Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Let people change their minds

Everyone does it. Some people do it several times a day. Others, weekly, monthly, or even just a few times in their lives. We would be suspicious, and rightly so, of someone who claimed never to have done it. Some have even become famous for doing it. Making a public show of it can make […] The post Let people change their minds appeared first on OUPblog.         Related StoriesHow fake things can still help us learnHow women can support each other to strive for gender equalityThe remarkable life of philosopher Frank [More]

Nietzsche's Moral Psychology

2020.03.09 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Mark Alfano, Nietzsche's Moral Psychology, Cambridge University Press, 2019, 299pp., $99.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781107074156. Reviewed by Mattia Riccardi, University of Porto After decades of neglect, work on Nietzsche's philosophical psychology in general, and on his moral psychology in particular, has been flourishing. Mark Alfano's monograph is an important contribution to that ongoing debate. More specifically, Alfano can (and does) claim originality for systematically adopting a digital humanities approach, on the one hand, and for putting forward a distinctive virtue-theoretic reading of Nietzsche's moral psychology, on the other hand. In fact, a semantic approach is not entirely new to Nietzsche scholarship: the (sadly interrupted) Nietzsche-Wörterbuch project was based on a similar methodology (see Van Tongeren et al. 2004). A collaborator on that project also produced a virtue-theoretic reading of Nietzsche's mature philosophy (see Zibis 2007, which Alfano, unfortunately, does not discuss). This seems to suggest that... Read [More]

Space I: The Survival Argument

The Trump administration has expressed an interest in space development, with some talk of moon missions and even a mission to Mars. While I disagree with Trump on most matters, I do agree that the United States should commit considerable resources to developing a meaningful presence beyond earth. This would include the creation of colonies. [More]

What It Is Like to Perceive: Direct Realism and the Phenomenal Character of Perception

2020.03.08 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews J. Christopher Maloney, What It Is Like to Perceive: Direct Realism and the Phenomenal Character of Perception, Oxford University Press, 2018, 360pp., $85.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780190854751. Reviewed by Lauren Olin, University of Missouri-St. Louis Veritable orthodoxy among philosophers of cognitive science regards mental states, including conscious perceptual states, as fundamentally representational. J. Christopher Maloney is broadly sympathetic towards this disciplinary consensus -- he is "almost a representationalist" (xvii) -- but the positive arguments put forward in this book are articulated from the fringes of the mainstream. In his hands, Maloney explains, direct realism can adopt "the generally accepted representationalist thesis that perceptual experience is a kind of contentful cognition" (xix) and at the same time preserve the commonsensical intuition that: To perceive is to think in a distinctive way about something . . . perception secures its content in a peculiarly direct or immediate manner, in a fashion quite different from the... Read [More]

The Logic of Sanctuary: Towards a New Spatial Metaphor for the Study of Global Religion

SECULARISM has been one of the great topics of religious studies. Many scholars focused on what Matthew Arnold called the “melancholy, long, withdrawing roar” of faith, and on the consequences for individuals and societies when religion melts away (Arnold 1994, 87; Berger, 1967). Others have thought about how religious communities might legitimately reconfigure themselves in modern and religiously pluralist societies (Casanova, 1994). In recent years, the study of secularism has become dominated by different sorts of questions and a Foucauldian approach that can be called the “critique of secularism.” This school of thought, which is the subject of this forum, is interested less in secularization as a sociological phenomenon than in secularism as a discourse of power. The decline of faith is incidental to these studies, which are more concerned with how the social order is modified, and in whose interests, once “religion” is conjured as a sphere apart from others, and one in need of management and regulation by the [More]

Justification and Emancipation: The Critical Theory of Rainer Forst

2020.03.07 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Amy Allen and Eduardo Mendieta (eds.), Justification and Emancipation: The Critical Theory of Rainer Forst, Pennsylvania State University Press, 2019, 198pp., $29.95 (pbk), ISBN 9780271084787. Reviewed by William J. Talbott, University of Washington, Seattle Amy Allen and Eduardo Mendieta have given us a timely and valuable appreciation of, and critical engagement with, the work of Rainer Forst. Forst is one of the leading voices in critical theory, and, in my opinion, the person who has done the most to advance critical theory beyond the work of Jürgen Habermas. In this volume, Forst engages with a distinguished group of critics who provide the reader with an appreciation of the importance of Forst's work at the same time as they pose insightful criticisms. The critics address almost all of Forst's most important work. They raise many fascinating and important questions and Forst's replies don't merely repeat previously stated views, but often clarify and extend them. The book... Read [More]

Interdisciplinary three year postdoc positions at the Dutch Institute for Emergent Phenomena (DIEP)

Job List:  Europe Name of institution:  University of Amsterdam Town:  Amsterdam Country:  Netherlands Job Description:  DIEP@UvA has several open positions consisting of three year DIEP postdoc fellowships. DIEP@UvA seeks senior postdocs whose research interests align with those of at least two of the following institutes at the University of Amsterdam: Institute of Physics (IoP), the Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics (KdVI), the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC), the Informatics Institute (IvI), the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS) and the Institute for Advanced Study [More]