Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Nothing to Come: A Defence of the Growing Block Theory of Time

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2019.03.15 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Fabrice Correia and Sven Rosenkranz, Nothing to Come: A Defence of the Growing Block Theory of Time, Springer, 2018, 197pp., $99.99 (hbk), ISBN 9783319787039. Reviewed by Ulrich Meyer, Colgate University In this carefully argued book, Fabrice Correia and Sven Rosenkranz present a version of the growing block theory that they claim to be immune to the usual objections against this theory of time. I think they are right that their proposal does indeed enjoy such immunity, but I am not sure that their proposal is what other people had in mind when they endorsed the growing block theory.   According to the way people usually think of the proposal, the growing block theory claims that past and present are real, but not the future. While all facts about the past are settled, the future is still open. As time goes by,... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

How The Occult Thrived in an Age of Enlightenment

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In 1778, the practice of animal magnetism started in Paris. Magnetists enjoyed six happy years; then a star-studded panel of mostly French academicians declared, as John Adams put it, that their science did not exist. Late in 1784, the American Herald published a letter from Adams, then in France, to his friend the physician Benjamin Waterhouse, then in Boston. The letter contained the first mention in the American press of both animal magnetism and its debunking at the hands of the French academicians. The Austrian physician Franz Anton Mesmer had been making a success de scandale in Paris by claiming to cure illnesses with the invisible fluid of “animal magnetism” (magnétisme animal), a living analog to mineral magnetism that was distributed throughout the cosmos and was especially active in human bodies. (“Animal” is something of a misnomer; Mesmer meant animal as opposed to mineral, not as opposed to human. Think “vital magnetism.”) Adams aptly called Mesmer’s practice “a kind of p...

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Moral Evil in Practical Ethics

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2019.03.14 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Shlomit Harrosh and Roger Crisp (eds.), Moral Evil in Practical Ethics, Routledge, 2019, 249pp., $140.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781138316041. Reviewed by Avery Kolers, University of Louisville Close to the midpoint of this profound collection, Gideon Calder quotes a 1946 letter from Hannah Arendt to Karl Jaspers: We have to combat all impulses to mythologize the horrible, and to the extent that I can't avoid [doing so], I haven't understood what actually went on. (141) Philosophical theorizing about evil is undergoing a widely hailed renaissance, one that dates to the late 1990s as scholars sought to come to grips with the lessons of the 20th Century even as 'Western' responses to violence in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia made a mockery of the phrase "never again." The ten original essays in this anthology do not... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Against Those in the Disciplines

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2019.03.13 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Sextus Empiricus, Against Those in the Disciplines, Richard Bett (tr., intro.), Oxford University Press, 2018, 270pp., $65.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198712701. Reviewed by Stéphane Marchand, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne How can anyone claim that music, or grammar, is non-existent? How can we deny the existence of well-known and established practices such as rhetoric, geometry, arithmetic, and even astrology? How can anyone be against grammarians, rhetoricians, geometricians, arithmeticians, and musicians? In Adversus Mathematicos I-IV, Sextus Empiricus explores such issues. Against Those in the Disciplines is Richard Bett's new translation of Adversus Mathematicos I-VI (AM I-VI, often translated as Against the Professors). It follows his translation of Adversus Mathematicos VII-XI (Against the Logicians, Against the Physicists and Against the Ethicists; hereafter AM VII-XI).[1] The overall project of the six treatises (AM I: Against the Grammarians; AM II: Against the... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Is it Wrong to Provide Water to Migrants?

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While there are safe ways to enter the United States on the southern border, there are also areas of deadly desert. Crossing these areas is extremely dangerous and has resulted in the deaths of many migrants. As would be expected, some Americans have tried to aid those crossing these desolate areas by leaving water and other supplies. The Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson has organized No More Deaths to provide such support and, as the name states, reduce the number of deaths. Image Credit  This group seems to be on solid theological footing, following the guidance of Deuteronomy 10:18-19: “For the Lord your God…loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing.  You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” However, rendering such aid has resulted in the arrest of some members. Four women from the group were sentenced for leaving water for migrants. They were not charged with providing humanitarian aid; rather they were charged with abandoning personal property and entering the area without a permit. While they got off with a fine and probation, Scott Warren was arrested and charged with a felony for harboring migrants—in this case, harboring was giving the migrants food and water.  While one cannot truly know what is in the hearts of others, No More Deaths seems to be dedicated to reducing the number of deaths among migrants trying to cross the border—as opposed to having some nefarious intent to smuggle in criminals. However, their actions are illegal—they are abandoning personal property (or littering) and rendering aid to people who are engaged in illegal attempts to cross the border. But what is illegal need not be immoral, so the question remains as to whether they are acting wrongly. One interesting approach to this matter is to look at is a case of a religious group exercising their freedom of religion. Conservatives have been very supportive of companies that do not want to accept. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

Eliminative Materialism

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[Revised entry by William Ramsey on March 11, 2019. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Eliminative materialism (or eliminativism) is the radical claim that our ordinary, common-sense understanding of the mind is deeply wrong and that some or all of the mental states posited by common-sense do not actually exist and have no role to play in a mature science of the mind. Descartes famously challenged much of what we take for granted, but he insisted that, for the most part, we can be confident about the content of our own minds. Eliminative materialists go further than Descartes on this point, since they...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

New Glasgow CSPE MSc degree course in Philosophy of Mind and Psychology

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The Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience in conjunction with the Department of Philosophy and the School of Psychology at the University of Glasgow are delighted to announce their new MSc degree course in Philosophy of Mind and Psychology. We are now accepting applications for entry in September 2019. This Masters in Philosophy of Mind and Psychology is an interdisciplinary programme that is ideal for students interested in studying the mind from both philosophical and psychological perspectives. Students will study specific topics and research methods in both philosophy and psychology courses, and write a thesis on a relevant topic with a supervisor in one of these disciplines. Students will also participate in the ongoing PPN (Philosophy, Psychology, Neuroscience) speaker series, including in special sessions where guest speakers meet with students in this program to discuss their research projects. Given our research strengths and the affiliated Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience, students interested in issues pertaining to perception will be especially attracted to this programme. The Centre also hosts a Virtual Reality Lab. Courses on offer include: Philosophy of MindVisual Perception and CognitionSocial RoboticsPhilosophy Research MethodsResearch Methods in Cognitive Science Further details available here: https://www.gla.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/philosophyofmindpsychology/

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News source: Philosophy of Mind – The Brains Blog

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