Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Normative Externalism

2020.05.09 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Brian Weatherson, Normative Externalism, Oxford University Press, 2019, 245pp., $70.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780199696536. Reviewed by Bruce Russell, Wayne State University In this book, Brian Weatherson defends a view about what is important when it comes to evaluating actions and beliefs (and also agents and advice). He writes: I'm going to defend a fairly simple, and fairly extreme, position. It isn't a bad-making feature, in any way, of a belief that the believer thinks it is irrational, nor is it a bad-making feature of believers that they have beliefs that they think are irrational . . . The general principle throughout is to motivate and defend a picture where what matters is conformity to the actual rules -- be they rules of action or rules of belief -- rather than conformity to what one takes (or even rationally takes) the rules... Read [More]

Group Duties: Their Existence and Implications for Individuals

2020.05.08 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Stephanie Collins, Group Duties: Their Existence and Implications for Individuals, Oxford University Press, 2019, 218pp., $65.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198840275. Reviewed by Megs S. Gendreau, Centre College As Stephanie Collins notes in the opening lines of her book, we (as philosophers, but also as members of political, civic, religious and other communities) frequently assume that groups can have moral responsibilities. In her extraordinarily in-depth and well-researched exploration of group duties, Collins aims to understand precisely what we mean by such attributions as a means to better understand the nature of groups, but also to think about how membership in a group generates duties for individuals. This is accomplished using a "Tripartite Model" dividing groups into combinations, coalitions, and collectives. Only those groups that are united under both shared goals and a shared decision-making procedure (collectives) can properly be said to have such duties. In any other circumstance, duties do not... Read [More]

Intro to Philosophy Class 2

This is the content for the second class. Videos Video 6: Misconceptions about Philosophy 1 Video 9: Argument Basics 2 Analogical Argument Video 7: Misconceptions about Philosophy 2 Video 10: Argument Basics 3 Argument by/from Example Video 8: Argument Basics 1 Video 11: Argument Basics 4: Argument from Authority     [More]

Small deaths and the real death: how humans are failing

Guest post by Federico TabelliniThis article was originally published last year on the Italian blog ‘Effetto Cassandra’. I repropose it here because I think the coronavirus crisis has made it somehow more relevant. The current situation raises new questions: is this new crisis just another ‘small death’ on a much wider scale? Or is it an opportunity to highlight the global ecological crisis we’ve been ignoring for decades? If it’s the latter, will the lights turn off once the emergency is over? Will the world return once more to blissful ignorance?Seneca used to say that death, real death, is a process of small deaths lived day by day. Yet people deal with the real death only when its effects come to a head when the proverbial last straw breaks the camel’s back, and the camel falls upon us with all its weight. Then, yes, we notice both the straw and the camel. Until then, however – or perhaps we should say, until now – the small deaths dominate our thoughts.The difference between these small deaths and true death lies in three factors: spatial proximity, temporal proximity, and speed of execution. What's near worries us more than what's far, the present issues are more important than the future ones, the event more than the process. Such is human nature. We are biologically programmed to pay more attention to current events, the forthcoming ordeal, the tragedy that we can experience first-hand. We mourn the tree burning in the garden while the forest on the horizon is [More]

My question is whether or not beliefs require objects. Put another way, is it

Read another response about MindShare Mind Read another response by Allen Stairs My question is whether or not beliefs require objects. Put another way, is it possible to have a belief about “nothing” or about a negative, as opposed to affirmative, proposition? This question came up in a discussion about the definition of Atheism. Essentially, is Atheism either A) a belief that there are no Gods; or B) a lack of belief (or denial) in the existence of at least one God? Thank [More]