Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Deweyan Experimentalism and the Problem of Method in Political Philosophy

2019.11.04 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Joshua Forstenzer, Deweyan Experimentalism and the Problem of Method in Political Philosophy, Routlege, 2019, 279pp., $140.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781138479906. Reviewed by Scott F. Aikin, Vanderbilt University Joshua Forstenzer's book is a timely and well-researched contribution to the ongoing development of pragmatist political philosophy. Forstenzer's core thesis is that Dewey's experimentalism is a useful resource and model for, on the one hand, criticizing the failure of ideal theory to address standing problems in politics, and on the other hand, resisting the moral quietism that too often plagues realist outlooks. As Forstenzer puts it, "we need a methodological approach which charts a via media between ideal theory and realism" (33). Forstenzer's book is insightful and useful on two fronts: first, along the lines of updating and putting a fine point on the case against ideal theory, and second, in making the case for the relevance of Dewey's experimental method... Read [More]

Why was Plato so puzzled by akrasia? I think almost anyone nowadays finds it

Read another response about Freedom, Action Freedom Action Share Why was Plato so puzzled by akrasia? I think almost anyone nowadays finds it entirely obvious and unsurprising that people sometimes act against their better judgment. The fact that ancient philosophers were fascinated by this phenomenon makes me think I must not fully appreciate the way they understood [More]

I've been having a moral conflict about whether I should serve in the military

Read another response about Ethics, WarShare Ethics War Read another response by Allen Stairs I've been having a moral conflict about whether I should serve in the military or not and I came to the conclusion that it would be immoral for me to serve. But then I thought to myself, if I think it's immoral to serve I'm basically saying that anyone with the choice to not serve shouldn't serve, and if everyone who has the choice to not serve does that the military will collapse and since the country has no defenses a war will likely ensue that would cause many more deaths than if people had served. So does that falsify my claim that it is immoral to serve in the [More]

F.E.A.S.T. Conference 2019

by Jamie Ritzo and Laura Brown October 3-6, 2019 marked the tenth official FEAST (Feminist Ethics and Social Theory) Conference, along with the 20-year anniversary of the first FEAST proto-conference. Feminist scholars convened in Clearwater Beach, Florida to this year’s theme: “The Future of Feminist Ethics: Intersectionality, Epistemology, and Grace.” We are unable to discuss [More]

Proof and Falsity: A Logical Investigation

2019.11.03 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Nils Kürbis, Proof and Falsity: A Logical Investigation, Cambridge University Press, 2019, 308pp., $99.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781108481304. Reviewed by Jaroslav Peregrin, Czech Academy of Sciences/University of Hradec Králové The key message of Nils Kürbis' book is that the enterprise of proof-theoretic semantics, as projected by Dummett and Prawitz, is bound to founder, because, as it currently stands, it offers no adequate accommodation for negation. Kürbis' diagnosis is that proof-theoretic semantics builds exclusively on "positive" notions, whereas negation is incurably "negative". In his own words (p. 122): As it stands, Dummett's and Prawitz's theory appeals only to what might be called positive primitive notions: affirmation, assertion, truth. They avoid negative primitives, such as negation, denial, falsity. The latter are supposed to be defined in terms of the primitive notions of the theory. Put this way it may not be too surprising that the project fails: it is a natural... Read [More]

Monthly gleanings for October 2019

I received a question about the origin of French adieu and its close analogs in the other Romance languages. This question is easy to answer. The word goes back to the phrase à Dieu “to God,” which is the beginning of the longer locution à Dieu commande, that is, “I commend (you) to God” or, if we remain with French, “je recommande à Dieu.” The European parting formulas are of rather few types. The post Monthly gleanings for October 2019 appeared first on [More]