Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Religious Ethics and Constructivism: A Metaethical Inquiry

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2018.09.23 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Kevin Jung (ed.), Religious Ethics and Constructivism: A Metaethical Inquiry, Routledge, 2018, 209pp., $140.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781138103412. Reviewed by Robert Gressis, California State University, Northridge Since John Rawls's 1980 article, "Kantian Constructivism in Moral Theory,"[1] constructivism has been seen as an attractive metaethical position, one that has merits of both moral realism (in that it allows for the reality of moral facts) and moral antirealism (in that it parsimoniously grounds moral facts in agents' attitudes rather than in something independent of agents). However, there has been little engagement between non-theistic versions of constructivism and religious ethics (ethics that claims an important role for an active God in our moral theorizing). This is rather surprising, for two reasons. First, religious ethicists have engaged with other prominent metaethical positions, especially. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Philosophy and Climate Science

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2018.09.22 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Eric Winsberg, Philosophy and Climate Science, Cambridge University Press, 2018, 270pp., $29.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781316646922. Reviewed by Carlos Santana, University of Utah Eric Winsberg's book is timely and ambitious. One of his explicit goals is to make "a plea for a proper appreciation of the richness and complexity of climate science" aimed at philosophers of science, so that we might "appreciate the degree to which the conceptual, methodological, and epistemological issues that perennially preoccupy philosophers of science come to life in various interesting and novel ways in climate science" (227). Winsberg largely succeeds in this goal -- there are a number of places in the book where I thought "there's a good paper or three that could be written about that!" -- and that alone makes his book significant for the field. But Winsberg's ambitions for the... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Query: publishing in community college jobs

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In our newest "how can we help you?" thread, '1st time on the market' writes: Does anybody have examples of folks who teach philosophy full-time at a community college and still manage to publish decent work? I plan to receive a PhD this spring from an unranked program and have wondered whether I would be able to continue publishing (I've got one published paper right now) if I had to "settle" for a cc job. While I recognize that some people may regard a community college job as "settling", I've heard from a number of people that they can be great jobs--jobs they are happy with, and which may be better in some respects than jobs at R1's or SLACs (I've heard the stresses of tenure at R1's--not to mention tenure denials--can be absolutely brutal; and the overall workload at SLACs--spanning research, teaching, and service, etc.--can be crushing too!). I'm also not sure how I feel about parsing out examples of people who (or do. . .

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News source: The Philosophers' Cocoon

Theoretical Virtues in Science: Uncovering Reality through Theory

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2018.09.21 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Samuel Schindler, Theoretical Virtues in Science: Uncovering Reality through Theory, Cambridge University Press, 2018, 249pp., $99.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781108422260. Reviewed by Greg Frost-Arnold, Hobart and William Smith Colleges Samuel Schindler's book is an impressive achievement: it presents four interlocking arguments for scientific realism -- one central, the other three supporting -- that taken together are novel, interesting, and worth serious study. So if you are interested in new ideas in the scientific realism debates, I recommend reading it. Additionally, it will be useful to those who want an overview of the current state of the realism debates, because Schindler's explanations of the state of the art are clear and accurate. As his title signals, his arguments for realism all involve the theoretical virtues, such as empirical accuracy, simplicity, and fertility. Thus anyone working on, or even just. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Blasey & Kavanaugh I: Assessing the Claim

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While the Democrats did their feeble best to slow down the process, it looked like Brett Kavanaugh would sail through quickly and smoothly. Then an accusation by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came to light. Blasey claimed that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both teenagers. Kavanaugh has denied the accusation. While the incident is alleged to have taken place over thirty years ago, his recent denial makes the event immediately relevant. After all, if it did occur, then Kavanaugh’s denial would be a lie (assuming he remembered the incident; if he did not, then his denial would merely be untrue). As such, the fundamental question is whether the claim is true. While it is common for such accusations to be met with attacks on the accuser, the Republicans have decided to focus on attacking the Democrats rather than Blasey. This is, of course, after some efforts to attack the alleged victim.  From a pragmatic standpoint, this is a smart approach. After all, the #MeToo movement. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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