Vasubandhu

[Revised entry by Jonathan C. Gold on April 27, 2015. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The Buddhist philosopher Vasubandhu (4th to 5th century C.E.) was a great light at the peak of India's
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[Revised entry by Jonathan C. Gold on April 27, 2015. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The Buddhist philosopher Vasubandhu (4th to 5th century C.E.) was a great light at the peak of India's resplendent Gupta empire.[1] His works display his mastery of Buddhist as well as non-Buddhist thought of the day, and he made his mark, successively, upon three Buddhist scholastic...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Information Immortality

Most people are familiar with the notion that energy cannot be destroyed. Interestingly, there is also a rule in quantum mechanics that forbids the destruction of information. This principle, called
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Most people are familiar with the notion that energy cannot be destroyed. Interestingly, there is also a rule in quantum mechanics that forbids the destruction of information. This principle, called unitarity, is often illustrated by the example of burning a book: though the book is burned, the information still remain— View image | gettyimages.com although it would obviously be much harder to “read” a burned book. This principle has, in recent years, run into some trouble with black holes and they might or might not be able to destroy information. My interest here is not with this specific dispute, but rather with the question of whether or not the indestructibility of information has any implications for immortality. On the face of it, the indestructibility of information seems rather similar to the conservation of energy. Long ago, when I was an undergraduate, I first heard the argument that because of the conservation of energy, personal immortality must be real (or at least. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy

Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment

2015.04.27 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Akeel Bilgrami, Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment, Harvard University Press, 2014, 397pp., $45.00 (hbk), ISBN
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2015.04.27 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Akeel Bilgrami, Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment, Harvard University Press, 2014, 397pp., $45.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780674052048. Reviewed by Nikolas Kompridis, Institute for Social Justice, Australian Catholic University Occasionally, albeit, much too occasionally, philosophers illuminate the great challenges of the age, conceptually and critically, opening up genuinely new pathways for thinking about and responding to these challenges. In his latest book Akeel Bilgrami does this superbly, brilliantly, and very carefully. Carefully, in the sense of taking great care to get things right, and treating those things as themselves worthy objects of care and concern (and not simply as instrumental to the purposes of his arguments). Bilgrami describes his book undramatically as speaking to the issues of the relation between religion and politics . . . governed by a philosopher's interest in . . . practical reason;. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Tony Judt’s Journey

Tony Judt was a good European who happily made his home in America. It was around 2002 that happiness curdled into disappointment…
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Tony Judt was a good European who happily made his home in America. It was around 2002 that happiness curdled into disappointment… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Review of John Gray

John Gray, well-versed in literature of all brows, is among the best-read contemporary philosophers. He’s also the bleakest…
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John Gray, well-versed in literature of all brows, is among the best-read contemporary philosophers. He’s also the bleakest… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Defense of physical books

“You read all those books?” The question occurs only to nonreaders. For bibliophiles, a personal library of unread books is a reminder that they will never be smart enough…
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“You read all those books?” The question occurs only to nonreaders. For bibliophiles, a personal library of unread books is a reminder that they will never be smart enough… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

The Peripheral Mind: Philosophy of Mind and the Peripheral Nervous System

2015.04.26 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews István Aranyosi, The Peripheral Mind: Philosophy of Mind and the Peripheral Nervous System, Oxford University Press, 2013,
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2015.04.26 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews István Aranyosi, The Peripheral Mind: Philosophy of Mind and the Peripheral Nervous System, Oxford University Press, 2013, 232pp., $69.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780199989607. Reviewed by Andreas Elpidorou, University of Louisville This book advances and defends the view that the mind is literally distributed in the body. That is to say, the mind is constituted not only by the brain and the spinal cord, but also by the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The experience of pain, for example, is not merely caused by activity in A-delta fibers and C fibers; it is constituted by such activity. The same holds, mutatis mutandis, for most conscious mental states. The nine main chapters (the tenth concluding chapter is only two-and-a-half pages long) have varied and wide-ranging topics. Chapter 1 consists mainly of a series of first-personal reflections on the nature of embodiment during a period in which the author suffered. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Junior Professor (W1) for Philosophy (Political Philosophy)

Job List:  Europe Name of institution:  University of Bayreuth
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Job List: 
Europe
Name of institution: 
University of Bayreuth
Town: 
Bayreuth
Country: 
Germany
. . .

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News source: Jobs In Philosophy

The Best Case for Voting

To follow up on my last post, let's consider a Regan-esque case for voting.The set-up: Suppose there are two candidates, Good and Bad, and a large population (e.g. several million voters).
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To follow up on my last post, let's consider a Regan-esque case for voting.The set-up: Suppose there are two candidates, Good and Bad, and a large population (e.g. several million voters).  90% of the population are unreasoning voters, and suppose that each such voter is (independently) 0.55 likely to vote for Bad, and 0.45 likely to vote for Good.  Suppose that the remaining 10% of the population consists of utilitarians, who are initially disposed not to vote (unless their voting will be instrumental to changing the result from Bad to Good).  I am one such, and I wonder whether I should bother voting.The verdict: Any one such utilitarian, reasoning in isolation, can be extremely confident that their individual vote will make no difference, to the point that the expected value of voting is effectively zero (cf. J. Brennan, The Ethics of Voting, pp.19-20).  That slight bias in favour of Bad, played out over millions of independent chance events. . .

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News source: Philosophy, et cetera

Bring back the serialized novel

The novel is in the doldrums. Sales are down, something called “snackable content” is in demand. The solution? A return to the past: serialization…
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The novel is in the doldrums. Sales are down, something called “snackable content” is in demand. The solution? A return to the past: serialization… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily