“What subjects are now being confronted at the frontiers of philosophical inquiry, breaking from the familiar philosophical concerns of canonical figures like Plato, Locke, and Descartes?” That was a question raised recently by the editors of “The Masthead,” a new member-based media program at The Atlantic.
Economists generally agree that protectionist policies (tariffs, subsidies, and other measures that shield domestic firms and laborers from foreign competition) are harmful to a nation’s overall economic well-being. Yet they continue to be implemented, in part because they sound good to an uninformed population susceptible to being swayed by nationalist rhetoric, an..
As philosophy comes to occupy more and more of the public’s attention—which is good news—it is not surprising that a lot of that attention is directed at ideas and examples that are dramatic and easy to describe. Chief among these, it seems, is the trolley problem (it it has even shown up on a network sitcom). The trolley problem is so popular, though, that disc..
Kathleen Stock (Sussex), whose recent writing about trans women was discussed in “‘When Tables Speak’: On the Existence of Trans Philosophy” by Talia Mae Bettcher (Cal State, Los Angeles), has written a response essay. (more…)
“Once we ask the question of what a woman is, things immediately become more complicated philosophically… I am actually quite willing to have a discussion with gender critical feminists about these issues. I would love a genuine conversation to determine whether bridge-building is possible. After all, non-trans and trans women alike face oppression. Sometimes the ..
Instead of gauging progress by asking what “we” philosophers agree about, one should ask whether someone who wants to do philosophy is in a better position to do so today than she would’ve been 10 or 100 or 1000 years ago? The answer is: certainly. (more…)
Over at Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen (GMU) asks, “has there been progress in philosophy?” His answer: “there is significant and ongoing progress in philosophy, we just don’t always name it as such.” (more…)
“There’s something especially absurd about philosophers.”
“For African philosophy to be taken seriously it has to find some sort of foundation within the African thought-world rather than in the Greek or European thought-world.” (more…)
Socrates is the favorite ancient philosopher of Stephanie Nordby, a recent philosophy PhD from the University of Oklahoma, because in his role as “gadfly” he represents two virtues of philosophy done well: “intellectual humility and profound intellectual courage.”
I’m asked from time to time which undergraduate courses best prepared me for working at Goldman Sachs and in the government. People assume I’ll list courses in economics or finance, but I always answer that the key was Professor Demos’s philosophy course and the conversations about existentialism in coffee shops around campus.
“How do you respond to those who wonder whether philosophy questions can ever be really answered once and for all and who therefore conclude it’s a waste of time?” (more…)
“I think of philosophy as partly a creative process and discipline, and I think it would be a tremendous shame if we lost sight of that part of things.” (more…)
“I worry that when most of the authors we read are white and male, some aspects of the subject matter get distorted, and it’s hard to tell where the essential stuff ends and the accidental stuff begins.” (more…)
Philosophy Today has just published a special symposium, “Rebecca Tuvel and her Interlocutors,” which includes articles that examine the methodology and arguments in her paper, “In Defense of Transracialism,” that caused such a controversy last year. (more…)
“To put something forward is an act of courage, and especially when you know people are going to tear it down. But I think tearing it down is the right response.” (more…)
How do we decide whether a metaphysical system is the right one or not? Empirical evidence doesn’t seem to be decisive, and given that some metaphysicians have impossible worlds and Meinongian objects it seems anything might happen in such a system. Are all metaphysical issues undecidable—and extending this thought to philosophy generally do you agree with the tho..
Our histories of philosophy are astonishingly parochial. Across two and half millennia and a whole planet, there are basically only 9 historical figures you can write about without running the risk of marginalizing yourself as a young philosopher. (more…)
Daniel Kodsi, an undergraduate at Oxford and founding editor of the Oxford Review of Books, writes about his interview of Amia Srinivasan, philosophy lecturer in the UCL Philosophy Department and fellow of All Souls College, Oxford: “I start the interview with a question I feel strangely silly for having, but which I cannot help but blurt out: why is philosophy so ..
“But one great thing about our profession is how flat and un-hierarchical it is. I still think it’s the best job any one can have.”
“Phenomenology is one of the major strands of post Kantian philosophy. But it isn’t easy to pin down exactly what the name captures. Can you first sketch for us what you think is its core and whether there actually is a core—something some philosophers have disputed haven’t they?” (more…)
Philosophy, of all disciplines, should never embrace dogmas—it is supposed to be the quintessentially critical subject—and yet now we’re full to the brim with them. You cannot criticize or even question the current orthodoxies regarding race, gender, or sexual orientation within the institutional framework of academic philosophy.
“I think metaphysics is the real theory of everything: nothing is off its remit.” (more…)
Which figures in the history of philosophy are philosophers today paying most attention to? In a recent editorial in the British Journal for the History of Philosophy (BJHP), editor Michael Beaney (KCL, Humboldt) surveys recent publications to identify what changes have taken place in who is popular among historians of philosophy, and what changes he thinks should b..