362 episodes

Interview with Philosophers about their New Books
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New Books in Philosophy Marshall Poe

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.4 • 14 Ratings

Interview with Philosophers about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/philosophy

    Rebecca Roache, "For F*ck's Sake: Why Swearing Is Shocking, Rude, and Fun" (Oxford UP, 2023)

    Rebecca Roache, "For F*ck's Sake: Why Swearing Is Shocking, Rude, and Fun" (Oxford UP, 2023)

    Swearing can be a powerful communicative act, for good or ill. The same word can incite violence or increase intimacy. How is swearing so multivalent in its power? Is it just all those harsh “c” and “k” sounds? Does swearing take its power from taboo meaning? Why is swearing sometimes so funny? In For F*ck’s Sake: Why Swearing Is Shocking, Rude, and Fun (Oxford University Press, 2023), Rebecca Roache, host of the podcast The Academic Imperfectionist, offers us rich insights into the complex importance of swearing to help us understand who gets judged too harshly for doing it, why it’s important to be able to offend with swearing, why we might need to advocate for some swear words, and so much more.
    Sarah Tyson is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, Denver.
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    • 1 hr
    Michael Devitt, "Biological Essentialism" (Oxford UP, 2023)

    Michael Devitt, "Biological Essentialism" (Oxford UP, 2023)

    What makes a species a species? Aristotle answered the species question by positing unchanging essences, properties that all and only members of a species shared. Individuals belonged to a species by possessing this essence. Biologists and philosophers of biology today are either not essentialists at all, or if they are think there are essences they are relational, historical properties. 
    In his provocative book Biological Essentialism (Oxford UP, 2023), Michael Devitt argues for a new form of biological essentialism in which intrinsic essences, probably largely genetic properties, are part of what tie species together and that the actual explanatory practices of biologists commit them to this view. Devitt, who is distinguished professor of philosophy, emeritus, at CUNY Graduate Center, responds to many philosophers critical of his position, and applies his essentialism to debates about race realism and anti-realism.
    Carrie Figdor is professor of philosophy at the University of Iowa.
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    • 1 hr 7 min
    Lisa Herzog, "Citizen Knowledge: Markets, Experts, and the Infrastructure of Democracy" (Oxford UP, 2023)

    Lisa Herzog, "Citizen Knowledge: Markets, Experts, and the Infrastructure of Democracy" (Oxford UP, 2023)

    For better or worse, democracy and epistemology are intertwined. For one thing, politics is partly a matter of gathering, assessing, and applying information. And this can be done responsibly or incompetently. At least since Plato, a leading critique of democracy has focused on the ignorance of ordinary citizens. Historically, this kind of critique has supplied the basis for several nondemocratic proposals. Yet it has also worked in the background of a range of views within democratic theory. Among these are views that have relied on markets as mechanisms for sharing and distributing information.
    But there are hazards to market-based thinking about democracy. In Citizen Knowledge: Markets, Experts, and the Infrastructure of Democracy (Oxford UP, 2023), Lisa Herzog explores three conceptually distinct sites where democracy interfaces with epistemology: markets, expert communities, and public deliberation. The result is an integrated political epistemology for democracy.
    Robert Talisse is the W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.
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    • 1 hr 7 min
    Jan Westerhoff, "Candrakirti's Introduction to the Middle Way: A Guide" (Oxford UP, 2023)

    Jan Westerhoff, "Candrakirti's Introduction to the Middle Way: A Guide" (Oxford UP, 2023)

    A proponent of the Madhyamaka tradition of Mahāyāna Buddhism, Candrakīrti wrote several works, one of which, the Madhamakāvatāra, strongly influenced later Tibetan understandings of Madhyamaka. 
    This work is the subject of Jan Westerhoff’s Candrakīrti’s Introduction to the Middle Way: A Guide (Oxford University Press, 2024), part of the Oxford Guides to Philosophy series. His book situates Candarkīrti and his text within Indian and Tibetan Buddhism and helps philosophical readers appreciate the text’s main arguments and ideas. Chief among these is a commitment to the emptiness of all phenomena, especially but not only selves, which is the subject of the lengthy sixth chapter—analyzing what it means for things to lack any substantial existence and criticizing opposing positions. Candrakīrti also takes up topics in metaphilosophy (do critical arguments commit us to positive claims?), philosophy of mind (do enlightened beings have experience at all?), and semantics and logic (what is the difference between conventional and ultimate truth, and can we express the latter in language?). Westerhoff’s guide aims to help readers unfamiliar with Sanskrit or Tibetan navigate these ideas, pointing them to further scholarly and philosophical resources along the way.
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    • 54 min
    Krista K. Thomason, "Dancing with the Devil: Why Bad Feelings Make Life Good" (Oxford UP, 2023)

    Krista K. Thomason, "Dancing with the Devil: Why Bad Feelings Make Life Good" (Oxford UP, 2023)

    How could a good life include one with anger, or jealousy, or spite? In Dancing with the Devil: Why Bad Feelings Make Life Good (Oxford UP, 2023), Krista Thomason flips the script on popular ways of dealing with our emotions, including neo-Stoicism, mindfulness, and even the prosperity gospel. She makes the case that we should get rid of the double standard we have towards "good" and "bad" emotions, and that we should not aim to be emotional saints. Instead, because "bad" emotions are an essential part of our attachments to our selves, they help us discover what we care about. Thomason, who is an associate professor of philosophy at Swarthmore College, guides the reader through philosophical traditions regarding the relation of emotion to reason and the various approaches thinkers have come up with to deal with our "bad" emotions.
    Carrie Figdor is professor of philosophy at the University of Iowa.
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    • 59 min
    Tyler Dalton McNabb and Erik Baldwin, "Classical Theism and Buddhism: Connecting Metaphysical and Ethical Systems" (Bloomsbury, 2023)

    Tyler Dalton McNabb and Erik Baldwin, "Classical Theism and Buddhism: Connecting Metaphysical and Ethical Systems" (Bloomsbury, 2023)

    In addition to denying the existence of a substantial, enduring self, Buddhists are usually understood to deny the existence of a God or gods. However, in Classical Theism and Buddhism: Connecting Metaphysical and Ethical Systems (Bloomsbury, 2022), Tyler Dalton McNabb and Erik Baldwin argue that there is conceptual space to affirm both basic Buddhist metaphysical claims and Classical Theism without contradiction. Their book argues that three fundamental commitments are generally agreed upon by Buddhists: all things are interdependent, impermanent, and empty of "own-being" (svabhāva). However, since Classical Theists like Aquinas deny that God—who is eternal, immutable, impassible, and metaphysically simple—is a thing among other things, accepting the existence of such a God poses no problem for a Buddhist. The book unpacks this thesis, also taking up historical Buddhist and contemporary philosophical objections to a divine being, arguing for a synthesis of Buddhist and theistic ethics and soteriology, and closing with a discussion of the problem of religious pluralism for Christians and Buddhists.
    Malcolm Keating is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Yale-NUS College. His research focuses on Sanskrit works of philosophy in Indian traditions, in the areas of language and epistemology. He is the author of Language, Meaning, and Use in Indian Philosophy (Bloomsbury Press, 2019) and host of the podcast Sutras & Stuff.
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    • 1 hr 9 min

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4.4 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

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