Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Hi philosophers , recently a friend of mine said “it’s always best to tell the

Read another response about Ethics Ethics Share Hi philosophers , recently a friend of mine said “it’s always best to tell the truth “ until I pointed out examples where this is obviously not true, this lead me to wondering what if we as humans had not the ability to lie ? Would the world be a better or a worse place to live? I think complete honesty amongst humans would create chaos as although admirable in many ways offence would still be taken and consequences could be dire. I imagine the anguish most men would have attempting to truthfully answer that awkward question from the wife as in “ do you think I look fat in this dress dear [More]

Living the Good Life

Philosophy is having a strange cultural moment. On the one hand, it is routinely presented as the quintessential example of an utterly useless academic field. Students who decide to major in philosophy in my department at the City College of New York are often asked by their peers, not to mention their parents, “What are [More]

Being a Good Philosopher-Activist

“Philosophers have an important role to play in bridging theoretical reflection with everyday life.”  Those are the words of Julinna Oxley, professor of philosophy at Coastal Carolina University, in “How to Be a (Good) Philosopher-Activist“, an article in the recent special issue of Essays in Philosophy on activism and philosophy, edited by Ramona Ilea (Pacific University). Professor Oxley is the co-founder of Grand Strand Action Together, a South Carolina non-profit group “devoted to protecting and defending our democracy and the American democratic ideals of liberty, equality, and justice.” In her article, she draws on her experiences as a philosopher and activist to provide some advice for other philosophers interested in activism, which she takes to be collaborative action aimed at social change. With such collaborative efforts, people can do what they’re good at. For philosophers, that might mean “contributing philosophical reflection, writing skills or oral argumentation,” and doing so with “rational integrity.” Philosopher-activists with rational integrity, Oxley writes, are honest, rational, logical, deliberative, and respectful: Honest — (a) use true, reliable, and trustworthy information and sources, (b) know the relevant and important social or historical facts surrounding their views. Rational — use reason to communicate and to facilitate communication; are careful, calm, insightful, [More]

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Political Categories: Thinking Beyond Concepts

2020.02.13 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Michael Marder, Political Categories: Thinking Beyond Concepts, Columbia University Press, 2019, 255pp., $30.00 (pbk), ISBN 9780231188692. Reviewed by Nathan J. Jun, Midwestern State University In the opening salvo of this intriguing volume, Michael Marder takes aim at the "concept or the idea, the one all-powerful notion tasked with laying bare, dissecting and explaining reality" -- a notion by which Western philosophy has long been, and continues to be, held captive (1). The principal manifestation of "this fixation on a single principle behind a plethora of beings and events" within modern political thinking has been ideology, which Marder characterizes as "an extensive and largely unnoticeable dominant framework for thinking and perceiving, which precludes those interpretations that do not accord with its parameters." Concepts in general and ideologies in particular, he suggests, aim at subsuming and ultimately subordinating "complex, plural, complicated, conflictual, and at times mutually contradictory explanations" by... Read [More]

The Emergence of Spacetime in String Theory

2020.02.12 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Tiziana Vistarini, The Emergence of Spacetime in String Theory, Routledge, 2019, 142pp., $155.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781848935938. Reviewed by John Dougherty, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Physicists and philosophers are both invested in the nature of space, time, and spacetime, and they often look over each other's shoulders for insight and guidance. For philosophers, spacetime is intertwined with issues of persistence, determinism, and more. For physicists, spacetime is inseparable from gravity, especially in the light of Einstein's general theory of relativity. In both communities it is often said that one of the great lessons of Einstein's theory is the principle of "background independence", which advises against attributing any fixed, necessary features to spacetime. This principle is often invoked to reject quantum theories of gravity on which facts about spacetime are insufficiently contingent. In particular, this complaint is usually levelled at string theory. In her book, Tiziana Vistarini... Read [More]

Five philosophers on the joys of walking

René Descartes argued that each of us is, fundamentally, a thinking thing. Thought is our defining activity, setting us aside from animals, trees, rocks. I suspect this has helped market philosophy as the life of the mind, conjuring up philosophers lost in reverie, snuggled in armchairs. But human beings do not, in fact, live purely […] The post Five philosophers on the joys of walking appeared first on OUPblog.         Related StoriesHow to diversify the classics. For real.Henry David Thoreau and the nature of civil disobedience – Philosopher of the MonthHow dating apps reflect our changing [More]