Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Power and Technology: A Philosophical and Ethical Analysis

2019.11.08 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Faridun Sattarov, Power and Technology: A Philosophical and Ethical Analysis, Rowman and Littlefield, 2019, 198pp., $120.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781786611291. Reviewed by Barry Allen, McMaster University The notion of technological power has become an object of attention in both academic and policy circles. Several different concepts of power are in play in these discourses, demonstrating the need for a cross-disciplinary, integrative framework to identify and clarify different ideas about the relation between technology and power. This book aims to provide such a framework for understanding the exercise of power by and through technology, and to do so by bridging social and political theory, critical studies in technology, philosophy, and ethics. These words, paraphrased from Faridun Sattarov's own summary, describe the aspiration of his book. They sound fine. Sadly, the execution consistently disappoints the interest this summary description appropriately provokes. Sattarov advocates a pluralist approach to the concept... Read [More]

Trade Publishers: You Need To Fact-Check Philosophy, Too

As you all know, Kant’s moral philosophy includes the idea of universalization.  But did you also know that “this means that before we do something, we should ask ourselves if the act we are about to perform will be good for everyone involved”? No, of course you didn’t. Because it is not true. And not just not true. It’s not true in the way that, say, “vegans are vegetarians who also eat animals” is not true. Why do I mention this? Because of this: This is an excerpt from the book, When You Kant Figure It Out, Ask a Philosopher, written by Marie Robert and published by an imprint of Little, Brown and Company. (The excerpt was posted at LitHub.) How does this kind of basic error get past the editorial team at a major publishing company? How does this kind of basic error about Kant get published in a book that has “Kant” in the title? I haven’t looked through the book, so I don’t know whether Robert corrects or clarifies these remarks elsewhere in it. Assuming she didn’t, this is a rather egregious error. Little, Brown and Company should be embarrassed. More importantly, they and other major commercial publishing firms should recognize that the need for fact-checking extends to the realm of philosophy. Not all philosophical claims are the kind that can be fact-checked, but some are, and having philosophers employed or on call to consult with may help prevent the publication of basic and misleading errors [More]

Thomas Kuhn and the paradigm shift – Philosopher of the Month

Thomas S. Kuhn (b. 1922–d. 1996) was an American historian and philosopher of science best-known for his book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) which influenced social sciences and theories of knowledge. He is widely considered one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century. The post Thomas Kuhn and the paradigm shift – Philosopher of the Month appeared first on OUPblog.         Related StoriesOur souls make us who we areMary Astell on female education and the sorrow of marriage (philosopher of the month)Seven events that shaped country [More]