesting to this interest and its strong influence on the field. Hence, the present volume, reflecting his most recent views on the subject, is especially welcome. And the contents repay careful consideration: Far from a summary of previous work, Stalnaker focuses on recent challenges and offers. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

What is college for?

1 May was National College Decision Day in the U.S. – the deposit deadline for admission into many U.S. colleges and universities. Early indications suggest that we’re poised for a fifth straight
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1 May was National College Decision Day in the U.S. – the deposit deadline for admission into many U.S. colleges and universities. Early indications suggest that we’re poised for a fifth straight year of declining enrollments. In the Atlantic earlier this year, Alia Wong pointed out that this trend continues the widening gap between high school graduation and college enrollment in this country: in 2013-14, 82 percent of high school seniors made it to graduation (an all time high), yet only 66 percent immediately enrolled in college (down from 69 percent in 2008). As social scientists and educators continue sifting the data for causes, it is worth asking some big questions.  What is education supposed to do?  Why go to college anyway? In this pluralistic age – allergic to overarching, one-size-fits-all accounts of anything – it is very difficult to name a singular purpose for the lengthy exposure to the fields of expert knowledge we call a college education. Yet for the cultural. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

The Shelleys, Byron, and friends in Switzerland one cold and rainy summer were like a writer&rsquo;s colony from hell: love triangles, sharp tempers, and the <strong>birth of Frankenstein</strong>

The Shelleys, Byron, and friends in Switzerland one cold and rainy summer were like a writer&amp;rsquo;s colony from hell: love triangles, sharp tempers, and the birth of
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The Shelleys, Byron, and friends in Switzerland one cold and rainy summer were like a writer’s colony from hell: love triangles, sharp tempers, and the birth of Frankenstein

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

<strong>Jenny Diski's spectacular originality</strong> relied on her ability to empathize even with those whom she failed to understand

Jenny Diski&#39;s spectacular originality relied on her ability to empathize even with those whom she failed to
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Jenny Diski's spectacular originality relied on her ability to empathize even with those whom she failed to understand

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily