Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Have humans always lived in a “pluriverse” of worlds?

In the modern West, we take it for granted that reality is an objectively knowable material world. From a young age, we are taught to visualize it as a vast abstract space full of free-standing objects that all obey timeless universal laws of science and nature. But a very different picture of reality is now emerging from new currents of thought in fields like history, anthropology, and sociology.        Related StoriesA Roman road trip: tips for travelling the Roman Empire this summerThe VSI podcast season two: Homer, film music, consciousness, samurai, and moreShakespeare and the sciences of [More]

Shakespeare and the sciences of emotion

What role should literature have in the interdisciplinary study of emotion? The dominant answer today seems to be “not much.” Scholars of literature of course write about emotion; but fundamental questions about what emotion is and how it works belong elsewhere: to psychology, cognitive science, neurophysiology, philosophy of mind. In Shakespeare’s time the picture was different. What the period called “passions” were material for ethics and for that part of natural philosophy dealing with the soul; but it was rhetoric that offered the most extensive accounts of the passions.       Related StoriesAdapting Shakespeare: shattering stereotypes of Asian women onstage and onscreenWhy did evolution create conscious states of mind?Where have you gone, Jimmy Gatz? Roman Catholic haunting in American literary [More]

What is the Republican Party’s Political Philosophy?

Since the United States has only two major parties, each party will include people with different political philosophies. For example, Joe Biden differs significantly from Bernie Sanders. The Republican Party has tended to be more ideologically homogenous, but it also contains some degree of diversity. Some might be tempted to dismiss concerns about political philosophy [More]

On SHAPE: a Q&A with Lucy Noakes, Eyal Poleg, Laura Wright & Mary Kelly

OUP have recently announced our support for the newly created SHAPE initiative—Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts for People and the Economy. To further understand the crucial role these subjects play in our everyday lives, we have put three questions to four British Academy SHAPE authors and editors—social and cultural historian Lucy Noakes, historian of objects and faith Eyal Poleg, historical sociolinguist Laura Wright, and Lecturer in Contemporary Art History Mary Kelly—on what SHAPE means to them, and to their research.       Related StoriesSHAPE today and tomorrow: Q&A with Sophie Goldsworthy and Julia Black (part two)Introducing SHAPE: Q&A with Sophie Goldsworthy and Julia Black (part one)The power of pigs: tension and taboo in Haifa, [More]

Transformative choice and “Big Decisions”

Imagine being invited by a trusted friend to a “life-changing” event. Should you go? The event could be a church service, self-help talk, concert, movie, festival, hike, play, dinner party, book club, union organizing meeting, etc. What sorts of considerations do you reach for in making your choice? The philosopher L. A. Paul has put problems like these, termed transformative choices, on the map for philosophical and scientific inquiry.       Related StoriesLyricism as activism: Sigurd Olson and The Singing WildernessWas Spinoza a populist? [Long read]Fake news is not new: Russia’s 19th-century disinformation [More]

Lyricism as activism: Sigurd Olson and The Singing Wilderness

Placing the reader in the poetic and ethical space is the first step toward direct action that affects the larger human community: a step toward activism. Activism formalizes the values that inspire and ultimately direct our will—and action—to preserve and protect. By opening new worlds, other spaces, and creating experiences for the reader—and, crucially, letting the reader explore those worlds for herself or for himself—the lyric writer has an opportunity to create a protected zone for significant communication. The post Lyricism as activism: Sigurd Olson and <em>The Singing Wilderness</em> appeared first on OUPblog.        Related StoriesWas Spinoza a populist? [Long read]Fake news is not new: Russia’s 19th-century disinformation experimentPutting my mouth where my money is: the origin of [More]

Was Spinoza a populist? [Long read]

Recent studies of Spinoza’s political theory in a contemporary perspective often place it in one of two categories, depicting him either as a defender of individual free speech and liberal democracy or as a champion of radical democracy and collective popular power. For some, he is something like a liberal supporter of the equal individual rights of all citizens to express whatever is on their mind, an early defender of “free speech.” The post Was Spinoza a populist? [Long read] appeared first on OUPblog.        Related StoriesThe coming refugee crisis: how COVID-19 exacerbates forced displacementWhat if COVID-19 had emerged in 1719?Can skepticism and curiosity get along? Benjamin Franklin shows they can [More]

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Dr. Robert McKim
  • on Religious Diversity
  • Professor of Religion and Professor of Philosophy
  • Focuses on Philosophy of Religion
  • Ph.D. Yale

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Dr. Alvin Plantinga
  • on Where the Conflict Really Lies
  • Emeritus Professor of Philosophy (UND)
  • Focuses on Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion
  • Ph.D. Yale

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Dr. Peter Boghossian
  • on faith as a cognitive sickness
  • Teaches Philosophy at Portland State University (Oregon)
  • Focuses on atheism and critical thinking
  • Has a passion for teaching in prisons
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