Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Are militaries justified in existing?

Pacifism, in its most recognisable form, is an absolute, principled condemnation of war. Military abolitionism is the view that institutions devoted to war are not justified in existing. Most pacifists are also military abolitionists. This is unsurprising. After all, if you think that going to war is always wrong, then you’ll likely think that having […] The post Are militaries justified in existing? appeared first on OUPblog.         Related StoriesGrowing up in the shadow of Sri Lanka’s civil warWhat literature can teach us about living with illnessSix French comedies you should [More]

Sacrifice Regained: Morality and Self-interest in British Moral Philosophy from Hobbes to Bentham

2020.06.16 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Roger Crisp, Sacrifice Regained: Morality and Self-interest in British Moral Philosophy from Hobbes to Bentham, Oxford University Press, 2019, 233pp., $70.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198840473. Reviewed by Robert Shaver, University of Manitoba Roger Crisp's excellent book concerns the relation between morality and self-interest in the British Moralists -- there are chapters on Hobbes, More, Cumberland, Locke, Mandeville, Shaftesbury, Butler, Hutcheson, (Samuel) Clarke, Reid, Hume, Smith, Price, and Gay/Tucker/ Paley/Bentham. Each chapter begins with a critical account of the moral theory of the moralist, followed by a critical discussion of the moralist's view of the relation between morality and self-interest. Some are rational egoists; some give no normative role to self-interest; many are dualists, holding that both self-interest and morality give reasons. Of the dualists, some think that in cases of conflict, morality wins; some think self-interest holds a veto; others think that morality and self-interest each win in different cases. Before Hume, everyone... Read [More]

Gaṅgeśa

[New Entry by Stephen Phillips on June 18, 2020.] Gaṅgeśa, the "Great Professor" (mahopādhyāya), lived in the fourteenth century in northeastern India. In Sanskrit, he wrote a philosophic masterpiece called the "Jewel" solidifying several centuries of advances in epistemology and logic within the classical school of "Logic," Nyāya. By all counts, Gaṅgeśa is one of the major figures not only in Nyāya but in the whole long and complex history of [More]

Pragmatism, Objectivity, and Experience

2020.06.14 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Steven Levine, Pragmatism, Objectivity, and Experience, Cambridge University Press, 2019, 270pp., $105.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781108422895. Reviewed by Robert Kraut, The Ohio State University Steven Levine has written a superb book. The title advertises three perennially puzzling topics: pragmatism, objectivity, and experience. Some background will help locate his project on a larger map. Precise specification of pragmatism would be useful, but difficult to provide: a wide variety of views tend to appear under the pragmatist rubric. Frequently it involves little more than homage paid to the work of James, Peirce, and/or Dewey. More robust versions stress doctrinal and/or methodological views about truth and reference (e.g., the rejection of truth-as-correspondence-to-reality, or a more thoroughgoing deflationism about semantic discourse); other versions foreground the primacy of institutional norms, the impossibility of epistemically privileged representation, the significance of justificatory holism, rejection of the Enlightenment tradition built upon the pursuit... Read [More]