Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Adam de Wodeham

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[Revised entry by John T. Slotemaker and Jeffrey C. Witt on July 6, 2019. Changes to: Bibliography] Adam of Wodeham (c. 1295 - 1358) was one of the most significant philosophers and theologians working at Oxford in the second quarter of the fourteenth century. A student of Ockham, Wodeham is best known for his theory of the complexe significabile and his distinctively English approach to questions of philosophical theology. His philosophy and theology were influential throughout the late medieval and early modern periods....

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

G.E. Moore – his life and work – Philosopher of the Month

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G.E. Moore (1873-1958) was a British philosopher, who alongside Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein at Trinity College, Cambridge, was a key protagonist in the formation of the analytic tradition during the twentieth century.One of seven children, Moore grew up in South London and was educated initially by his parents. He was taught French by his mother, and reading, writing, and music by his father. Aged eight he enrolled at Dulwich College studying a mix of classic and romance languages, alongside mathematics, and at eighteen commenced study at Cambridge University reading classics. It was at Cambridge that Moore met Bertrand Russell (two years his senior) and Philosophy Fellow of Trinity College, J.M.E. McTaggart who together, encouraged Moore to study philosophy. Moore graduated in 1896. A fellowship kept him at Cambridge for the next six years.During his time at Cambridge, Moore formed a number of long-lasting friendships with figures of the soon to be Bloomsbury Group. These friendships allowed Moore a channel of indirect influence on twentieth-century culture, leading in part to the encouragement of his reputation of having a Socratic personality; his written work did not necessarily capture his full thought. Moore would remain at Cambridge almost without leave – but for a short spell away and later a handful of years spent in the US – becoming first lecturer in 1911, then professor in 1925 before retiring in 1939. During this time, Moore was elected a fellow of the British Academy in 1918, President of the Aristotelian Society from 1918 to 1919, and in 1921 became editor of the highly-influential journal Mind.Moore’s work was not confined by field or by niche, and it is often remarked that Moore was as concerned with puzzling out philosophical ideas, developing arguments, or exploring challenges, as he was devolving a framework as in the tradition of systematic philosophers. His influence extends deeply and widely, but he is perhaps best. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

Migration & Abortion

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As J.S. Mill pointed out in his writing on liberty, people generally do not operate based on consistent principles. Instead, they act based on their likes and dislikes—which are often the result of misinformation. Comparing the view of many Republicans of abortion to their view of immigration illustrates this nicely. Image Credit To use a concrete example, Alabama recently passed the most restrictive anti-abortion law to date, forbidding abortion even in cases of rape and incest. Proponents of the law, such as Alabama governor Kay Ivey, claim that the motivation behind the law is to protect life. As the governor said, “to the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God.” On the face of it, the principle in operation here is that because each life is precious and a sacred gift, if a man impregnates a woman (or girl) against her will, then she is obligated to host the zygote until birth. The expenses and risks of doing so fall on the woman (or girl)—the United States generally does shockingly little to assist pregnant women. Looked at in the abstract, the principle is that if a child manages to get inside a certain area, then there is an obligation on the part of the owner of that area to care for that child until the child can safely exit the area. If removing the child would kill or harm the child, then the child cannot be removed—regardless of how the child got there. This principle would seem to also apply to certain migrant children who enter the United States—even if they are brought here illegally and against the will of the United States. Once they get within the United States, if expelling them would lead to harm, then the United States is obligated to care for them until they can safely exit the United States. After all, if the principle permits compelling women to bear a child from rape or. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

Category Mistakes

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[New Entry by Ofra Magidor on July 5, 2019.] Category mistakes are sentences such as 'The number two is blue', 'The theory of relativity is eating breakfast', or 'Green ideas sleep furiously'. Such sentences are striking in that they are highly odd or infelicitous, and moreover infelicitous in a distinctive sort of way. For example, they seem to be infelicitous in a different way to merely trivially false sentences such as '(2 + 2 = 5)' or obviously...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Democracy Can Be Overdone

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I once had a friend named Alice who suddenly decided to attain optimum physical fitness. She committed to a strict regime and almost instantly achieved extraordinary results.The trouble was that she spent so much time exercising that she neglected her friendships, abandoned her hobbies, and forfeited all occasions for socialising. She pursued health at the expense of everything else she valued.Alice and I eventually lost touch, but to this day I wonder what the point of it was. What good is health when it’s pursued at such a cost? We seek to be healthy mainly because we want to enjoy worthwhile experiences, participate in rewarding activities, and sustain fulfilling relationships. In short, being healthy is good because it enables us to devote ourselves to other valuable things. These other projects are part of the point of being healthy.We do not live well by health alone. As important as health is, its pursuit must be confined to its proper place in our lives. Thus in thinking about ...

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News source: iai News RSS feed

Lyons from Arkansas to Glasgow

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Jack C. Lyons, currently professor of philosophy at the University of Arkansas, will be moving to the University of Glasgow. Professor Lyons, who works mainly in epistemology, cognitive science, and philosophy of mind, will be taking up the Chair of Logic and Rhetoric at Glasgow (a position once held by Adam Smith, among others). He will have an appointment at the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience and be a member of the steering group for Cogito, the Glasgow epistemology research group. Professor Lyons begins at Glasgow in January, 2020.   The post Lyons from Arkansas to Glasgow appeared first on Daily Nous.

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News source: Daily Nous

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