Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

“To Teachers Who Hope to Inspire Their Students” (and other poems by Felicia Nimue Ackerman)

The following is a guest post*  of poems  by Felicia Nimue Ackerman, professor of philosophy at Brown University.  To Teachers Who Hope to Inspire Their Students I never had a teacher more inspiring than Ms. Burr. She led me to resolve that I would never be like her. + + + + + To Those Who Think the Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living Lloyd always acts without thinking. Reflection is hardly for him. Lillian’s mind has been shrinking. Dementia is making her dim. Both find enjoyment in living.  So don’t be so ready to scoff.  Why are you so unforgiving?  How harsh to be writing them off. + + + + + To Cynthia Ozick**  Aesthetics and logic, Injustice and war: Philosophers ponder These topics and more. We needn’t relinquish This varying focus. Our field would be meager With only one locus. **The novelist and essayist Cynthia Ozick says, “Novelists, poets, philosophers and theologians agree: Mortality, that relentless law of universal carnage, is the sole worthy human preoccupation.” + + + + + In Praise of Campus Culture Wars*** A campus that is truly free Has denizens who disagree. There isn’t any culture war In Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.   ***A slightly different version of this poem appeared in The Wall Street Journal, October 11, 2018.    The post “To Teachers Who Hope to Inspire Their Students” (and other poems by Felicia Nimue Ackerman) appeared first on Daily [More]

Film, Art, and the Third Culture: A Naturalized Aesthetics of Film

2019.08.23 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Murray Smith, Film, Art, and the Third Culture: A Naturalized Aesthetics of Film, Oxford University Press, 2017, 294pp., $46.95 (hbk), ISBN 9780198790648. Reviewed by Trevor Ponech, McGill University At the end of his fascinating insider's tour of a third research culture at a crossroads of the humanities and natural sciences, Murray Smith reminds readers of a guiding precept that many in his core audience of philosophical aestheticians and cognitivist cinema scholars will have already endorsed before the expedition began. "Good empirical research," he says, "requires attention to its conceptual scaffolding, and good philosophical theorizing demands alertness to the relevance of empirical findings about the world" (223). The kind of regulated cross-border trade Smith envisages is partly facilitated by a recent wave of cognitive neuroscientific experimental investigations of movie spectatorship, including studies of empathy and emotional responsivity. Smith's "third culture" recognizes that our experiences of artworks are natural phenomena. It does not... Read [More]

Mike’s Free Encounter #8: Bonewalkers

This is the eighth in an ongoing series aimed to provide the overworked DM with ready-to run encounters. The PCs encounter orcs from the necromantic Bonewalker tribe exploring the ruins of a temple. A CR 2+ encounter. The encounter includes: History/Background for the Bonewalker tribe. Encounter guide. New Monster: Bonewalker. New Monster: Boneguard. New Magic [More]

Fitch’s Paradox of Knowability

[Revised entry by Berit Brogaard and Joe Salerno on August 22, 2019. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Fitch's paradox of knowability (aka the knowability paradox or Church-Fitch Paradox) concerns any theory committed to the thesis that all truths are knowable. Historical examples of such theories arguably include Michael Dummett's semantic antirealism (i.e., the view that any truth is verifiable), mathematical constructivism (i.e., the view that the truth of a mathematical formula depends on the mental constructions mathematicians use to prove those formulas), Hilary Putnam's internal realism (i.e., the view that truth is what we would believe in ideal epistemic circumstances), [More]

John Niemeyer Findlay

[New Entry by Douglas Lackey on August 22, 2019.] J. N. Findlay was a twentieth century South African philosopher who taught at universities in South Africa, New Zealand, England, and North America. He was respected for his analytical abilities, and is credited by Arthur Prior with being the founder of tense logic. In the philosophy of mind and language, he maintained the tradition of Brentano, Meinong, and Husserl against the contrary tradition of Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein. In a series of Gifford lectures, he argued for a mystical metaphysics that was very much influenced [More]

I still have problems understanding why external world skepticism is a thing in

Read another response about Knowledge Knowledge Share I still have problems understanding why external world skepticism is a thing in philosophy. I've heard so many hypotheses and they all seem to revolve around the idea that consciousness is a "simulatable". Here's what I don't understand: The keywords are: Consciousness: the state of being aware of and responsive to one's surroundings. Simulation: imitation of something else. Simulation, by definition, is the imitation of something else. The "something else" in this case is consciousness. If it's the imitation of consciousness then it cannot be the real one. How on earth can consciousness not be real? It seems to me that by simulation they are trying to say that there is "illusory simulated consciousness" and "real non-simulated consciousness". How on earth can consciousness be illusory/simulated? A lot of people then say: external world skepticism is skepticism about perception not consciousness. It seems to me that perception and consciousness are more or less the same thing. Consciousness is the general state of being aware of and responsive to one's surroundings. Perception is the specific response to one's surroundings or, in other words, "consciousness of" something specific. I don't understand. Is it possible that skepticism is finally [More]

Democracy, Justice, and Equality in Ancient Greece: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives

2019.08.22 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Georgios Anagnostopoulos and Gerasimos Santas (eds.), Democracy, Justice, and Equality in Ancient Greece: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives, Springer, 2019, 316pp., $139.99 (hbk), ISBN 9783319963129. Reviewed by David J. Riesbeck, Tempe Preparatory Academy The ideas of democracy, justice, and equality were central to political thought in ancient Greece and remain so for us today. Yet the vast cultural differences between antiquity and modernity inevitably put some distance between ancient concerns and our own. Nonetheless, historical and cultural perspective plays an indispensable role in self-understanding, and this volume seeks to offer just such perspective. Ten of its thirteen chapters focus on Plato, Aristotle, or both. The emphasis therefore falls decidedly on the philosophical rather than the historical, though most of the papers give some attention to matters of context. The quality of the contributions varies, but several chapters provide novel insight or especially helpful overviews of their topics. Much of the volume will be of interest only... Read [More]