Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Method and Metaphysics in Plato’s Sophist and Statesman

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[Revised entry by Mary-Louise Gill on February 26, 2020. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The Sophist and Statesman are late Platonic dialogues, whose relative dates are established by their stylistic similarity to the Laws, a work that was apparently still "on the wax" at the time of Plato's death (Diogenes Laertius 3.37). These dialogues are important in exhibiting Plato's views on method and metaphysics after he criticized his own most famous contribution to the history of philosophy, the theory of...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Etymology gleanings for January and February 2020

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Three comments on the most recent posts Hunt: etymology The Greek verb meaning “chase, hunt” has the root kīn (with long i), and that is why some speakers of British English pronounce the first syllable of kinetics as in kine. Long i in the Greek verb goes back to a diphthong. Kīn is the full grade of the root. Its zero grade has the vowel i (short). There is no way from ī to short u, as in hunt. Also, the most ancient meaning of the Indo-European root kei– must have been “to set in motion,” not “chase.” Last time, I said that the Greek verb had not attracted the attention of the oldest English etymologists. I should have avoided the plural, because only John Minsheu (1617) cited the Greek word at hunt, but in Minsheu’s dictionary the line between cognates and synonyms in various languages is sometimes hard to draw. The great Early Modern philologist Francis Junius was an especially strong proponent of the Greek origin of English words; he did not even include hunt in his dictionary (he may have had nothing to say about it). George William Lemon, another old etymologist, traced hunt to the root of Latin canis “dog,”, because, I assume, hunting was inseparable in his mind from hounds. Noah Webster was prone to deriving English words from the languages strewn all over the world; yet he offered no conjectures. Finally, Hensleigh Wedgwood, another great master of stringing together remote words, had no suggestions either. The reticence of even the oldest philologists when it came to deriving hunt from Greek should warn modern amateurs against such wild guesses. The origin of hunt remains unknown. Engl. breath, German Atem, and Greek átmus Are Atem and átmus “vapor, steam,” the latter known to us from atmosphere, related? Most probably, they are not, even though t in German Atem goes back to th (þ) and though the original vowel in Atem was also long. The vowel á in átmus is the product of a contracted diphthong (ae), with the digamma (F) in the middle. Indeed,. . .

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News source: Linguistics – OUPblog

The Pavel Haas Quartet — at Cambridge

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A few days after playing at Wigmore Hall, The Pavel Haas Quartet and Boris Giltburg were in Cambridge at the Peterhouse Theatre, again playing the Shostakovich Piano Quintet. This time, the other piece in the programme was Dvořák’s Op. 81 Piano Quintet. One of PHQ’s remarkable gifts is to make performances of music that we know that they have rehearsed with great intensity sound freshly inspired, newly wrought. (The last quartet I heard in Cambridge was Quatuor Ebène, who are indeed fine — yet somehow they struck me as sounding too polished, and that surface gloss made it difficult to get an emotional grip on their performance.) PHQ recorded the Dvořák with Giltburg in 2017, and rightly won the highest praise for the disc and a Gramophone Award; but they played last night with such verve and warmth and evident love for the music, it was as if they had just recently discovered the piece. It is difficult to imagine, too, a more fitting match than between Giltburg’s mercurial playing and the Quartet’s — the happiest of musical partnerships. I said after hearing their Shostakovich in London that I doubted that the Quintet could be played better. Yet, if anything, it was so last night. Perhaps it was the setting. Lovely though Wigmore Hall is, the small Peterhouse venue — seating just 180 people on two levels, so you can be no more than seven rows from the small stage — is a much more intimate space. And a group like the Pavel Haas, playing with characteristic passionate intensity, can then make a particularly intense impact. So in that venue, together with Boris Giltburg, their Shostakovich really took fire. Wonderful playing from all five of them. (I was so caught up in the warmest applause at the end of the concert, I forget to turn on my phone to picture them responding wreathed in smiles — so here they are, deservedly looking equally cheerful, after another concert!) The post The Pavel Haas Quartet — at. . .

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News source: Logic Matters

Asia in space: a recent history

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Sailors have been using the stars to navigate the high seas for centuries. Actual space exploration, however, does not have a very long history. It began with the launch of the first satellite, Sputnik, on 4 October 1957 by the Soviet Union. During the last five or six decades humanity has made a significant amount of progress in the domain of space. There has been a constant human presence in outer space since 2000 with astronauts staying aboard the International Space station (ISS) in the low-Earth orbit.Since the 1970s, various Asian states have also started investing in space. States like Japan, China and India have made good progress with various conventional and innovative programmes. These states have definitely had the advantage of late starters. In the recent past particularly, in the Middle East region, states like Israel and Iran have made investments in space technologies essentially for strategic purposes.China and India became space-faring states during 1970 and 1980 resp...

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News source: iai News RSS feed

International Journal of Philosophical Studies Prizes

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The International Journal of Philosophical Studies (IJPS) has selected the winner of its 2019 Robert Papazian Essay Competition. The theme of the 2019 competition was “the ethics and politics of vulnerability”. [Janaina Melo Landini, “Ciclotrama 115 (writing)”]The essay that won is “Matters of Trust as Matters of Attachment Security” by Andrew Kirton (University of Leeds). Here’s an abstract of the paper: I argue for an account of the vulnerability of trust, as a product of our need for secure social attachments to individuals and to a group. This account seeks to explain why it is true that, when we trust or distrust someone, we are susceptible to being betrayed by them, rather than merely disappointed or frustrated in our goals. What we are concerned about in matters of trust is, at the basic level, whether we matter, in a non-instrumental way, to that individual, or to the group of which they are a member. We have this concern as a result of a drive to form secure social attachments. This makes us vulnerable in the characteristic way of being susceptible to betrayal, because how the other acts in such matters can demonstrate our lack of worth to them, or to the group, thereby threatening the security of our attachment, and eliciting the reactive attitudes characteristic of betrayal. For winning the competition, Dr. Kirton will receive a prize of €1,500 (approximately $1,629), provided by the Papazian family. Robert Papazian, for whom the prize is named, was a political prisoner in Iran who was executed in 1982. You can learn more about him and the prize here. As part of the competition, another prize of the same amount, sponsored by the H2020 Project Policy, Expertise and Trust in Action (PEriTia), was awarded to the co-authors of “Vulnerability in Social Epistemic Networks”: Emily Sullivan (EU Eindhoven), Max Sondag (TU Eindhoven), Ignaz Rutter (Universität Passau), Wouter Meulemans (TU Eindhoven), Scott Cunningham. . .

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News source: Daily Nous

Language, Meaning and Use in Indian Philosophy: An Introduction to Mukula's Fundamentals of the Communicative Function

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2020.02.21 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Malcolm Keating, Language, Meaning and Use in Indian Philosophy: An Introduction to Mukula's Fundamentals of the Communicative Function, Bloomsbury, 2019, 301pp., $88.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781350060777. Reviewed by Brendan S. Gillon, McGill University If you are interested in the problem of how expressions in natural language are understood, and in particular, how expressions have an array of meanings, and you are curious about how such problems have been raised and addressed in an intellectual tradition outside of the Western tradition, then this is the book for you. At its core is a very readable translation of a key text in the Indian philosophical, linguistic and literary tradition, Fundamentals of the Communicative Function, by Mukula Bhaṭṭa (fl. 950 CE). But Keating's book is much more than a very lucid and readable translation of a Sanskrit text on the nature of linguistic meaning. It provides all the philosophical, linguistic and literary background required to... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Rudolf Carnap

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[New Entry by Hannes Leitgeb and André Carus on February 24, 2020.] Rudolf Carnap (1891 - 1970) was one of the best-known philosophers of the twentieth century. Notorious as one of the founders, and perhaps the leading philosophical representative, of the movement known as logical positivism or logical empiricism, he was one of the originators of the new field of philosophy of science and later a leading contributor to semantics and inductive logic. Though his views underwent significant changes at various points, he continued to reaffirm the basic tenets of logical empiricism, and is still...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

69 - Wood on Sustainable Superabundance

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In this episode I talk to David Wood. David is currently the chair of the London Futurists group and a full-time futurist speaker, analyst, commentator, and writer. He studied the philosophy of science at Cambridge University. He has a background in designing, architecting, implementing, supporting, and avidly using smart mobile devices. He is the author or lead editor of nine books including, "RAFT 2035", "The Abolition of Aging", "Transcending Politics", and "Sustainable Superabundance". We chat about the last book on this list -- Sustainable Superabundance -- and its case for an optimistic future.You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify and other podcasting services (the RSS feed is here). Show Notes0:00 - Introduction1:40 - Who are the London Futurists? What do they do?3:34 - Why did David write Sustainable Superabundance?7:22 - What is sustainable superabundance?11:05 - Seven spheres of flourishing and seven types of superabundance?16:16 - Why is David a transhumanist?20:20 - Dealing with two criticisms of transhumanism: (i) isn't it naive and polyannish? (ii) isn't it elitist, inegalitarian and dangerous?30:00 - Key principles of transhumanism34:52 - How will we address energy needs of the future?40:35 - How optimistic can we really be about the future of energy?46:20 - Dealing with pessimism about food production?52:48 - Are we heading for another AI winter?1:01:08 - The politics of superabundance - what needs to change?  Relevant LinksDavid Wood on TwitterLondon Futurists websiteLondon Futurists YoutubeSustainable Superabundance by DavidOther books in the Transpolitica seriesTo be a machine by Mark O'ConnellPrevious episode with James Hughes about techno-progressive transhumanismPrevious episode with Rick Searle about the dark side of transhumanism #mc_embed_signup{background:#fff; clear:left; font:14px Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; } /* Add your own MailChimp form style. . .

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News source: Philosophical Disquisitions

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