Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Kant and Parfit: The Groundwork of Morals

2019.04.22 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Husain Sarkar, Kant and Parfit: The Groundwork of Morals, Routledge, 2018, 375pp., $150.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781138351479. Reviewed by Paul Schofield, Bates College That the ideas of Immanuel Kant may be enlisted to derive a version of ethical consequentialism is, famously, the core argument of Derek Parfit's 2011 masterwork On What Matters, Volume 1. It's a novel and surprising argument for a familiar philosophical view, but in the course of developing it, Parfit claims to demonstrate something positively revolutionary. Namely, he claims that three types of moral theory typically thought to be in tension with one another -- Kantianism, contractualism, and consequentialism -- may be consistent after all. Proponents of these theories are merely climbing different sides of the same mountain, headed toward a common terminus, destined for reunion at the summit. But this happy ending is not... Read [More]


2019.04.20 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Mark LeBar (ed.), Justice, Oxford University Press, 2018, 292pp., $29.95 (hbk), ISBN 9780190631758. Reviewed by Alejandra Mancilla, University of Oslo The Rawlsian motto that "justice is the first virtue of social institutions" has had such a pervasive influence since A Theory of Justice was published, in 1971, that nowadays the standard way of thinking about justice is at a societal scale, in connection with the state and the way it is organized. This has obscured the fact that, historically, justice was understood primarily as an individual virtue, on a par with other virtues like beneficence, courage and temperance. Starting from this diagnosis, this collection seeks to address this relative neglect of justice as a quality of character to be cultivated and perfected, and it does so from a wide array of disciplines. As part of... Read [More]

Hobbes on Politics and Religion

2019.04.19 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Laurens van Apeldoorn and Robin Douglass (eds.), Hobbes on Politics and Religion, Oxford University Press, 2018, 297pp., $70.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198803409. Reviewed by Stewart Duncan, University of Florida Hobbes's political thought is well known. His discussions of religious issues, such as those in part 3 of Leviathan, tend to attract less attention. But those discussions were clearly of some importance to Hobbes -- thus all the space they occupy in Leviathan -- and interact in complex ways with his political thought. This volume aims to look at those interactions, and at "Hobbes's religious politics, rather than his own religious beliefs, or lack thereof" (4). In their introduction, the editors quote A. P. Martinich remarking that "most Hobbes scholars are secularists" (4), and noting the consequences of this for the way people write about Hobbes. It's definitely positive to have people writing about the... Read [More]