Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

The Corona Crisis: Fighting the Authoritarian Response

At least 20 thousand people (some say many more) marched in Berlin on August 1st 2020 to protest against the restrictions imposed by governments against the Covid-19 epidemic. Unanimously branded as "criminals," "neo-nazis," and "idiots" by the Western media, their presence is nevertheless an indication of a growing movement of resistance against the authoritarian crackdown in Europe. As I am writing, the Covid epidemics has been over for at least two months in Europe. In the US, instead, the epidemic is over in the large cities while another wave of infections has been sweeping the central states, only now showing signs of abating. The result is a different perception of the situation. In the US, the progressive movement is still trying to use the epidemic as an anti-Trump weapon, accusing the president of not having been authoritarian enough and not having imposed even more draconian measures. In Europe, instead, the public is starting to perceive that nobody is dying of Covid-19 anymore. It is still an embryonic movement, routinely demonized and criminalized by the government propaganda machine, but it is clearly rising. The recent manifestation in Berlin of tens of thousands of people (perhaps many more) is a clear indication of this trend. Earlier on, we had seen something similar in Italy. You will be probably baffled by this interpretation of the Berlin demonstration, especially if you live in the US or if you routinely watch TV or read newspapers in a Western [More]

Forgotten Danish philosopher K E. Løgstrup

Very little attention has been paid to Danish philosopher Knud Ejler Løgstrup in the English-speaking word until recently. His philosophical interests focused on three strains in particular: ethics, phenomenology, and theological philosophy. He studied theology at the University of Copenhagen from 1923 until 1930, though was inclined towards the philosophical aspects of the subject. He […] The post Forgotten Danish philosopher K E. Løgstrup appeared first on OUPblog.         Related StoriesPublic health and Georges Canguilhem’s philosophy of medicineWhat we can learn from ancient Greeks about tyrannyExploring hypothetical [More]

Is Morality All About Cooperation?

Morality can often seem pretty diverse. There are moral rules governing our physical and sexual interactions with other human beings; there are moral rules relating to how we treat and respect property; there are moral rules concerning the behaviour of officials in government office; and, according to some religions, there are even moral rules for how we prepare and eat food. Is there anything that unites all these moral rules? Is there a single explanatory root for morality as a whole? According to the theory of Morality As Cooperation (MAC for short), there is. Originally developed by Oliver Scott Curry, the MAC claims that all human moral rules have their origin in attempts to solve problems of cooperation. Since there are many such problems, and many potential solutions to those problems, there are consequently many diverse forms of morality. Nevertheless, despite this diversity, if you unpick the basic logic of all moral rules, you can link them back to an attempt to solve a problem of cooperation. This is obviously a bold theory. It is highly reductive in the sense that it holds that all of human morality can be reduced to a single underlying phenomenon: cooperation. People will rightly ask if the diverse forms of human morality really are reducible in this way. Does MAC effectively capture the lived reality of human moral systems? Does it simply explain away the diversity and plurality? These are legitimate questions. Nevertheless, if true, MAC has some exciting [More]