Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Natural Law and the Nature of Law

2020.02.16 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Jonathan Crowe, Natural Law and the Nature of Law, Cambridge University Press, 2019, 263pp., $99.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781108498302. Reviewed by Emad H. Atiq, Cornell University Natural law theorists contend that legal and moral normativity are closely linked. Roughly, facts about what we legally ought to do -- what legal duties and permissions persons have -- are partly grounded in facts about what we morally ought to do. Natural law theory confronts a host of challenges. One class of challenges is metaethical. The natural law theorist needs to explain what moral facts are, the grounds in virtue of which they have the content that they have, and how we derive from the moral facts prescriptions for the kind of fine-grained practical dilemmas that arise under law. Critics of natural law theory view the moral domain with considerable suspicion (cf. Austin 1832, Kelsen 1960). The dialectical background invites... Read [More]

Feminist Perspectives on the Self

[Revised entry by Ellen Anderson, Cynthia Willett, and Diana Meyers on February 19, 2020. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, bib.html] The topic of the self has long been salient in feminist philosophy, for it is pivotal to questions about personal identity, the body, sociality, and agency that feminism must address. Simone de Beauvoir's provocative declaration, "He is the Subject, he is the Absolute - she is the Other", signals the central importance of the self for feminism. To be the Other is to be a non-subject, a non-agent - in short, a mere thing. Women's selfhood has been systematically subordinated or even outright [More]

Peter Singer Talk in New Zealand Cancelled by Venue

SkyCity, a hotel, casino, and entertainment complex in Auckland, New Zealand, that was scheduled to host a talk this June by Peter Singer, the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton, has cancelled the event owing to controversy over the philosopher’s writings. Though his talks have occasioned protests in the past, according to Singer (as reported by the New Zealand Herald)  this is the first time a venue has actually cancelled a speaking engagement of his. Singer is embarking on a speaking tour to raise money for charity, but it is his earlier writings on the permissibility of parents choosing to euthanize severely disabled babies that prompted opposition to his talk in New Zealand (and which have led people to protest at appearances of his for years). According to The Guardian, the venue released a statement saying, “Whilst SkyCity supports the right of free speech, some of the themes promoted by this speaker do not reflect our values of diversity and inclusivity.” Singer is quoted as saying, “it’s extraordinary that Skycity should cancel my speaking engagement on the basis of a newspaper article without contacting either me or the organiser of my speaking tour to check the facts on which it appears to be basing the cancellation.”   The post Peter Singer Talk in New Zealand Cancelled by Venue appeared first on Daily [More]

Kant on Laws

2020.02.15 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Eric Watkins, Kant on Laws, Cambridge University Press, 2019, 297pp., $99.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781107163911. Reviewed by Uygar Abaci, Pennsylvania State University There is no question that the concept of law plays a central role in Kant's philosophy overall. In fact, one could argue that one of the paramount aims of the critical project is to establish the autonomy of the human subject in terms of her capacity to self-legislate both in theoretical and practical domains of jurisdiction. Though Kant's theories of laws of nature and the moral law have been extensively studied as distinct subjects, whether there is a univocal concept of law underlying these different kinds of laws has remained rather unexplored in the vast Kant literature. To my knowledge, Eric Watkins's book is the first book length study dedicated entirely to Kant's theory of law in general (Konstantin Pollok's Kant's Theory of... Read [More]