Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

MacAskill on Aid Skepticism

The whole paper is great, but I especially wanted to share his concluding remarks:Often, critics of Peter Singer focus on whether or not aid is effective. But that is fundamentally failing to engage with core of Singer’s argument. Correctly understood, that argument is about the ethics of buying luxury goods, not the ethics of global development. Even if it turned out that every single development program that we know of does more harm than good, that fact would not mean that we can buy a larger house, safe in the knowledge that we have no pressing moral obligations of beneficence upon us. There are thousands of pressing problems that call out for our attention and that we could make significant inroads on with our resources. Here is an incomplete list of what $10,000 can do (noting, in each case, that any cost-effectiveness estimates are highly uncertain, with large error bars, and refer to expected value):Spare 20 years’ worth of unnecessary incarceration, while not reducing public safety, by donating to organisations working in criminal justice reform (Open Philanthropy Project 2017b).Spare 1.2 million hens from the cruelty of battery cages by donating to corporate cage-free campaigns (Open Philanthropy Project 2016).Reduce the chance of a civilisation-ending global pandemic by funding policy research and advocacy on biosecurity issues (Open Philanthropy Project 2014).Contribute to a more equitable international order by funding policy analysis and [More]

It’s not you, it’s me: the problem of incivility

We regularly decry this or that latest episode of incivility, and can thereby find temporary satisfaction. Maybe we feel heartened to see the uncivil criticized, the critique itself a reassurance that incivilities still meet some resistance. Maybe we find relief in collective condemnation of the uncivil, solidarity in shared disapproval. Or maybe we just experience […] The post It’s not you, it’s me: the problem of incivility appeared first on OUPblog.         Related StoriesLGBT Pride month timeline: The 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprisingHow drawing pictures can help us understand wineMad Pride and the end of mental [More]

Deleuze and Derrida: Difference and the Power of the Negative

2019.07.01 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Vernon W. Cisney, Deleuze and Derrida: Difference and the Power of the Negative, Edinburgh University Press, 2018, 305pp., $105.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780748696222. Reviewed by Bruce Baugh, Thompson Rivers University What remains for us now of Hegel, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida and the "philosophy of difference"? In the 1980s, as more and more works by Derrida and Deleuze were translated into English, difference -- or différance, to use Derrida's neologism -- was all the rage in Continental philosophy. As Vernon W. Cisney's book argues, although the names of Derrida and Deleuze were often linked as philosophers of difference, there are important differences between them. Thirty years on, this point has been made often enough that it will be familiar to anyone who has been following this topic, and Cisney's book does not offer much that is new. Yet, this volume usefully summarizes the main points of contrast between what Cisney calls Deleuze's "constructivism"... Read [More]

Quantum Theory and Mathematical Rigor

[Revised entry by Fred Kronz and Tracy Lupher on July 1, 2019. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] An ongoing debate in the foundations of quantum physics concerns the role of mathematical rigor. The contrasting views of von Neumann and Dirac provide interesting and informative insights concerning two sides of this debate. Von Neumann's contributions often emphasize mathematical rigor and Dirac's contributions emphasize pragmatic concerns. The discussion below begins with an assessment of their contributions to the foundations of quantum mechanics. [More]

Manifesto for Public Philosophy (guest post by C. Thi Nguyen)

“It’s war, the soul of humanity is at stake, and the discipline that has been in isolation training for 2000 years for this very moment is too busy pointing out tiny errors in each other’s technique to actually join the fight..”  The following is a guest post* by C. Thi Nguyen, associate professor of philosophy at Utah Valley University. Manifesto for Public Philosophy by C. Thi Nguyen A student said to me: the problem right now is that if you don’t have any training and you go online looking for philosophy you can actually understand, 9 out of 10 things you’ll find are from the hate-web. They are propaganda, and not the seeds of critical reflection. What we need, if we are going to fight this stuff, is to produce public philosophy in volume. I just spent a couple weeks at a philosophy workshop for public philosophy, and I came out convinced that most of us have an incredibly narrow view of what public philosophy could be. Like: I tended to think public philosophy was op-eds in newspapers and articles in The Atlantic, and stuff like that. But there is so much more. People like ContraPoints and Wireless Philosophy are doing philosophy on YouTube, reaching out into a much wider world. We have some podcasters, like Barry Lam and his extraordinary Hi Phi Nation podcast. Ethics Bowl folks are pushing Ethics Bowl into high schools, into prisons. There are public discussion forums, public lectures, programs for philosophy for children. This is exactly what we [More]

Naomi Zack from Oregon to Lehman College, CUNY

Naomi Zack is leaving the University of Oregon to become Professor of Philosophy at Lehman College, City University of New York (CUNY).  Professor Zack is best known for her work in philosophy of race, in which she has authored titles such as The Theory of Applicative Justice: An Empirical Pragmatic Approach to Correcting Racial Injustice (2016),  White Privilege and Black Rights: The Injustice of US Police Racial Profiling and Homicide (2015), and The Ethics and Mores of Race: Equality after the History of Philosophy (2011, 2015). She is also the editor of the Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Race (2017). She takes up her new position this coming Fall. The post Naomi Zack from Oregon to Lehman College, CUNY appeared first on Daily [More]

Ways to be Blameworthy: Rightness, Wrongness, and Responsibility

2019.06.25 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Elinor Mason, Ways to be Blameworthy: Rightness, Wrongness, and Responsibility, Oxford University Press, 2019, 237pp., $55.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198833604. Reviewed by Chad Flanders, Saint Louis University Elinor Mason has written a short, absorbing book on blameworthiness and responsibility. It is deeply engaged with the current literature, but not in a way that detracts from the overall story she has to tell. What's more important, the book seems to get things roughly right -- that is, it seems to describe what we do when we blame people: no small feat for a practice so messy and complicated as blaming. Mason closes her book by quoting P.F. Strawson's warning that it is easy to forget when we are engaged in philosophy what it is actually like to be "involved in our ordinary interpersonal relationships" (212). She has done an excellent job of remembering what our ordinary relationships are like.