Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Spinoza on Reason

2019.04.25 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Michael LeBuffe, Spinoza on Reason, Oxford University Press, 2018, 217pp., $74.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780190845803. Reviewed by John Grey, Michigan State University Even the most die-hard Spinozist will admit that it's not always clear how Spinoza's various claims about reason -- about its nature, its power, and its limits -- are supposed to fit together. On the face of it, many of his different uses of the term 'reason' have little in common with one another. When he sets out the metaphysical foundations of his system, the reason for something is just its cause. But then, in his treatment of epistemology, 'reason' refers to a certain sort of theoretical knowledge that we have -- for example, that all things share in certain universal logical, mathematical, or physical properties. Yet again, in his ethical theory, 'reason' refers to a body of practical knowledge,... Read [More]

Explaining Freud’s concept of the uncanny

According to his friend and biographer Ernest Jones Sigmund Freud was fond regaling him with “strange or uncanny experiences with patients.” Freud had a “particular relish” for such stories. 2019 marks the centenary of the publication of Freud’s essay, “The ‘Uncanny.’” Although much has been written on the essay during that time, Freud’s concept of the uncanny is often not well understood. The post Explaining Freud’s concept of the uncanny appeared first on OUPblog.         Related StoriesWhen the movie is not like the book: faithfulness in adaptationsWhat can we learn from meme culture?12 of the most important books for women in [More]

Heidegger: Phenomenology, Ecology, Politics

2019.04.24 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Michael Marder, Heidegger: Phenomenology, Ecology, Politics, University of Minnesota Press, 2018, 195pp., $25.00 (pbk), ISBN 9781517905033. Reviewed by Wayne Froman, George Mason University Michael Marder's book is particularly thought-provoking. It comprises an Introduction and three Parts, each including three chapters. The first chapter of Part I ("Phenomenology") is "'Higher Than Actuality': The Possibility of Phenomenology." The reference is to Heidegger's phenomenological observation in Being and Time that possibility stands higher than actuality. Possibility here pertains to (1) Dasein (the type of entity that we are in that we ex-ist), given that possibilities are an intrinsic feature of Dasein's "being-in-the-world;" (2) phenomenology, where the specific reference is to Heidegger's opening of phenomenology as developed by Husserl to what Heidegger calls fundamental ontology; and (3) to the Destruktion of the tradition, in that it aims at making possible another beginning... Read [More]

Heraclitus: The Inception of Occidental Thinking; and, Logic: Heraclitus's Doctrine of the Logos

2019.04.23 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Martin Heidegger, Heraclitus: The Inception of Occidental Thinking; and, Logic: Heraclitus's Doctrine of the Logos, Julia Goesser Assaiante and S. Montgomery Ewegen (trs.), Bloomsbury, 2018, 309pp., $43.99 (pbk), ISBN 9780826462411. Reviewed by Richard Capobianco, Stonehill College It is arguable that the core of the later Heidegger's thinking on "being" (often written as "Being" in the Heidegger scholarship) may be found in his commentaries on Parmenides, Heraclitus, and Anaximander from his extraordinarily creative period of the 1940s. Admittedly, Heidegger's readings of these earliest Greek thinkers are highly speculative -- and they continue to provoke scholarly challenges -- yet what is undeniable is their originality and brilliance. Heidegger found in the fragments of these early thinkers a manifold of "names" for being itself (Sein selbst): physis, alētheia, zoē, hen, kosmos, apeiron, the primordial Logos, and so forth. For Heidegger, each of these Greek Ur-words named the earliest and most fundamental Western understanding of "being" as the unitary temporal... Read [More]

Al-Farabi’s Philosophy of Logic and Language

[New Entry by Wilfrid Hodges and Therese-Anne Druart on April 16, 2019.] Abū Naṣr al-Fārābī (Iraq, c. 870 - c. 950) devoted his career to introducing the work of Aristotle to educated Arabic-speaking citizens of the Islamic Empire. Several of his major writings are lost in whole or part. But many of his books explaining Aristotle's Organon (the collection of Aristotle's writings on logic and related subjects) have survived, and the number of them available in Western translations is increasing steadily. For general information [More]

Qing Philosophy

[New Entry by On-cho Ng on April 16, 2019.] Qing philosophy refers to the topography of the intellectual terrain of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century China, which sported coherent patterns and modes of intellection and argumentation among the texts and writings of the scholars in the period. In accordance with the current historiographical convention, the time-span fell within the so-called "late imperial" era that encompassed the transition from the Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644) to the Qing (1644 - 1911), as well as the first half of the Qing [More]