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History from the Early Modern Philosophers published 15/02/2015

9780199693092

When a Descartes or a Leibniz did philosophy, they didn’t limit themselves to what modern philosophers thought about, issues in epistemology or metaphysics or ethics or politics. The entire world—including what we think of as the scientific world—was part of their domain. Unlike modern philosophers, they didn’t have to take what experts in the sciences give them and work within its parameters: they could and did dabble in all branches of systematic knowledge. This is an important difference from philosophers today.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Daniel Garber.

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Unruly Words published 07/02/2015

Sara_Maher

The fundamental idea is that vagueness consists in a word’s possession of multiple equally permissible or competent ways of being applied, for example multiple equally permissible stopping places in a sorites series. I take the multiple competent ways of using a vague term to reflect multiple ranges of application in its semantics.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Diana Raffman.

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the stuff of proof published 31/01/2015

c31d9daf184580cba9d6f43290b6c05c

There’s the ‘law of large numbers’: in a population of 250 million, a ‘million to one chance’ happens 250 times; with the huge range of well-studied pure mathematical structures, it’s not surprising that some of them find application. As I listened to Diaconis’s lecture, I realized that each one of the errors that lead us so naturally to think there’s a coincidence demanding explanation (e.g., this person must be reading my mind!), could also lead us to think that the applicability of mathematics is an amazing coincidence.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Penelope Maddy.

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Fichte and Rousseau published 24/01/2015

Johann Gottlieb Fichte

Even the concept of equality may be regarded as less clear-cut if one really presses the question of why we should regard all human beings as essentially equal in a moral sense. Kantians might respond by saying that all human beings are equal in virtue of their rational nature, for example. Yet this invites the question as to why we should accord rationality itself such an absolute value. I am therefore sympathetic to the worry that the German Idealist agenda ultimately rests on quasi-theological assumptions.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews David James.

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On what there is for things to be published 21/12/2014

The grounding principle seems to have quite substantive ontological implications. Take the true claim that there once were dinosaurs. What object could be such that its existence grounds the truth of that claim? Perhaps any of the formerly alive dinosaurs. But you might have thought there aren’t any such things – after all, isn’t that what we mean by saying that dinosaurs are extinct? That there don’t exist any dinosaurs? So the grounding principle pushes you toward accepting past objects in your ontology: your dead great-great-grandparents, Caesar and Cleopatra, the dinosaurs and what not, all exist, all as real as you and me – only they’re somewhat different from you and me in that they’re past.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Stephan Kraemer.

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The Underground Island published

One premise, not rigorously applied, was that you should be able to live somewhere in Britain without money. So with a few exceptions we offered free accommodation, ad lib, to who-ever made it to the island. No references, no deposit. In the early days, no council tax. No notice to quit, no eviction, however extreme the acting-out. It was how the Welfare State was supposed to work. Incidentally, as Machiavelli reminds us, this was also how ancient Rome was founded, by attracting fugitives and outlaws from the modern.

Richard Marshall interviews Roc Sandford.

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no one can jump over his own shadow published 08/12/2014

Heidegger was a bad reader of Sartre (and remember, it was Jean Beaufret who interpreted Sartre for him) when he claimed that the difference between them was that for Sartre “We are in a situation where there are only human beings,” whereas for Heidegger “We are in a situation where there is principally being.”

Introducing the launch of the Heidegger Research Series, Richard Polt and Gregory Fried interview Professor Thomas Sheehan.

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the metaphysics of logic published 05/12/2014

One important thing that non-classical logics have done that classical logic has not (although, who knows, it may have, had Frege lived longer) is, after stepping carefully in problematic domains, to revise or rebuild completely in the light of suspicious results: classical paradoxes or limitations in areas like quantum physics, the foundations of mathematics, and plain old everyday reasoning in inconsistent or even just possibly inconsistent situations – have all inspired non-classical logics, and as a result we now have logics offering more nuanced and accurate models of deduction across at least some contexts and at most, more contexts than those classical logic can handle.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Penny Rush.

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Writing Outside Philosophy: An Interview with Simon Critchley published 03/12/2014

What I learned from Derrida very early on — my master’s thesis was on the question of whether we could overcome metaphysics — is that the step outside philosophy always falls back within the orbit of that which it tries to exceed. Not to philosophize is still to philosophize. Similarly, any text or philosophy that simply asserts the value of metaphysics is internally dislocated against itself, undermining its own founding gesture. This leave us writing on the margin between the inside and the ouside of philosophy, which is where I’d like to place Memory Theatre.

Andrew Gallix interviews Simon Critchley.

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Art is Love is God published 01/12/2014

While I was in Japan writing The Plum, Lun*na’s father purchased a boombox for me. Unlike the U.S., Japan is full of rental shops that not only rent[ed] VHS – remember this was 1989 – but also CDs. So, for ¥200, you could rent a CD and go home to make a copy of it on cassette. Japan sold blank cassettes that fit the time of an entire album. I spent a lot of time at the rental CD shop in Moji-Ko. I remember coming across Yellow Magic Orchestra. YMO didn’t impress me as much as Omni Sight Seeing, a solo album by one of its members, Haruomi Hosono. I taped this CD from my boombox. The album, even when I hear it now, brings back the memory of life in Moji-Ko as well as writing The Plum In Mr. Blum’s Pudding.

Penny-Ante editorial director Rebekah Weikel interviews TamTam Books publisher Tosh Berman.

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