Just war theory needs to become a real-time critique of government war propaganda in order to facilitate peace advocacy ante bellum. This involves countering asserted justificatory reasons with demonstrable facts that reveal other motives, thereby yielding reflective understanding which can be collectivized via electronic media. As a case in point, I compare here the publicly declared reasons for the U.S./U.K. invasion of Iraq in 2003 with reasons discussed internally months and even years before in government and think-tank documents. These sources (...) show that control of oil rather than regime change or a WMD threat was theunderlying motive. Neo-conservatives in the Bush Administration justified such deception by citing an exoteric/esoteric distinction traceable to Plato via Leo Strauss. As with the Iraq invasion, so in general such propaganda and its rationalizations can be undermined by investigative journalism understood as ranging from fact gathering to rhetorical analysis and critique. (shrink)
Affective geographies examine the emotional dimensions of space and spatial relationships; geopolitics seeks to understand the role of space and geography in international relations. In this paper, we consider a hybridization of these concepts in the context of the Nordic countries, and in particular Denmark. Nordic countries have shifted attention to the wielding of “soft power” as a tool in seeking to achieve international relations and economic goals. We argue that in the case of Denmark, these soft power tools (...) bear an interesting affective dimension through an emphasis on “hygge,” or, “coziness.” Through media analysis, we illuminate the components of soft power in the Danish case and highlight the role of affect as a key element of these soft power tools. (shrink)
La entrevista recorre conceptos como “las geopolíticas del conocimiento” aplicada a América Latina y postula que la región es un producto geopolítico fabricado e impuesto por la “modernidad”, donde “América Latina” se fue fabricando como algo desplazado de la modernidad; o a la filosofía, que se narra de Grecia a Europa, quedando todo el resto del planeta fuera de la historia de la filosofía. Invita el entrevistado a dejar de pensar que lo que vale como conocimiento está en ciertas lenguas (...) y viene de ciertos lugares. Recorre desde este enfoque temas como la infección recíproca entre cosmología indígena y cosmología marxista; la distinción entre "interculturalidad" y "multiculturalidad.", y la re-articulación del poder en la "cuarta guerra mundial.". (shrink)
Cosmopolis A Review of Cosmopolitics -/- 2015/3-4 -/- Editorial Dominique de Courcelles & Paul Ghils -/- This issue addresses the general concept of “spirituality” as it appears in various cultural contexts and timeframes, through contrasting ideological views. Without necessarily going back to artistic and religious remains of primitive men, which unquestionably show pursuits beyond the biophysical dimension and illustrate practices seeking to unveil the hidden significance of life and death, the following papers deal with a number of interpretations covering a (...) wide field extending from belief to theory, from emotions to concepts, from the wisdom of personal experience to the most sophisticated doctrines. Spirit and spirituality are indeed many-faceted notions. They may refer to the intricate world of the interacting spirits which inhabit living beings in animistic traditions, without excluding a “grand force” linking human beings within a dynamic whole on which their very existence rely . They also bear upon more atomistic and either/or approaches of Western philosophy, which have become embodied in Cartesian dualism against a monotheist background, to the point of freezing the essence of individuals and culminating in the extreme individualism that characterizes our contemporaries. However, this equally refers to the opposite conception of materialism, across times and cultures, from ancient India and Greece (Cārvāka, originally known as Lokāyata, or some Buddhist doctrines for the former, Democritus or Lucretius for the latter) to more contemporary materialistic schools, whether modern or postmodern. -/- The following papers look at the contrasting forms of the philosophy and spirit of the human factor set into a whole, with no artificial disjoint between the psychical and the physical levels, as Wittgenstein put it: “And how can a body have a soul?”. This approach is not unrelated to the notion of anthropocene examined in a recent issue of Cosmopolis, with provides another comprehensive framework open to a spiritual life emerging from the very environment that generated it. -/- *** The first section of this issue was edited by Dominique de Courcelles, director at the National French Research Centre (CNRS), whom we wish to thank for collecting relevant studies relating to the religious and political questions, with a view to focusing on the war of ideas inevitably waged behind images, concepts and perceptions, taking an asymmetrical approach. To the extent that they are mindful of global/local interactions and include representations, opinions and beliefs, such disciplines as philosophy, philology, history and social sciences can provide useful studies accounting for new practices in geopolitics and a fair diplomacy. -/- In her introduction, Dominique de Courcelles first poses the question of how the religious and political spheres interrelate, with their corresponding religious demands and humanistic values. She then suggests that the right question today may be breaking with the philosophy of human rights concerned with the defense of human beings against the hazards of arbitrary politics or the instrumental use of religion, in favour of a fair philosophy of humankind, a new humanism. This would consist in recognizing a common loyalty of all towards one interhuman, not only interstate community, to protect it from both the autonomy demanded by individuals and the instrumental use of minorities. -/- Considering the fact of diversity, so important today in terms of both politics and religion, Abdelhai Azarkan looks at the conditions under which tolerance could obtain the double status of right and duty. He revisits to two philosophers, John Locke and Voltaire, who thought about it from the historical reality of religious wars. The former made tolerance into a right, basing his analysis on the political-legal level, while the latter saw tolerance as a duty, from an analysis based on ethical-political criteria. -/- Mathieu Guidère examines what he calls semantic denominationalism, a term which implies religious attributes and identities, whichever national loyalties or personal belonging they may have at the same time. Since the early 2000s, thie phenomenon has expanded tremendously, compounded by the “war on terror” and the over media-oriented terrorist actions. Denominational expressions act as formal names for ordinary and high-profile players in domestic and foreign policies of democratic states. These systems reveal a receding secularization, while the powerful comeback of religious identities signals the failure of nation-states and the weakening of the humanist spirit. -/- Barbara De Poli retraces the history of a contemporary jihadism claiming its Islamic essence and asserting the truth of genuine coranic principles via the war on infidels, with a view to restoring the Caliphate. After defining the term jihad, she shows that even if this contemporary jiadism is spreading in the Muslim world, it radically departs from Islamic law and the received use of the term jihad, in so far as it is rooted in the early radical thinking of Islamic ideologues in the 20th century, starting with with Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. This current has been fueled by by international conflicts since the outbreak of the war in Afghanistan, in which the so-called Western countries bear a major responsibility. -/- Abderrazak Sayadi starts from the Tunisian experience to ask the question of humanist values and democracy within the relationships between the religious and political spheres. As a historian of religion, he is brought to demystify certain islamic principles and to paying attention to the reform of law, seeing the separation of religion and politics as a precondition to a successful democratic gamble and the establishment of a renewed humanism. -/- Dominique de Courcelles reminds us that getting a better knowledge of narrations and words makes it possible to better understand how logical and rhetorical thinking works for those who wage an asymetriccal war, re-enchanting and mystifying the world to better take control. As soon as 1932, an exchange of letters between Einstein and Freud made it clear that, in order to free man from fatality and war, education understood as culture was fundamental. Such illustrations as the exécution of Oussama ben Laden and the Caliph’s speech in Mossoul show that a premiminary analysis of images and words is essential to a fair diplomacy conducted by people from civil society, whose culture and wisdom allow justice and force to speak together and better resist war. -/- Marcel Boisard thinks that on the day the guns fall silent, exhausted by war, we will not return to the state borders that have prevailed for a century as an outcome of the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916. It is time to prepare the “day after”, which will be a huge challenge. To this end, a summit of Middle-East nations is urgently needed to globally decide the fate of those peoples. On the condition that we know who the enemy is and accept to name it, to understand the history of the countries, groups and alliances, and to question any false or self-interested sense of certainty. -/- *** In the second section, Paul Schafer provides the author’s experiences to explain how culture, from the artistic to the biological, has the power to to open the doors to spirituality, from the inner self to the global environment. He asks himself whether a relative permanence of spirituality can arise from the specific moments that characterize it. Laurent Ledoux synthesizes the conclusion of a symposium held on 22 January 2015 on the links between philosophy and management, on the basis of the spiritual dimension conceived as “natural” and the answers it may suggest to the issues that face the organizations in a “contemporaniversal” world. Jacques Rifflet makes that question in a secular perspective, based on the wellsprings of personal commitment before it can be caught by any religious creed or scientific theory. In this sense spirituality, in alliance with reason, both inspires human consciousness and illuminates its destiny. Sami Aldeeb asks himself whether Islam can be reconciled with human rights. Caught between the belief in an absolute and final Word descended from the sky, and evidence showing that any religion is the creation of a given culture and a society situated in time and space, the Makkan and … contexts et médinois call for differentiated, if not opposite answers and exegeses. Bernard Carmona provides the outline of a dialogical framework, which is known to be a feature of debates between the various philosophical schools of classical India, exemplified here by the transdisciplinary perspective of debates within a Buddhist context. *** The articles not focused on the previous topic include a study by Landry Signé on China’s strategy, competing with the United States to control African resources. The author deals with the specific case of China’s rapprochement with Southern Sudan since Sudan was broken up. In the last paper, Goran Fejić and Rada Iveković, return to the essential role that women should play, and comments upon the role of some international legal instruments related in particular to the elimination of all forms of discrimination. The perspective is transnational and transethnic and is based on secular criteria, as regards nation-building and more generally society-building. Considering the persistence of widespread violence, whether in times of armed conflict or in times of peace, the question remains whether it is possible to fully implement rights and justice instruments. (shrink)
In this article, I re-evaluate critiques of Levinas's Eurocentrism by exploring his openness to decolonial theory. First, I survey Levinas's conceptual confrontation with imperialism, showing that his early Eurocentric work is revised in his later writing. Second, I explore the contextual reasons that led him to take that path, such as his previously overlooked conversations with the liberationist South American intellectual Enrique Dussel. Finally, I present the case for a revisitation of the current theoretical frameworks of Jewish thought. I explain (...) how Levinas's encounter with Third World discourses helps to add a needed decolonial layer to contemporary Jewish intercultural conversations. (shrink)
This paper examines the role of prestige bias in shaping academic philosophy, with a focus on its demographics. I argue that prestige bias exacerbates the structural underrepresentation of minorities in philosophy. It works as a filter against (among others) philosophers of color, women philosophers, and philosophers of low socio-economic status. As a consequence of prestige bias our judgments of philosophical quality become distorted. I outline ways in which prestige bias in philosophy can be mitigated.
Claims about people's intuitions have long played an important role in philosophical debates. The new field of experimental philosophy seeks to subject such claims to rigorous tests using the traditional methods of cognitive science – systematic experimentation and statistical analysis. Work in experimental philosophy thus far has investigated people's intuitions in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, epistemology, and ethics. Although it is now generally agreed that experimental philosophers have made surprising discoveries about people's intuitions in (...) each of these areas, considerable disagreement remains about the philosophical significance of the key findings. Some have argued that work in experimental philosophy should be assessed by asking whether it can contribute to the kind of inquiry that is normally pursued within analytic philosophy, while others suggest that work in experimental philosophy is best understood as a contribution to a more traditional sort of philosophical inquiry that long predates the birth of analytic philosophy. (shrink)
Philosophy has been a public endeavor since its origins in ancient Greece, India, and China. However, recent years have seen the development of a new type of public philosophy conducted by both academics and non- professionals. The new public philosophy manifests itself in a range of modalities, from the publication of magazines and books for the general public to a variety of initiatives that exploit the power and flexibility of social networks and new media. In this paper (...) we examine the phenomenon of public philosophy in its several facets, and investigate whether and in what sense it is itself a mix of philosophical practice and teaching. We conclude with a number of suggestions to academic colleagues on why and how to foster further growth of public philosophy for the benefit of society at large and of the discipline itself. (shrink)
This paper shows that during the first half of the 1960s The Journal of Philosophy quickly moved from publishing work in diverse philosophical traditions to, essentially, only publishing analytic philosophy. Further, the changes at the journal are shown, with the help of previous work on the journals Mind and The Philosophical Review, to be part of a pattern involving generalist philosophy journals in Britain and America during the period 1925-1969. The pattern is one in which journals controlled (...) by analytic philosophers systematically promote a form of critical philosophy and marginalise rival approaches to philosophy. This pattern, it is argued, helps to explain the growing dominance of analytic philosophy during the twentieth century and allows characterising this form of philosophy as, at least during 1925-1969, a sectarian form of critical philosophy. (shrink)
This paper argues that explicit reading instruction should be part of lower level undergraduate philosophy courses. Specifically, the paper makes the claim that it is necessary to provide the student with both the relevant background knowledge about a philosophical work and certain metacognitive skills that enrich the reading process and their ability to organize the content of a philosophical text with other aspects of knowledge. A “How to Read Philosophy” handout and student reactions to the handout are provided.
Experimental moral philosophy began to emerge as a methodology in the last decade of the twentieth century, a branch of the larger experimental philosophy (X-Phi, XΦ) approach. From the beginning, it has been embroiled in controversy on a number of fronts. Some doubt that it is philosophy at all. Others acknowledge that it is philosophy but think that it has produced modest results at best and confusion at worst. Still others think it represents an important advance.
Introduction to the Special Volume, “Method, Science and Mathematics: Neo-Kantianism and Analytic Philosophy,” edited by Scott Edgar and Lydia Patton. At its core, analytic philosophy concerns urgent questions about philosophy’s relation to the formal and empirical sciences, questions about philosophy’s relation to psychology and the social sciences, and ultimately questions about philosophy’s place in a broader cultural landscape. This picture of analytic philosophy shapes this collection’s focus on the history of the philosophy of (...) mathematics, physics, and psychology. The following essays uncover, reflect on, and exemplify modes of philosophy that are engaged with these allied disciplines. They make the case that, to the extent that analytic philosophers are still concerned with philosophy’s ties to these disciplines, we would do well to pay attention to neo-Kantian views on those ties. (shrink)
Once symbolized by a burning armchair, experimental philosophy has in recent years shifted away from its original hostility to traditional methods. Starting with a brief historical review of the experimentalist challenge to traditional philosophical practice, this chapter looks at research undercutting that challenge, and at ways in which experimental work has evolved to complement and strengthen traditional approaches to philosophical questions.
The idea that episodic memory is a form of mental time travel has played an important role in the development of memory research in the last couple decades. Despite its growing importance in psychology, philosophers have only begun to develop an interest in philosophical questions pertaining to the relationship between memory and mental time travel. Thus, this paper proposes a more systematic discussion of the relationship between memory and mental time travel from the point of view of philosophy. I (...) start by discussing some of the motivations to take memory to be a form of mental time travel. I call the resulting view of memory the mental time travel view. I then proceed to consider important philosophical questions pertaining to memory and develop them in the context of the mental time travel view. I conclude by suggesting that the intersection of the philosophy of memory and research on mental time travel not only provides new perspectives to think about traditional philosophical questions, but also new questions that have not been explored before. (shrink)
What is a game? What are we doing when we play a game? What is the value of playing games? Several different philosophical subdisciplines have attempted to answer these questions using very distinctive frameworks. Some have approached games as something like a text, deploying theoretical frameworks from the study of narrative, fiction, and rhetoric to interrogate games for their representational content. Others have approached games as artworks and asked questions about the authorship of games, about the ontology of the work (...) and its performance. Yet others, from the philosophy of sport, have focused on normative issues of fairness, rule application, and competition. The primary purpose of this article is to provide an overview of several different philosophical approaches to games and, hopefully, demonstrate the relevance and value of the different approaches to each other. Early academic attempts to cope with games tried to treat games as a subtype of narrative and to interpret games exactly as one might interpret a static, linear narrative. A faction of game studies, self-described as “ludologists,” argued that games were a substantially novel form and could not be treated with traditional tools for narrative analysis. In traditional narrative, an audience is told and interprets the story, where in a game, the player enacts and creates the story. Since that early debate, theorists have attempted to offer more nuanced accounts of how games might achieve similar ends to more traditional texts. For example, games might be seen as a novel type of fiction, which uses interactive techniques to achieve immersion in a fictional world. Alternately, games might be seen as a new way to represent causal systems, and so a new way to criticize social and political entities. Work from contemporary analytic philosophy of art has, on the other hand, asked questions whether games could be artworks and, if so, what kind. Much of this debate has concerned the precise nature of the artwork, and the relationship between the artist and the audience. Some have claimed that the audience is a cocreator of the artwork, and so games are a uniquely unfinished and cooperative art form. Others have claimed that, instead, the audience does not help create the artwork; rather, interacting with the artwork is how an audience member appreciates the artist's finished production. Other streams of work have focused less on the game as a text or work, and more on game play as a kind of activity. One common view is that game play occurs in a “magic circle.” Inside the magic circle, players take on new roles, follow different rules, and actions have different meanings. Actions inside the magic circle do not have their usual consequences for the rest of life. Enemies of the magic circle view have claimed that the view ignores the deep integration of game life from ordinary life and point to gambling, gold farming, and the status effects of sports. Philosophers of sport, on the other hand, have approached games with an entirely different framework. This has lead into investigations about the normative nature of games—what guides the applications of rules and how those rules might be applied, interpreted, or even changed. Furthermore, they have investigated games as social practices and as forms of life. (shrink)
Is Bayesian decision theory a panacea for many of the problems in epistemology and the philosophy of science, or is it philosophical snake-oil? For years a debate had been waged amongst specialists regarding the import and legitimacy of this body of theory. Mark Kaplan had written the first accessible and non-technical book to address this controversy. Introducing a new variant on Bayesian decision theory the author offers a compelling case that, while no panacea, decision theory does in fact have (...) the most profound consequences for the way in which philosophers think about inquiry, criticism and rational belief. The new variant on Bayesian theory is presented in such a way that a non-specialist will be able to understand it. The book also offers new solutions to some classic paradoxes. It focuses on the intuitive motivations of the Bayesian approach to epistemology and addresses the philosophical worries to which it has given rise. (shrink)
Except for a patina of twenty-first century modernity, in the form of logic and language, philosophy is exactly the same now as it ever was; it has made no progress whatsoever. We philosophers wrestle with the exact same problems the Pre-Socratics wrestled with. Even more outrageous than this claim, though, is the blatant denial of its obvious truth by many practicing philosophers. The No-Progress view is explored and argued for here. Its denial is diagnosed as a form of anosognosia, (...) a mental condition where the affected person denies there is any problem. The theories of two eminent philosophers supporting the No-Progress view are also examined. The final section offers an explanation for philosophy 's inability to solve any philosophical problem, ever. The paper closes with some reflections on philosophy 's future. (shrink)
What can--and what can't--philosophy do? What are its ethical risks--and its possible rewards? How does it differ from science? In Philosophy as a Humanistic Discipline , Bernard Williams addresses these questions and presents a striking vision of philosophy as fundamentally different from science in its aims and methods even though there is still in philosophy "something that counts as getting it right." Written with his distinctive combination of rigor, imagination, depth, and humanism, the book amply demonstrates (...) why Williams was one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century. Spanning his career from his first publication to one of his last lectures, the book's previously unpublished or uncollected essays address metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics, as well as the scope and limits of philosophy itself. The essays are unified by Williams's constant concern that philosophy maintain contact with the human problems that animate it in the first place. As the book's editor, A. W. Moore, writes in his introduction, the title essay is "a kind of manifesto for Williams's conception of his own life's work." It is where he most directly asks "what philosophy can and cannot contribute to the project of making sense of things"--answering that what philosophy can best help make sense of is "being human." Philosophy as a Humanistic Discipline is one of three posthumous books by Williams to be published by Princeton University Press. In the Beginning Was the Deed: Realism and Moralism in Political Argument was published in the fall of 2005. The Sense of the Past: Essays in the History of Philosophy is being published shortly after the present volume. (shrink)
What does it mean to think about technology philosophically? Why try? These are the issues that Carl Mitcham addresses in this work, a comprehensive, critical introduction to the philosophy of technology and a discussion of its sources and uses. Tracing the changing meaning of "technology" from ancient times to our own, Mitcham identifies the most important traditions of critical analysis of technology: the engineering approach, which assumes the centrality of technology in human life and the humanities approach, which is (...) concerned with its moral and cultural boundaries. Mitcham bridges these two traditions through an analysis of discussions of engineering design, of the distinction between tools and machines, and of engineering science itself. He looks at technology as it is experienced in everyday life--as material objects (from kitchenware to computers), as knowledge ( including recipes, rules, theories, and intuitive "know-how"), as activity (design, construction, and use), and as volition (knowing how to use technology and understanding its consequences). By elucidating these multiple aspects, Mitcham establishes criteria for a more comprehensive analysis of ethical issues in applications of science and technology. This book will guide anyone wanting to reflect on technology and its moral implications. (shrink)
Practitioners of the new ‘experimental philosophy’ have collected data that appear to show that some philosophical intuitions are culturally variable. Many experimental philosophers take this to pose a problem for a more traditional, ‘armchair’ style of philosophizing. It is argued that this is a mistake that derives from a false assumption about the character of philosophical methods; neither philosophy nor its methods have anything to fear from cultural variability in philosophical intuitions.
The paper begins by introducing a heuristic distinction between the “dogmatist” and the “pragmatist” approaches to philosophy of history. Dogmatists tend to use history to exemplify and shore up their pre-existing philosophical convictions. Pragmatists, on the other hand, construe philosophy of history as a form of critical reflection on the actual historical practice, with epistemic criteria of proper practice emerging in the course of the research itself, not antecedently deduced from general philosophical considerations. The core of the paper (...) discusses the work of Paul Roth, which is treated both as a specimen of the pragmatist mode of argumentation, and as a philosophical vindication, in the context of history, of the central pragmatist contention that we cannot successfully define knowledge in terms of a relation to reality, where reality is somehow understood independently and in advance of us knowing it. It is argued that Roth’s skillful deployment of arguments emerging from the recent philosophy of science to expose naïve realism in philosophy of history as a vestige of the no-longer-tenable philosophical vision opens a way for thinking productively about history as a complex and evolving form of research practice. (shrink)
Many philosophers have assumed, without argument, that Wittgenstein influenced Austin. More often, however, this is vehemently denied, especially by those who knew Austin personally. We compile and assess the currently available evidence for Wittgenstein’s influence on Austin’s philosophy of language. Surprisingly, this has not been done before in any detail. On the basis of both textual and circumstantial evidence we show that Austin’s work demonstrates substantial engagement with Wittgenstein’s later philosophy. In particular, Austin’s 1940 paper, ‘The Meaning of (...) a Word’, should be construed as a direct response to and development of ideas he encountered in Wittgenstein’s Blue Book. Moreover, we argue that Austin’s mature speech-act theory in How to Do Things with Words was also significantly influenced by Wittgenstein. (shrink)
In the past decade, experimental philosophy---the attempt at making progress on philosophical problems using empirical methods---has thrived in a wide range of domains. However, only in recent years has aesthetics succeeded in drawing the attention of experimental philosophers. The present paper constitutes the first survey of these works and of the nascent field of 'experimental philosophy of aesthetics'. We present both recent experimental works by philosophers on topics such as the ontology of aesthetics, aesthetic epistemology, aesthetic concepts, and (...) imagination, as well as research from other disciplines that not only are relevant to philosophy of aesthetics but also open new avenues of research for experimental philosophy of aesthetics. Overall, we conclude that the birth of an experimental philosophy of aesthetics is good news not only for aesthetics but also for experimental philosophy itself, as it contributes to broaden the scope of experimental philosophy. (shrink)
Many have tackled the question ‘What (if anything) is analytic philosophy?’ I will not attempt to answer this vexed question. Rather, I address a smaller, more manageable set of interrelated questions: first, when and how did people begin using the label ‘analytic philosophy’? Second, how did those who used this label understand it? Third, why did many philosophers we today classify as analytic initially resist being grouped together under the single category of ‘analytic philosophy’? Finally, for the (...) first generation who described themselves as analytic philosophers, what was their intended contrast class? Relatedly, when did ‘continental philosophy’ become the standard opposition? Some evidence I present justifies received answers to these questions; other evidence supports surprising and unorthodox answers to these questions. (shrink)
In this article, I attempt to bridge the gap between partiality and impartiality in moral philosophy from an oft-neglected African perspective. I draw a solution for this moral-theoretical impasse between partialists and impartialists from Kwasi Wiredu's, one of the most influential African philosophers, distinction between an ethic and ethics. I show how an ethic accommodates partiality and ethics impartiality. Wiredu's insight is that partialism is not concerned with strict moral issues. -/- .
"[Heidegger's] greatest work... essential for all collections." —Choice "... students of Heidegger will surely find this book indispensable." —Library Journal Contributions to Philosophy, written in 1936-38 and first published in 1989 as Beiträge zur Philosophie, is Heidegger’s most ground-breaking work after the publication of Being and Time in 1927. If Being and Time is perceived as undermining modern metaphysics, Contributions undertakes to reshape the very project of thinking.
Recreative Minds develops a philosophical theory of imagination that draws upon the latest work in psychology. This theory illuminates the use of imagination in coming to terms with art, its role in enabling us to live as social beings, and the psychological consequences of disordered imagination. The authors offer a lucid exploration of a fascinating subject.
Prominent critics and champions of Experimental Philosophy (X-Phi) alike have tied its philosophical significance to the philosophical significance of intuition. In this essay, I develop an interpretation of X-Phi which does not require an intuition-driven understanding of traditional philosophy, and the arguments challenged by results in X-Phi. X-Phi's role on this account is primarily dialectical. Its aim is to test the universality of claims which are merely assumed to be true, exploring the limits of our assumptions and showing (...) when a proposition is more controversial than is widely believed. (shrink)
On the political nature of the analytic - continental distinction in professional philosophy and the general tendency to discredit continental philosophy while redesignating the rubric as analytically conceived.
Experimental philosophy offers an alternative mode of engagement for public philosophy, in which the public can play a participatory role. We organized two public events on the aesthetics of coffee that explored this alternative mode of engagement. The first event focuses on issues surrounding the communication of taste. The second event focuses on issues concerning ethical influences on taste. -/- In this paper, we report back on these two events which explored the possibility of doing experimental philosophical aesthetics (...) as public philosophy. We set the stage by considering the significance and current state of efforts in public philosophy, and by introducing the emerging sub-discipline of experimental philosophical aesthetics. Then, we discuss the research and outreach aspects of the two events on the aesthetics of coffee. Finally, we conclude by reflecting on the prospects and potential pitfalls of experimental philosophy as public philosophy. (shrink)
The debate over whether free will and determinism are compatible is controversial, and produces wide scholarly discussion. This paper argues that recent studies in experimental philosophy suggest that people are in fact “natural compatibilists”. To support this claim, it surveys the experimental literature bearing directly or indirectly upon this issue, before pointing to three possible limitations of this claim. However, notwithstanding these limitations, the investigation concludes that the existing empirical evidence seems to support the view that most people have (...) compatibilist intuitions. (shrink)
This paper advances the view that the history of philosophy is both a kind of history and a kind of philosophy. Through a discussion of some examples from epistemology, metaphysics, and the historiography of philosophy, it explores the benefit to philosophy of a deep and broad engagement with its history. It comes to the conclusion that doing history of philosophy is a way to think outside the box of the current philosophical orthodoxies. Somewhat paradoxically, far (...) from imprisoning its students in outdated and crystallized views, the history of philosophy trains the mind to think differently and alternatively about the fundamental problems of philosophy. It keeps us alert to the fact that latest is not always best, and that a genuinely new perspective often means embracing and developing an old insight. The upshot is that the study of the history of philosophy has an innovative and subversive potential, and that philosophy has a great deal to gain from a long, broad, and deep conversation with its history. (shrink)