Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Ramsey and Intergenerational Welfare Economics

[New Entry by Partha Dasgupta on June 1, 2019.] How should we conceptualise human well-being over time and across generations? How ought the interests of people in the distant future to be taken into account when we make our own decisions? How much of its output should a nation invest for the future? In which assets should that investment be made? What should be the balance among private, public, and communitarian investments in the overall investment that a generation makes for the future? How much should the world spend [More]

Infinity in Early Modern Philosophy

2019.05.26 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Ohad Nachtomy and Reed Winegar (eds.), Infinity in Early Modern Philosophy, Springer, 2018, 211pp., $119.99 (hbk), 9783319945552. Reviewed by Adam Harmer, University of California, Riverside As José Benardete observes, "the concept of the infinite is found to impinge on almost the whole schedule of ontological questions" (Infinity, viii). This is especially true for the early moderns, for whom questions like the following were still very much in play: Does the world have a beginning? Are there bounds to the spatial extent of the world? How does an imperfect creation flow from an infinitely perfect creator? How does the infinite divisibility of the continuum relate to the structure of the material world? How are human actions related to the (possibly) infinite chain of causes or influences that shape our behaviors? Far from being an esoteric topic, which is best relegated to the outskirts of metaphysics or... Read [More]

When Do We Become Persons?

A probate judge in Alabama has made an unprecedented ruling that a six-week-old embryo has legal rights. The man pursuing the wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of “his deceased child” is suing the clinic at which his then girlfriend had an abortion and the pharmaceutical company that manufactured the abortifacient pill that she took there.In 2016, Ryan Magers was 19 and unemployed, and his then girlfriend was 16 and a high school senior. According to the girl’s father, Magers pressured her into having sex. When she discovered she was pregnant, she let Magers know. He told her not to have an abortion. However, with the approval of her parents, she decided to have one. On February 10, 2017, six weeks into the pregnancy, she went to the Alabama Women’s Center, and took the abortifacient pill. Two years later, in January 2019, Magers, assisted by the anti-abortion organisation Personhood Alabama, filed his petition to serve as the representative of the estate of “his deceased child, BABY [More]