New Philosophy Compass Issue, August 2011

The latest issue of Philosophy Compass is now available on Wiley Online Library

Aesthetics & Philosophy of Art
Ideal Observer Theories in Aesthetics (pages 513–522)
Stephanie Ross
Article first published online: 8 AUG 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00416.x
Logic & Language
Proof Theory for Modal Logic (pages 523–538)
Sara Negri
Article first published online: 8 AUG 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00418.x
Naturalistic Philosophy
The Instrumental Value of Explanations (pages 539–551)
Tania Lombrozo
Article first published online: 8 AUG 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00413.x
Philosophy of Religion
Naturalistic Explanation for Religious Belief (pages 552–563)
David Leech and Aku Visala
Article first published online: 8 AUG 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00414.x
Anselmian Theism (pages 564–571)
Yujin Nagasawa
Article first published online: 8 AUG 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00415.x
Teaching & Learning Guide
Teaching & Learning Guide for: Logic and Divine Simplicity (pages 572–574)
Anders Kraal
Article first published online: 8 AUG 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00417.x
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The Global Reach of Human Rights, Amartya Sen

Society for Applied Philosophy 2011 Annual Lecture

The Global Reach of Human Rights

Professor Amartya Sen

Tuesday 14 June 2011
5pm at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford
(Doors open from 4.30pm)

The lecture will be followed by a reception for Society for Applied Philosophy members. Further Information.

The Society for Applied Philosophy sponsors an Annual Lecture to be delivered by a philosopher who has made an important contribution to the field of applied philosophy broadly construed.

Listen to past lectures:

2010: Militant Modern Atheism, Professor Philip Kitcher

2009: Measuring Development, Poverty and Gender Equity, Professor Thomas Pogge

2008: Naturalism, Normativity, and Applied Ethics, Baroness Onora O’Neill (Inagural SAP Annual Lecture)

Interview: The Philosopher’s Toolkit

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Peter Fosl and Julian Baggini make complex and abstract philosophical work accessible to the uninitiated with their outstanding books The Philosopher’s Toolkit and The Ethics Toolkit. In this interview, Peter Fosl talks about what philosophy did for him, and why he is motivated to share what he calls  one of “the extremely good things” he has discovered in life.

The Philosopher’s Eye: Why did you decide to write The Philosopher’s Toolkit and The Ethics Toolkit?

Peter Fosl: I wrote them for two reasons, really.  First, I took up work on the toolkits to advance my project of bringing philosophy to as many people as possible. The second reason I became involved with the Toolkit projects was Julian Baggini. I had come to know Julian and his work through writing for The Philosophers’ Magazine (which he co-founded and edits). Julian has proven himself stunningly effective at bringing philosophy to a wide audience and doing so in a way that doesn’t dumb the material down. Continue reading “Interview: The Philosopher’s Toolkit”

A Conversation with one Self

Will Self

Author Will Self’s inaugural lecture of the 2008 Radio 3 Free Thinking festival is archived online here. Self traces the misguided portrayal of consciousness in fiction through history in his typically verbose way. Up for reconsideration are not just the naturalist approach of nineteenth-century literature but also the Joycean stream of consciousness approach. Self argues that the way writers have chosen to portray it does not fit in with the way we really experience our minds. Continue reading “A Conversation with one Self”

Something from the archives

Archive of Richard Rorty’s contributions over at the London Review of Books. All of Rorty’s contributions to the fortnightly magazine are available online, most of them for free. Other famous philosophers whose work is archived include A. J. Ayer, Thomas Nagel, Bernard Williams and Terry Eagleton; see here for a full list of contributors. Continue reading “Something from the archives”

I didn’t do it, my brain did.

Bereitschaftspotenzial_fig1A recent article in Consciousness and Cognition continues the debate over Benjamin Libet’s famous free will experiment.

In 1983 Libet showed that before subjects announced their decision to perform an action (and hence, or so Libet assumed, before deciding to perform an action) their motor cortex was already preparing the way for the act in question. Libet concluded:

“These considerations would appear to introduce certain constraints on the potential of the individual for exerting conscious initiation and control over his voluntary acts.” (Libet et al. 1983) Continue reading “I didn’t do it, my brain did.”

Neglecting the philosophical baby

Have philosophers neglected the mind of the child? Yes they have, if we are to believe psychologist, Alison Gopnik. In her latest book The Philosophical Baby, she presents a raft of examples aimed to show that babies’ minds are more sophisticated than has (she says) been supposed.

One contemporary philosopher who has been attacked on just this basis is John McDowell. He has put forward the thesis that animals and young infants do not perceive or indeed think…. Continue reading “Neglecting the philosophical baby”