Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Revitalizing the Epistemology of Religion

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Philosophers studying epistemology debate the exact nature of knowledge, typically by examining the “evidence” behind one’s beliefs: logical processes, sensory perception, and so on. They also wonder about how much we can know. Knowledge about the empirical world is perhaps one thing; yet what about our beliefs in the areas of history, or mathematics, or morality, or politics? Or religion? Religious belief is subject to constant scrutiny in both philosophy and some popular culture. Should people believe that there is a God or deity of some kind–what kind of evidence or grounds might there be either for or against its, or their, existence? Matters of religion can seem to mimic morality or politics in at least these ways: it can be rather unclear what counts as the right sort of evidence for believing one way or another on some question. And the social nature of our coming to believe (or disbelieve) anything about these domains means that we are largely dependent on testimony from. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

A good death beyond dignity?

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According to the Australian euthanasia activist Philip Nitschke, to choose when you die is “a fundamental human right. It’s not just some medical privilege for the very sick. If you’ve got the precious gift of life, you should be able to give that gift away at the time of your choosing.” This view combines two extreme standpoints in the debate on euthanasia and assisted suicide: First, it claims that that you should be allowed to end your life as you please, unbound by further qualifications such as a grim medical diagnosis; and second, it says that we should treat this decision with utmost importance, as a claim right which can hardly be overridden by conflicting considerations. As one normative consequence of this idea, you might think that ending your own life should be as easy and comfortable as possible. To this end, Nitschke, together with the Dutch engineer Alex Bannink, has developed the ”Sarco”  (from “sarcophagus”, an ancient coffin made of stone or other durable materials).. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

Mind, Language and Morality: Essays in Honour of Mark Platts

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2018.06.15 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Gustavo Ortiz-Millán and Juan Antonio Cruz Parcero (eds.), Mind, Language and Morality: Essays in Honour of Mark Platts, Routledge, 2018, 196pp, $140.00, ISBN 9780815385028. Reviewed by Samuel Guttenplan, Birkbeck College, London This festschrift contains nine essays originally given as talks in 2012 at a conference in honour of Mark Platts, a philosopher who originally taught in Magdalen College, Oxford and Birkbeck College, London, and then emigrated to the National Autonomous University in Mexico City (UNAM) nearly forty years ago. His published work began with Ways of Meaning (1979), an expository treatment of the truth conditional semantic programme initially developed by Donald Davidson. Platts' Ways has been influential, and a second edition was published in 1997. One chapter of Ways set out to extend truth conditional semantics to moral language -- an extension that was then no part of Davidson's. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

The Legacy of Kant in Sellars and Meillassoux: Analytic and Continental Kantianism

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2018.06.16 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Fabio Gironi (ed.), The Legacy of Kant in Sellars and Meillassoux: Analytic and Continental Kantianism, Routledge, 2017, 248pp., $140.00, ISBN 9781138703674. Reviewed by Steven Levine, University of Massachusetts, Boston A volume of essays comparing the thought of two philosophers is always worrying. Often the comparison is forced and more a product of the need to find fresh topics to publish on than of advancing genuine philosophical insight. This worry is especially acute when the two philosophers compared are as disparate and difficult as Sellars and Meillassoux. From an external point of view it is clear why they have been brought together: Ray Brassier wrote about Sellars in his book Nihil Unbound and in the process got many students in contemporary continental philosophy interested in this somewhat idiosyncratic analytic philosopher. Insofar as reading Sellars gives one a point of entry into a vein of. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

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