Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

The Types and Harms of Victim-Blaming

I have recently been reading up about the ethics of victim-blaming. Victim-blaming is a prevalent phenomenon. It crops up most controversially in cases of sexual assault, and also features in hot-button debates about poverty and police shootings. These controversial cases are not, however, the only ones in which the phenomenon arises. Victim-blaming, of a sort, features prominently in private law, particularly in personal injuries litigation where people who suffer harm as a result of the negligence of others have their compensation reduced (or eliminated) as a result of their own perceived negligence. It also crops up frequently in our day-to-day lives. I suspect many of us have criticised or have been tempted to criticise our friends and colleagues for failing to take adequate precautions to ensure the safety and security of themselves or their families or their possessions. In certain circumstances, this kind of criticism can amount to victim-blaming.From an intellectual perspective, victim-blaming is interesting because it implicates many important philosophical concepts. These include responsibility, blame, innocence, power, oppression, and distributive justice/injustice. This means that it is not only a practically important topic, but also one that raises many fascinating and complex intellectual questions. The common intuition among people I have talked to is that victim-blaming is always a bad thing, but if you read the literature you find a slightly more [More]

Affects, Actions and Passions in Spinoza: The Unity of Body and Mind

2019.08.12 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Chantal Jaquet, Affects, Actions and Passions in Spinoza: The Unity of Body and Mind, Tatiana Reznichenko (tr.), Edinburgh University Press, 2018, 168pp., $105.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781474433181. Reviewed by Amy M. Schmitter, The University of Alberta Chantal Jaquet's L'unité du corps et de l'esprit. Affects, actions passions chez Spinoza, recently translated into English by Tatiana Reznichenko, is a short book with a bold claim that: attributing a "parallelism" to Spinoza distorts his conception of the relation of mind and body. Instead we should speak of mind and body as "equal" [aequalis] and the same [or 'at once,' simul], both in their power of acting and in the order and connection of modes under the attributes of thinking and extension. Parallelism has been one way of understanding the unity of mind and body without reduction to one or the other side. Jaquet offers a revisionist way of conceiving that unity by looking at what Spinoza means by 'affect' [affectus] and how... Read [More]

Postcard from Suffolk

Off to Suffolk for a few days, to stay near Aldeburgh while building works make our house uninhabitable. Little more than ninety minutes away from Cambridge, but another world. Stern instructions to self: no logic book for a week, no … Continue reading → The post Postcard from Suffolk appeared first on Logic [More]


Job List:  Americas Name of institution:  Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Town:  Santiago de Chile Country:  Chile Job Description:  The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC), and the Departments of Philosophy, Medicine, Social Sciences, Law, Theology and Biology, which are part of the Center for Bioethics, invite nominations and applications for an interdisciplinary full-time (44hrs) Assistant or Associate Professor in Bioethics, starting from March 2020. The successful candidate is expected to conduct the main part of the assignment in the Center for Bioethics (PUC), although his/her affiliation will be with the Department associated to his/her disciplinary [More]

A Defense of Simulated Experience: New Noble Lies

2019.08.10 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Mark Silcox, A Defense of Simulated Experience: New Noble Lies, Routledge, 2019, 155pp., $140.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780367077532. Mark Silcox's short but wide-ranging book defends a novel account of the nature and value of simulated experience. The first half (Chapters 1 and 2) aims to define simulated experience and provide 'a partial survey of some of the most interesting and controversial varieties' (40). A two-page Interlude then contends that because no 'absolutely uncontroversial' descriptive definition exists, simulated experiences are better understood as normative kinds united by 'a very distinctive normative character' (4). The second half (Chapters 3 and 4) aims to specify that normative character and how it should inform political theory and practice. Chapter 3 argues that The most fundamental, defining feature shared by all simulated experiences . . . is that political actors have a special... Read [More]