Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Hard Questions: Facing the Problems of Life

2019.11.12 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews John Kekes, Hard Questions: Facing the Problems of Life, Oxford University Press, 2019, 306pp., $34.95 (hbk), ISBN 9780190919986. Reviewed by Garrett Cullity, The University of Adelaide In writing this book, John Kekes sets himself a hard task. His aim is to address ten very broad ethical questions -- the hard questions of his title -- in a way that illuminates them for philosophers, advanced students and reflective non-philosophers alike. The questions, each of which has its own chapter, are: Is there an absolute value that overrides all other considerations? Must we conform to prevailing conventions? Do we owe what our country asks of us? Must justice be done at all costs? How should we respond to evil? Should we forgive wrong actions? Does shame make life better or worse? Is it always good to be true to who we are? Do good intentions justify bad actions? and Are moral... Read [More]

How to Philosophize with an Affinity of Hammers: Censorship and Reproductive Freedom in France

by Jill Drouillard On Oct. 24, 2019, French philosopher Sylviane Agacinski was scheduled to speak at the Université de Bordeaux-Montaigne on « l’être humain à l’époque de sa reproductibilité technique » [the human being in the era of its technological reproducibility]. Amidst “violent threats” and their purported inability to assure the safety of Agacinski, the organizers cancelled [More]

Foreign Language Instruction Through Philosophy Courses

Stephen Angle, professor of philosophy and East Asian studies at Wesleyan University, teaches one section of his Classical Chinese Philosophy course in English, and another in Mandarin. Professor Angle, who also directs the university’s Fries Center for Global Studies, noticed a drop in enrollments in foreign language courses (a trend not unique to Wesleyan). Part of the response to this was to create second-language sections for courses typically taught in English. His Classical Chinese Philosophy course is one of several discussed in a recent article in the Washington Post. It’s the only philosophy course mentioned. The students in the course include some native speakers of Mandarin and some who are learning the language. I’m curious about whether other philosophy professors have taught philosophy to native English-speakers in a foreign language, or are planning on doing so. It seems unusual. (In contrast to parts of the world in which English is not the primary language, where it is not uncommon for philosophy courses to be taught in English to students for whom it is a second language.) If you have taught philosophy in a way that also serves to teach your students a foreign language (even if that foreign language is English), it would useful to hear from you. Please feel free to share your experiences, how the course came about and why, particular challenges, and so on. Thank you. The post Foreign Language Instruction Through Philosophy Courses [More]

Coming in 2020: Gallery of Art and Philosophy

New Philosopher, a popular philosophy magazine based in Australia, is in the process of creating a new art space “devoted to the representation of philosophical ideas.” The magazine acquired a former Victorian Gothic church that housed an existing art gallery in Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania, Australia, and will be converting it into the Gallery of Art and Philosophy (GAAP). The gallery will be accepting submissions from artists “whose works fulfil the philosophical requirements of GAAP, which include such aspects as the study of reality, existence, and the search for wisdom,” according to New Philosopher. It will also display art by the artists featured in New Philosopher and its sister magazine, Womankind. GAAP will open sometime in 2020. More information here. The post Coming in 2020: Gallery of Art and Philosophy appeared first on Daily [More]

2504/1119C - Lecturer in Mathematical Philosophy

Job List:  Asia/Africa/Australasia Name of institution:  The University of Sydney Town:  Sydney Country:  Australia Job Description:  Lecturer in Mathematical Philosophy School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Reference no. 2504/1119C • Work alongside internationally renowned experts in the field • Located at Camperdown Campus • Full-time, continuing position, remuneration package $125,848 – 149,441p.a which includes leave loading and up to 17% superannuation About the [More]

Jean-Baptiste Du Bos

[New Entry by James O. Young and Margaret Cameron on November 19, 2019.] Jean-Baptiste Du Bos (b. 1670, d. 1742) was a French antiquarian, historian, diplomat, polymath, and aesthetician. He participated in the Quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns, wrote on numismatics, delved into a variety of historical questions, and had an enduring love of the fine arts. Today he is primarily known as the author of Critical Reflections on Poetry and Painting (1719) and as one of the founders of modern aesthetics. Deeply influenced by [More]

Structuralism in the Philosophy of Mathematics

Just to note the arrival at the Stanford Encyclopedia of a new entry ‘Structuralism in the Philosophy of Mathematics’ by Erich Reck and Georg Schiemer. Two features of this entry are potentially particularly useful. First, there is an attempt to provide … Continue reading → The post Structuralism in the Philosophy of Mathematics appeared first on Logic [More]

The Case Against Righteous Anger

There is a lot of anger in the world right now. You hear it people’s voices; you feel it in the air. Turn on a TV and what will you see? Journalists snapping questions at politicians; politicians snapping back with indignation. Dip your toe into social media and what will you read? People seething and roiling in rage. Anyone who disagrees with them is a ‘fucking idiot’, ‘garbage’, ‘worthless’. The time for quiet reflection and dialogue is over. We are at war. Anger is our fuel.As someone raised to view anger as a bad thing, but who falls prey to it all the time, I find this to be unwelcome development. There are, however, some who believe that anger is a good thing. There are moral philosophers, for example, argue that anger is an essential foundation for our moral beliefs and practices — that it is an appropriate response to injustice. Amia Srinivasan, for instance, has argued that even if anger can be counterproductive it is, for victims of injustice, often ‘apt’ and we need to factor that into our understanding of injustice. Similarly, the philosopher Sally Haslanger has said that being angry is important because it helps her to care about certain political issues. Indeed, she cites the need for some anger as one reason why she quit doing certain Eastern meditative practices such as yoga:Eventually I quit doing yoga because I found it left me too cut off from the world, especially from the political engagement that I cared so much about. I didn't want to be serene. I [More]