Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

&ldquo;Let me confess something.&rdquo; &ldquo;Let me summarize.&rdquo; &ldquo;Let me give a couple of examples.&rdquo; <strong>Writers don't ask permission</strong>. It&rsquo;s your book, do what you want &mdash; just don't do that

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“Let me confess something.” “Let me summarize.” “Let me give a couple of examples.” Writers don't ask permission. It’s your book, do what you want — just don't do that

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Love as Human Freedom

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2017.11.28 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Paul A. Kottman, Love as Human Freedom, Stanford University Press, 2017, 214 pp., $24.95 (pbk), ISBN 9781503602274. Reviewed by Catherine Wilson, University of York/The Graduate Center CUNY "Sooner or later," the hero of Robert Musil's The Man without Qualities muses to his sister Agathe, "there will be an era of simple unassuming sexual comradeship, when boy and girl will stand, reconciled and uncomprehending, gazing at an ancient heap of broken clockwork springs that was once what made Man and Woman tick" [1] This book argues that we are getting there, or at least that many of the preconditions of getting there have been satisfied. "I will offer," Kottman states in the Prologue, "an account of lovemaking as a distinct world-historical achievement, one that can help us to explain enormous socio-historical shifts, from the increasing social... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Experimental Metaphysics

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2017.11.27 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews David Rose (ed.), Experimental Metaphysics, Bloomsbury, 2017, 242pp., $91.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781474278614. Reviewed by David Mark Kovacs, Tel Aviv University This book is the latest in a series from Bloomsbury on experimental philosophy and its applications to specific areas. Experimental philosophy started in the early 2000s as a radical movement seeking to replace “armchair” reliance on intuitions with a systematic collection of data about them, basically with the tools and methods of cognitive science. (“Seeking to replace” may be an overly diplomatic expression; some probably still remember the image of the burning armchair.) As the movement gained traction this radical rhetoric gradually tapered off, and the results of experimental work are now increasingly incorporated into many mainstream areas of philosophy, for instance, epistemology and the philosophy of action. Yet, while empirical methods per se. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Semantics, Metasemantics, Aboutness

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2017.11.26 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Ori Simchen, Semantics, Metasemantics, Aboutness, Oxford University Press, 2017, 159 pp., $60.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198892147. Reviewed by Derek Ball, University of St Andrews This book is a study of the consequences of different metasemantic views for debates about the indeterminacy of reference, self-reference, and legal interpretation. As Simchen sees things, the leading question of metasemantics is: "What determines that expressions have their semantic significance?" (2), and the main divide in metasemantic theorizing is between productivist ways of answering this question -- on which semantic significance is determined by conditions associated with the production of the significant item -- and interpretationist ways of answering it -- on which semantic significance is determined by "conditions of interpretative consumption" (4). Simchen sees views that try to explain semantic significance in terms of. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Art & Assault I: Money

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  2017 saw many once powerful men brought down by accusations of sexual harassment or assault. Among these men are Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein was fired from his company and Netflix has announced that it will not continue the wildly successful Netflix series House of Cards with Spacey. While the misdeeds of these men raise many issues relevant to philosophy, one interesting subject is the impact of the misdeeds of those involved in the arts on their works. This is, of course, an old topic—philosophers have been discussing the relevance of the ethics of the artist to the aesthetics of their works. However, it is still worth discussing and is obviously relevant today. I will begin by getting some easy matters out of the way. One area of concern that is more a matter of psychology than philosophy is the impact of the artist’s behavior on the audience. To be specific, the experience of the consumer of the art can be affected by what they believe about the ethics of. . .

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