Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

No Morality, No Self: Anscombe's Radical Skepticism

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2018.09.26 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews James Doyle, No Morality, No Self: Anscombe's Radical Skepticism, Harvard University Press, 2018, 238pp., $39.95 (hbk), ISBN 9780674976504. Reviewed by Jennifer A. Frey, University of South Carolina In the 20th century, Elizabeth Anscombe was one of the most influential women working within the analytic philosophical tradition. But, according to James Doyle we have failed to understand her most significant contributions, and, as a result, have failed to take the full measure of her continued relevance and value. In particular, Doyle argues in his book that we have not fully reckoned with her two most radical theses: (1) that there is no sense whatsoever to be made of a distinctively moral use of ought, duty, or obligation, and (2) that ‘I’ is not a referring term. Although I take issue with Doyle’s claim that Anscombe is a radical skeptic — either about morality or the self —... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Divine Powers in Late Antiquity

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2018.09.25 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Anna Marmodoro and Irini-Fotini Viltanioti, Divine Powers in Late Antiquity, Oxford University Press, 2017, 288pp., $95.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198767206. Reviewed by Michael Griffin, University of British Columbia This collection explores how ancient Mediterranean philosophers, writing in Greek and Latin between about the first and fifth centuries CE, "conceptualize the idea that the divine is powerful" (1). These philosophers offered sophisticated accounts of divine powers or potentials (dunameis) -- roughly, instances of properties that enable their owners to effect or undergo a change. The leading protagonists are (in chronological sequence), Philo of Alexandria, Paul of Tarsus (and other composers and interpreters of early Christian texts), Plotinus, Origen, Porphyry, Iamblichus, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and Proclus. These twelve contributions -- originating from a core of papers presented in a. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Social Norms

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[Revised entry by Cristina Bicchieri, Ryan Muldoon, and Alessandro Sontuoso on September 24, 2018. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, fig1.svg, fig2.svg] Social norms, the informal rules that govern behavior in groups and societies, have been extensively studied in the social sciences. Anthropologists have described how social norms function in different cultures (Geertz 1973), sociologists have focused on their social functions and how they motivate people to act (Durkheim 1895 [1982], 1950 [1957]; Parsons 1937; Parsons a Shils 1951; James Coleman 1990; Hechter a Opp 2001), and economists have explored how adherence to norms influences market behavior (Akerlof 1976; Young...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Heinrich Rickert

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[Revised entry by Andrea Staiti on September 24, 2018. Changes to: Bibliography] Heinrich Rickert was born in Gdańsk (then Danzig, in Prussia) on May 25th 1863. His father Heinrich Rickert Sr. (1833 - 1902) was a politician and editor in Berlin. Heinrich Sr. was a liberal democrat particularly invested in the cause of the German Jews. In 1890 Heinrich Sr. founded the Society Against Anti-Semitism in Berlin (Zijderveld 2006, 9). This is an interesting fact about Rickert Jr.'s background, considering that he eventually worked to...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Good open-access journals?

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In the comments section of our most recent "how can we help you?" thread, postdoc writes: I like the idea of publishing my research in open access venues, since I find the for profit journal industry contrary to the academic ideal. My solution is to try to at least aim first for publishing at open access journals. If my papers get rejected from these, then I will submit them to the standard “respectable” journals. In this way I give open access journals first dibs. But, since I am currently a postdoc and I need to make sure I get published in journals that others (hiring committees) consider “respectable.” My question is what are considered leading open access journals. The only one I can think of in philosophy is Philosophers’ Imprint. It would be very helpful for my aim to compile a list of other OA journals that are considered respectable. Good query. Ergo immediately comes to mind. So too, at least in ethics and social-political, does JESP. But beyond these,. . .

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News source: The Philosophers' Cocoon

Blasey & Kavanaugh III: The Drunk Defense

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According to Blasey, Kavanaugh was drunk when he assaulted her. While people sometimes try the drunk defense, it is usually not particularly effective. It is, however, a matter of philosophical interest, if only because John Locke considered the subject in his discussion of personal identity. Locke argued, at length, that a person is their consciousness. Roughly put, memory is the basis of personal identity. Locke carefully distinguishes being the same person from being the same man. Being the same man for Locke involves being a collection of matter bound together by the same life; this could be looked at as biological rather than personal identity. When Locke considers the drunk defense, he notes that drunkenness could result in a person being unable to remember what was done. And if the person did not remember, then there would be no continuity of personal identity—thus, they would not be that person. Locke does note that human law, which must rely on the available facts, does not. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

Consciousness and Meaning: Selected Essays

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2018.09.24 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Brian Loar, Consciousness and Meaning: Selected Essays, Katalin Balog and Stephanie Beardman (eds.), Oxford University Press, 2017, 330pp., $75.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780199673353. Reviewed by Joseph Levine, University of Massachusetts Amherst Brian Loar died in 2014 after a long illness. His widow, Stephanie Beardman, one of the two editors of this collection, explains that before his illness incapacitated him, Loar had arranged to have a collection of his papers published. Though he didn't live to see the project come to fruition, we are all grateful to the editors for making these seminal papers available in one volume. The collection has two sections, Part I on "Philosophy of Language" and Part II on "Philosophy of Mind". Most of the papers in the Language section were published before those in the Mind section, perhaps reflecting a shift in emphasis in Loar's work over the years (though, as I... . . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Are spirits in space? Exploding spirits and absolute theories of space and time

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Humans exist in space. Our bodies are three dimensional: we have length, breadth, and depth. In the 17th century, philosophers worried about what else exists in space. Teapots. Trees. Planets. All these things seem to exist in space too. What about spirits?Spirits are souls, the source of a person’s consciousness and emotions. Descartes characterised spirits as ‘thinking things’. Spirits aren’t solid or blocky like material bodies. Spirits are immaterial. Most Judaeo-Christian systems believe our spirits will survive bodily death. In the afterlife, our spirits will join God, an eternal and infinite spirit.Spirits seem quite different from human bodies, teapots, or trees. This led philosophers to ask, “Are spirits in space?” Until the 17th century, thinkers generally held one of two theories.Nullibism claims spirits do not exist in space. Spirits are utterly unlike human bodies or trees, and they are non-spatial. An attraction of this view is its simplicity: spirits aren’t in space,. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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