Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

How pictures can lie

On 9 August 1997, The Mirror printed an edited photo of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed on its front page. The edited photo shows Diana and Fayed facing each other and about to kiss, although the unedited photo reveals that at that point Fayed was facing an entirely different direction. Did The Mirror lie to its readers? The post How pictures can lie appeared first on OUPblog.         Related StoriesWhy recognizing the Anthropocene Age doesn’t matterWhy there is a moral duty to voteWhen the movie is not like the book: faithfulness in [More]

Down Girl by Kate Manne Wins APA Book Prize

Kate Manne, associate professor of philosophy at Cornell University, has won the 2019 Book Prize from the American Philosophical Association (APA) for her Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny. The APA states: In Down Girl, Kate Manne calls attention to an underappreciated question in the literature: how should we understand misogyny? She advances a new account of it to make sense of some of the most fundamental issues in feminist thought and political philosophy. Despite the ambitious nature of her project, the end result is a powerful view that nevertheless seems like common sense. Manne has succeeded in measurably improving the quality of public discourse on very timely and vexed issues by writing a book that is both accessible and rigorous. The APA’s Book Prize is awarded every other year for the best, published book that was written by a younger scholar during the previous two years. The prize is $4,000, which will be presented at the upcoming Eastern Division meeting of the APA. Honorable Mention for the prize went to Sarah Moss, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan, for her book, Probabilistic Knowledge.   The post Down Girl by Kate Manne Wins APA Book Prize appeared first on Daily [More]

2019 Popper Prize Winner Announced

The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (BJPS) has selected Carlos Gray Santana (University of Utah) as the winner of its 2019 Karl Popper Prize for his “ground breaking” paper in the philosophy of geology. The Popper Prize is awarded annually to the article judged to be the best published in that year’s volume of the Journal, as determined by the editors-in-chief and the British Society for the Philosophy of Science Committee. Professor Santana won the prize for his article, “Waiting for the Anthropocene“. The BJPS editors-in-chief, Steven French (Leeds) and Wendy Parker (Durham), write: Are we at the dawn of a new geological epoch? Many have answered ‘yes’, coining the term ‘Anthropocene’ to designate the impact of humanity on the geological record. In this ground breaking paper, Carlos Santana notes that answering that question requires a radical shift in perspective for a historical science such as geology: whereas previously the identification of formal units of geological time was based on the groupings already present in the stratographic record, establishing such a distinction in the case of the Anthropocene requires the geologist to project herself into the future and imagine what that record will be, looking back to the current time. Santana argues that from such a future geologist’s perspective, we should refrain from adopting the Anthropocene as a new geological epoch, because of the fragility of such a projective move and [More]

Why recognizing the Anthropocene Age doesn’t matter

You’ve probably heard that we’re living in the Anthropocene, a new geological epoch in which human activity is the dominant geological process. If you’ve been attentive to discussion surrounding the Anthropocene, you probably also know that the Anthropocene Working Group, a panel of scientists tasked to make a recommendation as to whether geologists should formally recognize the Anthropocene, voted just a few months ago to recommend recognizing the new epoch. The post Why recognizing the Anthropocene Age doesn’t matter appeared first on OUPblog.         Related StoriesWhy there is a moral duty to voteHow to address the enigmas of everyday lifePhilosopher of the Month – A 2019 [More]

“As science advances, there is more, not less, for philosophy to do”

In a recent interview, Scott Soames, distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California, offers up a description of philosophy. It’s a version of one in his recent book, The World Philosophy Made. Here’s the version from the book: Philosophy never advances against a background of rank ignorance. It flourishes when enough is known about some domain to make great progress conceivable, even though it remains incompletely realized because new methods are needed. Philosophers help by giving us new concepts, reinterpreting old truths, and reconceptualizing questions to expand their solution spaces. Sometimes philosophers do this when sciences are born, but they also do it as disciplines mature. As science advances, there is more, not less, for philosophy to do. Our knowledge of the universe and ourselves grows like an expanding sphere of light from a point of illumination. As light travels in all directions away from the source, the volume of the sphere, representing our secure knowledge, grows exponentially. But so does the surface area of the sphere, representing the border where knowledge blurs into doubt, bringing back methodological uncertainty. Philosophy monitors the border, ready to help plot our next move. In the interview, at What Is It Like To Be A Philosopher?, interviewer Clifford Sosis asks what views in philosophy are considered controversial that shouldn’t be. Professor Soames replies, “The view that philosophy [More]

Journal of the History of Philosophy Announces Book Prize Winner

The Journal of the History of Philosophy has announced the winner of it 2019 book prize, which is awarded for the best book written in history of philosophy in 2018. The winner is Richard Arthur (Professor Emeritus, McMaster University), for his book, Monads, Composition, and Force: Ariadnean Threads Through Leibniz’s Labyrinth. The publisher, Oxford University Press, provides the following description of the book: Leibniz’s monads have long been a source of fascination and puzzlement. If monads are merely immaterial, how can they alone constitute reality? In Monads, Composition and Force, Richard T. W. Arthur takes seriously Leibniz’s claim of introducing monads to solve the problem of the composition of matter and motion. Going against a trend of idealistic interpretations of Leibniz’s thought, Arthur argues that although monads are presupposed as the principles making actual each of the infinite parts of matter, bodies are not composed of them. He offers a fresh interpretation of Leibniz’s theory of substance in which monads are enduring primitive forces, corporeal substances are embodied monads, and bodies are aggregates of monads, not mere appearances. In this reading the monads are constitutive unities, constituting an organic unity of function through time, and bodies are phenomenal in two senses; as ever-changing things they are Platonic phenomena and as pluralities, in being perceived together, they are also Democritean phenomena. Arthur [More]

Developments at St. Cloud State University

In September, the administration of St. Cloud State University announced it was proceeding with plans for “retrenchment”  that will result in philosophy professors, theatre professors, and librarians losing their jobs. There is the possibility that the administration will rescind these plans, and there is now a petition calling on them to do so. The petition includes a “transformative education manifesto,” co-written by one of the philosophy professors whose position is slated for elimination: The administration’s attack on philosophy, theatre and the library demonstrates that they view education as a disposable commodity. Instead, we believe in the transformative power of education. The library transforms us from passive consumers of information into researchers and critical thinkers, enabling us to separate good information from bad. Philosophy transforms passive consumers of ideas, into deep thinkers, enabling us to understand and question the institutions that shape our society. Theatre transforms us from passive consumers of entertainment, into collaborative creators, enabling us to imagine the world as it could be. Philosophy, theatre and the library are foundational parts of a university education. They provide the essential skills that students need to get a job, but they provide so much more! The benefits of a liberal arts education, and of philosophy, theatre, and the library, go well beyond providing the job skills that employers seek. [More]

NEH Summer Programs in Philosophy

There are a few National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) summer institutes and seminars in philosophy now accepting applications. They are: Emmanuel Levinas: Ethics of Democracy (Summer Seminar for College & University Teachers) A week-long Seminar of intensive text-based examination and discussion of politics and democracy viewed from the perspectives of the ethics of responsibility elaborated by the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995).  Opposing the war and suppression of human-wolves of Hobbesian ‘realpolitik’, on the one hand, and the isolated individualism of the liberalism of Lockean propertied freedom, on the other, Levinas roots the political in the radical imperatives inter-personal obligation and ethical responsibility – for each other and for all others – which is to say, in the quest for social justice.  Such a perspective, binding the political to the ethical, to morality and to justice, makes democracy not one regime among others but the best regime, the ideal of politics. Project Directors: Richard Cohen; James McLachlan Grantee Institution: The University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York Dates: August 10 – 14, 2020 (1 week) David Hume in the 21st Century: Perpetuating the Enlightenment (Summer Institute for College & University Teachers) This Institute is designed to study multidisciplinary perspectives on the work of eighteenth-century Enlightenment giant, David Hume. It features a rotating faculty of twelve eminent scholars. While we will [More]

Course to Teach University Students to Engage Philosophically with High Schoolers

The University of Pennsylvania is offering a course that will teach undergraduates how to teach philosophy to high school students. The course, “Public Philosophy & Civic Engagement,” is one of the university’s “Academically Based Community Service” courses. According to The Daily Pennsylvanian, the course will be taught by Michael Vazquez, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Philosophy who is also a member of the University of Pennsylvania’s Project for Philosophy for the Young. In his course, students will spend a part of each class figuring out how to distill complex philosophical ideas to high school students in an exciting way, and they will then go to teach philosophy in a Philadelphia high school once a week. According to the course syllabus, students will learn and teach topics from moral and political philosophy that relate to living in a democratic society, such as civic duties and obligations, patriotism, propaganda, and civil disobedience.  “We’re going to let the high school students dictate the sort of questions we want them to ask,” Vazquez said, adding that the Penn students will develop lesson plans that are shaped by high school students’ interests. By the end of the semester, Vazquez added, the high school students will write philosophical op-eds based on what they learned from the Penn students, and they will hopefully be able to publish these op-eds and present them at Penn.  In the Daily Pennsylvanian article, [More]

Bader from Oxford to Fribourg

Ralf Bader, until recently an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford, will be taking up a full professorship at Universitaet Fribourg in Switzerland. Professor Bader works in mainly in ethics, political philosophy, metaphysics, and Kant. You can browse some of his works here. He takes up his new position at Freibourg in January. (via Kacper Kowalczyk) The post Bader from Oxford to Fribourg appeared first on Daily [More]

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