293 episodes

Interview with Philosophers about their New Books
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New Books in Philosophy New Books Network

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.3 • 89 Ratings

Interview with Philosophers about their New Books
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    Lindsey Stewart, "The Politics of Black Joy: Zora Neale Hurston and Neo-Abolitionism" (Northwestern UP, 2021)

    Lindsey Stewart, "The Politics of Black Joy: Zora Neale Hurston and Neo-Abolitionism" (Northwestern UP, 2021)

    What can southern Black joy teach us about agency? What role does refusal have in liberation? What more might there be to root work than resistance? In The Politics of Black Joy: Zora Neale Hurston and Neo-Abolitionism (Northwestern UP, 2021), Lindsey Stewart explores Hurston’s contributions to political theory and philosophy of race to develop a politics of joy that owes much to indifference, refusal, and tactical misrecognition. Contending with white supremacy and countering neo-abolitionist approaches that reduce southern Black life to tales of tragedy, Stewart suggests how a politics of Black joy can broaden our imaginations to think emancipation anew.
    Sarah Tyson is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, Denver.
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    • 55 min
    Helena de Bres, "Artful Truths: The Philosophy of Memoir" (U Chicago Press, 2021)

    Helena de Bres, "Artful Truths: The Philosophy of Memoir" (U Chicago Press, 2021)

    What is a memoir? What makes a memoir both nonfictional and literary? What are the memoirist’s moral obligations to the people they write about besides themselves, and to their potential readers? And is the writing of a memoir just indulging in narcissism, or revenge? 
    In Artful Truths: The Philosophy of Memoir (University of Chicago Press, 2021), Helena De Bres examines the philosophical issues that the memoir genre raises, given the doubts we may have about whether people can write the truth about themselves, whether the demands of literature overwhelm the demands of truth-telling, and even whether there is such a thing as a unified, persisting self to write about. De Bres, who is an associate professor of philosophy at Wellesley College, defends the nonfiction status of memoir while acknowledging that memories fail, we often engage in self-justification, and it can be difficult to draw a line between the “experiential truth” the memoirist tries to capture and falsity. De Bres deftly navigates issues in metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics, and ethics in this highly readable examination of an evolving literary form.
    Carrie Figdor is professor of philosophy at the University of Iowa.
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    • 59 min
    Catarina Dutilh Novaes, "The Dialogical Roots of Deduction: Historical, Cognitive, and Philosophical Perspectives on Reasoning" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    Catarina Dutilh Novaes, "The Dialogical Roots of Deduction: Historical, Cognitive, and Philosophical Perspectives on Reasoning" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    If all men are mortal, and Socrates is a man, then it must be that Socrates is mortal. What could be more obvious? Well, sometimes obviousness serves to conceal philosophical difficulties. There’s more going on in this simple deduction than we tend to recognize. For one thing, we are not being asked to assess whether all men are, indeed, mortal. Nor are we asking whether Socrates is indeed a man. Instead, we’re focusing on the logical relation that obtains between those two claims and the third. We claim that the third statement “follows from” the combination of the first two, or that the third is “entailed by” them. But what, exactly, is that?
    Despite the obviousness of deduction, questions abound. In her new book, The Dialogical Roots of Deduction: Historical, Cognitive, and Philosophical Perspectives on Reasoning (Cambridge University Press 2021), Catarina Dutilh Novaes argues that deduction arises out of social practices of dialogue.
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    • 1 hr 5 min
    Stephen Phillips, "Jewel of Reflection on the Truth about Epistemology: A Complete and Annotated Translation of the Tattva-cintā-maṇi" (Bloomsbury, 2020)

    Stephen Phillips, "Jewel of Reflection on the Truth about Epistemology: A Complete and Annotated Translation of the Tattva-cintā-maṇi" (Bloomsbury, 2020)

    In the first complete English translation of a monumental 14th century Sanskrit philosophical text, the Jewel of Reflection on the Truth about Epistemology (Bloomsbury 2020), Stephen Phillips introduces modern readers to a classic of Indian philosophy. The author of the Jewel, Gaṅgeśa, is a comprehensive examination of epistemology and its interrelationship with metaphysics, taking up topics in philosophy of language and logic along the way. The translation itself includes a commentary by Phillips, explaining Gaṅgeśa’s historical position in the long tradition of Nyāya philosophy, as well as the relationship of philosophy to contemporary thought. Gaṅgeśa’s treatise argues for realism about the external world, a broadly reliabilist theory of knowledge and justification, and systematically takies up and refutes potential objections to his own systematic account, resulting in a tightly interwoven masterpiece of Sanskrit-language philosophy.
    Malcolm Keating is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Yale-NUS College. His research focuses on Sanskrit philosophy 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 (and stuff).
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    • 1 hr 11 min
    Collin Rice, "Leveraging Distortions: Explanation, Idealization, and Universality in Science" (MIT Press, 2021)

    Collin Rice, "Leveraging Distortions: Explanation, Idealization, and Universality in Science" (MIT Press, 2021)

    Most of us agree that science aims to tell us what is true about the world. But how do we get at the truth by using theories and models that deliberately, pervasively, and ineliminably distort what they are about? How does a model that makes wholly unrealistic, even impossible, assumptions about reality help explain it and provide us with understanding? In Leveraging Distortions: Explanation, Idealization, and Universality in Science (MIT Press, 2021), Collin Rice tackles this puzzle by examining how idealization figures in the development of models and how such distortions help provide otherwise inaccessible explanations. Rice, an associate professor of philosophy at Bryn Mawr College, takes issue with the dominant view of scientific explanation as primarily a matter of providing causal information, and argues that providing information about what is irrelevant is what often does the explanatory work. The book presents a well-structured challenge to many of the views of scientific explanation that have dominated philosophy of science for decades.
    Carrie Figdor is professor of philosophy at the University of Iowa.
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    • 1 hr 8 min
    Alessandra Tanesini, "The Mismeasure of the Self: A Study in Vice Epistemology" (Oxford UP, 2021)

    Alessandra Tanesini, "The Mismeasure of the Self: A Study in Vice Epistemology" (Oxford UP, 2021)

    Epistemology traditionally focuses on the analysis of central epistemological concepts, such as knowledge, justification, evidence, truth, and belief. But having knowledge is also a matter of acquiring knowledge. And this means that epistemology must also address questions of our conduct ­– how we should go about finding things out, what it means to be a good inquirer, and so on. This suggests that people can behave badly as epistemic agents. It falls to epistemologists to examine bad epistemic conduct as well.
    In her new book, The Mismeasure of the Self: A Study in Vice Epistemology (Oxford UP, 2021), Alessandra Tanesini begins from the observation that good epistemic conduct involves proper appraisal of one’s epistemic condition, including one’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses. Her book focuses on the ways epistemic self-assessment can go wrong. Along the way, she provides a general theory of epistemic virtue and vice.
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    • 1 hr 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
89 Ratings

89 Ratings

Gaal Dornick ,

Content + / Form -

What the title (and other reviewers) said. I’m a philosophy professor and love the content but, for god’s sake, PLEASE edit out the interviewers incessant “um”s! The only reason that the podcast is bearable is that the interviews speak better.

Selylidne ,

Unrivaled depth for a podcast

Podcasts that interview people and claim to examine complex and interesting topics are a dime a dozen, but 99% of them never go deeper than the surface level version of the topics. The New Books Network is uniquely different, and New Books In Philosophy is the best of the New Books Network.

Listen to this podcast for long, in-depth interviews with people who literally wrote the book investigating a narrow slice of philosophy.

(Oddly, the interviewers frequently voice assumptions that listeners are in or have been in academic philosophy. This is probably not an accurate assumption about the audience, since the podcast is distributed to the general public via iTunes. But that's trivial enough that it's barely even a criticism.)

jess_simp ,

Excellent Philosophy Podcast

Very impressed with the choice of guests and quality of the conversations. This podcast provides excellent introductions to new philosophical works and thought provoking conversations with authors. Keep up the great work!

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