Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

The Conscience of Mitt Romney

Senator Mitt Romney made history by breaking with his party to vote to convict President Trump. Romney presented a well-crafted and well-argued speech that contrasts dramatically with the style and content of Trump’s speeches. I have, as one would suspect, been somewhat critical of Romney over the years, but I have always endeavored to be [More]

Character and Causation: Hume's Philosophy of Action

2020.02.06 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Constantine Sandis, Character and Causation: Hume's Philosophy of Action, Routledge, 2019, 148pp., $155.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781138283787. Reviewed by Liz Goodnick, Metropolitan State University of Denver While Hume does not have an explicit "philosophy of action," Constantine Sandis's monograph seeks to bring together various aspects of Hume's work (including causation, free will, personal identity, motivation, and explanation in history, among others) to develop such a theory. The book is composed of seven chapters, each somewhat independent essays, which attempt to bring these disparate elements of Hume's philosophy together to build a coherent picture of Hume's view on human action. Sandis claims that his discussion of Hume's understanding of causation, freedom, agency, etc. "form part of a systematic treatment of how and why we act (and, by implication, reason) as we do" (120). While he notes that Hume was not concerned with developing a philosophy of action, per se, he... Read [More]

Kant’s Philosophy of Religion

[Revised entry by Lawrence Pasternack and Courtney Fugate on February 6, 2020. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Kant has long been seen as hostile to religion. Many of his contemporaries, ranging from his students to the Prussian authorities, saw his Critical project as inimical to traditional Christianity. The impression of Kant as a fundamentally secular philosopher became even more deeply entrenched through the twentieth century, though this is belied by a closer inspection of his writings both before and after the publication of his Critique of Pure Reason (1781), i.e., what are commonly referred to as his "pre-Critical" [More]

C. Thi Nguyen from Utah Valley to University of Utah

C. Thi Nguyen, currently associate professor of philosophy at Utah Valley University, will be moving to the Department of Philosophy at the University of Utah. Professor Nguyen works in aesthetics, ethics, and epistemology, or as he puts it, “trust, art, games, and communities”. His first book, Games: Agency as Art, is coming out in April. You can learn more about his work at his site and at PhilPapers. At the University of Utah, Nguyen will be associate professor of philosophy. The position he was hired for concerns issues at the intersection of philosophy and digital technology. He says: the position was for somebody who could connect with the computer science and game design programs: research collaborations, co-teaching, and hopefully making philosophy classes aimed at game design students and CS students, along with philosophy kids. (The UofU has one of the world’s biggest and best game design programs.) So if things work out as hoped, I’ll be developing classes in game ethics, game aesthetics,  data ethics, design ethics, technology ethics, and hopefully getting in at least some students who actually are dedicating their lives to making the stuff.  Professor Nguyen takes up his new position at the University of Utah on July 1st. The post C. Thi Nguyen from Utah Valley to University of Utah appeared first on Daily [More]

Underappreciated Philosophical Writing of the Past 50 Years, Part I: 1970s

Not everything notable gets noticed, and that’s true in philosophy, too. A valuable philosophical work may get overlooked because it was published in a lesser-known venue.  Or perhaps it was published in a part of the world or in a language that those in the mainstream tend to ignore. Perhaps sociological aspects of the profession concerning dominant writing style preferences or attitudes about the prestige of the author’s institutional affiliations led to its dismissal. Maybe it was ahead of its time, speaking to issues or presenting ideas or arguments the significance of which was only recognized much later. Maybe it was appreciated in its time, but somehow got lost in the crowd of publications since. Over the next few weeks, I hope gather lists of underappreciated philosophical writing of the past fifty years. These are articles, books, and book chapters that today’s philosophers are not adequately recognizing as valuable. It’s not an exact science, of course, judging both the significance of the work and the extent to which it is currently appreciated. I encourage people to err in ways that are more inclusive, as it’s better to hear about something you’ve already heard about than to miss out on hearing about something new (to you) and good. To keep things manageable we’ll break this project into decade-long chunks. This week, let’s look at the 1970s. Readers, please share your suggestions of underappreciated works from [More]

68- Earp on the Ethics of Love Drugs

In this episode I talk (again) to Brian Earp. Brian is Associate Director of the Yale-Hastings Program in Ethics and Health Policy at Yale University and The Hastings Center, and a Research Fellow in the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford. Brian has diverse research interests in ethics, psychology, and the philosophy of science. His research has been covered in Nature, Popular Science, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Atlantic, New Scientist, and other major outlets. We talk about his latest book, co-authored with Julian Savulescu, on love drugs.You can listen to the episode below or download it here. You can also subscribe to the podcast on Apple, Stitcher, Spotify and other leading podcasting services (the RSS feed is here).Show Notes0:00 - Introduction2:17 - What is love? (Baby don't hurt me) What is a love drug?7:30 - What are the biological underpinnings of love?10:00 - How constraining is the biological foundation to love?13:45 - So we're not natural born monogamists or polyamorists?17:48 - Examples of actual love drugs23:32 - MDMA in couples therapy27:55 - The situational ethics of love drugs33:25 - The non-specific nature of love drugs39:00 - The basic case in favour of love drugs40:48 - The ethics of anti-love drugs44:00 - The ethics of conversion therapy48:15 - Individuals vs systemic change50:20 - Do love drugs undermine autonomy or authenticity?54:20 - The Vice of In-Principlism56:30 - The future of love drugs  Relevant [More]

Intersections of Value: Art, Nature, and the Everyday

2020.02.05 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Robert Stecker, Intersections of Value: Art, Nature, and the Everyday, Oxford University Press, 2019, 174pp., $55.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198789956. Reviewed by James Edward Harold, Mount Holyoke College Robert Stecker's short book discusses a large number of philosophical questions. Sometimes these questions intersect with one another, but sometimes they do not. There is no one principal line of argument or even a single central topic that runs through the book. Instead, Stecker's book is structured around a few recurring themes including: the relationships between different kinds of values (aesthetic, artistic, cognitive, etc.); the proper way to appreciate natural environments; and the importance of the function of everyday artifacts. The result is a book that is not easy to sum up. I will begin with a quick chapter by chapter overview, and then turn to a critical discussion of the book and some of the arguments and ideas in it.