Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy


[New Entry by Neil Dalal on October 4, 2021.] The classical Indian philosophy of Advaita Vedānta articulates a philosophical position of radical nondualism, a revisionary worldview which it derives from the ancient Upaniṣadic texts. According to Advaita Vedāntins, the Upaniṣads reveal a fundamental principle of nonduality termed "brahman," which is the reality of all things. Advaitins understand brahman as transcending individuality and empirical plurality. They seek to establish that the essential core of one's [More]

Ruling out Helium-Maximizing

Joe Carlsmith asks: is it possible you should maximize helium?  Robust realism per se places no constraints on what the normative truths might end up being.  So, in particular, there's no guarantee that what we objectively ought to do would hold any appeal whatsoever to us, even on ideal reflection -- the objective requirements could be anything!  (Or so you might assume.)But I think that's not quite right.  Metaphysically, of course, the fundamental normative truths are non-contingent, so they could not really be anything other than what they in fact are. Epistemically, the fundamental normative truths are a priori (if knowable at all), so it's not clear that erroneous views are "possible" in any deep sense.  A somewhat wider range of views may be "possible" in the superficial sense that we don't currently know them to be false, but unless you're a normative skeptic, we can currently know that pain is bad and that maximizing helium is not the ultimate good.It's an interesting question how we can have any normative knowledge at all. (I offer my answer here.) But given that we can, it's important not to lose sight of this fact when thinking about the implications of non-naturalism.  For while the "non-natural" status of normative properties does not constrain their application, it doesn't follow that they really could apply to just anything (either metaphysically or epistemically).Compare two very [More]

God, Suffering, and the Value of Free Will

2021.10.07 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Laura W. Ekstrom, God, Suffering, and the Value of Free Will, Oxford University Press, 2021, 238pp., $99.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780197556412. Reviewed by Kevin Timpe, Calvin University Laura Ekstrom’s latest book provides extended engagement with the contemporary literature on the problems of evil. The book’s primary focus is to “show the extent and power of arguments from evil, while giving a thorough critical examination of attempts to answer them” (1). In this aim, she is successful. Unlike many atheists, Ekstrom thinks that the issues warrant a careful examination of the best case for theism. She has no truck with any kind of “steadfast commitment to God in isolation from reasoned debate” or with a “fervent conviction in the non-existence of God coupled with inattentiveness to careful philosophical responses on the part of reflective theists to arguments for atheism” (1). While I have different convictions than Ekstrom does and evaluate some of the arguments... Read [More]

CFP: College Sports and Ethics

This is an open call for College Sports and Ethics, an edited collection to be published as part of Lexington Books’ Studies in the Philosophy of Sport series.This new anthology, edited by Chad Carlson and Shawn E. Klein, focuses on foundational ethical issues in college sports, including the fit of intercollegiate sports with the university and the question of professionalism. It will also tackle several important ethical topics that pertain particularly to college sports, such as athletes’ rights and recruitment. This edited collection brings together top scholars of sport to examine college sports and analyze the important ethical issues in college sport. We invite you to submit a proposal to contribute as well.There are many possible topics to focus on and we are open to almost any topic so long as it directly addresses a normative issue within intercollegiate athletics. We are looking for papers that focus on the particular ways an issue affects or arises in college sports specifically.Topics of particular interest or need:Athlete mental healthAcademic concerns in connection to athleticsRecruitment of athletesReligious issues impacting college athleticsTeam names/mascotsSpectatorship/fandomThese suggestions are not exhaustive and we welcome proposals on many other topics as well. Feel free to reach out to us before abstract submission to discuss a possible topic.To contribute, please email the following:An abstract (300-500 words)A CVSubmit as a PDFEmail by Nov 1, [More]