Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Cosmopolitanism

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[Revised entry by Pauline Kleingeld and Eric Brown on October 17, 2019. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The word 'cosmopolitan', which derives from the Greek word kosmopolitēs ('citizen of the world'), has been used to describe a wide variety of important views in moral and socio-political philosophy. The nebulous core shared by all cosmopolitan views is the idea that all human beings, regardless of their political affiliation, are (or can and should be) citizens in a single community. Different versions of cosmopolitanism envision this...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Recently I asked if theology were a branch of philosophy, and was encouraged by

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Read another response about Religion Religion Share Recently I asked if theology were a branch of philosophy, and was encouraged by Dr. Stairs to ask my question. If we are told in Christian (Catholic at least) faith that God is the only One True God and we should not pray to any other God except Her/Him/It, then how come (in some branches) we can pray to saints or to Mary, and not be committing idolatry? One answer I've heard is that we do not "pray" to them so much as we ask them to intercede for us on our behalf....I don't know though, that sounds forced.

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News source: AskPhilosophers Questions

Mentoring Undergraduates to Present at Academic Conferences

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Disclaimer: Dr. Sabrina D. MisirHiralall is an editor at the Blog of the APA. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of the American Philosophical Association or the Blog of the APA. Higher education once provided a venue for undergraduates to focus on […]

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News source: Blog of the APA

Videoconferencing for Climate Practice (guest post by Colin Marshall and Sinan Dogramaci)

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The following is a guest post*  discussing the practice of making videoconferencing a regular component of academic conferences and the like, for the sake of the environment, by  Colin Marshall (UW Seattle) and Sinan Dogramaci (UT Austin). It follows up on Professor Marshall’s previous post, “Flying Less, Videoconferencing More“. Pete Mauney, time-lapse photograph of planes at night Videoconferencing for Climate Practice by Colin Marshall and Sinan Dogramaci Fellow colloquia/conference/workshop organizers: please join us in adopting the Videoconferencing for Climate Practice! The idea is simple. By using more videoconferencing, we can both reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and make the discipline more inclusive in a very cost-effective way.   Colloquium and events organizers who adopt the Practice aim to   Have a significant percentage (at least 15%) of talks and presentations be done remotely—in particular, through videoconferencing—instead of using air travel, and Find additional ways to improve the climate impacts of our professional activities, especially at the institutional level (universities, professional associations, and governments). These include aiming for higher percentages of remote and local talks, institutional support for buying carbon offsets, institutional divestment from problematic industries, and finding ways to directly influence local and national governments. A wide adoption of the Practice would have two effects: (1) reducing greenhouse gas emissions, thereby helping physical climate and (2) expanding the number of people who can participate in professional activities, improving social climate.   A more detailed explanation and justification for the practice can be found here. There are a variety of ways an organizer can adopt the practice. One would be to include a line like the following in all invitations: “We would be delighted to have you join us in person. We have. . .

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News source: Daily Nous

Input Sought on New Questions for Upcoming PhilPapers Survey of Philosophers

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A draft of the follow-up to the 2009 Philpapers survey of philosophical positions held by academic philosophers on various topics includes about 70 new questions. The survey’s creators, David Bourget (Western University) and David Chalmers (NYU), are seeking input from members of the profession about the new questions. (Previously.) Gerhard Richter, “1025 Farben” The new survey will include the original 30 questions, plus 10 new ones that will be asked of all respondents, and 60 new ones that will each be asked of 25% of the respondents. So each respondent will be asked to answer around 55 questions. They will also be given the option to answer more, up to the total of around 100 questions. Here are the original 30 questions: A priori knowledge: yes or no? Abstract objects: Platonism or nominalism? Aesthetic value: objective or subjective? Analytic-synthetic distinction: yes or no? Epistemic justification: internalism or externalism? External world: idealism, skepticism, or non-skeptical realism? Free will: compatibilism, libertarianism, or no free will? God: theism or atheism? Knowledge: empiricism or rationalism? Knowledge claims: contextualism, relativism, or invariantism? Laws of nature: Humean or non-Humean? Logic: classical or non-classical? Mental content: internalism or externalism? Meta-ethics: moral realism or moral anti-realism? Metaphilosophy: naturalism or non-naturalism? Mind: physicalism or non-physicalism? Moral judgment: cognitivism or non-cognitivism? Moral motivation: internalism or externalism? Newcomb’s problem: one box or two boxes? Normative ethics: deontology, consequentialism, or virtue ethics? Perceptual experience: disjunctivism, qualia theory, representationalism, or sense-datum theory? Personal identity: biological view, psychological view, or further-fact view? Politics: communitarianism, egalitarianism, or libertarianism? Proper names: Fregean or Millian? Science: scientific realism or scientific. . .

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News source: Daily Nous

Harold Bloom, “a singular breed of scholar-teacher-critic-prose-poet-pamphleteer,” has died. He was 89... James Wood... Graeme Wood... Michael Dirda... Justin A. Sider... Dwight Garner... James Romm... Guardian... AP

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Harold Bloom, “a singular breed of scholar-teacher-critic-prose-poet-pamphleteer,” has died. He was 89... James Wood... Graeme Wood... Michael Dirda... Justin A. Sider... Dwight Garner... James Romm... Guardian... AP

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Which Video Games for Which Philosophical Lessons?

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It’s not unusual to solicit books, movies, and television shows that might be particularly useful for teaching about certain philosophical problems. What about video games? a scene from the virtual reality video game “Superhot” We had a post about this nearly five years ago, but it did not get much uptake. In the interim, the video gaming industry has continued to grow, and so has the share of the population playing these games. According to one recent report, 65% of American adults play videogames, and according to another, nearly 80% of all gamers are 18 years old or older, with half of that group being over 36 years old. Katia Samoilova, an assistant professor of philosophy at California State University, Chico, recently created a “Philosophy and Video Games” introductory course. In a news item at the CSU Chico site, she says, “Nothing is better than a video game at immersing in an experience, and specifically, testing thought experiments,” adding that “video game content rivals in its richness other media, including much… philosophical literature.” Mass Effect and The Witcher are two examples of such games named in the article. It would be great to get some more examples of video games that could be effectively used in the teaching of philosophy, along with a brief explanation of their usefulness. Which particular games speak to which particular philosophical questions, problems, or topics? Related: “Virtual Worlds and Video Games in Philosophy Teaching“; “New: Journal of the Philosophy of Games“; “Philosophy Teaching Games“; “Philosophy Game Jam“; “Philosopher App Store Redux” The post Which Video Games for Which Philosophical Lessons? appeared first on Daily Nous.

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News source: Daily Nous

Fingers feel, or feel free!

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Now that I have said everything I know about the etymology of the word finger (see the posts on feeling fingers), and those who agree and disagree with me have also made their opinion public, one more topic has to be discussed, namely, the origin of the verb feel. These are the basic facts. The verb feel has been attested only in West Germanic. Old English had fēlan, from fōljan, and the forms in Old Frisian, Old Saxon, and Old High German go back to the same root. All the rest is intelligent guessing. Naturally, since the Germanic root is fōl, the search concentrated on the non-Germanic root pōl, with the p ~ f correspondence by the indispensable First Consonant Shift (my recurring reference is to Engl. father versus Latin pater). Long o, that is, ō, alternates with short a, that is, ă, by ablaut, and the root pal surfaced early in the discussion of feel. Latin palpare “to touch,” familiar from palpitate and palpable, presented itself as a possible cognate, even though the comparison ignores the presence of final p in palp-. That is what feelers are for! Image by Zeimusu, CC by-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons. The original meaning of feel was “to touch, examine by touching,” as in “We… felt over innumerable feet of dark wall for electric light switches” in The Great Gatsby (the beginning of Chapter 8). The metaphorical sense, as in I felt nothing, came later. Assuming for the moment that palpare and feel are related, we may wonder what the origin of the Latin verb is. Palp– begins with and ends in the same consonant and sounds a bit like Engl. plop or pulp. Plop is sound-imitative. Pulp, from Latin, is a word of unknown origin, and, incidentally, so is pulpit, also from Latin. One can always suggest a borrowing from an unknown language (and this has been done for pulpit), but equally probable is the conjecture that we are dealing with sound-symbolic or sound-imitative formations, even though it remains unclear what they “symbolize” or imitate. Engl. plop is of. . .

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News source: Linguistics – OUPblog

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