273 episodes

Interview with Philosophers about their New Books
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    • Philosophy

Interview with Philosophers about their New Books
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    Perry Zurn, "Curiosity and Power: The Politics of Inquiry" (U of Minnesota Press, 2021)

    Perry Zurn, "Curiosity and Power: The Politics of Inquiry" (U of Minnesota Press, 2021)

    Is curiosity political? Does it have a philosophical lineage? In Curiosity and Power: The Politics of Inquiry (University of Minnesota Press, 2021), Perry Zurn shows, consequentially, yes. He further asks: Who can be curious? How? When? To what effect? What happens when we are curious together? 
    Engaged with multiple social movements ranging from the mid-twentieth century to our current time, and thinkers of curiosity from the Ancient world until now, Zurn theorizes the normative and political force of curiosity while providing insight into how it has and can be wielded for transformative collective resistance.
    Sarah Tyson is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, Denver.
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    • 59 min
    John Sellars, "Marcus Aurelius" (Routledge, 2020)

    John Sellars, "Marcus Aurelius" (Routledge, 2020)

    Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations is one of the most popular philosophical works by sales to the public, while in academic philosophy he is considered somewhat of a philosophical lightweight. In Marcus Aurelius (Routledge, 2020), John Sellars argues that this academic perception mistakes the Meditations as a failed work of theoretical argument, when instead it is a series of spiritual training exercises to condition the Roman emperor’s character in accordance with the Stoic doctrines he learned as a bookish boy. 
    Sellars, who is reader in philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London, sees Marcus Aurelius as using his Meditations as an antidote to corrupting pressures of his powerful position and debilitating suffering in the face of adversity in his personal life and in his military campaigns against Germanic tribes. The book accessibly introduces the main Stoic doctrines that form the background of Marcus Aurelius’s writings, and shows how he reviews the day’s events and where he has gone wrong in his responses to them in their light.
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    • 1 hr 4 min
    Luke Russell, "Being Evil: A Philosophical Perspective" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Luke Russell, "Being Evil: A Philosophical Perspective" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Evil is among our everyday moral concepts. It is common to hear politicians and others condemn certain acts, purposes, people, or even populations as evil. But what does it mean to say that something is evil? Is the evil simply the exceedingly wrong? Is evil rather a distinctive kind of wrongness? Is it a kind of wrongness at all? Are acts evil regardless of the motives of those who commit them, or are people the things that are fundamentally evil (or not)?
    It takes only a few simple questions to complicate our familiar conception of evil. That’s partly the point of Luke Russell’s fascinating book, Being Evil: A Philosophical Perspective (Oxford UP, 2020). In it, he takes the reader through a careful analysis of the concept of evil. Along the way, he develops and defends his own conception of what evil is.
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    • 1 hr 7 min
    M. Kirloskar-Steinbach and L. Kalmanson, "A Practical Guide to World Philosophies: Selves, Worlds, and Ways of Knowing" (Bloomsbury, 2021)

    M. Kirloskar-Steinbach and L. Kalmanson, "A Practical Guide to World Philosophies: Selves, Worlds, and Ways of Knowing" (Bloomsbury, 2021)

    The first book in a new series, A Practical Guide to World Philosophies: Selves, Worlds, and Ways of Knowing (Bloomsbury Academic 2021), co-authored by Monika Kirloskar-Steinbach and Leah Kalmanson, introduces readers to a diverse range of world philosophies. It both guides readers through philosophical questions and reflects on how the discipline of philosophy has come to define its boundaries, thus deciding which questions are worth asking, within which contexts, and by which methods. The book takes up a range of philosophical traditions, including Chinese, Indian, African, Islamicate, and Maori ideas about knowledge and personhood. The book moves between first- and second- order philosophical reflection, both thinking about the context in which we do philosophy and doing philosophy with these traditions, making pedagogical applications along the way.
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    • 1 hr 5 min
    Peter Langland-Hassan, "Explaining Imagination" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Peter Langland-Hassan, "Explaining Imagination" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    How do we think about situations and things do not exist but might, engage in pretense and fiction, and create new works of art? These are central cases in which we’re using our imaginations, but what is imagination, and how should it be explained? In Explaining Imagination (Oxford University Press, 2020), Peter Langland-Hassan distinguishes using mental imagery to think about things and thinking about imaginary things, and proceeds to give a reductive account of both. On his view, imagining isn’t a sui generis mental state, as the received view holds. Instead, it can be reduced to more basic states, in particular belief, desire, and intention. Langland-Hassan, who is associate professor of philosophy at the University of Cincinnati, uses his account to explain the central cases of imagination, defends his view against objections, and considers how recent advances in Deep Learning might help explain the creative process.
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    • 1 hr 13 min
    Patricia Hill Collins, "Intersectionality as Critical Social Theory" (Duke UP, 2019)

    Patricia Hill Collins, "Intersectionality as Critical Social Theory" (Duke UP, 2019)

    Is intersectionality a critical social theory? What must intersectionality do to be both critical and a social theory? Must social justice be a guiding normative principle? And what does or should social justice mean in intersectional theory? Patricia Hills Collins explores these questions, and many more, in Intersectionality as Critical Social Theory (Duke University Press, 2019). Engaging a wide range of thinkers, activists, and traditions, including Classical American Pragmatism, the Frankfurt School, and Ida B. Well-Barnett, Collins helps us to reconsider how we think of intersectionality’s history in order to shape its future.
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    • 1 hr 4 min

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