Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

How deaf education and artificial language were linked in the 17th century

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Before the 1550s, it was generally believed that people who are born deaf are incapable of learning a natural language such as Spanish or English. This belief was nourished by the observation that hearing children normally acquire their speaking skills without explicit instruction, and that learning to read usually proceeds by first connecting individual letters to individual speech sounds, pronouncing them one by one, before a whole word is read and understood. Accordingly, it seemed obvious to many that, in the authoritative words of Aristotle, “written marks (are) symbols of spoken sounds.” Thus, for deaf children the road to learning a language like English seemed to be blocked forever. Acquiring speech by listening and imitating was obviously impossible. Written communication seemed equally unattainable, for if what is primarily signified by written letters (speech sounds) is not accessible to a person, there is no way such a person could learn to read. In the 1550s,. . .

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News source: Linguistics – OUPblog

Art and Authority: Moral Rights and Meaning in Contemporary Visual Art

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2018.06.19 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews K. E. Gover, Art and Authority: Moral Rights and Meaning in Contemporary Visual Art, Oxford University Press, 2018, 224 pp., $55.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198768692. Reviewed by Iskra Fileva, University of Colorado, Boulder We sometimes say or do things that we do not endorse upon reflection: "I was having a bad day and lost my temper", or, "I was too tired to think clearly." The importance of this point is widely recognized in ethics, though what precisely we should make of it is a matter of ongoing debate. Can we hold people accountable for deeds they renounce or do not identify with? And if a person feels alienated from an action, can we nonetheless identify her with that action? Interestingly, there has been little or no discussion of the importance of second-order endorsement in the process of art-making. Much as we may say or do things that we... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Existence, Mathematical Nominalism, and Meta-Ontology: An Objection to Azzouni on Criteria for Existence†

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AbstractJody Azzouni argues that whilst it is indeterminate what the criteria for existence are, there is a criterion that has been collectively adopted to use ‘exist’ that we can employ to argue for positions in ontology. I raise and defend a novel objection to Azzouni: his view has the counterintuitive consequence that the facts regarding what exists can and will change when users of the word ‘exist’ change what criteria they associate with its usage. Considering three responses, I argue Azzouni has best reason to take one that ultimately renders unsuccessful his arguments against mathematical abstracta.

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News source: Philosophia Mathematica Current Issue

Attempts to justify the humanities are, too often, self-congratulatory fantasy: I read better books, so I’m a better person. Stanley Fish has read the best books. He's not a better person

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Attempts to justify the humanities are, too often, self-congratulatory fantasy: I read better books, so I’m a better person. Stanley Fish has read the best books. He's not a better person

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

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