Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

The Aesthetic Illusion in Literature and the Arts

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2018.09.18 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Tomáš Koblížek (ed.), The Aesthetic Illusion in Literature and the Arts, Bloomsbury, 2017, 305pp., $114.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781350032583. Reviewed by Jason Leddington, Bucknell University This methodologically-diverse collection explores our relationship to the contents of representational artifacts such as novels, films, paintings, and sculptures. It focuses on a familiar and important but (at least by philosophers) little-studied phenomenon: namely, that such works can provide highly-absorbed, "immersive" experiences of the worlds that they represent. The collection takes its orientation toward this phenomenon from literary theorist Werner Wolf, whose regimentation of the term 'aesthetic illusion' has been influential in literary and media studies. While only a few of the essays directly engage Wolf's work, they all share a concern with how we relate to represented worlds, and, in particular, with ideas such. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Not your grandmother’s women’s lib movement: Femen’s uncivil disobedience

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Oksana Shachko died on 23 July 2018. She co-founded the feminist socialist collective Femen in her native Ukraine ten years ago, to fight against patriarchy’s three central forms—dictatorship, the sexual exploitation of women, and established religion. One of Femen’s first protests was a guerrilla theater performance protesting sexual harassment at the university. Soon thereafter, Femen discovered its distinct “weapon”: bare breasts. Femen “hijacked” the Euro Cup of men’s football in Kyiv to protest against sex tourism, they “kidnapped” a baby Jesus from a nativity scene in the Vatican, and “ambushed” Russian President Putin at the Hanover trade fair in 2013. They did all this topless, with slogans painted on their young bodies, magnetizing the spotlight.By “weaponizing” their naked breasts, Femen activists reclaimed female nudity and asserted the right to control their bodies. Femen dubs its tactics, which include “sex attacks, sex diversions and sex sabotage,” sextremism, or “female. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

What would Margaret Cavendish say?

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Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673) was a philosopher, poet, essayist, and fiction writer, and she had opinions. Lots of them, on topics from the cause of thunder, to the qualities of a good book translator, to the value of diverse opinions themselves (her assessment on this last point: “Several Opinions, except it be in Religion, do no harm.”). In her 1666 work of science fiction, Blazing World, Cavendish imagined a lady, abducted from her own planet into another one and made Empress, who interrogates the most learned inhabitants of that world about science, philosophy, and religion. In some cases, the Empress is “very well satisfied with their answers”, in other cases she is “amazed”, and in a few cases she is “displeased.” What if we imagine Margaret Cavendish transported into our world today? Like the Empress, she would be curious about what we believe and do in the 21st century – and she would have plenty of opinions. About panpsychism: In some half-dozen books published over almost. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

Philosopher of the Month: Arthur Schopenhauer [slideshow]

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This September, OUP Philosophy honors Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860) as the Philosopher of the Month. Schopenhauer was largely ignored by the academic philosophical community during his lifetime, but gained recognition and fame posthumously. He arrived at his philosophical position very early on and his philosophy can be seen as a synthesis of Plato and Kant, whom he greatly admired, along with the Upanishads and Buddhist literatures. Schopenhauer only wrote one seminal work of philosophy, The World as Will and Representation, which he published in 1818. The work was intended as a continuation of Kant’s ‘transcendental idealism’: ‘My philosophy is founded on that of Kant, and therefore presupposes a thorough knowledge of it.’ Kant argued that the world is not the ‘thing-in-itself’, but rather a complex of mere appearances. Schopenhauer, however, tells us that the world must be viewed at a deeper level, as will. What determines and governs our actions is will –  a range. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

Chinese Ethics

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[Revised entry by David Wong on September 14, 2018. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The tradition of Chinese ethical thought is centrally concerned with questions about how one ought to live: what goes into a worthwhile life, how to weigh duties toward family versus duties toward strangers, whether human nature is predisposed to be morally good or bad, how one ought to relate to the non-human world, the extent to which one ought to become involved in reforming the larger social and political structures of one's society, and how one ought to conduct oneself when in a position of influence or power. The...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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