Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Companions in Guilt: Arguments in Metaethics

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2021.09.03 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Christopher Cowie and Richard Rowland (eds.), Companions in Guilt: Arguments in Metaethics, Routledge, 2020, 232pp., $160.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781138318335. Reviewed by Luke Elson, University of Reading The Moral Error Theory says that no positive moral claims (such as ‘murder is wrong’) are true. The most common argument for the theory is that the truth of such claims would involve the existence of objectionably ‘queer’ irreducibly normative or motivating properties (such as wrongness). In Mackie’s words, the queerness point is that it’s ‘in the end less paradoxical’ to reject the truth of positive moral claims than to accept their objectionable implications (1972: 42). Rather than directly arguing that (1) morality doesn’t really have the claimed implications, or (2) the implications are not so objectionable after all, ‘companions in guilt’ arguments (CGAs) purport to show that some other area of discourse also has those implications. CGAs do not offer... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Art Scents: Exploring the Aesthetics of Smell and the Olfactory Arts

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2021.09.02 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Larry Shiner, Art Scents: Exploring the Aesthetics of Smell and the Olfactory Arts, Oxford University Press, 2020, 355pp., $78.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780190089818. Reviewed by Benjamin D. Young, University of Nevada, Reno Larry Shiner's book is a great exploratory sniff of the aesthetics of smell and the myriad types of odorific arts. Shiner does a fantastic job of introducing those unfamiliar with the subject matter to the use of smells as artwork, as well as their importance within aesthetic experiences across history and cultures. The book offers a pluralist conception of art that makes room for worldwide olfactory aesthetics, drawing on numerous historical and contemporary examples of scent arts, introductory olfactory neuroscience, and careful philosophical analysis with easy-to-follow arguments. The central moves in the core arguments are carefully laid out at the outset and elaborated throughout the book, ensuring the reader is not lost in this cross-disciplinary tome. An overview of Shiner's argument... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Nietzsche’s Life and Works

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[Revised entry by Robert Wicks on September 10, 2021. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900) was a German philosopher of the late 19th century who challenged the foundations of Christianity and traditional morality. He was interested in the enhancement of individual and cultural health, and believed in life, creativity, power, and down-to-earth realities, rather than those situated in a world beyond. Central to his philosophy is the idea of "life-affirmation," which involves an honest questioning of all doctrines that drain life's expansive energies, however...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Associate Professor - Political Philosophy

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Job List: 
Name of institution: 
University of Toronto, Scarborough
Job Description: 

The Department of Philosophy at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) invites applications for a full-time tenure stream position in the area of Political Philosophy. The appointment will be at the rank of Associate Professor, with an expected start date of July 1, 2022, or shortly thereafter.

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News source: Jobs In Philosophy

RWB: Running with Black

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One year in grad school I was training for the Columbus Marathon with fellow student and runner Tony. I am white, Tony is black. While doing a training run on the course, a police car pulled up behind us and flashed its lights. We stopped running and turned to face the officer. We had been running within the law, so I initially had no idea why we were being stopped. Getting out of his car, the officer called to us “what are you boys doing?” I replied with the obvious, “running.” He wittily replied, “running from what?” On runs back home in Maine, I had interacted with the police. One of our high school distance coaches was a police officer; he was a patient guy and a good coach. So those were all positive interactions. I was once before stopped by the police while running; the officer stopped to tell me I should not be running on the sidewalk. So, I got into the street to run. She stopped me again and said that I should not be running in the street. She let me go. That was not scary, just confusing—I assumed she was just “playing” with me or something. But this situation in Ohio was the first time I felt afraid of the police. I had the thought, which might have been mistaken, that Tony and I might get shot or at least arrested for something. It felt that the situation could easily go very badly if we did not navigate it just right. What we did was stay calm and explain that we were training for the Marathon. I added that Tony was trying to qualify for the US Olympic team. This seemed to make a difference; perhaps it changed us from boys in the wrong neighborhood for a black man and a skinny white runner to athletes who might be representing the red, white, and blue. Eventually he let us go; I recall him making some sort of vague warning about running in the right places. After that, we were careful to avoid that neighborhood and we were never stopped by the police again. I ended up running a 2:45 marathon, Tony had a bad race and got a disappointing 2:36. Over the. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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