Of Reality: The Purposes of Philosophy

2017.02.06 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Gianni Vattimo, Of Reality: The Purposes of Philosophy, Robert T. Valgenti (tr.), Columbia University Press, 2016, 235pp., $35.00
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2017.02.06 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Gianni Vattimo, Of Reality: The Purposes of Philosophy, Robert T. Valgenti (tr.), Columbia University Press, 2016, 235pp., $35.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780231166966. Reviewed by  David Vessey, Grand Valley State University Writers are often told to wait to write their introduction until they have finished their book, for only then do they know all they are going to say. In Of Reality Gianni Vattimo, after dozens of books and decades of philosophical and political leadership in Italy, has written the best introduction to his work. Especially in his Gifford Lectures and the accompanying essays, Vattimo clearly sums up his thinking. He reintroduces many of the key positions he argued for in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, thematically connecting them with his political and religious work from the first part of the twentieth century. There are no new views here; instead he focuses on pushing his nihilistic rejection of any. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Cooperating with Trump

Embed from Getty Images It has been claimed that Republicans intended, from day one, to obstruct President Obama in all things. This is supported by John Boehner’s remark about Obama’s agenda:
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Embed from Getty Images It has been claimed that Republicans intended, from day one, to obstruct President Obama in all things. This is supported by John Boehner’s remark about Obama’s agenda: “We’re going to do everything — and I mean everything we can do — to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can.” However, the defining quote for the obstructionist agenda belongs to Mitch McConnell: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” The Republican narrative, as might be imagined, tells a different tale. In the Republican version, Obama is the villain who refuses to compromise with the Republicans. While the truth of the matter is important, the practical fact of the matter is that Obama and the Republicans often ended up in deadlocks. Obama’s go-to strategy was the use of executive orders—some of which ended up being challenged by the courts. Now that Trump is president, the question is whether the Democrats. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy

Our Zombie Bodies, and Physicalist Epiphenomenalism

Eric Olson has a fascinating paper, 'The Zombies Among Us' (forthcoming in Nous), where he points out that standard constitutional theories of persons imply that our bodies are phenomenal
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Eric Olson has a fascinating paper, 'The Zombies Among Us' (forthcoming in Nous), where he points out that standard constitutional theories of persons imply that our bodies are phenomenal zombies -- physically identical to us but lacking conscious experiences (or indeed any mental properties).Constitutionalists hold that we are constituted by (but not identical to) the physical matter that makes up our bodies.  If we imagine a brain-transplant case, for example, it seems that we go where our brains go, and so we can come apart from our bodies (and likewise from the biological organism that our bodies also constitute).  But then we must deny that our materially coincident bodies have mental properties (such as the belief that we go with our brains and not with our bodies), on pain of a fairly radical skepticism (if bodies have all the same beliefs and thoughts as us, what confidence could we have that we are not ourselves such thinking bodies, falsely believing. . .

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News source: Philosophy, et cetera

Face to face with brash: part 2

James Murray showed great caution in his discussion of the Modern English words spelled and pronounced as brash (see Part I of this essay). It remains unclear how many of them are related. One of
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James Murray showed great caution in his discussion of the Modern English words spelled and pronounced as brash (see Part I of this essay). It remains unclear how many of them are related. One of the homonyms seems to go back to French, but even that word is of Germanic origin. The entry in the OED online has not yet been revised, and revising it will entail many difficulties. To begin with, Icelandic also has a word sounding like Engl. brash. It ends in –s, but sh is a late addition to the phonetic inventory of English, so that the mismatch s versus sh is of no consequence. The real problem consists in the fact that the Icelandic word surfaced in print only in the seventeenth century. It means “bad weather; hard work, anxiety; sexual urge.” Its cognates (or seeming cognates!) in other Germanic languages mean “to burn, crackle; to fall down with a noise; arrogant, uncontrollable.” At first sight, the common semantic base of all of them appears to be “great force; impetuosity.”. . .

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News source: Linguistics – OUPblog

Measuring belief?

Pop quiz: What do standing in a long line outside a temple on New Year’s Eve, kneeling alone in a giant cathedral, and gathering around with 10-15 friends in an apartment room all have in common?
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Pop quiz: What do standing in a long line outside a temple on New Year’s Eve, kneeling alone in a giant cathedral, and gathering around with 10-15 friends in an apartment room all have in common? It’s kind of an unfair question but the answer is that each of these would qualify equally as a statistical instance of “having prayed” despite the glaringly different social context and relational ramifications of the action itself. My little gimmick highlights an important question about religious research: do our standard operationalizations actually capture what we want them to? Are instances of the “same” religious practices commensurate across traditions and cultures? Global, comparative statistical studies remain important research goals, and for good reason. Religion remains a significant element of modern life, and may be growing in importance given its common role as a source of push-back against the forces of globalization or as a globalizing force. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

What was it like to live before and during the <strong>invention of modern sexuality</strong>? Consider Edward and Minnie Benson and their five children

What was it like to live before and during the invention of modern sexuality? Consider Edward and Minnie Benson and their five
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What was it like to live before and during the invention of modern sexuality? Consider Edward and Minnie Benson and their five children

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

<strong>Depression</strong>: Heidegger called it anxiety. Sylvia Plath likened it to being covered with a bell jar. Daphne Merkin experienced &ldquo;a yawning inner lack." How do you write about a lack?

Depression: Heidegger called it anxiety. Sylvia Plath likened it to being covered with a bell jar. Daphne Merkin experienced &amp;ldquo;a yawning inner lack.&quot; How do you write about a
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Depression: Heidegger called it anxiety. Sylvia Plath likened it to being covered with a bell jar. Daphne Merkin experienced “a yawning inner lack." How do you write about a lack?

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

<strong>The Searle-Derrida dispute</strong>. How a narrow question about language led to accusations of ignorance and the split between analytic and continental philosophy

The Searle-Derrida dispute. How a narrow question about language led to accusations of ignorance and the split between analytic and continental
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The Searle-Derrida dispute. How a narrow question about language led to accusations of ignorance and the split between analytic and continental philosophy

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Citizen Killings: Liberalism, State Policy and Moral Risk

2017.02.05 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Deane-Peter Baker, Citizen Killings: Liberalism, State Policy and Moral Risk, Bloomsbury, 2016, 156pp., $29.95 (pbk), ISBN
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2017.02.05 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Deane-Peter Baker, Citizen Killings: Liberalism, State Policy and Moral Risk, Bloomsbury, 2016, 156pp., $29.95 (pbk), ISBN 9781472575425. Reviewed by Jason Brennan, Georgetown University Deane-Peter Baker defines citizen-killings as "state-sanctioned (that is, legally permitted) killings conducted by people who are not agents of the state agent." (2) Consider these two sets of questions: 1. Ethics: What is morally permissible for you to do? May you have an abortion? Own a gun? Travel overseas to wage a private war against the Islamic State? Assist someone who is terminally ill, or simply bored, in committing suicide? 2. Politics: What should the state permit or forbid citizens from doing? Should it allow or forbid abortion and infanticide? Should it allow citizens to own a gun, fight a private war, or assist others in committing suicide? The first set asks about what citizens may do; the second set asks... . . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Determinables and Determinates

[Revised entry by Jessica Wilson on February 7, 2017. Changes to: 0] [Editor&#39;s Note: The following new entry by Jessica Wilson replaces the former entry on this topic by the previous author.]
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[Revised entry by Jessica Wilson on February 7, 2017. Changes to: 0] [Editor's Note: The following new entry by Jessica Wilson replaces the former entry on this topic by the previous author.] Determinables and determinates are in the first instance type-level properties that stand in a distinctive specification relation: the...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy