Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

MacAskill on Aid Skepticism

Philosophy News image
The whole paper is great, but I especially wanted to share his concluding remarks:Often, critics of Peter Singer focus on whether or not aid is effective. But that is fundamentally failing to engage with core of Singer’s argument. Correctly understood, that argument is about the ethics of buying luxury goods, not the ethics of global development. Even if it turned out that every single development program that we know of does more harm than good, that fact would not mean that we can buy a larger house, safe in the knowledge that we have no pressing moral obligations of beneficence upon us. There are thousands of pressing problems that call out for our attention and that we could make significant inroads on with our resources. Here is an incomplete list of what $10,000 can do (noting, in each case, that any cost-effectiveness estimates are highly uncertain, with large error bars, and refer to expected value):Spare 20 years’ worth of unnecessary incarceration, while not reducing public safety, by donating to organisations working in criminal justice reform (Open Philanthropy Project 2017b).Spare 1.2 million hens from the cruelty of battery cages by donating to corporate cage-free campaigns (Open Philanthropy Project 2016).Reduce the chance of a civilisation-ending global pandemic by funding policy research and advocacy on biosecurity issues (Open Philanthropy Project 2014).Contribute to a more equitable international order by funding policy analysis and campaigning.In order to show that Singer’s argument is not successful, one would need to show that for none of these problems can we make a significant difference at little moral cost to ourselves. This is a very high bar to meet. In a world of such suffering, of such multitudinous and variegated forms, often caused by the actions and policies of us in rich countries, it would be a shocking and highly suspicious conclusion if there were simply nothing that the richest 3% of the world’s population. . .

Continue reading . . .

News source: Philosophy, et cetera

It’s not you, it’s me: the problem of incivility

Philosophy News image
We regularly decry this or that latest episode of incivility, and can thereby find temporary satisfaction. Maybe we feel heartened to see the uncivil criticized, the critique itself a reassurance that incivilities still meet some resistance. Maybe we find relief in collective condemnation of the uncivil, solidarity in shared disapproval. Or maybe we just experience atavistic delight – if the uncivil offend our sense of good and right, it can feel good and right to see them publicly pilloried for it. But these satisfactions steer our thinking about civility away from a better target. The incivilities that ought to concern us first and most should be our own.The early Confucians were passionate advocates for civility. Contemporary readers may receive this fact with dismay. It is likely to stimulate associations with finger-wagging scolds condemning others’ uncivil crimes and rude misbehavior. But Confucian advocacy is framed firmly in the first person: I should be civil. I should cultivate in myself the habits of emotion, mind, and conduct to make respectful and considerate engagement with others my steady norm. This is an approach to civility sorely missing from our popular discourse. Perhaps one reason for this is that my own failures of civility are so much less satisfying to consider than yours.The incivilities of others largely lie outside my control, but my own are problems over which I can exercise some power. To take myself in hand will entail sacrificing the fast, frenetic pleasure of saying just what I think in favor of slower tact and care. It will entail cultivating better habits and reflexes where others displease me. It will entail trying to hold fast to pro-social values that recognize our dependencies on each other even amidst our many differences. Most of all, it requires an unsettling, introspective honesty about what moves and motivates me.When I consider what prompts my incivilities, I find a murky mess. Absent are the crisp explanations I give. . .

Continue reading . . .

News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

Deleuze and Derrida: Difference and the Power of the Negative

Philosophy News image
2019.07.01 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Vernon W. Cisney, Deleuze and Derrida: Difference and the Power of the Negative, Edinburgh University Press, 2018, 305pp., $105.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780748696222. Reviewed by Bruce Baugh, Thompson Rivers University What remains for us now of Hegel, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida and the "philosophy of difference"? In the 1980s, as more and more works by Derrida and Deleuze were translated into English, difference -- or différance, to use Derrida's neologism -- was all the rage in Continental philosophy. As Vernon W. Cisney's book argues, although the names of Derrida and Deleuze were often linked as philosophers of difference, there are important differences between them. Thirty years on, this point has been made often enough that it will be familiar to anyone who has been following this topic, and Cisney's book does not offer much that is new. Yet, this volume usefully summarizes the main points of contrast between what Cisney calls Deleuze's "constructivism"... Read More

Continue reading . . .

News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Quantum Theory and Mathematical Rigor

Philosophy News image
[Revised entry by Fred Kronz and Tracy Lupher on July 1, 2019. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] An ongoing debate in the foundations of quantum physics concerns the role of mathematical rigor. The contrasting views of von Neumann and Dirac provide interesting and informative insights concerning two sides of this debate. Von Neumann's contributions often emphasize mathematical rigor and Dirac's contributions emphasize pragmatic concerns. The discussion below begins with an assessment of their contributions to the foundations of quantum mechanics. Their...

Continue reading . . .

News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Manifesto for Public Philosophy (guest post by C. Thi Nguyen)

Philosophy News image
“It’s war, the soul of humanity is at stake, and the discipline that has been in isolation training for 2000 years for this very moment is too busy pointing out tiny errors in each other’s technique to actually join the fight..”  The following is a guest post* by C. Thi Nguyen, associate professor of philosophy at Utah Valley University. Manifesto for Public Philosophy by C. Thi Nguyen A student said to me: the problem right now is that if you don’t have any training and you go online looking for philosophy you can actually understand, 9 out of 10 things you’ll find are from the hate-web. They are propaganda, and not the seeds of critical reflection. What we need, if we are going to fight this stuff, is to produce public philosophy in volume. I just spent a couple weeks at a philosophy workshop for public philosophy, and I came out convinced that most of us have an incredibly narrow view of what public philosophy could be. Like: I tended to think public philosophy was op-eds in newspapers and articles in The Atlantic, and stuff like that. But there is so much more. People like ContraPoints and Wireless Philosophy are doing philosophy on YouTube, reaching out into a much wider world. We have some podcasters, like Barry Lam and his extraordinary Hi Phi Nation podcast. Ethics Bowl folks are pushing Ethics Bowl into high schools, into prisons. There are public discussion forums, public lectures, programs for philosophy for children. This is exactly what we need—but we need so much more of it. We need to fill the airwaves with the Good Stuff, in every form: op-eds, blog posts, YouTube videos, podcasts, long-form articles, lectures, forums, Tweets, and more. Good philosophy needs to be everywhere, accessible to every level, to anybody who might be interested. We need to flood the world with gateways of every shape and size. But there are so many barriers to entry. First of all, the disciplinary incentives don’t support public philosophy. For most of. . .

Continue reading . . .

News source: Daily Nous

Naomi Zack from Oregon to Lehman College, CUNY

Philosophy News image
Naomi Zack is leaving the University of Oregon to become Professor of Philosophy at Lehman College, City University of New York (CUNY).  Naomi Zack Professor Zack is best known for her work in philosophy of race, in which she has authored titles such as The Theory of Applicative Justice: An Empirical Pragmatic Approach to Correcting Racial Injustice (2016),  White Privilege and Black Rights: The Injustice of US Police Racial Profiling and Homicide (2015), and The Ethics and Mores of Race: Equality after the History of Philosophy (2011, 2015). She is also the editor of the Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Race (2017). She takes up her new position this coming Fall. The post Naomi Zack from Oregon to Lehman College, CUNY appeared first on Daily Nous.

Continue reading . . .

News source: Daily Nous

Ways to be Blameworthy: Rightness, Wrongness, and Responsibility

Philosophy News image
2019.06.25 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Elinor Mason, Ways to be Blameworthy: Rightness, Wrongness, and Responsibility, Oxford University Press, 2019, 237pp., $55.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198833604. Reviewed by Chad Flanders, Saint Louis University Elinor Mason has written a short, absorbing book on blameworthiness and responsibility. It is deeply engaged with the current literature, but not in a way that detracts from the overall story she has to tell. What's more important, the book seems to get things roughly right -- that is, it seems to describe what we do when we blame people: no small feat for a practice so messy and complicated as blaming. Mason closes her book by quoting P.F. Strawson's warning that it is easy to forget when we are engaged in philosophy what it is actually like to be "involved in our ordinary interpersonal relationships" (212). She has done an excellent job of remembering what our ordinary relationships are like.

Continue reading . . .

News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Latest News


Here are some of the things going on in philosophy
and the humanities.

See all News Items

Philosopher Spotlight


Conversations with philosophers, professional and non-professional alike.
Visit our podcast section for more interviews and conversations.

Interview with

Dr. Robert McKim
  • on Religious Diversity
  • Professor of Religion and Professor of Philosophy
  • Focuses on Philosophy of Religion
  • Ph.D. Yale

Interview with

Dr. Alvin Plantinga
  • on Where the Conflict Really Lies
  • Emeritus Professor of Philosophy (UND)
  • Focuses on Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion
  • Ph.D. Yale

Interview with

Dr. Peter Boghossian
  • on faith as a cognitive sickness
  • Teaches Philosophy at Portland State University (Oregon)
  • Focuses on atheism and critical thinking
  • Has a passion for teaching in prisons
See all interviews

30500

Twitter followers

10000+

News items posted

32000+

Page views per month

21 years

in publication

Latest Articles


\
See all Articles