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Interview with Philosophers about their New Books

Interview with Philosophers about their New Books
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United States

Description:

Interview with Philosophers about their New Books

Language:

English


Episodes

Anjan Chakravartty, “Scientific Ontology: Integrating Naturalized Metaphysics and Voluntarist Epistemology” (Oxford UP, 2017)

9/17/2018
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A scientific ontology is a view about what a scientific theory says exists. Longstanding philosophical debate on this issue divides into two broad camps: anti-realists, who think scientific theories are committed to the existence only of those things that can be observed, and realists, who hold that these theories are...

Duration:01:02:34

Brian O’Connor, “Idleness: A Philosophical Essay” (Princeton UP, 2018)

8/31/2018
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Culturally, idleness is widely derided as laziness, uselessness, and sloth. Even within philosophy, the idle are criticized for being wasteful, selfish, and free-loading. Indeed, throughout the history of moral and political philosophy, it is frequently asserted (though not often argued) that humans must be perpetually active, busy, and, in a...

Duration:00:58:29

Keya Maitra, “Philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita: A Contemporary Introduction” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018)

8/15/2018
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The Bhagavad Gita is one of the foundational texts of Hinduism and probably the one most familiar and popular in the West. The moral problem that motivates the text – is it right to kill members of one’s extended family if they are on the other side in a war?...

Duration:01:01:59

Steven Gimbel, “Isn’t That Clever: A Philosophical Account of Humor and Comedy” (Routledge, 2018)

8/6/2018
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Humor and its varied manifestations—jesting joking around, goofing, lampooning, and so on—pervade the human experience and are plausibly regarded as necessary features of interpersonal interactions. As one would expect, these pervasive phenomena occasion philosophical questions. What renders some item or event humorous? Are funny jokes objectively so? As humor is...

Duration:01:04:46

Eric Winsberg, “Philosophy and Climate Science” (Cambridge UP, 2018)

7/16/2018
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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that there is a warming trend in the global climate that is attributable to human activity, with an expected increase in global temperature (given current trends) of 1.5- 4.5 degrees Celsius (2.7-7.2 degrees Fahrenheit). But how do climate scientists reach these conclusions?...

Duration:01:05:50

Elizabeth F. Cohen, “The Political Value of Time: Citizenship, Duration, and Democratic Justice” (Cambridge UP, 2018)

6/29/2018
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We’re all familiar with some of the ways that time figures into our political environment. Things such as term limits, waiting periods, deadlines, and criminal sentences readily come to mind. But there are also protocols, accords, mandates, and contracts, and these frequently invoke temporal bounds of various kinds. In fact,...

Duration:01:06:50

Edouard Machery, “Philosophy Within Proper Bounds” (Oxford UP, 2017)

6/15/2018
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There are five people on the track and a runaway trolley that will hit them, and you are on a footbridge over the track with a large person whose body can stop the trolley in its tracks. Should you push the large person to his death to save the five...

Duration:01:02:29

William A. Edmundson, “John Rawls: Reticent Socialist” (Cambridge UP, 2017)

6/1/2018
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John Rawls is easily the most celebrated and influential political philosopher of the 20th Century, and his impact remains remarkably strong today. The central concepts with which his theory of justice begins are now components of the philosophical vernacular: The Original Position, Veil of Ignorance, Primary Goods, and his Two...

Duration:01:02:50

Ruth G. Millikan, “Beyond Concepts: Unicepts, Language, and Natural Information” (Oxford UP, 2018)

5/15/2018
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Kant famously asked the question, how is knowledge possible? In her new book, Beyond Concepts: Unicepts, Language, and Natural Information (Oxford University Press, 2018), Ruth Garrett Millikan responds to this question from a naturalistic, and specifically evolutionary, perspective. Millikan, who is distinguished professor emerita at the University of Connecticut, has...

Duration:01:01:52

Christian B. Miller, “The Character Gap: How Good Are We?” (Oxford UP, 2018)

5/1/2018
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My guest today is Christian Miller. Christian is A. C. Reid Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University. He is a moral philosopher specializing on character, with special interest in the empirical study of the virtues and vices. He currently directs The Beacon Project, which studies morally exemplars; and he...

Duration:00:58:47

Alexus McLeod, “Philosophy of the Ancient Maya: Lords of Time” (Lexington Books, 2018)

4/16/2018
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The ancient Maya are popularly known for their calendar, but their concept of time and the metaphysics surrounding that conception are not. In Philosophy of the Ancient Maya: Lords of Time (Lexington Books, 2018), Alexus McLeod reconstructs an ancient Mayan metaphysical system based on key texts and other artifacts plus...

Duration:01:04:03

Gloria Origgi, “Reputation: What it is and Why it Matters” (Princeton UP, 2018)

4/2/2018
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We all put a great deal of care into protecting, managing, and monitoring our reputation. But the precise nature of a reputation is obscure. In one sense, reputation is merely hearsay, a popular perception that may or may not have any basis in fact. Yet we rely heavily on reputations...

Duration:00:59:00

Menachem Fisch, “Creatively Undecided: Toward a History and Philosophy of Scientific Agency” (U Chicago Press, 2017 )

3/15/2018
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Thomas Kuhn upset both scientists and philosophers of science when he argued that transitions from one scientific framework (or “paradigm”) to another were irrational: the change was like a religious conversion experience rather than a reasoned shift from one theory to another based on the best evidence. But even if...

Duration:01:03:42

Karen Neander, “A Mark of the Mental: In Defense of Informational Teleosemantics” (MIT Press, 2017)

2/15/2018
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The two biggest problems of understanding the mind are consciousness and intentionality. The first doesn’t require introduction. The latter is the problem of how we can have thoughts and perceptions that about other things for example, a thought about a tree, or a perception of a tree. How can mental...

Duration:01:00:26

Bart Streumer, “Unbelievable Errors: An Error Theory about All Normative Judgments” (Oxford UP, 2017)

2/1/2018
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It’s intuitive to think that statements of the form “lying is wrong” ascribe a property—that of wrongness—to acts of the type lying. In this way, one might think that statements of this kind are much like statements of the form “Bill is left-handed,” which also seems to attribute a property—left-handedness...

Duration:01:02:10

Sam Cowling, “Abstract Entities” (Routledge, 2017)

1/15/2018
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Here’s a true sentence: The number seven is odd. What’s philosophically odd about the sentence is that it seems to imply that there must be numbers, including the number seven just as the truth of The Statue of Liberty is in New York implies that there is such a statue....

Duration:01:05:15

Kieran Setiya, “Midlife: A Philosophical Guide” (Princeton UP, 2017)

1/1/2018
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Middle-agedness is a curious phenomenon. In many ways, one is at one’s peak and also at the early stages of decline. There is much to do, but also dozens of paths irretrievably untaken. Successes, but also regrets. It’s no wonder that the idea of a midlife crisis is so familiar....

Duration:01:03:22

Owen Flanagan, “The Geography of Morals: Varieties of Moral Possibility” (Oxford UP, 2017)

12/15/2017
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What is it to be moral, to lead an ethically good life? From a naturalistic perspective, any answer to this question begins from an understanding of what humans are like that is deeply informed by psychology, anthropology, and other human-directed perspectives as these are constrained by evolution. In The Geography...

Duration:01:04:13

Daniel R. DeNicola, “Understanding Ignorance: The Surprising Impact of What We Don’t Know” (The MIT Press, 2017)

12/1/2017
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Epistemology is the area of philosophy that examines the phenomena of and related to knowledge. Traditional core questions include: How is knowledge different from lucky guessing? Can knowledge be innate? Is skepticism a threat, and if so, how should it be countered? And: Is it possible to know something simply...

Duration:01:00:06

Susanna Siegel, “The Rationality of Perception” (Oxford UP, 2017)

11/15/2017
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Seeing is often a good reason for believing—when things go well. But suppose we have a case like this: Jill believes that Jack is angry, although she has no good grounds for this belief. Nevertheless, when she sees him, she sees his face as angry even though it is neutral....

Duration:01:07:17