Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

The truth about ‘Latinx’ [a revision]

In recent years, the term Latinx has become popular in academic settings in English to designate a group of people without reference to gender, which is designated by -o and -a endings in some Romance languages. While academics and Twitter users have begun to use the term, only 2% of the U.S. population actually identifies with this word. Latinx has become so widely used that Elizabeth Warren has taken to using it on the campaign trail. The post The truth about ‘Latinx’ [a revision] appeared first on [More]

Republicans & Conspiracy Theories

During the Trump impeachment hearing some of Trump’s Republican defenders in congress advanced various conspiracy theories. Trump himself is quite the aficionado of conspiracy theories, and is well known for pushing the absurd birtherism.  During her testimony Dr. Fiona Hill pointed out that these theories had been soundly debunked and also chastised the House members [More]

James Griffin (1933-2019)

James Griffin, a philosopher who spent much of his career at Oxford University, died last Thursday. Professor Griffin began lecturing at Oxford University in 1960. He was appointed as the White’s Professor in Moral Philosophy in 1996. He retired from that position in 2000 and then served as a distinguished visiting professor of philosophy at Rutgers University, an adjunct professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics in Australia, and as a distinguished research fellow at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. He received his doctorate at Oxford and his bachelor’s degree at Yale. Professor Griffin was known for his work in ethics and political philosophy. His last book was What Can Philosophy Contribute to Ethics?. You can learn more about his research here. There is a brief memorial notice posted by Keble College, his academic home for 30 of his years at Oxford. (via Matthew Liao) The post James Griffin (1933-2019) appeared first on Daily [More]

Advocating for Tech Firms to Hire Philosophers

I have spent the better half of the last two years trying to convince companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, DeepMind, and OpenAI that they need to hire philosophers. That’s Tobias Rees, Reid Hoffman Professor of Humanities at The New School and director of “The Transformations of the Human” program at The Berggruen Institute. In an essay at Quartz, Rees writes that tech companies “have helped create realities that we can no longer navigate with the old understanding of what it means to be human”: We need new ones—for ourselves, so that we are able to navigate and regulate the new worlds we live in, but also for the engineers who create tech products, tools, and platforms, so that they can live up to the philosophical stakes of their work. To make that possible, we need philosophers and artists working alongside computer and software engineers. Rees has in mind developments in artificial intelligence and related areas. He says: The vast majority of cutting-edge AI research is carried out in companies. The problem is that most of the people who lead these companies don’t know that they are radically reinventing our definition of what it means to be human. They think of themselves as just people who work at tech companies. One of the major ambitions of my work is to change this. I want these labs and companies to understand their enormous philosophical responsibility: the self-aware design of new possibilities of being human and of [More]

Nietzsche on the Decadence and Flourishing of Culture

2019.11.14 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Andrew Huddleston, Nietzsche on the Decadence and Flourishing of Culture, Oxford University Press, 2019, 191pp., $60.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198823674. Reviewed by Brian Leiter, University of Chicago This slim, intelligent volume -- an outgrowth of the author's doctoral dissertation -- raises a nice question that has received little attention in recent scholarship: is culture -- meaning "the collective life of a people, understood as akin to a great work of art" (3) -- something that continues to have "intrinsic" or "final" value for Nietzsche, beyond his early work? Andrew Huddleston argues against "individualist" readers of Nietzsche (Alexander Nehamas and this reviewer are targets) who hold that after the early 1870s, he changes his view and "Instead of reposing his hopes in culture . . . comes to occupy himself with the fate of a few great individuals" like Beethoven and Goethe (1). Against this, Huddleston argues that Nietzsche continues "to... Read [More]

Suppose I am closed in a room with an unconscious man who drank too much. It is

Read another response about EthicsShare Ethics Read another response by Allen Stairs Suppose I am closed in a room with an unconscious man who drank too much. It is a hot day and I try to keep the window open, to get some air, but it does not stay so. Case 1: I use this man's body (one of his feet) to prevent the window from getting closed. Case 2: I get sexually aroused and I have sex with this man. In both cases, he does not wake up, and he gets some bruises from my acting, but he comes to know what I did only some days later. Morally speaking, it seems that what I did in Case 1 was a minor offence (if it is an offence at all), but what I did in Case 2 was a serious crime, it was rape. But what difference between the cases justifies these different moral judgments? In both cases I used a man as a tool to advance my interests, I did something that he would probably not want, and I caused him some bruises. The difference, I suppose, is that he would *see* or *feel* that my action in Case 2 was more serious, more offensive. And that "society" would see or feel the same. But, morally speaking, can my action BE more serious or offensive only because other people see it [More]

Quitting Facebook

I just quit Facebook today. It wasn’t that big a part of my life but now that I’ve quit it I realize how much of my cyborg life it was. Just like my phone. I might not use it that much but it is always there. And now FB no longer is, not the scores … Continue reading Quitting [More]