Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Phenomenology in France: A Philosophical and Theological Introduction

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2019.03.08 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Steven DeLay, Phenomenology in France: A Philosophical and Theological Introduction, Routledge, 2019, 254pp., $39.95 (pbk), ISBN 9781138244979. Reviewed by François Raffoul, Louisiana State University In this book, Steven DeLay seeks to engage recent developments in French phenomenology. He presents the book as "an introduction to French phenomenology in the post-1945 period," with chapters devoted to Emmanuel Levinas, Michel Henry, Jean-Luc Marion, Jean-Yves Lacoste, Jean-Louis Chretien, and Claude Romano (the reasons for these choices will be clarified below). However, DeLay betrays his actual interest and purpose in the introduction's first line where he laments: that God ("the one of the Bible") "has fallen into disfavor nearly everywhere" (1), that "God's existence is contested rather than presupposed," and that finally, "as a result, it is no longer practiced to philosophize from the fact of Revelation." He also laments Heidegger's choice of a "methodological atheism" to practice... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

After Injury: A Historical Anatomy of Forgiveness, Resentment and Apology

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2019.03.07 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Ashraf H. A. Rushdy, After Injury: A Historical Anatomy of Forgiveness, Resentment and Apology, Oxford University Press, 2018, 288pp., $34.95 (hbk), ISBN 9780190851972. Reviewed by Christopher Bennett, University of Sheffield The topics covered in this book -- forgiveness, resentment and apology -- have been undergoing something of a revival in philosophical interest over the past twenty or thirty years. However, as can often happen, the growth in intensity of philosophical scrutiny has corresponded to a growth in the abstractness of the examples that are meant to underpin the theorising. Examples that call to mind the rich field of experience to which philosophers' schemata are meant to be adequate are rare. It would introduce a more complex set of examples, and hence a more adequate set of data for philosophers to exercise their minds over, if those working on these topics drew on a wider range of experience, and hence did... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Should Republicans Care About Trump’s Alleged Crimes?

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Michael Cohen’s testimony before congress made clear the fundamental differences between Republicans and Democrats regarding Trump. The Democrats profess to be patriotic apostles of justice, eager to hold Trump accountable for his many crimes—in the hopes of winning the 2020 presidential election. Republicans focus on defending Trump by impeding efforts to investigate him and by attacking those who claim to have evidence of his misdeeds. Image Credit The Democrats obviously have excellent political reasons to go after Trump—they will presumably be running against him in 2020. The Republicans obviously have excellent political reasons to protect Trump. While he was not the star they wanted to hitch their wagons to, he now has the reins (to mix metaphors). As such, they are not overly concerned with his alleged crimes—except in terms of protecting him. But the question remains as to whether they should care. The pragmatic and political answer is easy and obvious: they should only care about his alleged crimes to the degree that they impact their political success. As it stands, Trump’s guilt or innocence does not seem to matter politically. Those who loath him would not change their hearts even if Robert Mueller exonerated Trump. Trump claimed that he could shoot someone on the street and not lose voters and this still seems to hold. There are, perhaps, some voters who could be swayed; but the main battle will be over which party can best mobilize (or keep) their base either attacking or protecting Trump. Because of this, the alleged crimes might matter—but only in terms of political points. It can, of course, be argued that if Trump were shown to be guilty of crimes, then the Republicans should care—if they believe in the rule of law. If Trump were found to have actively colluded with the Russians, then the Republicans should care about that—given the history of professed patriotism on the part of Republicans. However, arguments (other than political. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

Yeshayahu Leibowitz

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[Revised entry by Daniel Rynhold on March 6, 2019. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Yeshayahu Leibowitz (1903 - 1994) was one of the most outspoken and controversial twentieth century Jewish thinkers and Israeli public intellectuals. Once termed "the conscience of Israel"[1] by his childhood contemporary from Riga, Sir Isaiah Berlin, Leibowitz's thought is founded on a far-reaching theocentrism that allows him to combine a commitment to Orthodox Jewish practice with a stripped-down definition of Jewish faith that yields a...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Anti-depressants do work: reply to Stegenga

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In a piece at Aeon linked to at Daily Nous, philosopher of science Jacob Stegenga (University of Cambridge) contends that "we simply have no good evidence that antidepressants help sufferers to improve." I don't think the evidence available supports Stegenga's argument, and I made a comment to that effect in the comments section over at Aeon (which Stegenga replied to). Because I think this is a very important issue--one that could potentially affect people's choices and public attitudes regarding anti-depressants--I want to address Stegenga's argument here at the Cocoon. I want to begin by noting two things. First, this issue is very personal to me. Mental illness not only runs in my family, affecting multiple people I am close to - it has also affected friends of mine. Second, I have experience working in the mental health field. As an undergraduate, I interned for a year in an out-patient day program utilized by dozens of individuals with serious mental illnesses: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, borderline personality disorder, and so on. Then, after graduation, I was Assistant Director of a group home that housed around a dozen residents with serious mental disorders. Among many other things, I was responsible on a day to day basis for dispensing medications, including importantly changes to patients' medications.   Bearing this in mind, let us turn to Stegenga's basic argument that "we simply have no good evidence that antidepressants help sufferers to improve." He contends, first, that "the best evidence about the effectiveness of antidepressants comes from randomised trials and meta-analyses of these trials." I will explain below why--on methodological grounds--I believe this to be false. Stegenga's argument then is that randomized trials and meta-analyses, observed mean effect sizes are tiny: In meta-analyses that include as much of the evidence as possible, the severity of. . .

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News source: The Philosophers' Cocoon

Embodying Texts and Tradition: Ethnographic Film in a South Indian Advaita Vedānta Gurukulam

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AbstractThis article draws on theories of phenomenology, visual anthropology, and embodiment to explore Advaita Vedānta’s sensorial and embodied modes of praxis. It interweaves two threads based on a case study of the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, an Advaita Vedānta institute in Tamil Nadu, India: (1) an ethnographic analysis of the intersections of textual study, religious praxis, and social-environmental context; and (2) the ways these intersections are grounded in Advaita Vedānta’s source texts. This article focuses on the unique potential of experiential sensory-ethnographic film for revealing these intersections and argues that such films are uniquely capable of providing viewers phenomenological and sensorial insights into individual subjectivities within religious praxis. It further probes how the Advaitin follows a roadmap of metaphysical models, ritual praxis, and receiving a teacher’s textual performance. This process reformulates bodies and identities towards the nondualistic through an interiorization of texts and is essential for remembering and transmitting the tradition.

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News source: Journal of the American Academy of Religion Current Issue

Enactment, Politics, and Truth: Pauline Themes in Agamben, Badiou, and Heidegger

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2019.03.06 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Antonio Cimino, Enactment, Politics, and Truth: Pauline Themes in Agamben, Badiou, and Heidegger, Bloomsbury, 2018, 179pp., $120.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781501341014. Reviewed by Duane Armitage, The University of Scranton This book presents an in-depth analysis of the various interpretations of St. Paul by Martin Heidegger, Giorgio Agamben, and Alain Badiou. Specifically, it focuses on each thinker's appropriation of Pauline pistis (faith, belief) as a segue into broader Postmodern critiques of metaphysics and of rationality. Cimino frames his book by posing the question: Why St. Paul? That is, what are the motivations for philosophers engaging and appropriating St. Paul as a philosopher? Cimino's answer (and thesis) is simply that St. Paul remains of interest to philosophers as a kind of antidote to traditional metaphysical and onto-theological frameworks, and, consequently, as a means to rethinking notions of politics, truth, and their interrelation. In my estimation, Cimino succeeds in developing his thesis... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

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